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July 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm #50398
You must sing that (at least in your head) to the tune Money by Pink Floyd….
So here’s my question of the day, what do you do for money? No matter how hard we wish we could divorce ourselves from it, it’s necessary, a necessary evil perhaps, but necessary none the less. I found that when I was making/earning good money, I didn’t have the time or energy to enjoy it, I am much happier earning a pittance but living like I do in our off grid life.
But before getting here, I saved saved saved for 10 years to have enough money to buy our little piece of the mountain in far western Texas, fortunately we landed in a place where we could survive on little and quite happily.
I’ll elaborate later today on how we survive, for now I must go to “work”.
WrethaJuly 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm #50400
I grow veggies and plants for sale – to one or two neighbours and local markets at weekends, which conveniently are only a couple of miles up the road. I also do a few small odd jobs for people that I know. It’s hard to tell if I really make enough as I’m constantly spending on materials etc to develop the place. The land cost a lot of money initially, and spent quite a bit in first 2 years getting it partly set up. Still have just a little capital (savings) left from 40 years of hard graft and scrimping.July 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm #50401
Now that I’m home from my “job”, I put that in quotes, it is a real paying job but it’s extremely part time, I work for a company that provides home health care and home care, I am part of the latter. I live quite far from town and the lady I take care of lives in my neighborhood, it’s very hard to find anyone who would drive a minimum of 40 mile round trip to take care of anyone living out here, that lady is also my friend (we knew each other before I started working for her). I work 4 days a week, scheduled 3 hours a day, but often I end up spending more time with her, just taking a trip to the closest town is an all day deal.
I also clean homes out where I live, not so much for individual people, though I have a couple who call me at random times when they need me, I typically clean houses that come up for sale, our local realtor calls me and we go from there. I also occasionally clean our church and the other church (and their dorms) in my neighborhood.
PB and I do a lot of bartering, trading with people, we do something for them, they do something for us, it works out very well. We end up with quite a bit of building materials from people who are remodeling or tearing something down, they would have to pay to haul it off and dump it in town, I have everyone around here trained to call us first to see if we can use it before they get rid of it, it’s a win-win situation. Just the other day we got 2 old metal water tanks, they probably will not hold water, but we have turned those into dry storage/shed/closet. PB has been getting material from an old mobile home, the metal siding, wood sub-floor and other stuff.
The biggest thing we have done is to set ourselves up to have few and small monthly bills so that it’s possible to live on the little bit we bring in, honestly the main reason we were able to do that is because we weren’t in major debt in the first place, we lived cheaply when we lived in town, no mortgage, low rent, no car payments and such, we lived low on the hog so to speak.
WrethaJuly 7, 2014 at 4:01 am #50421
How many of you who are “retired” are living off of your retirement or Social Security? I look at what I will get when I am officially at retirement age, I could live quite nicely on that amount of money coming in, though it is a pittance compared to what most live on. For now I’m living quite nicely well below poverty level, as I said above, we have structured our life to be able to live on very little, mainly by having practically no bills and by having everything we do have paid for, it didn’t come quick or easy, but with a little forethought, some planning, and perhaps even some fortunate circumstances, we are living our dream, albeit a cheap/inexpensive one :)
I have many years to go before I can even consider getting social security, and that’s assuming there will be such a thing, which annoys the piss out of me, we PAID into that fund, our employers PAID into that fund, and the government stole it, giving us worthless IOU’s and empty promises.
OK, enough whining about that, what are your thoughts about it? If you are already collecting Social Security or hope to someday, are you making it (or will make it) on what you earn there?
WrethaJuly 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm #50540
Even when I was working a 9 to 5 career, I still lived off grid… I would go to the office every day.
Home is always off grid, but there is the necessary facts that money makes things possible !!!
AlanJuly 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm #50606
if you simplify enuff you would be amazed how little money you actually need :)August 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm #50740
I sold my property in town and owner financed it to have some monthly income. Hit the occasional auction and buy cheap to fix and resell. I built a small bandsaw mill and use it to make lumber out of wind blown or free trees. Turn that into outhouses, dog houses, storage sheds and small cabins to sell. Let’s me work from home as I have time or need money. I will do most anything to stay out of town. Never going to get rich but life is sure less stressful.August 6, 2014 at 11:10 am #50748
I tell you what Scott, less stressful is priceless, nothing wrong with that. Do you have any pictures of your work to share?August 22, 2014 at 6:44 am #50850
My wife and I saved carefully when we worked, but we were always thinking how nice it would be to escape the 9 to 5. We were into sailing at the time and a retired neighbor told us to go cruising while still young enough. I think this applies to off-grid living generally. We took the advice and quit our good jobs at age 40 in 2001. Sailing is not easy – it is physically demanding at times and there is plenty of stuff to fix. Waiting until age 65+ makes it harder. We did our sailing and now we have it out of the system and live on a small farm in the Dom Rep. So we are still living off the savings. There is still a decade+ to go before we get any social security.
Must have been a lot of savings!? I don’t think so. We found that while sailing around (never into a marina), we could get along on about $1500 per month. But we did not have enough saved for that so we had to find jobs along the way. Now that we live on the farm, the cost is somewhat lower – but we are still investing some capital to get things set up. I HOPE that investing will continue to diminish over time, but I sometimes wonder. The monthly expense is down to $1000 for us now – and we have a pickup truck that guzzles diesel fuel.
The farm produces some salable output, but that is pretty minor at this point. We generate about 15 bunches (a bunch is about 200 bananas) of bananas every couple of weeks $2/200 bananas! woohoo. Some years we have also been able to sell a couple hundred dollars worth of coffee. We also have a lot of avocados, but there are large producers near us that produce far more at the same time, so ours are not commercially valuable. Avocados go for almost $0.10 each at the farm – how much are they going for at groceries in the USA? We eat them till our poop turns green. J K
Producing our own food is extremely gratifying and we want to do more of it. Every meal I eat that I gather off this mountainside is still like a $50 restaurant meal to me. If I add all those up – that is like a lot of income, right?August 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm #50853
can you direct ship coffee beans and bananas?
if so i might be interested in some if you dont use chemicalsAugust 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm #50855
Hi Beast, well I am a chemical engineer by training and my motto is “without chemicals, nothing would exist!” but I don’t add any “industrial” chemicals – but anyway I also don’t have any way to ship at this point – I presume you are not in the Dominican Republic (otherwise, you’d probably already have your OWN bananas!). For bananas, one must obtain an export license I think. That may be the case for coffee as well – I am not sure. A lot of coffee and bananas here are grown without use of fertilizers, herbicides or fungicides for the simple reason that such chemicals are expensive. But there is no guarantee – when I sell coffee, nobody asks me whether I fertilized or applied anything to the crop. Same with bananas. I think all my produce is bound for domestic markets – no exporting. But the commodity market is byzantine. Anyway, thanks for the inquiry!
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