What up what up! You frugal gangstas are gonna like this one today…
Got a note yesterday from my boy PT that our old wealth poem friend Randy Vining is at it again. Spittin’ some good rhymes on money and life, and one of the stars of a new documentary that just dropped on mobile living. (ie. living out of cars, RVS, trailers, etc).
Of course, he’s not really my friend as much as I wish he was (if you see this Randy – beers on me when we cross paths!), but over the Summer I officially knighted him so after hearing how soulful and passionate he was about financial freedom.
Here’s a snippet of his poem we featured here a while back (And if you really want to be blown away, click here to hear him perform it!):
With patience I waited for bargains, didn’t count on Lady Luck.
Lived well below my means, getting bang for every buck.
And when the water rising in my bucket reached that calculated mark,
I left behind all drudgery and flew off like a lark…
So I think my wealth is great because my needs are small,
and I won’t have to work again with any luck at all.
As soon as I heard he was being showcased again, I rushed over to check it out and was immediately sucked into the whole lifestyle of “mobile living” staying up until 2 am saying to myself “Yes, yes YES!!!” every 30 seconds… Haha… And then shortly after, “Damn, damn damn! I could never do that with all my kids!” “And my wife would divorce me!”
Now, in reality I couldn’t even pretend to be hardcore enough to live on the road regardless of how bad ass it is, but I do whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment:
Live your life on your own terms no matter what it looks like to others
And when it costs you only $600-$700/mo to do so, even better! I couldn’t believe how little some of these people live on. It costs me more than that just to have one kid in day care! Ugh… (and, not that it distracts from the main takeaway of the documentary, but most of those featured were definitely single. I want to see one with kids, please! Let me dream realistically! ;))
The documentary is called “Without Bound – Perspectives on Mobile Living,” and it can be found on Youtube if you have the time to check it out this morning or over the weekend. It’s 50 mins long, but I swear it’s worth it to get a good slap of reality.
I’ll imbed it here too for you lazy budgeters:
– it’s awesome. And really if you just watch it for a few minutes after that you get the gist of the whole film. It was much more powerful watching the last 20 mins first than it was starting from the beginning to catch what I missed for what it’s worth. Though Randy’s sections were always spot on (yes, I have a man crush – leave me alone!).
My second favorite part of the video was when the lady came on after Randy’s poem and hit us with the following quote (a little paraphrased):
“I find there’s two sorts of people – people who like money, and people who like things. The ones who have the things don’t have any money, and the people who like the money don’t have a lot of things.”
BAM! Talk about a powerful way to sum up EVERY PERSON in America, haha… And then:
“I’d rather have the money than the stuff. Because money buys me freedom. freedom of choices, freedom of movement, freedom to do what I want to do.”
I want to bottle her up and unleash her on every last person who says money is the devil. It isn’t! The one who uses it as such is! ;) We say it all the time here, but money really does buy you freedom – whatever that looks like to you specifically. Money can be used for lots of nasty stuff too, but everyone reading this are perfect angles and I’m sure has no need to worry (hah).
The film goes into all kinds of other things too, half of which either went over my head or bored me, but one thing I liked was their mention of the “fear factor” in our country. And how the media’s always spouting doom and gloom making us think the world is going to hell in a hand basket. It very well may be, but keen people will know it’s important to tune out the people on TV and concentrate on what’s not only within your control, but what doesn’t make you want to jump off a bridge every 5 seconds too. The media is not our friends – they’re in it for the ratings.
Here were the biggest traits these guys had for thriving in this lifestyle:
- They’re incredibly efficient. You don’t have much to work with in confined spaces!
- They love travel and adventure. You’re not required to move around if you don’t want to, but of course you get more from it if you do.
- They had an epiphany! Randy was working a job he hated when he read “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau that completely changed his life. He figured out what he needed to live on forever if he hit the road in an RV ($100,000), and then hustled hard until he hit it. Others had more unfortunate events occur which caused the change (lost wives, businesses, homes, health, death, etc.)
- They’re great at sacrificing. They don’t feel like they’re sacrificing anything right now, but it took them a while to get to that point. The takeaway here is that the human race is incredibly good at adapting to change over time. It might sting hard at first, but you eventually get used to things.
It isn’t a lifestyle for everyone, but it’s helpful to see how other people live and to at least question your own lifestyle for a few minutes… I might have ended with “Damn, damn damn!” in the end, but it was a fun mental journey to take while it lasted ;)
It goes right on up there with the other “dreams” I’ve contemplated over the years:
- When I wanted to live in a hotel
- When I wanted to live on a houseboat
- When I wanted to jump into an RV for a year
I put quotes around “dreams” for now because I’m rarely serious about them, but I tell you this much: those who are embracing these extreme lifestyles sure do seem happy! I know there are just as many – if not more – cons to these paths than our more normal ones, but it’s definitely proof of the many alternatives out there. We just gotta figure out the one we *truly* want ourselves, and then act on it.
I’ll leave you with one last goody from Randy. The man speaks the truth!
“I personally think that the Big News – the news that can revolutionize the world – that can save humanity! – Is that frugality is possible. The good life can be had for peanuts.”
Do check out the documentary if you can… And then come back and share your thoughts with us.
Here are the blogs from some of the people featured if you want to poke around:
Bob Wells @ http://cheaprvliving.com
Randy Vining @ http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com
Josh and Meisha Manwaring @ http://vagabloggers.com
Steven Ballee’ @ http://www.arizonaexplorations.com
Laurie Theodorou @ http://www.youtube.com/user/LoveRise
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!