Alternative frugal ways of living?

Discussion in 'Independent Living' started by Living Corpse, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Living Corpse

    Living Corpse Member

    How about a discussion on something like this?

    As most of us know, conventional housing, be it renting or mortgage, eats a large part of your yearly income.

    This seems like the ultimate, if most challenging, step on independent living.

    One particular means, van dwelling, has caught my eye.

    In spite of some social stigma, van dwelling seems to hold many advantages to those brave enough and comfortable enough with sleeping in tight quarters.

    Anyone have thoughts and experiences?
  2. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    I love the idea of van-dwelling...and I just got my license reinstated too. YEE-HAW!

    But for now I am lucky enough to live in a national park, where my rent goes according to how many hours I work. If I worked a full 40/hr week for 4 weeks...then rent is only $64/month. But seeing as I don't work quite that much right now, my rent is even less then that. Sorry but I ain't gonna complain about paying $50-$64 for rent & utilities.
  3. I would be quite happy living in a van, something about it just seems quite cosy lol
  4. etherea

    etherea mother of the idiot children

    Yeah, lived in a van for a while a long, long time ago. Biggest problem, opening the door in the morning and not knowing where you're going to take a piss. Easier for guys I know. Things often look a lot different in the morning than they did when you parked up for the night. Good luck if you decide to do takes very little time to get used to less space.
  5. salty

    salty Member

    I used to live on a retired fishboat.I've also lived in a van.I felt a lot safer on the water as I never knew if the gravel pit I thought would be a peaceful place to spend the night would turn into a party zone for the local teens.There was always a nice,supportive community of liveaboard boaters where ever I went.Around here pollution concerns and gentrification of the waterfront have made it harder to liveaboard but its still doable.
  6. Puma_concolor

    Puma_concolor Member

    Oh, I long for the simple life again. Roaming the land with a small pack, a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a journal, and a sleeping bag only. But now a single parent; not so easy to up & leave. Oh well. Hello, my brothers & sisters of the revolution. Have a beautiful day.
  7. bigE

    bigE Member

    i been thinking about van dwelling pretty hot and heavy for the past month or two. the thought of traveling and seeing the country, waking up to a diff. view every morning...................that would be the life. work till ya save enough money to live for a few months or whatever and leave agian.
  8. Bocks

    Bocks Senior Member

    Has anybody else here read Little House on a Small Planet by Shay Salomon? It has some pretty interesting ideas on downsizing in society and reforming ideas to live a frugal and altogether more fulfilling life. Pretty cool stuff, I think.
  9. BornHippy

    BornHippy Member

    Im planing to find a job and buy van within 6months to live in hopfuly. I can start off living outside sisters home and having gym membership for showees etc but sistrs place for emergny toliet and maybe bit of food in frigde lol then when i save money id wont to travel a bit and stay at holiday parks every other night for a shower etc i wont to sell and give things away and finally feel free. Though i am planning well, buying light with betterys, buying matress (staying on sisters couch right now lol) Its going to be awsome!
  10. Puma_concolor

    Puma_concolor Member

    Went to an A-bookfair yesterday, picked up some rad 'zines . . . Derrick Jensen makes the argument that individuals living simply is all well and good, but that we shouldn't feel responsible for the wreckage of the planet. The vast majority of the utility usage & destruction comes from the mega-corporations. Now, of course, this is not to say that it doesn't feel awesome to live simply (I would do it even if things weren't the way they are) or that it doesn't have impact (not participating in motor vehicle culture is a HUGE contribution), but I thought he had a pretty good point. His solution? Let's revolt; stop 'em with direct action; etc. But, he does admit, that it would probably take enormous, blatantly obvious devastation to actually get We the People mobilized to do anything about it. Anyway, just a tidbit I wanted to share. :)
  11. dmac66

    dmac66 Member

    i have spent the last 5 years in an old 82 coleman 23 foot trailer. had everything i needed, quite comfy for one person.
  12. indydude

    indydude Senior Member

    What kind of van? Coach vans with beds and things are pretty heavy and gas guzzlers. I have a Dodge mini van that is fairly good on gas. The seats fold in the floor which would be great for making space. Or just take the seats out and have bins in the floor. Sounds very appealing!
  13. DezDino

    DezDino Member

    I like the van idea, but that requires insurance, registration, inspection, and maintenance if you want to drive it. I got tired of the car idea and got rid of mine a few months ago - relieved me of so much stress and brought me a lot closer to my end goal of living in complete harmony with the land. My all-time favourite way to live is in a community on a farm. Cities are completely inefficient and it's a method of living that allows people to rape the land completely without even seeing the results of their actions. We should be living off the land like tribes used to and the best way to do this, that I have found, is to live with a small group of people and eat what you grow. I want to get way more into this and get EVERYTHING I need to live from the land I'm living on, as well as dumpsters and free stuff exchanges. End the cycle of waste. Living in a van is a fun idea, but I prefer to be in the great outdoors rather than in a box.
  14. indydude

    indydude Senior Member

    The biggest problem of living off the grid is heat in the winter. Heating the house or van and hot water. I've lived in a van w/out heat and its ok as long as you have a good mummybag to keep warm. A friend of mine had a tepee with heat pumped in from a small propane heater. Propane fuel cost$ a lot.
  15. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    My rent for the whole year of 2010, was only $615. That includes utilities and the free use of a laundry room downstairs. That is less then what my son pays for just rent for 3 weeks in NH.

    You're not going to get much more frugal than $615 for a having a roof over your head anywhere in the USA.
  16. pr0ne420

    pr0ne420 Senior Member

    Where is this?
  17. mommykrunk

    mommykrunk Guest

    I have been point into this. And if you're good at a hobby, you could go off the grid, and sell your craft for extra money if ever needed.

    You could live to an rv, car, etc.

    You could live in a commune, co-op, or intentional community.

    You could widdle your life down to a backpack, and travel the world forever.

    All of these are what I have been considering lately since 9-5 isn't for me.
  18. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    I live in the Grand Canyon National Park in AZ. If you need a job then do a search for a company named Xanterra. You will need to pass a drug test to work here, and tolerate a strange room-mate for awhile when you first start.
  19. Meliai

    Meliai Banned


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