Living with what we need, not what we want.

For a long time I have thought about doing an experiment with my life.

I have adopted a way of life where I simply need to consume less.  Am I happy with less because I’m a late bloomer capitalist with a number of poor choices and mistakes even late in life?   Or is my lifestyle just, and most folks could use some or part of it to improve their own lives?

So the idea goes like this: write a grant for studying a modern life living in a 100 square foot building. If no grant is available, use my own money to build the property and write a study via blog that folks could learn from.

This is not a heavily armored shack in the woods where I want to write my manifesto and plot my overthrow of the government. I’m indifferent towards modern society and apathetic towards our government. I believe strongly people should live a life they are comfortable with and since most folks think our system is pretty good………..more power to them.

I’m also a creature of leisure and comfort……….Though my cabin will be small and inexpensive it will have all of the comforts of home. The one exception will be an outdoor composting toilet with no running water. I feel those items are too expensive and make my experiment more permanent then I require.  I will join a fitness club that has showering facilities and make due with a water tank for cooking and small hygiene.

I feel most Americans’ homes are their largest and sometimes only investment. As we have seen recently, this is a bad idea. The home has become financial leverage instead of shelter. There are any number of reasons a person may not want to have a 30 year commitment. Lives change, work changes, relationships change. I can walk away from a $6000.00 cabin worst case. What would I do with a half a million dollar house at that point?

So what instead? Maybe I will decide not to chase my financial tail in circles and continue to just not sweat the small stuff including money. Or if I do end up with a more fiscally rewarding position, what could I accomplish without the burden of a gigantic payment and utility bill?

So you get the idea, now I would like some feedback……………………..let me know what you’re thinking!


5 Responses

  1. which woods are we talking about?

  2. […] do we want? I love the idea behind Andy’s simple living experiment.  I suspect that he’ll miss having an oven and stove — as well as a shower, but […]

  3. I think you’re going to miss having a stove and a shower.. but, that’s me :).

    I also think the location is important — if you don’t have room for books, the internet or at least good cell phone service is going to be kind of important.

  4. Frankly, I’m in awe. My fantasy is to live in a wee little house–3-4 rooms–after my children are grown and gone and my husband dies (don’t think I’m weird–he’s older than me, it’s merely a statistical probability!). I agree that it is a SHAME how so many people have viewed housing as an investment–it’s NOT! It’s merely a space to live. As soon as you start thinking it’s more, you’re bound to be disappointed. And I’d rather be invested in a lot of other things, like experiences, than a BUILDING!

  5. I’m with Patti — I think you’ll want some plumbing — if you’re planning on having female visitors, you should have a shower…

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