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Smallwheels 03-02-18 03:25 PM


Originally Posted by AlanK (Post 20197924)
It's about living simply and cheaply and working as little as possible so I can focus on doing things I enjoy - hiking, biking, kayaking, traveling, etc. In many places it's simply too expensive to live a healthy, happy life because one has to work way too much.

Exactly. Unless I win a lottery I won't ever have a lot of money. That's OK. Right now I need to earn about $800 per month to live. That pays for rent, food, vehicle insurance, with a little bit left over. I would prefer putting the rent into a vehicle or RV. Once the vehicle is paid off that money would be saved for other things and future vehicle repairs. There aren't many people who can live on that small amount of money. If I had children it would be impossible.

One great thing about simple living with few possessions is the ability to move quickly and inexpensively. I moved from Los Angeles to Montana for the price of renting a small SUV for three days. When I owned a house full of things it cost $3000 to go from New Orleans to Helena back in 2005.

When I was in Hollywood I met a guy who lived without shelter. He had a new Harley Davidson Sportster with a trunk bag. He put a tarp over the bike and himself at night. He slept on the ground. He ate at restaurants and mostly didn't want anything more. He had a small pension. He was given a tent and a small camp stove by somebody but he didn't use the tent very often. He really liked living his super simple lifestyle because he could just go anywhere in a moment's notice just like me in the van. He had owned a van the year before and preferred the motorcycle. Wow! I thought I lived simply but this guy has me beat. His cost of living was food, insurance, and his $435 per month motorcycle payment.

Take away the motorcycle and that guy would really just have a big backpack full of things. Of course he could only live that way on the west coast. Inland the weather would be to drastic. This also means somebody on a bicycle could do the same in the coastal area.

There is a guy on Youtube who lives in his minivan with two super expensive bicycles. He lives that way so he can travel to different states and ride his bikes. He has a blog and writes about his bicycle trips. One of his videos showed him being pulled over by a policeman. The cop stopped him because he recognized the guy from his blog. They had a great conversation about bicycling and touring. If only all police encounters could be so enjoyable.

bert60 03-02-18 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 20201317)
Exactly. Unless I win a lottery I won't ever have a lot of money. That's OK. Right now I need to earn about $800 per month to live. That pays for rent, food, vehicle insurance, with a little bit left over. I would prefer putting the rent into a vehicle or RV. Once the vehicle is paid off that money would be saved for other things and future vehicle repairs. There aren't many people who can live on that small amount of money. If I had children it would be impossible.

One great thing about simple living with few possessions is the ability to move quickly and inexpensively. I moved from Los Angeles to Montana for the price of renting a small SUV for three days. When I owned a house full of things it cost $3000 to go from New Orleans to Helena back in 2005.

When I was in Hollywood I met a guy who lived without shelter. He had a new Harley Davidson Sportster with a trunk bag. He put a tarp over the bike and himself at night. He slept on the ground. He ate at restaurants and mostly didn't want anything more. He had a small pension. He was given a tent and a small camp stove by somebody but he didn't use the tent very often. He really liked living his super simple lifestyle because he could just go anywhere in a moment's notice just like me in the van. He had owned a van the year before and preferred the motorcycle. Wow! I thought I lived simply but this guy has me beat. His cost of living was food, insurance, and his $435 per month motorcycle payment.

Take away the motorcycle and that guy would really just have a big backpack full of things. Of course he could only live that way on the west coast. Inland the weather would be to drastic. This also means somebody on a bicycle could do the same in the coastal area.

There is a guy on Youtube who lives in his minivan with two super expensive bicycles. He lives that way so he can travel to different states and ride his bikes. He has a blog and writes about his bicycle trips. One of his videos showed him being pulled over by a policeman. The cop stopped him because he recognized the guy from his blog. They had a great conversation about bicycling and touring. If only all police encounters could be so enjoyable.

do you have a link for that youtube channel it sounds interesting

Smallwheels 03-02-18 04:31 PM


Originally Posted by bert60 (Post 20201470)
do you have a link for that youtube channel it sounds interesting

Here is the minivan video. He talks about his website too. So you can go there next.

bert60 03-02-18 05:34 PM

Thanks great vid thanks for sharing

AlanK 03-02-18 11:52 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 20201317)
Take away the motorcycle and that guy would really just have a big backpack full of things. Of course he could only live that way on the west coast. Inland the weather would be to drastic. This also means somebody on a bicycle could do the same in the coastal area.

If you want it keep it really simple you can just live out of a backpack. A few years ago I took the train to Salinas, then took a bus to Monterey, then to Big Sur. For the entire vacation (about 10 days) all I had was my backpacking equipment: tent, sleeping bag, pad, headlight, etc. I camped in Veterans Park in Monterey and Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground for $5/night. Both places had showers, so I was able to keep clean.

While it was a great 10 day experience I think it would be kinda difficult to live that way in the long term. Relying entirely on public/mass transit, walking and hitchhiking for transportation seems pretty dicey in the long-term, and limits where you can reliably go, unless time is absolutely no option. Also, while camping in inclement weather is fine occasionally, over the long it gets really tedious, so you have to make sure you to find locations where the weather is mostly hospitable. And with camping your location options are somewhat limited (usually not in cities, suburbs, towns, and it's dicey in many rural areas as well).

Then again the money saved by not having a vehicle (or even a bike) would allow you to get hotel room occasionally which is also nice.

Walter S 03-03-18 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 20201317)
Exactly. Unless I win a lottery I won't ever have a lot of money. That's OK. Right now I need to earn about $800 per month to live.

What's your plan for supporting yourself when you get old and working becomes increasingly more difficult and you have more medical needs?

AlanK 03-03-18 04:59 PM


Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 20203079)
What's your plan for supporting yourself when you get old and working becomes increasingly more difficult and you have more medical needs?

I know you didn't direct this question at me, but it interests me, so wanted to answer.

I'm already vested in for a monthly pension. If I hang on for another couple years I'll be guaranteed about $1K/month (guaranteed about as much as anything can be these days). I'll get about $1500/mo social security assuming they don't screw with it. I also have about $70K in IRAs, which will probably be worth at least $100K when I can access them without penalty (I'm 47, so can start withdrawing when I'm 60). So in a sense I'm pretty well set for retirement. I'd have to live fairly modestly, which I'm happy to do.

In terms of getting older, while having money can make it more comfortable, eventually we all deteriorate and die. That's just how life works and no amount of money can change that fundamental fact of biological existence. Might as well just enjoy the time we have while we can.

Walter S 03-03-18 06:49 PM


Originally Posted by AlanK (Post 20203110)
I'm already vested in for a monthly pension. If I hang on for another couple years I'll be guaranteed about $1K/month (guaranteed about as much as anything can be these days). I'll get about $1500/mo social security assuming they don't screw with it. I also have about $70K in IRAs, which will probably be worth at least $100K when I can access them without penalty (I'm 47, so can start withdrawing when I'm 60). So in a sense I'm pretty well set for retirement. I'd have to live fairly modestly, which I'm happy to do.

Sounds like you're setup pretty good. I agree large sums of money is not what makes happiness.


In terms of getting older, while having money can make it more comfortable, eventually we all deteriorate and die. That's just how life works and no amount of money can change that fundamental fact of biological existence. Might as well just enjoy the time we have while we can.
If you didn't have a retirement plan setup then that would sound cavalier and rather irresponsible IMO. But once you take care of your basic needs as you apparently have, I agree. There's nothing more you can do. We're all going to the same place in the end.

AlanK 03-03-18 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 20203277)
If you didn't have a retirement plan setup then that would sound cavalier and rather irresponsible IMO. But once you take care of your basic needs as you apparently have, I agree. There's nothing more you can do. We're all going to the same place in the end.

Yeah, to some extent I'm trying to have it both ways: freedom and security. Unless one is wealthy there's usually some degree of compromise between the two.

I've met persons who live out of a van/bicycle, etc., who just do odd jobs to get by, and in many ways it really appeals to me. After my cat is finally gone it's a way of life I'm seriously considering.

Walter S 03-04-18 07:13 PM

How about a house that fits in your pocket? Basic House II | Martín Azúa

Rollfast 03-12-18 11:08 PM

I'm never as plain as an Amish bikini.

Zedoo 03-14-18 11:37 PM

When I was away from home I washed my laundry by hand in a sink, but washing my towels cost $6 at a laundromat. Now I may build this device that could be put on the floor and leg-powered: Tabletop Washing Machine (4 Da Poor Man): 6 Steps
If that doesn't work, a simpler device is the same bucket with a hole drilled in the lid and a toilet plunger. I have a bunch of buckets, but I would still be buying one to get a lid.

Smallwheels 03-17-18 02:08 PM


Originally Posted by Zedoo (Post 20224074)
When I was away from home I washed my laundry by hand in a sink, but washing my towels cost $6 at a laundromat. Now I may build this device that could be put on the floor and leg-powered: Tabletop Washing Machine (4 Da Poor Man): 6 Steps
If that doesn't work, a simpler device is the same bucket with a hole drilled in the lid and a toilet plunger. I have a bunch of buckets, but I would still be buying one to get a lid.

This might be simpler:

AlanK 03-17-18 09:51 PM


Originally Posted by Zedoo (Post 20224074)
When I was away from home I washed my laundry by hand in a sink, but washing my towels cost $6 at a laundromat. Now I may build this device that could be put on the floor and leg-powered: Tabletop Washing Machine (4 Da Poor Man): 6 Steps
If that doesn't work, a simpler device is the same bucket with a hole drilled in the lid and a toilet plunger. I have a bunch of buckets, but I would still be buying one to get a lid.

I agree that you're making it way too complicated. When I go on a long backpacking trip I just thoroughly rinse my clothes in a stream (or whatever is available) and let them dry overnight.

It really doesn't need to be much more complicated than that. Just make sure you have practical, quick-drying clothes (no cotton) and a large enough receptacle to wash and rinse them. If you don't have too many you don't much space to dry them either.

Smallwheels 03-21-18 10:55 PM


Originally Posted by Zedoo (Post 20224074)
I have a bunch of buckets, but I would still be buying one to get a lid.

I just remembered that Home Depot sells bucket lids separately from buckets. In the store where I worked they were on one of the paint aisles.

Mobile 155 03-21-18 11:16 PM


Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 20203277)
Sounds like you're setup pretty good. I agree large sums of money is not what makes happiness.



If you didn't have a retirement plan setup then that would sound cavalier and rather irresponsible IMO. But once you take care of your basic needs as you apparently have, I agree. There's nothing more you can do. We're all going to the same place in the end.

I have no idea what one person needs monthly compared to another but I do know an expense some don't consider. Medical and dental costs. One crown and a root canal gets you a 2k or 3k bill. I paid 13K a year and a half ago for my wife's dental bill. I planned pretty well and I have no outstanding bills but it is easy to get blind sided by uncovered medical, dental and visual expenses.

Zedoo 03-21-18 11:17 PM

I bought lids at Home Depot and Lowe's for different projects. Lowe's lids are cheaper and easier to remove.

Walter S 03-29-18 03:21 PM


Originally Posted by Mobile 155 (Post 20238496)
I have no idea what one person needs monthly compared to another but I do know an expense some don't consider. Medical and dental costs. One crown and a root canal gets you a 2k or 3k bill. I paid 13K a year and a half ago for my wife's dental bill. I planned pretty well and I have no outstanding bills but it is easy to get blind sided by uncovered medical, dental and visual expenses.

Good point. I have dental coverage thru a policy at work - I won't have that when I retire. I've budgeted for buying health insurance and getting coverage like I have now, and doing that privately is expensive. But the older you get the more likely you'll have significant regular expenses that are not covered well enough by insurance for you to ignore them. I don't know what the right amount is to anticipate here. You could easily suffer more or less than some reasonable-seeming figure. It comes down to your personal risk tolerances and how bad you think being wrong might be. But if you plan for no such expenses or a few hundred dollars a year etc. then you're probably fooling yourself. But who am I to judge? :innocent: other than another oddball for whom unexpected difficulties have taught us a lesson :50:

technoD 04-01-18 06:42 PM

Re; Dental and Lids
 

Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 20252714)
Good point. I have dental coverage thru a policy at work - I won't have that when I retire. I've budgeted for buying health insurance and getting coverage like I have now, and doing that privately is expensive. But the older you get the more likely you'll have significant regular expenses that are not covered well enough by insurance for you to ignore them. I don't know what the right amount is to anticipate here. You could easily suffer more or less than some reasonable-seeming figure. It comes down to your personal risk tolerances and how bad you think being wrong might be. But if you plan for no such expenses or a few hundred dollars a year etc. then you're probably fooling yourself. But who am I to judge? :innocent: other than another oddball for whom unexpected difficulties have taught us a lesson :50:

One trick over the Years I've learned is a Sterilized Multitool, Hemostats and a Bottle of whiskey ! What dental bills ?? I Know that sounds Crude, but Living Simply and being a Former EMT I have some Skills 😎.
Also If you live Near a Company such as I work for, like a Printing Company they Discard Hundreds of Plastic 5 Gallon buckets With Lids in Black and White !! Not Food grade , but Great for storing Supplies, Ammo, Clothing Etc. 👍

deux jambes 07-08-18 10:53 AM

I love this thread. I’m looking forward to reading through the whole discussion over time. I’m sorry to see though that the OP appears no longer active.

I’ve been refining my own approach to living simply for a long time. The challenge of temptation to acquire “more,” or to assign sentimental importance to what I possess now still comes up occasionally. So in a sense, living simply is a practice for me.

In started by accident. My drinking had gotten out of control, and resulted in the loss of my drivers license, and the need to begin sofa surfing around the same time. I had to start downsizing my material possessions dramatically.

Since then, and long after sobering up, independent stability has been restored, but the “art of living simply” has also sustained. I rent a studio apartment which has just enough room to hold all of my current luxuries. Yet I’ve grown to cherish the freedom of not being weighed down by frivolous material. To this day, if I had to, I could easily offload replaceable items such as furniture, and easily pack my essentials into a backpack, a guitar case, a cat carrier, and get along just fine.

The space, the mobility, and the affordability gained by an unattached relationship to “things” has been the great reward for prioritizing, learning to discern needs from wants, and for practicing a “simple attitude.”

Walter S 08-20-18 11:39 AM


Originally Posted by technoD (Post 20258214)
One trick over the Years I've learned is a Sterilized Multitool, Hemostats and a Bottle of whiskey ! What dental bills ?? I Know that sounds Crude, but Living Simply and being a Former EMT I have some Skills ��.
Also If you live Near a Company such as I work for, like a Printing Company they Discard Hundreds of Plastic 5 Gallon buckets With Lids in Black and White !! Not Food grade , but Great for storing Supplies, Ammo, Clothing Etc. ��

In some areas of life like that a simple life may be a shorter and more painful life. You’re less likely to eat a healthy diet with no teeth. You may not be able to afford good medical care if you haven’t saved for old age.

Simple living is fun in your 20s, 30s, 40s, ??? Then you might start saying oh sh&$

technoD 08-20-18 01:08 PM


Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 20517082)


In some areas of life like that a simple life may be a shorter and more painful life. You’re less likely to eat a healthy diet with no teeth. You may not be able to afford good medical care if you haven’t saved for old age.

Simple living is fun in your 20s, 30s, 40s, ??? Then you might start saying oh sh&$

Ha, Well try Late 50's ! 😨😁👍

Smallwheels 08-22-18 08:14 PM


Originally Posted by mtb_addict (Post 20521376)
How do you cook in a mini van?

To do it you need a flat surface where a gas burner can be placed. If it isn't level then you must make it so. It can't be close to the ceiling.
If you want to work on multiple burners you get a camp stove and do it outside. Inside would create too much heat if the doors are closed.
The meals I made were in a pressure cooker. I could heat a can of anything for two minutes and turn off the fire. Then I would let it sit for forty minutes or so and the heat from the pot would finish the job. At about the forty-five minute mark it was the perfect temperature to eat. Cooking things with rice required getting the pot to the pressure point and then lowering the flame for two minutes or three minutes. Then the flame would be turned off and it would sit for forty-five minutes to an hour and the food would be done and at a good temperature for eating.

My cooking was done with the doors closed to remain hidden.

I-Like-To-Bike 08-23-18 12:08 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 20522210)
My cooking was done with the doors closed to remain hidden.

What are you hiding from?

Smallwheels 08-23-18 01:05 PM


Originally Posted by mtb_addict (Post 20523498)
I assume you need some ventilation holes. Not just for cooking...for sleeping. I assume you cannot crack the window open. Must get hot in the summer.

It is common for windows to be lowered slightly in summer to keep the interior cooler. Many car owners ventilate their vehicles like this all of the time in warmer months. In a minivan the rear quarter panel windows open outward instead of going up or down. Keeping them open a little bit isn't visible unless one walks up to them for a closer inspection. Unless they are fully out one can't tell they're open by viewing them from the side.

Having a fan inside makes life much more comfortable.

Smallwheels 08-23-18 01:08 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 20523510)
What are you hiding from?

Busybodies.

technoD 08-26-18 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by smallwheels (Post 20523661)
busybodies.

👍😎👍

Trotsky 09-17-18 05:05 PM

Car free
 
I have been car free in Barbados for almost 5 years. I am retired, so that makes it easier, but I did go car lite for the last 4 years of work and finally car free the last year of work. I originally lived in the US, but there are just too many wonderful places in the world. Of course it doesn't hurt that healthcare is affordable just about everywhere outside the US. I have panniers for front and back and I have a trailer. If that doesn't do the job, I catch a bus to anywhere. I have a folding bike for travel, and the airlines are used to them now, and they are looking for ways to make more money on them outside of the extra bag cost. My house is here, as my wife and I like to travel, but Barbados is home.

rossiny 09-21-18 04:58 PM


Originally Posted by Trotsky (Post 20571559)
I have been car free in Barbados for almost 5 years. I am retired, so that makes it easier, but I did go car lite for the last 4 years of work and finally car free the last year of work. I originally lived in the US, but there are just too many wonderful places in the world. Of course it doesn't hurt that healthcare is affordable just about everywhere outside the US. I have panniers for front and back and I have a trailer. If that doesn't do the job, I catch a bus to anywhere. I have a folding bike for travel, and the airlines are used to them now, and they are looking for ways to make more money on them outside of the extra bag cost. My house is here, as my wife and I like to travel, but Barbados is home.

I always envy people that can pick up and go live else where that is beautiful like that. How were u able to do it. Did you just pick up and move ? Did you bring your family along? How easy was it for you to make new friends and connections etc etc

Trotsky 09-22-18 11:40 AM

Hi Rossiny
 

Originally Posted by rossiny (Post 20579157)
I always envy people that can pick up and go live else where that is beautiful like that. How were u able to do it. Did you just pick up and move ? Did you bring your family along? How easy was it for you to make new friends and connections etc etc

Picking up and moving does take planning. After I retired, my wife and I talked about doing something else. She agreed as long as she could keep working. We agreed on Barbados as we had been here many times and we were tired of the cold. It does take resolve as so many things can and do change. My kids are grown so it was just me and my wife. Having a pension made the whole thing possible. I also have an Irish passport and that comes with EU citizenship, but staying warm all year round was important to both of us. We got rid of so many things. My wife loved antiques, so we had allot of those to sell. They don't sell well, so we took a bath on everything. We got down to clothes, bicycles, kitchenware, books, electronics, and anything small. We have friends on the island, so they pointed us to a shipper and away it went. We found a nice place furnished to live and away we went. It all helps when everyone speaks the same language sort of. My wife looked into working here, but it didn't work out, as she only wanted to work part time, and the cost of the work permit was too high to work only part time. So she got a license in Florida and works there for a few months a year, and that makes her happy. She has looked into working in England or Ireland, but the process is incredible, and it would be easier to live there 5 years and get her citizenship. We are still in love with the Carribean, so travelling is the option. Once you move to one country, the desire to move again is alway there in your mind. Moving around the world is getting more difficult, as everyone is getting into security and some countries are not open to foreign nationals moving in. I have run into so many englush speaking people who have been travelling for years. It almost seems as if the Americans are the only ones not moving around. Of course most english speaking people all belong to the comonwealth, so that does make it easier. People are the same anywhere, so making friends is never a problem. I have friend here who volunteers at the same place I do, and she grew up in fayettsville, NC. She married an Aussie, lived in Austrailia for 30 years, raised a child, divorced, and married a Bajan here. So there are all kinds of stories in the world. I admire the young people who find ways to get work permits in other countries and establish their lives in those countries. Having a pension makes it much easier, as I am too busy being retired to work at a job.


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