How to Live on $6,500 a Year and Love It


Show of hands: how many of you dream about moving to the country, growing your own food and living off the grid? It may not be for you, but my husband and I talk about this all the time. Our biggest obstacle? Affording the land and infrastructure and then making enough money to get by until we become self-sufficient. The people who have done it are inspiring.

Take the story of Mr. and Mrs. Phillipe-Johnson, who gave up steady employment, moved to the country, assumed a lifestyle of Voluntary Creative Simplicity and made their dream come true. It wasn’t always easy, and some commuting was involved, but with experimentation and innovation, they were able to live off-grid, grow their own food and start a small, local business selling fresh sourdough bread to their neighbors. They live happily and comfortably on $6,500 a year.

They started with the snowball approach to debt: they worked as hard as possible to eliminate all debt, one loan at a time. After that, they got creative with reducing expenses and saved up for a small parcel of land. They built their own temporary shelter; then their own home. The transition period involved a lot of testing and ingenuity – not to mention plenty of odd jobs – but they did it. They learned to garden. To build. To survive.

Admittedly, this lifestyle is not for everyone. Personally, I love access to the internet. But I also love the land. We all need to find our own balance, but we can all simplify. Remember, the lifestyle is called Voluntary Creative Simplicity – so how creative can you get?

Image: fosforix