I Live on $1000 a Month

Today, I am going to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and talk about my finances and lifestyle a little. It’s changed a lot over the years.

I don’t have a job. In fact, I haven’t “worked” in many years. Yet, I am not homeless. I have a roof over my head and food on my table.

I am not a bum. I pay my way in this world. And, no, I am not a senior (yet), and I am not living off a government pension.

I generate my monthly income from a few online sales and interest money on a small investment cache.

But I am also cheap…

I live on roughly $1000 a month.

No, I don’t live in a third world country. In fact, if you read any of my previous posts, you’ll find that I live in Ontario, Canada – where the cost of living is considered high.

But I don’t live a typical life.

Some might say I live a meager lifestyle, but I look at it as my long term solution to avoid becoming a wage slave. It is long term, because my burn-rate is so low, I could weather almost any challenge.

Now, this doesn’t sit well with just about everyone I know. I am constantly flabbergasted at how people feel they have a right to tell me how to live my life. As mentioned in earlier posts, my family thinks I’m a bum.

So, here is how I became self-sufficient:

The first thing I did was eliminate debt. This is one thing you have to do above all else. Being in debt will eat away at any excess money you have. It will ensure that you remain a wage slave for as long as the debt remains. Make sacrifices. Do whatever you can to get rid of this. Live homeless if you have to. Just address this asap because you can’t move forward until you do.

The next thing I did was to get some residual money coming in. Now this isn’t as hard as it sounds, but I do realize it will be harder for some. In my case, I generate about $400 a month in income from my investments. To get the capital, I sold my place and I also received a small inheritance. The other $600 a month is from my on-line ventures. This is very volatile and unreliable from month to month, but stable and predictable over, say, 6 months. I have a little money in cash to cover the lean months and even things out.

This is what I would consider long-term money that shouldn’t deteriorate any time soon. In 10 years, I can collect old age security, and that is about $1,500/month. At that point, I will have 2,500 dollars a month coming in. More than enough to do whatever I want.

For now, though, I am looking at 1,000 a month. Most people would look at that and cringe. How on earth can you live on $1,000 a month in Canada? Well, here are my expenses:

Rent – $600/month all inclusive for a tiny apartment in rural Ontario.
Food – $200/month
Transportation – $100/month for trains, buses.
Cell Phone – $30/month pay as you go.
Internet – $50/month
Netflix – $10/month

I am not including my business expenses since the $600 a month is profit after everything else (for example, web hosting) is paid.

And that is it. Nothing left after my basics are taken care of. I don’t own a car anymore; I take public transportation instead. I walk to get groceries and whatever else I’ll need.

By the way, I find that vehicle ownership is way too expensive for this lifestyle unless you are living in it (for example, a van).

I do not eat out. I do not drink alcohol. If I want to watch a movie, I put on Netflix.

I don’t have any unexpected expenses because I don’t own a house or car and we have free health care in Canada.

I also don’t own pets.

As you can imagine, every last cent is taken into account with little left over.

Yet, I survive – and all without being forced to labor for someone else or rely on social assistance.

It is a lifestyle choice. I know plenty of people that could not do this. What I consider luxuries, they consider necessities. They are willing to work hard for someone else to make the kind of money that is needed to support all that. And there is nothing wrong with it – but it isn’t for me.

There are so many people that look at me now and I know they can’t believe how far I’ve fallen. How I threw away my life. No house, no car, no job. From a lovely house in a great neighborhood to a tiny, modest apartment in small town Ontario. From two cars in the garage to a bus pass. No money to enjoy life…

But, on the other hand, I get to spend each and every day the way I want – and you can’t put a price on that…

I fill my day with stuff that I wouldn’t have even noticed while working in the corporate world. Watching sunrises and sunsets, early morning walks, taking in nature, reading a book under a large shade tree, stopping to smell the roses. Boring? Not at all. But it does take a fair amount of decompressing before you can truly appreciate nature and your place in it.

In the future, should I make a little more in my online business, or come into money, I might indulge in some of the “normal” social perks that most of us do. Traveling, eating out once in a while. But this will also be limited to reasonable amounts. We, as a race, already take far too much. Way more than our fair share.

One of these days

One of these days, in the not too distant future, you are going to cease to exist.

Everything that is important to you now – everything you have, your possessions, your lifestyle, your talents, your relationships – everything you worked so hard for is going to be taken and you will simply cease to exist.

One day soon, your window on the world, the universe, on life, will be permanently shut. You’ll be broken down to the basic elements and reabsorbed back into nature.

That is a fact. That is how it works. That is nature. Whether or not there is a spiritual component that continues on… well, that’s another (lengthy) discussion.

But speaking from a strictly scientific perspective, you are going to be completely reabsorbed and returned to nature. And you’ll have no choice in the matter.

We’ll all end up here. From the homeless guy on the street, to the ruling elite, it is nature’s great equalizer – and there’s not a thing you can do about it. No one gets special treatment, no matter who you are in this life.

We are the only species on the planet that is that self-aware. Every other animal simply lives without knowing that it will eventually die. I envy that, in a way.

Some day, in the not so distant future, you’ll be old. You will struggle to cross the street, get out of bed, cook your meals, walk down a flight of stairs, go to the bathroom on your own. You think it won’t happen, but it will, believe me. No one has a choice.

Some day in the not so distant future, you’ll be diagnosed with an incurable disease, or drop dead from a heart attack, or be fatally injured in an accident. One of these days, something is going to get you, it’s inevitable.

When will it happen? Well, that is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Some folks don’t make it to old age, while others flirt with the hundred year milestone. You just don’t know.

You can do things that will help you live longer, of course, but there is no guarantee.

You are a miracle. The odds of you sitting here, reading this, are astronomical. You could have been born a slug on a log, or even worse, not been born at all because your planet is barren and sterile.

Life is so precious.

And we throw it away. We sell ourselves to a man-made system that is meant to extract what it can for the benefit of someone else.

You are told to reach for the stars, make something of yourself, build a decent life, At what cost?

But we aren’t forest animals either. We wouldn’t fair so well without our “system.”

I think the real crime is that most of us are programmed to believe once you have a secure job, you need to hang on to it, do what is required, put up with whatever you have to, and be thankful for the paycheck at the end of the week.

Buy stuff you think you need – stuff that is marketed to you 24/7. Keep up with the Jones’s. Make sure you build the life you dreamed of. Stuff that big house with more and more junk every year.

But at what cost? Are you even paying attention to the human cost – your cost? Are you happy being somewhere you dread for 40 hours a week? Are you happy trading the best years of your life just to buy stuff you are told you need? And, even worse, to service the debt that enabled you to buy more stuff…

It leads to a life of quiet desperation in some cases.

Sure, you need to survive, but isn’t this just a little more than you need? Isn’t it more than we all need?

You have only so many days on this planet…

Imagine what you could do if you just re-examined your needs? I mean your real needs.

Simplify your needs and you can simplify your life…

Blogging For Profit

Anyone who thinks they can put up a blog and become a millionaire is going to be sorely disappointed.

Hear me out…

When I say that, I am talking about the average person who thinks that throwing up a blog, slowly getting a readership, getting listed in the search engines, and putting up some ads is the secret to riches.

Sure, it’s possible, but not very likely. At least not these days.

Why not? Well, there are a few reasons:

One – You may not have a knack for writing. Oh, no – say it isn’t so! Okay, not what you wanted to hear, but it is the truth. Just because you think your stuff is witty and engaging doesn’t mean other people are going to feel the same way. Even if you are a technically perfect writer, you may lack the sense of style that is going to grab readers and leave them wanting more. Very few of us can do that.

Two – There are a billion websites out there in 2016. Anyone with a few dollars can now throw a presentable website together with very few skills needed. Anyone can start writing and releasing their thoughts to the world. Why do you think your blog is going to stand out?

Three – The search engines are way smarter than you. They are going to make sure that only the best sites appear at the top of the results pages. Why are they going to list yours if you have no one linking to you and you have no reputation? And the days of fooling them into thinking that you are better than you actually are, are over. 2010 called and they want their spammy links back. Nope, today, you really have to be that good. Well, either good or unique.

Four – You can only do so much on your own. There are only so many hours in one day and you can only write so many articles. Eventually, if you want a chance at real success, you are going to have to hire people to do more. Writers, design people, and even administrative personnel if you get really big. The bottom line is that you are going to have to pay people to help you make it to that next step. I doubt that there are many bringing in a million a year on their own. Well, maybe the guy who started plenty of fish, but he’s an exception.

Five – You are at the mercy of whatever ad system you use to get paid. Whether it is Adsense, Amazon, or any of the numerous affiliate companies, at some point, you are going to inadvertently break the rules and you’ll be banned for life. No second chance, no appeal, no chance to explain, income shut off completely. In some cases, you’ll just be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Hard to build any sort of “business” on that shaky foundation.

So, it would seem that the dream of blogging, not having to deal with customers, and generating residual income is somewhat of a pipe dream. If you are really lucky, you may pay your bills, but forget about getting rich.

Having said all that, there are a few people who have powered through that first stage, saw some success and built from there. But eventually they had to hire help to get to the next plateau.

I am happy with what I make. In the beginning I had such high hopes, but I’ve accepted my situation and the money I make. I don’t want to deal with customers and employees, so that means my earning is limited.

To each his own.