You Know What They Say About The Best Things In Life
by Rachel Craig, OffGridHomestead.ca
Money and ambition for it didn’t come with my deck of cards. The average annual income for my profession of choice in Canada is around $12,000. Try paying for a house or rental down in Toronto on that pay cheque. On the other end, try it off grid, living a simple lifestyle (VS living the same lifestyle with 30k+ in solar panels). This great peel back was a financial necessity for me, so I’m fortunate to be pre-wired for it.
Being a slave to the system just to have as big of a house as everyone else, all the gadgets everyone lines up for, and likely spending much of my downtime watching TV to encourage both of those consumerist ideals is also a no-go. Especially if it involves what my mom calls a “real job”. I would rather have a job I love, where I can be motivated by sharing, bliss and many muses, and be relatively poor with the trickle of money I actually need. I admit it’s nice to have extra to pay for new experiences in life. I don’t mind occasional bonus, no doubt. But being a millionaire in a mansion is not on my life goal list.
If I nixed internet and phone which are $200/mo here as rural extortion goes, the cabin itself would be around $3-4,000/year counting taxes and insurance and energy/maintenance (including firewood). I’ve heard of entire ecovilliages running on that little over the course of a year. Presently we are in a $6-12,000 range for needs and a bit extra (those first cabin expenses and renos have added up!) While I’d like to see myself at least make that average 12k income, I want to whittle expenses down as much as possible so I can be free of any mindset toward money slavery and focus mostly on living life.. and giving an actual hoot about people and causes that truly matter.
All that said I am really inspired by Daniel Suelo (The Man Who Quit Money), who is living on an intriguing fringe. There are people who pared down MUCH more than myself who live on next to nilch. There are people who started their off grid journey under tree and tent canopy in the woods, broke. I have seen this is hard for some to see as realistic, to the point of classifying this as mental illness or denying that such an alternative, money bucking way of life is doable. Personally I find trampling over people on boxing day sick. Or looking back on one’s life and seeing a long haul of servitude to the man and a TV box were the highlights of your existence.. that doesn’t seem to doable to me.
There are things you’ll probably have to give up to galt the system to any degree, but surely the gains are richer. You don’t even have to go it alone; eco-villages are popping up everywhere. There is a growing movement away from the rat race. Back to communal living. Back to community. I’ll save that for another post.by