26 December 2008

America's Cheapest Family. Hmmmm.

Meet the Economides family from Scottsdale, AZ. The Econimdeses are a family of seven who live comfortably on an income of around $44,000 a year. Well, that was their income before their book became a bestseller at any rate. 

From everything I can tell, this family lives firmly in the 21st century. They are not part of some movement to turn their backs on modernity and live off the land. I mean, the Economideses paid off their home in nine years, they buy cars with cash, feed seven mouths every month on $350 and don't have any credit card debt. Impossible? Well, it has to be tough to get used to living that way, but it's hardly impossible.

The Economides family has published a book and a website called America's Cheapest Family, and in both they espouse a philosophy of frugal living that is far from joyless and cold. They appear to approach the whole thing as a game and they certainly look to be a pretty happy bunch in the video above.

Look, it's the day after a day that's become the apogee of American consumerism. This is also a time of tremendous economic uncertainty if you haven't noticed. This message of joyful frugality is exquisitely timed, and the Economides family has a thing or two to show anybody who's willing to look at American life in a different way. For the sake of my own economic security, I hope like crazy that the people who call on me don't become adherents of what this family embodies. Yet as I'm fond of saying, times is hard; and I get it. On a personal level though, I'm intrigued. I didn't go bonkers at Christmas this year the way I usually do, but that's a function of my own concerns about the coming year. Maybe 2009 will be the year I discover the humble coupon. I live within my means though I still think I spend too much money on day-to-day stuff. I plan to spend some time with the Economides gang and see if I can't pick up some pointers.

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