Thursday, October 7, 2010

Money and how to survive

Okay, so I wanted to discuss money and things. I am not financially rich but I have enough to get by at this point. I focus more on saving money or extending the life of my things and evaluating what I need and if something doesn't fit, is there somewhere I can trade or sell it or apply toward something slightly newer that better fits my needs.

We NEED: food, clothing and shelter.
Food can be found cheap if you shop around. I don't use coupons but I do shop at Aldi and eat non name brand items if the cost is comparible. I don't eat out much and I buy certain things each time I shop finding the cheapest store for everything usually aldis with wal mart as a close second. However, my pet food and some of my organic produce comes from the local farms/markets/specialty stores but even then I eat whats in season and on sale. So what does a person eat who wants to eat and is single? Mac and cheese for 64 cents a box. The noodles can be eaten in cream of soups, used in sauce ect and the cheese sauce can be used over rice with some chicken  or some broccoli. I am also a huge coffee drinker and soda drinker, so I can't say much here other than buy by the two liter as its cheaper. And yes the diet coke bottles have as much as the old ones in the 2 liter. And finally, eating out even off the dollar menu, I can eat cheaper, healthier, in the comfort of my own space and with out so many calories and artery clogging grease dips.

Clothing: I don't agree with third world labor and would love to buy American so I do the next best thing, shop used. I give something a second life, save space in a landfill and have something unique. When it rips or tears or gets worn out, I can do basic hand sewing or rip it up for rags for washing up with or cleaning dishes ect. I also make knot rugs and other crafty items with scraps of clothing sewn together.

Shelter: there are many options for this one. I like a small amount of physical space for me and my not so many thing and the cat. Warm, dry, out of the wind, and clean are my criteria. Obviously, a tent isn't a good full time option. Yurts, tipis, vans, RVs, housing, co op living arrangements are all good for different situations.
Realistically if we took all the driveable cars from lots nationwide and parked them on condemned housing land or non existant but structurally sound buildings we wouldn't have a homeless problem.

However we live in a society whereas society expects everyone to have a conventional home and be pinned to one location. The Gypsies, empires of old and hunters and gatherers of old moved around. For many of us, sitting still isn't an option. I have an address with a relative, stay in an apartment that is an in law suite and spend some time in transit and in a van for camping/adventuring besides working two jobs and being nomadic even geographically besides both jobs over 20 miles one way lends to a lot of commute time. Its critical to line up jobs, errands and social life in the most fuel efficient and time efficient manner.

So for those that want to full time travel, there isn't a program that doesn't require effort we just have to use the skills we have and be creative with what we have been given and accept help when all else fails.


  1. My favorite posts are those that talk about how we can get by on less. For me, the simple life is a happy life! Thanks!

  2. Good post! I really love that we can get by for less, but live in a very comfortable environment. As you said, using the skills we have and being creative with what we have, that really is the key to making things work as a vantramp/vandweller.

    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

  3. Thanks Mike and Heidi,
    I think the key to life is using what we are given to make the most out of a particular situation and you two are an excellent example from what I can see !'D