I’m a city girl, born and raised in Houston. I have spent the past seven years in Austin, a smaller, but lively city where there is always some major event, festival or concert happening. Whenever I drive back home to Houston, I pass by dozens of tiny rural towns, and many homes along the highway clearly not part of any city. Some of the houses are many miles from a gas station or grocery store. To me, this is an absolutely foreign concept.
So I was stunned when I saw an article on CNN this week about an Alaskan couple living 150 miles above the Arctic Circle in an area I would consider inhospitable. In addition to enduring far-below-zero temperatures, the Korth family is utterly isolated — they live 60 miles from their nearest neighbor. They have lived this isolated life for 30 years. Even the reporters expressed shock that people could actually live there. The Korths live off the land: They hunt, fish and trap their food.
They aren’t totally in the dark when it comes to technology, though. They have a satellite phone, a radio, guns, a chainsaw and a snow machine to check up on the animal traps.
But living so far from other people, fending for themselves and living off the land, they have removed from importance something that is a big part of most people’s lives: money.
Can you imagine a place where you hunt and trap your own food rather than going to a grocery store or restaurant and purchasing it with a debit or credit card? Can you fathom living in a world where credit doesn’t matter? Clearly, there are tradeoffs. No fish, no dinner. No computer, no identity theft.
How do you feel about this? While you think about it, please read on and enjoy this roundup of my favorite blog posts in the personal finance blogosphere from the past week!
1. Credit Karma answers three common questions about credit scores and credit reports, including what a charge-off means.
2. Moolanomy reminds readers how your credit impacts your mortgage and offers tips on what not to do when you’re approaching the closing of a loan.
3. Stuck in the red? PT Money offers 13 tips for reducing your credit card debt.
4. In the second of a 10-part series about living debt free, No Credit Needed explains how he and his wife plan major purchases and create a financial time line.
5. Green Panda Tree House helps readers understand what the differences are between credit reports and credit scores.
6. Frugal Dad discusses the concept of intentional spending and emphasizes that we all have our own value systems, and our spending is a reflection of those values.
7. The Sun’s Financial Diary explains the importance of teaching children the values of money and investing at a young age.
8. Money Ning laments how easy it is to go into debt for just anything and explains what expenses she thinks are worth going into debt for.
9. Not seeing eye to eye on your finances? Wealth Pilgrim outlines how you can convince your spouse that you need a budget.