Goats & Living on $1000 a Month


After comments made recently, I think some people (even people who are relatively close to us) are under the misconception that we live in a caravan because we’re desperate and have no other option.  To be fair, we often look like we’re desperately poor but that has a lot more to do with a lack of fashion sense than our financial affairs.

To set the record straight: we have made a conscious decision to live well below our means, and our means may not be much but living below them really isn’t a struggle.  And the equation is pretty simple: the less you spend the less you have to earn, the less you have to earn the less you have to work.

Slowly, over the past couple of years we have been cutting out unnecessary expenses, a part of this has involved growing more of our own food and making more of our own stuff.  This hasn’t been a painful process in any way, and we haven’t felt we have denied ourselves of anything we’ve really wanted.  In fact, growing vegetables, building thunder boxes and making cosmetics from raw ingredients (including our own beeswax) has been a hell of a lot of fun and extremely satisfying.


We enjoy living like this!  We want to continue along this path: reduce our consumption and increase our production wherever possible without feeling deprived.  Talking about this recently we’ve set a couple of goals for this year:

  1. Get goats:  One of our biggest food expenses at the moment is dairy, so being able to produce our own would be a big step in the right direction (we realise that any livestock costs money to keep, but if you’d seen Rohan skulling a litre of milk after training you’d understand that a herd of goats is going to be the cheaper option in the long run).  Of course, this also means we get to personally look out for the welfare of our dairy producing animals and control the quality of our dairy products.  It also means a lot less waste in terms of packaging.  Plus goats are awesome and they will mow our grass for us.
  2. Live on $1000 per month:  We don’t really keep tabs on what we spend but we think setting a goal will, at the very least, give us a good idea of what we do actually need and no doubt make us more mindful of how we spend money.  We will start this challenge at the beginning of March and go to the end of the year if possible.  If we found living on $1000 per month was doable that would be pretty exciting – we’d only need to earn about $125 a week each!

If anyone would like to join us with the monthly spend challenge (or even the getting of goats) that would be wonderful – please post in comments!  Of course, $1000 isn’t going to be a viable option for everyone (we have no rent, no utilities and no kids so we’ve got a bit of a head start), so you choose your monthly limit.