Start Here

I’m a sometime software engineer who is doing his damnedest to drop out of the rat race and live simply.

Imagine: What would your life look like if you could survive on $200/month? A week’s income would cover a year’s expenses; a year’s income, a lifetime’s. Then what would you do? Every extra dollar would be discretionary gravy. You could lavishly fund your hobbies, investments, vacations, business ventures, or forgo working altogether if you so pleased, perhaps in pursuit of some (artistic?) passion.

This isn’t some idle daydream. It’s a practical possibility. It’s the life that my friend delbel has carved out for himself, and I’m doing the same. He lives on $200/month. I think I can do it cheaper.


Today, 80%+ of my fixed spending is a $500/mo rent payment–a princely sum, to be sure. My first priority has been investigating cheaper alternatives. I’ve written a guide to choosing the best place to buy land for homesteading, investigated rural areas with good internet, and ranked places to buy cheap houses.

My search was initially hampered by the fact that no existing real estate website could filter cheap houses by internet connectivity, so I built a tool to do just that. I put up a sales page for it and already have my first customer. (I can’t believe it, either.)

I’m hopeful that this side hustle–or one like it–will earn enough to cover my expenses altogether, eventually.

II. Ongoing Projects

I’m raising bees.

This is my first season with honeybees. I have three hives going.

Growing hops and hot peppers.

I’ve two varieties of hops and twenty different hot peppers growing. The pepper seeds are from last season’s /r/HotPeppers seed exchange.

Building a still.

I started brewing hard cider last year, which I later learned to freeze into applejack. I then traded the applejack for a keg on Craigslist, and now I’m building a pot still out of that. Once finished I’ll be able to distill whiskey, rum, and brandy.

Catching catfish.

I’ve been iterating on the design of a trot-line tethered between two diddy poles for catching catfish. Experimenting with e.g. treble versus circle hooks. Pro-tip: catfish will eat soap; turtles won’t. L

III. Planned Projects

Investigating the Ozarks.

In my guide to the best place to buy land for homesteading, I highlighted the Ozarks as an especially promising region for the would-be homesteader. The land is cheap–often around $1,000/acre–with a long growing season, plenty of rain, and little regulation. On paper, it’s promising–what’s it like in person? I’m planning a trip to find out.

Buying property at tax auction.


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