Money & Paycheck Dependence
I’ve managed to save more than six months of living expenses, so I’m not worried about living without a paycheck for a while. More importantly however, I am hoping to use this savings to help ween me off the need for a paycheck. I plan to use this time to focus on making money as superfluous in my life as possible.
What I mean by that is that I’m trying to foster more self sufficiency in my life. I acknowledge the inescapable need for money in our society, but I want to reduce my need as much as possible. Think about how much your mortgage, energy bills, and food bills take out of your monthly budget? I know they take the majority of my paycheck. I will be able to take huge chunks out of those costs by living on my boat. Here are some of the ways I plan to reduce my monthly costs of living this year:
- I will use the time and budget I’ve set up to install a wind turbine as well as solar panels on the Rock ‘n Row. That will provide all the electricity to power my electronics and charge the drive batteries for the 10-HP electric motor.
- Through a combination of 2-HP gas outboard and 10-HP electric outboard, I am able to travel for 8 hours at 5 MPH in the boat while only using a couple gallons of gas. By running with the tide, I can add an addtional 5 MPH to my speed.
- A wood stove on the boat allows me to keep the boat nice and toasty with free drift wood found on the beach.
- A freezer, vacuume packer, canner, smoker, and dryer on board give me many options to harvest and preserve wild food found throughout the islands. The fresh and preserved food found this summer will replace groceries that would otherwise be purchased throughout the next year.
I think that gainful employment is much more preferable to outright slavery, as long as both parties can come and go of their free will. Free will – that’s the sticky part. That’s why trade is great – two parties conducting business of their own free will. But employment? A job? Presumably you can end that relationship anytime you want, but can you? …really?Over the last couple years, I’ve learned to see that it’s not my employer that’s had me chained to my desk. It’s the paycheck dependence that did. And that’s not slavery. It’s fear. It’s also very morally compromising and uncomfortable.
I have lived in fear of losing my job the last few years, and I know many others who live with it too. I know people who make plenty of money in a side business, but stay at their jobs for fear of losing their health care. I know I stayed at my job for fear of losing my house and all the work I put into it. Now I am selling it.
If you lost your job, how would you provide for yourself and your family? How would you buy food, pay your mortgage or rent, or heat your home? My boat is my answer to these problems. That’s what living on a boat means to me.
I’m giving up a lot of possessions and a lot of things I thought were important. I want to persue a life that is simple. I want to pursue a life that is filled with beauty, that is sustainable, and leaves a low carbon footprint. For me, 2013 will be the year I give up fear. Like a squirrel, I’ve worked hard to create a cache of cash and life sustaining assets (boat, wind turbine, etc). I will have that cache to fall back on as I learn to adjust to a life that is more in tune with the San Juan Islands that I love. For me, that is a lifestyle of San Juan Sufficiency.