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.