The Church of FI – Jimmy Carter is a Badass!


Even if you don’t call yourself an artist, you have the potential to be a dynamic creator who is always hatching new plans, coming up with fresh ideas, and shifting your approach to everything you do as you adjust to life’s ceaseless invitation to change.

It’s to this part of you — the restless, inventive spirit — that I address the following: … Unleash yourself! Don’t be satisfied with the world the way it is; don’t sit back passively and blankly complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo.

Unleash yourself! Don’t be satisfied with the world the way it is;

don’t sit back passively and blankly complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo.

Instead, call on your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life as you tinker with and rebuild everything you see so that it’s in greater harmony with the laws of love and more hospitable to your soul’s code.

-Rob Brezsny

This weekend, I finally watched the documentary “The Minimalists”. There were two main takeaways that really resonated with me:

(1) Consumption in the U.S. has exponentially increased.

The chart displays the personal consumption expenditures of durable and non-durable goods from 1947-2015. Durable goods include cars, furniture, recreational goods and vehicles; nondurable goods are such items as food, beverages, clothing, shoes, gasoline, and all that plastic crap we insist on buying.

Consumption in itself is not the problem. See how steady the line is from 1947 to 1972? That is the result of progress but without the greed. The real problem is compulsory consumption, the drive for more and more unnecessary stuff. The belief that the more we have, the more successful our lives have been; that we are somehow better than everyone else. However, it leads to an unsteady economy. We become nervous; we know the day of reckoning will have to come, but we keep hoarding and spending like a runaway train before the shit hits the fan. The line becomes jagged; halting when some event threatens our livelihood (see 2009!). The spending behavior in the U.S. is childish. It’s a sickness and a disease that is more the reason for the troubles this country currently has than stagnation in wages.

(2) Jimmy Carter is a bad ass.

I had no idea that he had given the country such a talking to about the corrosive effect that consumption has on a society. See the drastic change in the slope of the expenditure line around 1973? Without mincing words he clearly stated that we needed to stop. The problems we have today are a direct result of not correcting the course of our country’s vast and excessive consumerism. Instead, we put our faith in Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics. Sadly, we are set to repeat those same results today through corporate and environmental deregulation and our rejection of science-based policy.


This brings us back to the quote at the beginning of the post. UNLEASH YOURSELF! You do not need to bend to the status quo. Don’t be bogged down by the expectations that someone else has defined for you.

The Church of FI is a  group that has set their own expectations. They limit the wastefulness in their lives, to cut through the fog and pursue immaterial dreams and conceptual freedom. I want to be like them!



December financial reports from the blogosphere

This month I have categorized the reports by expense, net worth and investment income, however many of these blogs combine the three. Hopefully this will help you get to the report you need the most.

Expense Reports

The Jolly Ledger

Root of Good

Frugal Paradise

Travel Travel Retire

Northern Expenditure

Bayalis is the Answer

Slowly Sipping Coffee

Retire by 40


Mr. Tako Escapes

Dividends Down Under (Savings Update)


Net Worth Reports

The Jolly Ledger

1500 days

Frugal Paradise

Financially Alert

Budgets are Sexy

Mr. Tako Escapes

The Money Commando

The Frugal Vagabond


Investment Income Reports

Dividends Down Under

The Money Commando


How do you feel about your own level of personal spending?





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2 Responses to The Church of FI – Jimmy Carter is a Badass!

  1. Wow! Great post and what an eye-opening chart! It’s hard to believe that consumption has gone up this much over the years, although when you look at the average persons debt load, it’s not hard see this progression. Who knew that Jimmy Carter had such words of wisdom.

    • says:

      His speech could be given today, it is so relevant. I find the chart to be shockingly revealing. I feel shame when I see that kind of wastefulness and greed but I would bet most people would feel pride in being able to consume so much.

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