Thursday, May 26, 2016

Opting out: Meet America's 'intentionally poor'

http://www.cnbc.com/2013/10/14/living-on-5000-a-year-on-purpose-meet-americas-intentional-poor.html

       As I sit here, unintentionally poor, I have to say there is quite a bit to be said in favor of cutting back expenses in favor of time and energy for what really matters. Matt and I are on a similar quest to cut our expenses to a bare minimum due to my health issues and his need for more attention due to his autism.
       A little over a year ago I had a mini stroke. Mini meaning I was fine once it was over.
But, for me, it was a major warning sign. It was brought on primarily by stress at work. And, although I have many avenues to reduce my stress, it still really affects me.
       A second stressor was/is not having enough income to support Matt and I. Because of the demands of parenting an ASD teen I am unable to get a better paying job. . . . and parenting a handicapped child is very expensive.
       So . .
       I have made a choice to live on way less money. This actually started out as a game Matt and I would play where we'd take a month and try to see how little money we would be able to live on after bills were paid. As a game it was fun! And it was fun to share our progress with others and challenge them to join us.
       Now, since the stroke, this game has become our life. I can not continue to push myself. I can't risk a full blown stuck in rehab for weeks stroke. My poor Matt would be lost without me and we'd be truly homeless (living in a tent hidden in the woods homeless) by the time I was released!! 
That not being an acceptable scenario we began to look at all the cheap options for housing. Fortunately this is a time of downsizing and tiny house movements across the world so information was ample. After serious research I settled on the option to live aboard a sailboat. As I began to look for our new live aboard home I was offered the option to live in a camper for next to nothing. I jumped at the opportunity and have not regretted it one bit!!
       Yes, we left a roomy two (2) bedroom house with living room, family room, eat in kitchen and pantry . . .
       But . .
       We have peace of mind in the camper.
       Yes, we have given away/thrown away almost everything we owned . . .
       It  was  just  s t u f f  . . .
       Replaceable.

       Our time together as a family is irreplaceable . . .
       Our health is irreplaceable . .
                 Now?
      We sleep more soundly . .
       We giggle more . . .
         We are healthier . . .
            We are free.

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