If you read our About Us page, you’ll see the impetus behind some of the reasons we want to live simple, yet many our posts are about saving money. Some might ask “What does saving money have to do with living a simple life?”
There might be lots of answers to that question, but for us, saving money is part of a larger plan.
The goals of our plan: Freedom – by that I mean, freedom from being controlled by others who do not have a genuine interest in our success. Those who profit from our dependence on them.
For most of us, we’re deeply indebted to others. Our basic needs (shelter, food, water) are only available if we continue to pay those who provide those things to us. We don’t know about you, but to us, this seems really risky and unwise and is reminiscent of a feudal system. Instead of the ruthless wealthy landowners living in the middle of town, they live and operate in the high-rises of the world.
To put it simply, we don’t want anyone to have a financial interest in our basic necessities. Doing so puts us in the position of servant to those who provide them. If you think you’re not in that position now, think again! Where do you go 5-7 days per week? Work. Why do you go there? For Money. What do you do with most of the money you earn? Give it to others for your necessities. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Most of your life is serving someone else at the expense of your own family, and community flourishing.
We’re not saying that it’s evil to work for someone, etc. But most people work to provide for their necessities. To some extent, that’s okay too. But what if those necessities could be met to some extent otherwise?
So our plan goes something like this:
- Lower/Eliminate expenses
When we lower or eliminate our expenses, life becomes simpler by the sheer fact that we owe less resources to others. When we have lower expenses and therefore more resources, we can direct those resources to our betterment, and toward getting out of debt, or anywhere we desire to use them.
- Get off the grid – sorta
To whatever extent possible, remove ourselves from a place where we pay others to provide us with necessities through binding, contractual obligations. This is primarily monthly utilities – power, water, sewer, etc. There are affordable alternatives to some these monthly costs. Though most of it requires behavior changes. To get off the power grid, we feel the first step is to reduce power consumption to the level that alternative energy can sustain our needs, therefore, we spend a great deal of effort lowering our power consumption.
- Provide most of our food locally
The first “local” place is our backyard. Next, the surrounding land, then further into our local community. Think of this as getting off the “food grid”. We don’t want to depend on the grocery store to the same level that we do now. That’s not to say we don’t want to ever visit the store, we just don’t want to have to do so. See the difference?
- Share with others
One of the chief reasons we need so much money is because we don’t share with one another and all buy the same stuff. How many things that we own and rarely use do our next-door neighbors also own and rarely use? Why not just share with one another? If we would learn to do so, we would need less, and therefore need less income to support life.
- Get totally out of debt
With no debt, we would owe no one anything and experience freedom in many ways. We would no longer have to spend our time serving the dollar, and our dollars serving others.
- Simple life
When there’s no monthly debts or utilities to pay for, and we grow or gather much of our own food, suddenly the day-to-day business of life looks much different. Without the normal expenses of life, the family income needs are much less, and therefore time can be spent doing things that have real benefit.
Is this idealistic? You bet it is! But as the old saying goes “Aim at nothing and you’re sure to hit it”. We’ll take idealism over doing nothing any day. In the meantime, we’re going to do what we can to live the simple life.