Saturday, May 28, 2011

Financial matters

Our financial goal is to spend 100% of our wages on luxuries.  It is an unattainable goal, but we've come fairly close.  Our basic food costs us nothing.  The sale of eggs pays for chicken feed, sale of garden produce pays for seeds, and sale of lambs and kids pays for hay and grain.  We have no mortgage payment, no utility bills, nothing like that.  However, we still need cash for things like property tax, insurance, and gasoline.

The single most important rule we have is: Don't go into debt!  We want to make our own choices rather than being slaves to the financial system. 

To live a good life with little money, we try to know our priorities and spend on the things that make us happiest.  I, for example, spend as much as I need to on art supplies and model's fees.  I also only buy organically-grown, fair-trade, dark-roast coffee beans and 70%-cocoa chocolate.  On the other hand, my clothes all come from the thrift shop and my house goes undecorated.  Those things don't matter to me.  Someone else would have a different set of priorities.

When we first moved off the grid, we each worked about half-time, and that gave us enough cash to go out for dinner, buy expensive Scotch once in a while, and take the odd vacation.  As the years went by, we did even better and got down to one person working half-time.  (We took turns.)  Once or twice, Charles got a higher-paid camp job for a couple of months so we could catch up on stuff like dental work or buying a new couch.

In the last few years, it's been getting harder.  The cost of keeping a vehicle on the road is the main problem. That alone is now taking nearly half of our annual household income of $8,000.  If we want to continue living our lavish lifestyle, it looks like we're going to go back to both of us working part-time again.


  1. Bummer on the working part - I've always said that working interferes with my real

  2. wow..I too have that goal in mind..100% ( or as close to it as possible ) on luxuries or of right now we still have $13000 to go..then our place is paid for. We both DO work fulltime so we are hoping within the year. It is nice to have no utility bills being off-grid!..wood heat aside but much of that is harvested these days..and propane for the tankless hot water. I know that A* and I would love to start working part-time..I know I would! Truthfully the $$ we owe is mostly vehicles..we just decided to not have work done to our truck due to it not being worth it..I HATE chasing a vehicle into the we are going to use it in the yard.

  3. I'm rooting for you! It always bugs me that so much of our money seems to go to keep a vehicle on the road.