I want to preface today’s article by asking for a quick favor.
Could give this blog a vote/nomination for a Plutus Award? The annual awards are decided by a nonprofit, the Plutus Foundation, that supports community-based programs that enhance financial literacy. In short, it’s the personal finance awards show.
My blogging career is a lot like Jaime Moyer’s Baseball Career. He played a long time, but usually just a little above average. I’m in my 13th year as a personal finance blogger, but I’m still the Susan Lucci or Ash Ketchum when it comes to winning an award. I was nominated for a lifetime achievement award once, but it was such a crowded field of much better bloggers that I’d be surprised if I got a vote.
Lazy Man and Money may be different things to a lot of different people. For example:
- The main objective from the very first post was to explore ways to reitre early through financial independence.
- Since my wife is in the military, I also cover some military money issues.
- That military career directly lead us to become accidental landlords, so we’re big real estate investors now
- I’m firmly in Generation X, so one could say that Lazy Man and Money deals with many Generation X issues
- Over the last few years I’ve written a lot about being a Stay-at-Home-Dad to our boys (ages 5&6), so this could be a family blog
- I often write about investing, probably more than most blogs, so Lazy Man could be an investment blog
- My focus on helping people avoid MLM scams could be seen as deserving for a Biggest Impact award
If I had to choose one, I think the best fit is family blog. So if you’d like to nominate me with this one click I’d appreciate it.
However, if you want to nominate here for other categories are some easy links for those (roughly in order of how I view Lazy Man and Money):
- Best Generation X or Baby Boomer Blog
- Biggest Impact
- Best Financial Independence/Early Retirement Blog
- Best Investing Blog
- Best Real Estate
Now, let’s get to today’s article…
Nearly 12 years ago, I wrote an incredible article around a grand idea. That was my memory of it. In reality, it was a laughable 260 words of unpolished slop… and it still got 14 comments.
The idea: A community designed around frugality
The goal of the article was to figure out how cheaply you could live. At the time, we had an expensive $2000/mo. rent in Silicon Valley. I wondered about whether we could live in Texas with solar panels. I thought that we might be able to telecommute for work and have one cheap used car for transportation.
I then came up with the idea of a community that was specifically designed for cheap, frugal, sustainable living. The idea was to live in tiny houses with Murphy Bed like furnature. The community would use some kind of car share like ZipCar.
My concluding thought:
The community I describe could be extremely cheap to live in.
Imagine how much money you could save with a normal salary.
How soon could you retire if you could really keep your expenses in check?
I would have called it the Lazy Man FIRE community, but back then personal finance bloggers never used the term FIRE. However, you can see that back in 2007, Lazy Man and Money was indeed a FIRE blog.
None of my article suggestions would qualify as rocket science. It was simply looking at what we typically spend most of our money on, housing and transportation, and trying to hack it to be frugal. Eliminating our energy expenses with solar panels is another easy win. I think telecommuting is much more common now.
Of course most people use Uber and Lyft instead of Zipcar now. Of course the Uber gPod isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. That’s what I’m calling a futuristic self-driving, solar-powered electric, on-demand car fleet.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to dig deeper into various aspects of what this FIRE community could look like. I’ll look into possible locations, housing styles, transportation possibilities, food, and utilities. I may do a supplemental version on college costs and health care. I’ll hopefully try to put some (very rough) real numbers into what expenses in this planned community would be.