What can’t your dollar bill buy? You probably thought of time, space, relationships, and just too many to mention! In this episode, we got creative as Jen and Jill bring you one of their favorite interviews they’ve ever done from their Frugal Living Summit 2021, an interview with Laura Oldanie on building wealth, permaculture, and the multiple forms of capital to earn and invest in.
- Christmas cards. If you haven’t sent them out by now, do not do it, do not feel pressured to do it. Give it up girlfriends. Post a pic on insta, slap a happy holidays graphic on it in Canva. Save the paper, save the money, Give yourself some grace. Grandma will survive. Now take a deep. Breath in and out. Feel that weight lifted from your shoulders. Do you like that feeling? That’s the feeling we’re giving out 3x a week in the friendletter. Feel the holidays at frugalfriendspodcast.com/friendletter.
We need money to buy things so it makes sense we talk about earning more money to buy those things but what about bypassing the money and earning more of the things themselves. Permaculture expert, Laura Oldanie shares with us 8 forms of capital and how we can earn what money can’t always buy.
Resilience In Building Wealth
Much conventional wisdom in the personal space keeps us focused on working and investing in harmful and destructive industries, so this became Laura’s mission—to find better alternatives that may be far lesser known but exist. Jill is amazed at how concerned Laura is about the people on the planet by finding ways to become more resilient to the environmental and social challenges we face, as well as addressing them.
Laura believes what she’s doing is connecting people to a path of higher quality of life and well-being, in tandem with their pursuit of wealth. It looks at our own resourcefulness and creativity by giving us an opportunity to tap into those. We are transitioning from a consumer to a producer.
The Multiple Forms of Capital
The multiple forms of capital were introduced to Laura through permaculture, which is a closed-loop way of life where a lot of things in our lives have a start and end up in a dump. In permaculture, they have these 8 forms of capital: financial capital (money, national currencies, stocks, bonds), material capital (tangible things or physical tools we use), intellectual capital (knowledge, information), experiential capital (experiences, acquired skills), spiritual capital (religion, yoga), living capital (water, trees), cultural capital (music, movies, food), and social capital (relationships, building connections).
We are all naturally inclined to focus on financial capital because it’s the means of exchange. It’s our access point to other forms of capital. But we’re drawn to getting that financial capital when we can also focus more on getting these other non-monetary forms of capital directly without needing to trade our life energy for money. Jen greatly agrees with how money and the system rob us of our natural ability to be creative and resourceful.
There’s No Such Thing As “Waste”
Look closely at the multiple forms of capital and ask yourself, “How do I access any of these without money? ”. Be cautious and wisely steward these forms of capital, as you do not want to overharvest or deplete them. For instance, Laura lives in an area where mangoes and avocados are randomly dropped in the alleys, which could go to waste. In the years that passed, she would go around with her bicycle, harvest, forage, and take it to their local Kenwood Organics in exchange for other produce like chicken eggs.
Jen asks Laura how we are going to tap our capital wisely, to which Laura answers that we can look at the Buddhist concept of “right livelihood,” which means finding ways to earn money that are honest and don’t harm people or the environment. She believes that there is no such thing as “waste”, just misdirected resources and poorly designed systems.
Frugal Future: The Right Livelihood
Laura hopes there’s a shift towards the ‘right livelihood’ so that people can feel good with the work they’re doing and feel like they’re contributing to actual solutions, such as our social and environmental issues. It also saves us more in our investing journey as opposed to spreadsheets, graphs, and charts; it’s a much richer experience of investing.
Jill mentions how it is also important to tap into community sufficiency and interconnectedness, which are also forms of wealth, specifically social capital. Laura adds that it is the most important capital of all because it’s what’s going to get us through when we’re in need. Work to cultivate your social capital, which doesn’t necessarily have to be just neighbors but can also be intentionally built communities.
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