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-   -   How simply do you live? (http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car-free/163801-how-simply-do-you-live.html)

madnomad 01-08-06 12:53 AM

As of right now, my possessions include:

- 35 Canadian dollars
- A few books and maps
- 6 sewing needles, a very small roll of black nylon thread, thimble
- A small tea tin filled with strike-anywhere matches
- Knife and razor
- Two lengths of braided nylon and poly rope, probably about 25 feet altogether.
- Shaving razor and gel
- Old sleeping bag
- Clothing worn on back
- Modified nylon hammock
- small tin cup
- small army-surplus shoulder bag

That is about it, I think it weighs about 4-5 pounds. I do need to pick up a cooking pot in the near future. I will leave the books behind (except for one or two possibly) to increase mobility when I am on the move again as I am staying with my sister at the moment. I spend a significant part of my life these days homeless on the street or countryside on the move on foot, so I have a vested interest in mobility. I gave my mountain bike to my sister over a year ago as I would just end up ditching it somewhere when I decide to hitch or take off somewhere where I won't require the use of the bike. All these possessions will fit into the small shoulder bag with the exception of the sleeping bag. I only carry the sleeping bag and hammock (or a tarp, or other portable shelter material) in winter. I certainly feel more free with a minimum of material culture. Depending on the situation I ditch things I don't need anymore and pick up new things as the need arises.

pakole 01-08-06 01:01 AM

Thanks for suggesting the kakebuton and shikibuton. I have never consider this before. I tell you this site has allow me to live a better life over the six months I have read posts here.

iBarna 01-08-06 02:47 AM

Come on madnomad, do you really need 6 sewing needles? Isn't that a bit excessive?

:p ;)

iBarna 01-08-06 02:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by af895
Hi iBarna!

Two quotes I'm fond of:

"Success isn't defined by the things you have.
It's defined by the things you don't need."

"It is desirable that a man be clad so simply...and that he live in all respects so compactly and preparedly
that, if an enemy take the town, he can, like the old philosopher, walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety."

I love these. Thanks. I'm saving them.

Good stuff everyone!!!

PVyrus 01-08-06 03:46 AM

I still live at home so most things that I use (television, movies, furniture) are not mine and I don’t plan on purchasing them once I do move out. All of my belongings (except the bike) are in my small room, yet I have so much free space that I can practice poi in there! I used to be a packrat, but one day did a little de-cluttering and it felt so good that I kept getting rid of stuff, and still do. My ultimate goal is to reduce everything down to everyday “necessities.” I feel I do live the simple life… no car, no debts, no enemies, no school (did graduate), no addictions, plenty of income from my part time job, and loads of free time. It’d be awesome to live so simply that I could transport everything by bike, but the marine biologist in me won’t part with the aquarium, so a pick-up truck will have to do once I decide to flee the nest.

It is also so much fun to fight societies standards. Who needs a car and two jobs while going to college and renting your own apartment? Not me! I also don’t wear make-up, shave my legs, shower everyday, or act like a normal 20-year-old female, and I have a blast doing it … even when people do mistaken me for a guy, LOL.

I also consider myself very lucky that I grew up poor… it taught me to enjoy the simplest pleasures and the value of a dollar. It just boggles my mind to watch people blow their entire savings account on a shopping spree and clutter their house with it!

becnal 01-08-06 05:08 AM

My awesome laptop means I don't need a tv, vcr, dvd player, desktop computer, radio, stereo, speakers, fax machine, etc cluttering up our apartment.

squire 01-08-06 07:42 AM

My wife and I live in a 32ft. motorhome and we have Way too much stuff. We are slowly giving it away on freecycle. STUFF is more of an issue than spending money. The motorhome does somewhat limit what we can purchase. Something comes in and something must go out.

cabana 4 life 01-08-06 09:57 PM

ive lived in a small camper for 2 years now. i have some stuff in a storage unit ,but im going to give it away because i havent missed it. im looking into buying a houseboat to live on i think it would be great. the biggest thing i have is two bikes and a padicab, (and im thinking about getting another one this year). i used to be driver for ups. i thought i had to have a huge house and a nice car, home theater all that crap. then one day i quite, i hated that job so much. im so much happier now. f*#k keeping up with the jones. .. they can keep there debt.

vrkelley 01-08-06 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madnomad
I spend a significant part of my life these days homeless on the street or countryside on the move on foot, so I have a vested interest in mobility... Depending on the situation I ditch things I don't need anymore and pick up new things as the need arises.

Yes we have several members who post on Bike Forums who are homeless by choice, H. Katrina or for other reasons. I wish you the very best in the coming year :)


-vr

Mtn Mike 01-08-06 10:53 PM

I'll be one of the first to admit that I do not think I live minimally. I very much admire those of you who live minimally and are happy doing so. I lived fairly minimally throughout college and grad school (out of financial necessity), but even then still fancied the "finer things", such as computers, music, and of course bicycles. Now, I tend to buy what I want to, even if it's an impulse buy, and not feel too bad about it. I don't think I could list all of my possessions without spending a decent amount of time taking inventory of the house and garage. I'm sure I don't need everything I have. There are some things which I could have, but have no desire to own (such as big screen TVs, entertainment systems, cars, nice furniture, kitchenware, ect). But pretty much, if I want something, I buy it. :o

af895 01-08-06 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cabana 4 life
ive lived in a small camper for 2 years now. i have some stuff in a storage unit ,but im going to give it away because i havent missed it. im looking into buying a houseboat to live on i think it would be great. the biggest thing i have is two bikes and a padicab, (and im thinking about getting another one this year). i used to be driver for ups. i thought i had to have a huge house and a nice car, home theater all that crap. then one day i quite, i hated that job so much. im so much happier now. f*#k keeping up with the jones. .. they can keep there debt.

WAY TO GO CABANA 4 LIFE! :D

I dream of dropping out and becoming a wandering poet. I still have a student loan to pay off before I can do this (it's with family so while I can't skip on it, I have flexible terms).
Houseboat is a definite dream of mine - I'd love to live in a Great Lakes tugboat or a river barge as they're huge but then, there's money to maintain them I think. (I know little about boats coming from an aviation background)

May I ask, do you live in a warm part of the world?
I can't see living "off the grid" in the arctic - too harsh - but in a warm climate, a houseboat or camper would be workable.

EDIT: I'll echo vrkellys best wishes. Anyone who's checked out of the rat-race has my utmost respect and admiration.

madnomad 01-08-06 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vrkelley
Yes we have several members who post on Bike Forums who are homeless by choice, H. Katrina or for other reasons. I wish you the very best in the coming year :)


-vr


Thank you vrkelly, I wish you the same :)

TuckertonRR 01-09-06 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmcowan
I shed most of my belongings when I was moved to Costa Rica. Now that I am back in the states my idea of minimalism is much more minimal. :) You should really take a look at this site (www.simpleliving.net) go in the forums section that have advice and encouragement (much like here) around all of the different angles of simple living. This site and there are the two that keep me truckin' in a low paying job and living a "rich" lifestyle.

Call me a sceptic, but.....
"simple living" huh? anti-consumerist my a$$....all that seems to be done on this site is sell books.
remember folks, you can't "live simply" by taking out these books at the library, you gotta buy them!

shokhead 01-09-06 08:57 AM

I like having stuff.

af895 01-09-06 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TuckertonRR
Call me a sceptic, but.....
"simple living" huh? anti-consumerist my a$$....all that seems to be done on this site is sell books.
remember folks, you can't "live simply" by taking out these books at the library, you gotta buy them!

Or you could go to your local Chapters/Indigo, find said book and read it there without buying it.

eofelis 01-09-06 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smithers
i agree with dahon steve-stay out of the credit card trap! i had myself in quite a $$$ mess when i had credit card debt and it SUCKS!

I have avoided CC debt like the plague too!

When I was young, just out of high school, I got my first CC from a local bank. The credit limit was $500. I had that card for about 10 yrs. It worked out great, I couldn't rack up any more than the limit. I think I carried a balance on it once or twice, mostly I paid it off every month. I knew that if I wanted to spend more than $500, I may as well pay in cash.

Now I have 2 CC. I usually don't carry them around with me. Only if I am travelling (for emergencies) of if I know I am going to specifically buy something with them. One is a REI Visa. I get cash back towards my REI dividend. REI is one of the few places I like to shop. This CC is from a large bank that has a local branch that I can make the payments on the card at (they have not had any problem with me bringing my bike in, right up to the teller window). I got a late fee once b/c the PO was slow getting my payment to them by mail, so now I pay in person.

I have not had car payments for 10 yrs. My 15yo Subaru still looks and runs well.

My BF got his first CC at 38yrs old. He still has the first vehicle he bought for cash in 1986, but it's not running too well anymore. He rides his bike mostly anyway.

I don't know what my "credit score" is. Nor do I care. I can't think of anything I want bad enough to go into debt for it.

I'm a full-time (non-trad) undergrad student, and I am "poor" enough to get Pell grants and scholarships to pay for all my tuition and most of my living expenses. Life is good. School is fun!

cerewa 01-09-06 10:45 AM

Quote:

I was wrapping my self worth in the items I owed. Funny I thought I owed them, but they actually owned me.
(but then...)
Quote:

I started to donate my items slowly at first and have been cleaning the house ever since.
I guess you pwned those items. :)

cerewa 01-09-06 11:12 AM

Myself I like some posessions. I'm going to buy a used computer and get rid of two crappy computers I have. I usually don't give away clothes- I just keep them and use them till they're worn out. I don't buy many clothes. I don't buy many kitchen implements either, but my partner buys lots and then they sort of belong to her and me. I consider having a toaster oven and microwave to be worth it since they save some electricity. I own four bikes but I'm getting rid of one. That'll leave me with two that have mostly interchangeable parts (i'll be ready if something breaks) and one folding bike. I also have two computers that don't really work right, but have some parts that are still good so I need to take the trouble to give them away on craigslist or somesuch.

Quote:

I can't see living "off the grid" in the arctic - too harsh - but in a warm climate, a houseboat or camper would be workable.
I know the guy who used to be (and still is, probably) head of the Alaska Green party. He lives in a fairly big 2 story house with walls of big bales of straw stuccoed over, and heated/powered by solar and wind. I think the walls are 6 feet thick. The house can't have been cheap, but he has no home energy bills. That's one way to be off the grid.

Portis 01-09-06 11:22 AM

Ten years ago when i moved out of my parents' house, I had a rusty old car and little else. I had no possessions to speak of. I didn't even have a TV. I just had a few clothes and that was it. Since then I have gotten married, had kids and bought a house. It would easily take two semi trailers to move me now. And I'm not kidding either!

We have a good sized home with lots of storage areas, which are mostly full. We have tons of stuff. Too much? (is 6 TV's too much?) Probably but what do i care. I have a great family and if it makes them happy it makes me happy. Personally I don't require much.

kurremkarm 01-09-06 01:18 PM

I enjoyed reading this thread and enjoy this forum because it is supportive of my own habits and makes me feel like i am not alone in them. First of all, being car free where i live is not socially acceptable. Here if you don't own a car you are lazy or poor trash or a druggie or an alcoholic. That may seem harsh but the very best i can hope for is to be considered eccentric and not crazy. :P

Also, I might be just a little crazy. I saw Steve dahon talking about buying things to counter depression. My problem is anxiety and i try to control my life. I think there are many people living anxious lives in the middle of the cities in America who are cut off from society to varying degrees. As i said, my choices are not the norm and society frowns on that. My car free lifestyle, my low stress job working as a night janitor, all my choices are really about controlling my life.

Another poster asked what philosphers we got our inspiration from and i hate to agree with Bush but put me down for Jesus Christ. Actually since i became a christian i let some of the control go out of my life and turned to God for certain things, sorta letting go and letting God, etc, etc.

I also liked that quote from lost in translation, the more you know about urself and who u are the less you let things bother u, true. I think it's important to try to be a good person and do what you think is right and to live and let live. I love my bicycle for it's simplicity and economy and the beauty of its function.

Ramble on.

buzzman 01-09-06 01:37 PM

This is one of the best threads I have read on this forum. I read every one of the posts and found them inspiring.


so far bike forums has been great for me in that I was finally convinced to get studded snow tires for my commuter and they've made all the difference in the world.

Now I am packing up one of the old tv sets (it works great) that was given to me years ago (now that it has been replaced by a newer tv that was given to me) and giving it away. see you later.

jamesdenver 01-09-06 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kurremkarm

Another poster asked what philosphers we got our inspiration from and i hate to agree with Bush but put me down for Jesus Christ. Actually since i became a christian i let some of the control go out of my life and turned to God for certain things, sorta letting go and letting God, etc, etc.

I also liked that quote from lost in translation, the more you know about urself and who u are the less you let things bother u, true. I think it's important to try to be a good person and do what you think is right and to live and let live. I love my bicycle for it's simplicity and economy and the beauty of its function.

Ramble on.


Thanks -- i heard him say that and thought "hey, that's a great philosphy for life"

As are the Beatitudes, regardless of religion

jamesdenver 01-09-06 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eofelis
I have avoided CC debt like the plague too!

When I was young, just out of high school, I got my first CC from a local bank. The credit limit was $500. I had that card for about 10 yrs. It worked out great, I couldn't rack up any more than the limit. I think I carried a balance on it once or twice, mostly I paid it off every month. I knew that if I wanted to spend more than $500, I may as well pay in cash.

Now I have 2 CC. I usually don't carry them around with me. Only if I am travelling (for emergencies) of if I know I am going to specifically buy something with them. One is a REI Visa. I get cash back towards my REI dividend. REI is one of the few places I like to shop. This CC is from a large bank that has a local branch that I can make the payments on the card at (they have not had any problem with me bringing my bike in, right up to the teller window). I got a late fee once b/c the PO was slow getting my payment to them by mail, so now I pay in person.

I have not had car payments for 10 yrs. My 15yo Subaru still looks and runs well.

My BF got his first CC at 38yrs old. He still has the first vehicle he bought for cash in 1986, but it's not running too well anymore. He rides his bike mostly anyway.

I don't know what my "credit score" is. Nor do I care. I can't think of anything I want bad enough to go into debt for it.

I'm a full-time (non-trad) undergrad student, and I am "poor" enough to get Pell grants and scholarships to pay for all my tuition and most of my living expenses. Life is good. School is fun!

I think credit cards are great: for air miles, bonuses, airlines tickets (safety if out of biz), and buying things on e-bay, or internet purchase.

they provide MUCH more safety and protection than a debit card. but as mentioned above they require delicate delicate handling to balance (no pun intended), the few good things about credit cards versus the bad. kind of like carrying a grenade around for protection, for an unskilled person there's more risk of it blowing up in your face.

i do get my credit reports (not score) every six months, i think it's good to know what's "on file" about you. there's usually always a few innaccurate things.

also speaking of "off the grid", something i've done for the past seven years is own a mailbox at mail boxes etc. it's a $150 a year, but keeps my address stable no matter where i live, and they accept packages for me (i get lots of stuff online). i've moved two times, bought a house, and i keep my mail going there.

it's not for any militant paranoid reason, but just a little buffer between where i live and the outside world. i don't want people and companies to easily find where i live. (actually MBE makes you show proof of location, but i've moved since then).

this book is a fun read, "how to be invisible", which takes it to the extreme - -but for practical everyday things like women protecting their privacy from creepy guys at work (or vice versa), some of the stuff makes a lot of sense. or think of what happened with richard jewell, (falsely accused olympic bomber): should you be involved with something high profile, having the media not be able to locate your place of residence is great benefit. (and we all know how fair the media is)

and another benefit, should you just want to pick up and say move to argentina for a month, you wouldn't have to change your mail. just have them keep it, or forward it

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031...books&v=glance

anyway now everyone probably thinks i'm nuts, but oh well :)

cabana 4 life 01-09-06 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by af895
WAY TO GO CABANA 4 LIFE! :D

I dream of dropping out and becoming a wandering poet. I still have a student loan to pay off before I can do this (it's with family so while I can't skip on it, I have flexible terms).
Houseboat is a definite dream of mine - I'd love to live in a Great Lakes tugboat or a river barge as they're huge but then, there's money to maintain them I think. (I know little about boats coming from an aviation background)

May I ask, do you live in a warm part of the world?
I can't see living "off the grid" in the arctic - too harsh - but in a warm climate, a houseboat or camper would be workable.

EDIT: I'll echo vrkellys best wishes. Anyone who's checked out of the rat-race has my utmost respect and admiration.

i live in west michigan about a mile from lake michigan. winter in the camper is ok, its got a furnace so i spend about $40 a month on lp gas. i also put it next to my parents house in the winter because most campground's wont let me stay there, plus then my mom dosent worry so much about me. it cool being around house it's amazing how meny people have wireless internet that you can borrow.

pakole 01-09-06 02:09 PM

Ummm... do they know you are burrowing it? ;)


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