Financial Resilience As A Community Effort

Today I celebrate a mini milestone in my financial planning. I am lending a neighbor the money for the downpayment to buy the house they’ve been renting! This, for me, is so exciting. It’s a win for my neighborhood (good neighbor becoming a homeowner) as well as for my longterm financial plan (shifting my monetary assets from large financial institutions to what I consider to be solid investments in my local community).

This shift is something I’ve been working on for a long time. I have erred on the side of slowness to avoid putting all my eggs in one basket or investing in endeavors that are well-intentioned but turn out to be unstable.

My finance story is something I’ll be posting about more soon.

For today, my “Scooby Snack” for you is a wonderful piece written by someone else. “Financial Resilience: Lessons from the Peace Corps.” This is a guest post on Laura Oldanie’s blog “Rich and Resilient Living,” which I often link to in my posts, and which you’ll find in my permalinks as well.

Today’s guest post is by Sara Bruya, a friend of Laura’s who was in the Peace Corps in Gabon. Sara’s post is full of valuable insights, and echoes a lot of the advice I have repeatedly shared here, such as the value of building neighborly ties, and the importance of reducing our dependence on government and other large centralized systems. Here’s just a short quote from this juicy post to tantalize you:

Looking around me in Gabon, I saw a different way of living—one that included modern conveniences (internet access, local and international TV channels, supermarkets, cell phones) and innovations (including a very convenient circulating, shared taxi system) but was also resourceful and resilient in the face of adversity and the shifting availability of basic necessities.

I saw a much closer relationship between people and the natural world, from which they were adept at sourcing what they needed to offset the costs of buying staples in farmers’ markets and supermarkets, using skills transmitted through the generations.

We are too removed from the sources of what we depend on in the States. That is probably the single greatest thing I appreciate about living in Gabon. People are the source of their own sustenance.

And:

In the midst of restrictions resulting from the current pandemic, I have realized that my Peace Corps experience prepared me, in many ways, to cope with new social paradigms, prolonged uncertainty, distance from friends and loved ones, disruption to the flow of resources, and limited control over circumstances.

Go read the rest! You don’t want to miss it! It’s another voice, highly articulate and rooted in experience, backing up all the stuff I’m always preaching to you about!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a freelance editor, Sara is one, and here is her business page.