H. Weaver wrote:Hi Leila - could you give some more details on how you manage on so little - I would really like to learn. Looking for the same freedom.
leila hamaya wrote:budgeting for the ideal life, or budgeting for a good enough life are different things for sure.
so i suppose it's a matter of how much you are willing to do without, the more you simplify your needs and wants, the easier it is to have a lot more freedom, in a way it is the not spending much money on things which BUYS you freedom of not having to work as a wage slave.
I suppose i should be embarrassed to admit that 12,000 a year sounds like a lot of money to me, and is 300-400% of what i generally make in a year.
I would not suggest my path to anyone else though, it is probably not for the faint of heart !
I think it is just because i am such an odd duck i can feel this is enough to get by on, and valuing as i do my free time, and also my passion for making art and craftwork, that keeps me going.
i suppose it would be strange to most, but regardless of this, i feel quite blessed.
well a little late in answering this question and maybe this is worth getting into and really laying it all out there. the thing is i wouldnt want to gloss over things...but it is sort of the nature of distant types of communication like in social media and here - people do not generally get into the tuff stuff and all the times everything sucks.
that said - i took many leaps of faith and fell FLAT ON MY FACE !!! and did that at least a dozen times. !!!
and of course proving everyone right when they said you cant just run off to the woods and just live on miracles!
so not to say o, this is a snap, it isnt easy. ...and as i said my lifestyle is not something i would recommend to anyone. i do realize that what seems worth it to me, what the tradeoffs i made- would not be that way for most...well for most anyone who has grown up being acclimated to living in the "first world".
i suppose some of the harder things are how everyone thinks youre totally wacky and a loser.. not playing the game at all cause you know its fixed (or whatever other reasons)... is different from just flat out losing it...ah idk. so yeah i guess, you have to have a thick skin and/or truly not give a f**k what people think, cause not only will they think it, but they feel like they should tell you! repeatedly! about how...what you say is impossible, will suck, and
probably for them...it would be unbearable...some of it...like just not going anywhere ever...i mean i can hole up for a month or 2 and still keep myself quite content...just gardening, goofing off...going for long walks and no...shopping/town/entertainment (easier now that the internet is such a thing =)
i made myself push myself out there, and in small bits at first...getting myself more and more weaned off all society's normal offerings - grocery store food, junk foods, entertainment, and buying things that arent absolutely essential ...going further and further out into the woods for longer and longer periods of time and picking up skills, foraging, gardening, food preservation, building, etc...and most of it getting acclimated to doing without.
as for specifics - my last two long term living situations have been work trade, and 50 - 100 hours a month depending on time of year... for a humble living space...and both places i had many landmates, sort of community ish, but with more privacy and space.
one was some 18' x 22' ? ish...the last one was some 12 x14 maybe...first one off grid for 5 years...and then moving into my last situation for 4 years - was back on the grid, which i will shamelessly say i was quite happy to be back on the grid and get back to being able to use all those things that were out for so long...even simple things like power tools, and having a fridge...and having missed the whole ten years previously when everyone was online (i didnt have a computer or internet when everyone was already taking all that for granted...)
and into the best things like being able to watch a lot of movies and spend time online without having anything bleep at me, and even being able to get and use a toaster oven, a blender, and a coffee grinder. yes ...i had gotten used to the whole off grid deal by then...to me that was luxury, and especially having moved from being off grid for 5 years...the toaster over, hot water on tap actually plumbed into a structure (!) toilets that flush and you never having to deal with it again......and many other things...did feel luxurious.
previous to these 2 living situations i was way way way out in the woods in a very remote commune, also off grid, and hours and hours of driving to even a store...so being off grid but within a ten minute drive to regular ish small town...felt like that was already a huge conveinance...a big step up in being easier to deal with...
i barely drove my beater truck once a month or so for stocking up on propane, food, and town not being far away in that first situation, and living close enough to town on my last place to walk to the grocery store and back. full disclosure i did and do get food stamps, but even with that AND a huge garden, the end of the month would be tight on food. health care also through the state, but it's...well thats a whole deal...even with the health insurance...just trying to actually find a doctor or worse a dentist that takes the crappo insurance...i mean its not very good health insurance, as you may well know. long waits for appointments if you can even get in somewhere, going to clinics and the like.
so ok yeah thats food, health care and housing, although none of it ideal, but not paying anything for that...outside of 50 - 100 hours of work...doing landscaping growing food and building and maintaining things...which i do enjoy.
was off the grid in first work trade, so no utitlity bills, although i put together a small solar set up...found some "broken" solar panels that i used the friend barter system to get my genuis friend to "fix" for me (wasnt hard he said!) bought another small panel for super cheap, and got together 8 batteries...all gotten as salvage batteries...ones people trade in for 5 $...take my little electricity voltage meter tool dealio...see which ones are holding a charge and get all those for 5 $ each...then buy/salvage all the connector dealios and put that together for about 500$
in my last situation my electricity use (not very much anyway) was paid for by my "employers" /the landowners as part of my work trade. and in that situation i had NO HEAT, only an electric blanket...and lots of sweaters ...
so now what i got is basics set up... a lot of free time, a dozen craft skills and however i can find to market and sell those crafts...making a few thousand dollars a year for...well anything else...get all clothes through thrift shops or free...a few vices, bottles of wine... or coffee out now and again, pizza and movie night...every so often..some travel expenses...and to buy plants and seeds =)