In reading and writing about personal finance over the 18 months, I’ve realized that frugality is the one of the most common topics. Sometimes I like to take a good thing and think of it in the extreme sense. How cheap could you live? Looking at my necessary expenses (it represents half of our total household expenses), I realize that it costs us $2900 a month to live in Silicon Valley. Nearly $2000 of that is in our monthly rent. The rest is largely transportation and utilities.
I often imagine how I could reduce those costs. For one, we could move to place like Texas that has a very low cost of living. Our housing would be drop significantly. What if we had solar panels and an otherwise very environmentally-friendly home? We might find that our energy costs approach zero as well. What if I worked from home and telecommuted? We’d find that our transportation costs could be kept very low, especially if we buy a cheap used car.
What if there was a community that was specifically designed for cheap, frugal, sustainable living? Perhaps the community consists of a group of small apartments designed to make maximum use out of a small space. Perhaps they would come furnished with a Inova TableBed. Perhaps the community could agree to on some kind of car share like ZipCar?
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?