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Dr. Helen

Could You Live on $15,000 a Year?

February 19th, 2013 - 11:43 am

Captain Capitalism (Aaron Clarey) sent me a copy of his new book Enjoy the Decline and I’ve spent the day reading it. It’s an entertaining read, to say the least, and it has me wondering about some of the strategies that Clarey brings up and if they are worth implementing.

He discusses how the relationship between the state and its citizenry has become parasitic; one chart he mentions shows a full 70% of government spending going to income transfers. “These income transfers are parasitic in nature in that they benefit a specific group of people instead of investments, infrastructure, roads, defense, and other public goods which benefit everyone.” Clarey asks, “..how do you as an individual adapt or change your behavior when your relationship with the state changes from a symbiotic one to that of a parasitical one?”

So what do you do?  You can kill the parasite, not really an option. Another option is to leave the country but not everyone can pack up and go and finally, the third option and the one Clarey discusses most as he feels it is the most optimal is minimalism. “While there is no official definition, minimalism is essentially shrinking your economic production to its absolute minimum.”

So Clarey says that the idea is to work “VERY LITTLE” and still get by.  He states, “If you have no major financial obligations (children, mortgage, etc.) the average person can easily get by on $15,000 per year.  This amount can be earned quite easily by either working full time at some menial job, or part time as independent contractor with some semblance of a skill.”

I do have financial obligations and it would be hard to live on $15,000 a year.   Could you do it? If so, how? Would it be worth it to “Go Galt?”

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All Comments   (10)
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I am married. Wife 2 kids. I make 18,500 a year. I am the sole breadwinner for my family. Even on this meager income I can save and expect to put a nice down payment on a house this year. It can be done.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
The answer is YES. But if you're male and you want to live off 15K a year, just go ahead and plan on ZERO female involvement in your life.

Women are only interested in marrying someone with a significantly larger income than theirs. Period. With women it's strictly materialistic, cold, dead and calculating and you can go ahead cut the 'sweet' act now.

If anyone is still stupid enough after all this time to still believe that 'not all women are like that' - I say "Great!" Because that means there's obviously women you personally know that would just love to marry a man who makes 15,000 a year! Can I get their phone numbers from you?
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I usually spend about $13,000 to $20,000 per year out of my ~$60,000 income (not including dividends from investments).
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I'm curious: Does Helen Smith just not know that lots and lots and lots (did I say lots?) of women just skate by leeching off men or is she willfully ignoring it?

I know that most women in their 20s work, but take a look at what goes on after around 30 or 35 or 40. I see it in my family. I see it in more distant relatives. I see it in friends. I don't see it, obviously, on propaganda like TV shows.

Yes, most women can live quite comfortably if they earn less than $15k a year. Some get more than that in alimony or the portion of child support that really goes to them.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Shouldn't be too hard, my rent+utilities is averaging about a grand, with my roommate paying half. I live 2 miles from work so I don't use that much gas. So $9,000 for my half of the food + my Jack, that's doable. Just drink more at home and less at the bar.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Frankly, the question "could you live on $15,000 a year" is kind of bizarre because it has built in assumptions.

A man could live on that if he lived very tightly or (in the case of a few chasing after richer, older women) for a while until she throws the bum out.

Most women can easily live on that - most do - because they simply leech off men (husbands or boyfriends, casual dates paying for everything etc.).

Once again - what a bizarre question because it doesn't acknowledge this facet of human existence at all. Goes towards the agenda of the original poster, I guess.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Millions of people are doing it already. Most are forced into it by various circumstances. The point is we as a nation, are already moving in this direction. Some by choice, others by economic necessity.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
You can live on far less. The housewife next to me has made roughly $0 per year over decades and has a bigger house and nicer car.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I live in Massachusetts, so that's an iffy proposition at best. Assuming you are debt free, don't need to have a car, and the state takes care of your health insurance (which is mandatory in the People's Republic), then maybe. You would need to live in college style housing, though, to find rent under $1000/month. That would leave you $3000 for food and clothing for the rest of the year. Maybe I should move.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
It's doable. Unless something goes wrong.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
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