Disconnect, learn to say no. Don’t buy on credit. Ask yourself: “Do I really need it?”
Maynard van der Galien
I try to live a simple life and I don’t sway easily. I never fall for switching a service that I’m satisfied with because someone offers a cheaper rate. The same insurance company insures my vehicles that I’ve had since 1968 when I bought my first car at age 18. Back then I had to buy a $100 share in the insurance company (CIAG, now Co-operators) because I was under 21 years of age.
I deal with the same bank at the same location in Renfrew since 1969. I only buy tractors and implements from the nearest dealers in my county and have never bought anywhere else.
Nothing was ever ordered from a catalogue, from advertisements on TV, or online. If I can’t get an item at local stores, I figure I don’t need it. If the entire population has a cell phone or smart phone, a debit card, direct deposit and they go to Tim Horton’s for their coffee, it doesn’t mean I’ll follow suit. I’m old school and very independent.
You guessed right that I don’t have Air Miles, no point cards and no store or gas reward cards of any kind and don’t buy things on credit.
You won’t see me in a frenzy before Christmas, shopping for gifts or being hysterical on Boxing Day greedily looking for bargains, or at a Black Friday or some Midnight Madness store event. I don’t stand in long lines for any event.
When it comes to vaccinations against the cononavirus, I’m proud to say I’ve gotten all three shots and didn’t stand in line to get them. And every November for the last 30 years or more I’ve gotten a flu shot. My doctor at the time advised me to get one as he knew I dairy farmed and I needed to protect myself. Back then flu shots cost you $10. I considered it a good investment.
When the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) was introduced to Ontario farmers back in the mid-1990s, I wrote news articles and columns on it. Nothing negative but I knew I would never enroll in it even though the idea originated from the Ontario farm community. The fact that the EFP was supported and endorsed by four main farm organizations didn’t impress me either.
Through the EFP process, farmers highlight their farm’s environmental strengths, identify areas of environmental concern, and set realistic action plans with time tables to improve environmental conditions. The EFP can then be used in conjunction with cost-share programs to begin implementing their action plan.
It was a response to perceived threat of regulation if we didn’t do it on our own. We were to beat governments to the punch.
And now with over 35,000 participants in the program since 1993, I will still not get involved. It wasn’t a one-time school-type thing I first thought it was. It has to be renewed every 10 years. It goes on and on.
If I wanted to make some sound environmental changes on my farm, I wasn’t going to attend a workshop and document where I need to make environmental changes. I didn’t want a binder of paperwork just so I could get a small government grant. I’d do it on my own and that’s what I did.
Some things are ridiculous. Last summer, annoyed seniors were shown on television with drawers filled with address labels, other giveaways, and some even told of receiving small amounts of money in the mail. These giveaways enticed them to donate to so-called worthy causes. One elderly woman interviewed had drawers filled with address stickers and the like but she kept donating money, and continued receiving more and more junk. Her family was annoyed by it and contacted the news media.
The reporter found that this was an occurrence everywhere and mostly with seniors living alone.
I recall a televangelist (Rex Humbard) back in the late 1960s offering to send viewers holy water if they sent him a donation for his ministry. I was so turned off by that gimmick I’ve never sent money to any pitchmen on television. I’ve never ordered anything from TV ads. And I don’t get requests for money; never get address labels or free coins. Nothing!
I like it that way. Keep life simple!
Maynard van der Galien is a Renfrew-area farmer and a newspaper columnist for the past 35 years. He has a land line telephone but no answering machine.