SolitaryRoad.com

Website owner:  James Miller


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On how little cash income can one live?


   On how little cash income can one live?  I have asked myself 
   this question many times over the years.  It is a very 
   important question.  A central question.  It is directly 
   related to the question of how realistic the idea of self-
   sufficient living is.  The less cash income you can live on, 
   the more realistic is the idea of self-sufficient living for 
   you.  So what is the minimum in cash income that one can live 
   on?  Well, the answer to that question depends very much on the 
   person involved.  If you are a frugal, disciplined, self-
   reliant, rational individual with simple tastes and with no 
   expensive bad habits such as drinking and smoking the answer is 
   quite different from what it is if you are a drinking, smoking, 
   party-loving spendthrift.  So I phrase the question 
   differently.  How little cash income could I live on?  Well, I 
   have a small 16 foot by 24 foot cabin up in the mountains.  It 
   is a frame cabin and has one main room, a bathroom, three 
   closets, a red oak floor, and is finished with drywall and 
   paneling.  It is very well insulated with 12 inches of 
   insulation in the ceiling and 4 inches in the walls.  The cost 
   of the cabin?  A little over $10,000 (plus a whole lot of time 
   and work on my part).  On how little money per year could I 
   live in this cabin?  I believe I could live there on a few 
   hundred dollars per year ($500 to $1000).  That includes taxes, 
   heating costs, electricity, food, clothing, transportation, 
   entertainment, everything.  I haven't spent any winter months 
   there but I believe the winter heat bill would be very little.  
   It holds heat very well.  My tastes in food are simple and with 
   a garden my food bill could be minimal.  I like to read, hike 
   and fish and my entertainments never cost me anything.  My 
   clothes are simple, inexpensive and wear a long time.  I could 
   live there on a few hundred dollars a year with no trouble and 
   live well. 


   Apr 2001



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