Have any of you transitioned to a minimalist lifestyle?

SlyFerret Posted By SlyFerret, Feb 4, 2017 at 9:23 PM

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  1. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Nov 25, 2012
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    Nah... they're minimalist.. they rip it apart bare handed
     
  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake
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    Jul 22, 2008
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    HehHeh . . . you should meet my Amish neighbors.

    Their shop is kept warm with an indoor wood-fired boiler. They use batteries, wind and solar to keep the batteries charged up . . . and have a large diesel engine when the wind and solar are lacking.

    P.S. They also have a pair of nice Stihl chainsaws as well . . . and have access to a Super Split (or clone . . . I'm not sure which) woodsplitter. And yes . . . they really are Amish. Nice folks too. Invited me to the meeting house Tuesday evening for a presentation on the Dutch Anabaptist Movement Leaders and a discussion on how their movement was different from the Swiss Anabaptist Movement of the 1500s.
     
  3. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Jun 23, 2014
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    Some things always have value..some things don't. This is the first time in human history that we are accumulating great wealth in banks that have our money somewhere very far away. The shift away from pensions and towards 401k's only exacerbates the issue. We don't have it in land, equipment, family homes (that we own), and other things that grow and create wealth. This makes us very vulnerable to world affairs, markets and manipulated interest rates.

    Interesting times. I'm the type of guy that takes a little of this and a little of that to even things out in retirement planning. I save a pretty good chunk of my salary for my 401k. I spend on things we like as a family..and some toys of course.
    Best retirement plan? Marry a girl that can make some money after the kids are out of the house. ;lol
     
  4. Chas0218

    Chas0218
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    Sep 20, 2015
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    I like to think my family lives off the land with modern day conveniences. We eat majority venison and vegetables from our garden. I'm trying to become more sustainable possibly adding a solar astray or 2 to our home. I would like to depend less on the the conglomerates and more on my family all while living comfortably. If crap hit the fan and something catastrophic happened i would like to be able to survive. With all this talk of North Korea wanting to bring down the US it isn't good. The allies of NK being Russia and China things can go badly quick.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Oct 17, 2008
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    I feel like i live a minimalist lifestyle because we do quite well on a very low income for a 4 person household by most standards. I am self employed ,my business supplies a decent retirement because its an investment type business but not a lot of disposable income in the meantime. Wife stays home with 2 small kids so one earner houshold. We have a large 3000 SF home 2 cars(trucks) take vacations occasionally and eat out as well.
    We just dont buy things we dont need, or waste money on unnecessary luxuries like cable although we have 4 big screen TVS our total tv bill is only about $30 a month. Our biggest monthly expense is food purchased at farmers markets and grocery stores. Next to that is electric which i have cut from $175 month to about $110 over the course of a year.
     
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Oct 17, 2008
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    Was thinking about building a small cabin and outfit it like the pioneers would ,oil lights ,pump handle by the sink ,wood stove ect ,. For a second home type of thing to see how viable it is. I guess having a second home is not reall a minimalist lifestyle ,but you have to try it first. I could always rent it to tourists with that pioneer theme if i dont use it much.
     
  7. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Jun 23, 2014
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    Lets not forget that living off the land friggen sucks. That is why we have modern things like health care, leather couches, refrigeration and heating. Because its really nice. :)
     
  8. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl
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    My Great Aunt & Uncle had a remote cabin exactly like this ... built the cabin themselves as Great Uncle was a carpenter. They spent most of the year up there - going up early in the spring and coming out late in the fall. They also grew up without electricity, indoor bathroom so oil lamps, hand pump and wood stove were familiar. I enjoyed spending time there (3 weeks) but food storage gets interesting! They used to do a run down the lake to the nearest town for groceries.
     
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  9. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Mar 7, 2012
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    While I see your point, we differ to some degree, there. I'd be much closer to living off the land, if such a large fraction of the more desirable members of the fairer sex weren't opposed to it.
     
  10. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    There are tons of them..you just haven't found the right one. And you might have to be somewhat 'liberal' on your facial hair expectations.
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb3Ku6QhyJ28A8A1G5hllYr3itUhYYeA6xiIYSOdbrQKhyt5jD.jpg
     
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  11. ED 3000

    ED 3000
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    You are right about that! While there is some romantic appeal to living "Alone in the Wilderness," Dick Proenneke was literally one in a million (far less, probably), most of us would go crazy in a situation without access to modern amenities, other people, etc.

    I personally like a mix of modern and classic- enjoy the garden and wood stove, but like that the grocery store and thermostat are readily available. The positive is that you can save money, and be somewhat self sufficient, and not alienate all the "normal" folks around. I'm probably close to the edge, at least one of my neighbors has commented that I am living in the wrong century. That said, strangers stop in frequently to chat about the garden and wood stacks.
     
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  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Oct 17, 2008
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    You can learn to live a minimalist lifestyle quickly when funds are tight. Being self employed we learn that early on.
     
  13. blades

    blades
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    Nov 23, 2008
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    Ditto to seasoned oak. ed3000 - yep, sold the place in town moved out to sticks - couldn't put up with neighbors and long noses anymore likely not the best decision but preserves my sanity ( course maybe I am too far over the edge already) and their lives.
     
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  14. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Depends on your locale, I guess. Around here, I seem to come across more ornery neighbor stories in the sticks, than I ever hear from folks living in town. Maybe expectations are different.

    Of course, if you can go big (eg. over 80 acres), that tends to solve a lot of those problems.
     
  15. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Jul 11, 2008
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    Living in the relative sticks, it comes down to if you want to be sociable the community will usually welcome you with open arms. The town next to me where my wood lot is has 300 year round residents and possible triple that for two months in summer. They have lots of activities in the off season but if someone doesn't want to participate they usually give up inviting folks and leave them alone. The trade off is very few people can make it isolated and when they do need help it may not be there. Frequently they live through one or two winters and move away "as the locals werent friendly". Another nearby town has a similar low population, no trash pick up so you have to go to the recycling facility to get rid of trash, someone has to be there to accept it so the residents have two choices, one night a week for the folks who are not social and "dump and donuts" on Saturdays where most folks come and stay a few hours to socialize.
     
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  16. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Oct 17, 2008
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    I actually sold a place in the country partly because the nearest neighbor was a Psyco. I couldnt even see their place through a pine forest of trees . Apparently they moved out to the country for peace and quiet. Would go basllistic if they heard any kind of noise from my property ,even kids splashing in the pool during the day. When they started shooting through the trees in my direction when ever there was noise, i figured it was time to make a move ,before i started shooting back.
     
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  17. Squirrely

    Squirrely
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    My wife and I are long time minimalists who make a game out of living really cheap and using almost everything. :)

    All of our combustible trash is used to start fires in the stove.
    All of our sewage is processed and every drop of water is reused to irrigate our fruit trees.
    All of our sewage sludge is used to fertilize the trees.
    All of our garbage is composted and used in the garden.
    All of our stove ash goes into the garden.

    We're also fiscal minimalists. This is the year round average monthly cost to live in our house.

    $190 Property Tax
    $40 Water
    $45 Electricity
    $40 Propane
    $36 Trash
    $85 Phone + Internet
    $0 Heat

    Total: $436

    We bought raw land and built our house for cash so there's no mortgage debt or insurance premiums to pay. We lived next door for years in a converted garage for $875 a month. So we cut our monthly housing costs almost exactly in half.


    Greg
     
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  18. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Jun 23, 2014
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    I like your style.

    Minimal taxes are a great thing to pursue.
     
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  19. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    If you live in a Mobile structure like a tiny house (on wheels) or an RV or a Motor Home you only pay very small property taxes on the land. When i tore down my cabin in the woods my taxes on the land (only), went down to about $80 a Year. Presently im trying to buy 43 acres of forest land with no buildings and the yearly taxes are under $100 . Makes me want to put the new cabin on some type of movable structure.
     
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  20. Lake Girl

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    In my area, there have been quite of few who have done this to keep costs to a minimum. Seems to work well as long as you can stick to the plan on the house itself...
     
  21. begreen

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    A local couple converted a shipping container into their temporary home. They lived there for about 5 yrs until they could afford to build their home. It's now their "guest cottage".
     
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  22. Squirrely

    Squirrely
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    Our minimal property taxes were a totally unintential consequence of building.

    By acting as our own bank we fully funded the project from concept to finished product. And by acting as our own developers we did all of the paperwork required to go through plan check and to obtain a building permit.

    California being is a bluest of all the blue states with complete absolute unopposible supermajority one party rule in both houses and a blue Governor, the cost of it's huge government bureaucracy is built into everything. This is one reason California real estate is so expensive. Our area has among the most convoluted labyrinthian restrictive building codes in the nation. The building permit for a simple minimal completely conventional 1,100 square foot house cost $30k and took two and a half years to obtain... and we got off easy. It's not uncommon to pay $50k to $150k for a permit to build depending on the size and environmental impact of the project.

    When the plans were approved, we acted as our own general building contractors and worked as our own laborers to do everything that was within our abilities so as to keep costs down. Then we acted as our own real estate agents and "gave" our house to ourselves.

    In 1978, California voters revolted against high property taxes and passed ballot proposition 13 which keeps the property taxes pegged to the property assessment at the time of sale, and only allows them to go up at tiny increments over the years. Since we were developers and builders our house never sold, so the property tax assessment remained at the wholesale builder's cost which is currently $170k. This is slightly under the actual total cost of $185k. So the property taxes currently run us just under 2.4k per year. The current market value of our house is just under 1m, which if sold, would put the property taxes at 10.7k per year.

    From this experience, we discovered a valuable principle of minimalism.
    The government cannot tax business transactions you make with yourself. We reaped all of the profits from being our own bank, our own developer, our own builder, and our own real estate agent.

    Greg
     
  23. Squirrely

    Squirrely
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    We built really simple so as to have enough money to complete the project without any debt. Most of the building materials came from Home Depot. At Building and Safety our tiny house was a joke and even looks like a toy.[​IMG]

    zb73w5J.jpg

    Greg
     
  24. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Oct 17, 2008
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    WOW sounds like the price of a fairly nice house in many other places,just for a lousy building permit. Is it really worth all that just to live in the tax your eyes out state?
    Greg
     
  25. begreen

    begreen
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    CA is a big state. Building permit costs vary from county to county. In many parts of the state they can be much more reasonable.
     
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