Living under a bridge? :D

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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TopHatFox
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Living under a bridge? :D

Post by TopHatFox »

Joshua Sheets from Radical Personal Finance mentioned something about extreme early retiree people potentially being intimidating to the average person to emulate. He loosely mentioned the example of someone using 3-4k a year living in a vehicle during the winter and under a bridge during the summer/fall/spring.

Sounds like a challenge! I wonder how that'd work. I imagine it wouldn't be too different than camping out like I am now, plus there'd be a "roof" over my head. Biggest concerns would likely be weather, safety from police harassment, and possibly strangers. lol, it'd be an interesting challenge doing this while having a middle level corporate job.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Why would you move out of your car to live under a bridge? Would you sell it and buy another car every winter? That makes no sense.

(Deleted my unnecessary comment about Radical Personal Finance. Internet marketers shouldn't throw stones.)
Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

TopHatFox
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by TopHatFox »

Maybe the best strategy in this case would be to simply live in the vehicle year 'round or live under the bridge year 'round. With winter camping gear and an enduring spirit, it could likely be done!

I've almost listened to all of his podcasts and interviews. I've gained A LOT of value from them, particularly on developing the mind set of a hard working entrepreneur or employee, prioritizing self-education over schooling in myself and children, and of being open to all types of people, from the billionaires to deliberate homeless folk.

chenda
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by chenda »

Maybe just buy or rent a small and cheap piece of land ? Much safer and secure.

JL13
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by JL13 »

Would prefer the following to sleeping under bridge:

1.)Stealth camping with $1,000 of gear (sub zero sleeping bag with hammock)
2.)Sleeping at the office (leave and come back after dinner)
3.)Sleeping in work parking lot in car (probably want the sleeping bag from 1 and the schedule of 2)

You'd have to compare this with the local market and your specific situation. In my case, I've actually run the numbers and it's literally cheaper to have a nice apartment with utilities than it would be to have a truck with camper and a gym membership (for shower). And infinitely more comfortable!

In California, maybe an entirely different story!

vexed87
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by vexed87 »

It could be done as many worse off people (i.e. homeless with 0 income) prove on a daily basis. Why would you want to challenge yourself with living under a bridge in the first place, it seems a bit arbitrary?

Surely there are more productive things to devote your thoughts/efforts to such learning a trade or 100% self sufficiency etc?

Ydobon
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by Ydobon »

Living under a bridge? Are you trolling Zalo? :D

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, this strikes me as a particularly silly idea.

IlliniDave
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by IlliniDave »

I can only comment from my personal perspective. I think it would be awful. There's a reason that as humans progressed as a species one of the first things we did was learn to produce reasonably comfortable shelters. I'm all for thrift, frugality, and even a measure of austerity. But I have my limits. "The edge" for me would be an RV or converted van or something. Even then I don't think I could do it year round. The misery of living under a bridge or full-time in a tent would exceed any misery I've ever encountered going to work.

Ydobon
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by Ydobon »

I think I could manage full-time tent if it was a fairly large, comfortable tent in a scenic location. Not really possible in Scotland as I'd freeze to death at least once a year, but might be fun while it lasted!

JL13
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by JL13 »

Wait, what's uncomfortable about a tent?

chenda
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by chenda »

Also see this post: http://lackingambition.com/?p=423

'Six years ago I dropped out of school in my junior year, bought some land in the middle of the New Mexican desert, and lived in a tent for a year. I borrowed an old truck from a new friend to bring some lumber and canvas out there so I could have a platform and a respectable 10′ x 8′ A-frame tent. I had solar panels to charge my laptop and some LED’s. I had cheap cellular internet. I had bottles and bottles of homemade wine, a (as you can see) cheap digital camera, a pile of books, my motorcycle, and a lot of sleep to catch up on.'

jacob
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by jacob »

@J_L13 - Sustained rain!---of the freezing kind.

I spend a few days in Edinburgh in March once hanging out at the physics department giving a talk. Froze my ass off. The cold goes straight to the bone.

IlliniDave
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by IlliniDave »

J_L13 wrote:Wait, what's uncomfortable about a tent?
Winter, in the places I choose to live. And as much as I hate to admit it, the ground seems to get harder and colder the older I get. If I'm going to go to the point of making a tent into essentially a nylon-sheathed cabin, it just makes too much sense to simply do the smart thing and use wood to make it a cabin.

I do intend to make frequent use of tents, but only on occasions where my stays are of a transient nature and the portability makes it the best shelter option.

My perspective on this may be slanted by a couple things. I'm close enough to the end of the road where I'm looking at more permanent solutions, rather than interim measures. And as much as I look forward to ER, I really don't mind having a job (especially the job I worked myself into which is an efficient font of money). Nothing compels me to go to extremes. I'm of an age that I have a pretty good understanding of what works for me and enough patience to ensure a high probability that I get it. I don't have any interest in being on the cutting edge of "extreme" (a noble goal, just not mine).

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Ego
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by Ego »

IlliniDave wrote:The misery of living under a bridge or full-time in a tent would exceed any misery I've ever encountered going to work.
This reminds me of the story of the longtime homeless woman who finally got a bed in a shelter but found that she was uncomfortable on the mattress and had to sleep on the cement floor beneath the bed because she had become accustomed to sleeping on a hard, cold surface.

Similar to your excellent post in the venn diagram thread.
viewtopic.php?p=100280#p100280
IlliniDave wrote: I learned to enjoy my work rather than try to get someone to pay me to enjoy myself. I see enjoyment as something I carry with me rather than something I find only here or there. I suppose it is sort of a Zen thing. The easiest way to be unhappy is to spend your time wishing you were somewhere else doing something different. Without really understanding what I was doing I learned how to both interlace my overarching life goals with the present, and to accept the present in that context and make to best of each immediate circumstance.

IlliniDave
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by IlliniDave »

Ego wrote:
IlliniDave wrote:The misery of living under a bridge or full-time in a tent would exceed any misery I've ever encountered going to work.
This reminds me of the story of the longtime homeless woman who finally got a bed in a shelter but found that she was uncomfortable on the mattress and had to sleep on the cement floor beneath the bed because she had become accustomed to sleeping on a hard, cold surface.
That's a great point, Ego. I suppose it is largely a matter of what a person has come to see as "normal". There are also many accounts of how uncomfortable many members of the western native tribes were when forced to adopt stationary "European"-style housing in the late nineteenth century.

Alas I've been raised as a soft, pampered product of capitalistic affluence.

Regarding my prior post, there's truth in that too. I suppose I would have to revert to that mindset if I ever find myself without an option to get out from under the bridge, but within that perspective making the most of the present circumstance allows for improving your situation when you readily can. As long as a roof and a bed are an option I'll probably take the easy way out and pursue them.

It's an individual thing in the end. I certainly don't object to someone sheltering under a bridge if that's where they prefer to be.

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Ego
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by Ego »

IlliniDave wrote: Alas I've been raised as a soft, pampered product of capitalistic affluence.
Me too. It is amazing how much of the pain & pleasure we experience is the result of our upbringing and culture. I often find myself envying people like Zalo who are able to span two cultures and see beyond the borders of both. IMO it's a big reason why immigrants do so well. They can simultaneously see through the eyes of an insider and outsider, and can choose the perspective most useful to them at that moment.

RealPerson
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by RealPerson »

Great conversation! I would not have predicted that, based on the title. Zalo comes up with some really interesting topics to discuss.

Anyway, what I get out of this is that we all live in our own Plato's Cave. The only way out is asking uncommon questions. Even seemingly silly ones. I don't care much for Tony Robbins, but he made an interesting observation that resonates well here. He said that "the quality of your life is to a great extent determined by the quality of the questions you ask. Ask great questions and you'll have a great life". How true and how applicable here.

JL13
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by JL13 »

These kind of decisions don't really happen in a vacuum.

This can't be solely to save on housing costs to FIRE more quickly. Rent in most places can be earned working a couple nights at a second job at minimum wage. So if you're already planted in one location due to the FT job, (and I guess you're planted near the bridge also), you can probably handle the commitment of weekend work at Starbucks also :P

Staying under a bridge, in a tent, in a car would have to be related to something else you're already doing:

Tent: Cycling the great divide, climbing a mountain, bonaroo...
Car: Overnight trip to grand canyon from Las Vegas
Bridge: Week long vacation in Hawaii? Or Southern CA?

As a transient solution it makes sense. I don't see how, if you were confined to a specific area, that there would be a benefit to staying under a bridge long term.

Jean
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Re: Living under a bridge? :D

Post by Jean »

I slept in a tent for a few months while working a bit too far from home.
I was going back home every week end.
Problem is not sleeping, it's keeping your stuff safe.

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