If you can live simply, then you can be free.
I know this definitely sounds like some kind of weird preachy mantra, but it’s something I feel like many people don’t think about. I’ve embraced it, not fully yet, but I know this is my path in the future.
If you can live without needing lots of things, then you don’t need a lot of money, which means you don’t need to work much, without needing to work much, you can spend your time how you want.
I’ve already planned to buy a small plot of rural land, and build a small cabin on it with my girlfriend. I estimate this costing just a fraction of what a typical suburban home would cost. It depends where we buy the land, and if we plan to build ourselves or buy prefab.
Once the land is purchased and cabin built, it’s deciding whether to live off the grid partially or fully. Depending where the land is also determines whether we can get utilities. But I’m not too worried about it, as I plan for self-sufficiency already. Problem is, I like my internet :/ I’m hoping by the time I do this there is something more affordable than mobile internet plans which are currently prohibitively expensive.
Another issue is hot water. But it’s something I’ll have to figure out.
The electricity can be a few options. Solar if sunlight is readily available (meaning an area free of tree cover and clouds), hydroelectric (if we’re near a flowing river), and human-powered (build a bike-powered battery charger). These won’t necessarily run the home all day, but they can be used to keep a light bulb on at night or charge a phone. Heating will be supplied by a fireplace. The toilet will use compost.
I’m estimating around $20,000 for land and $20,000 for the cabin. This totals $40,000 bought outright, no financing needed. To live each year, we’ll need food, water, gas for the car, health insurance (maybe), and property tax. I don’t estimate this to be a huge expense.
Food = $300/mo = $3,600/year
Water = $30/mo = $360/year
Gas = $100/mo = $1200/year
Health Insurance = $100/mo = $1200/year (for 2 people on low income)
Property tax = >$1000 (Ex. Washington State property tax on average is $1300/year)
Miscellaneous = $200/mo = $2400/year
Phone = $60/mo = $720/year
Total = $10,480 for 2 people per year
These are just estimates, but I’m just showing how cheap it can be to live! I’m sure I’m missing plenty of items, but this is just a rough idea. I like to think about this because I see having a job as risky. You can lose it at any moment! Then all of a sudden you have tons of expensive bills and no way to pay them. Plus, I love the idea of living how I want. I’ve always wanted to move away to the woods, live in nature, spend time fishing and raising some chickens and goats, then venture into town every so often for groceries or random necessities. I’m hoping to also be able to save money so we can travel. This will be frugal travel, but I think it’s totally doable 🙂
***If you happen to read this and think I’m missing some expense or am budgeting wrong, let me know! I’m happy to hear critiques if they will help me improve my plan 🙂