course description expands and elaborates this class
as published by the Experimental Educational Community of the Twin
If you would like to be informed of future offerings of this workshop,
go to the website of EXCO and click to put yourself on the e-mailing
If we decide to
live below the poverty level,
HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
How to Save Money On Everything
we can give our lives to important purposes that have no cash value.
Especially when we are young, we worry about 'making
We focus a lot of our time and energy preparing to join the world of
For example, often education
is directed toward occupation.
"Work" could be defined as any activity that would immediately stop
if we were no longer paid:
When the income terminates, so does the work.
If we would continue to pursue those purposes even without pay,
then that behavior is not WORK for us.
If we stop working for pay,
we no longer organize our daily lives around the expectations of other
We are free to give our lives to meanings and goals
that have no immediate economic benefits
—no cash rewards either for ourselves or for
We can decide to give the best hours of our lives to pursuing meaning
rather than merely working in order to survive.
Embracing voluntary poverty might allow us
to create Authentic projects-of-being,
which is explored in another EXCO class:
Becoming More Authentic:
This seminar will be an opportunity to share our
of living on much less than most people think is essential.
Can we be happy earning and spending less than $10,000 per year?
How do you obtain the small amount of money you need
How do you manage to spend so much less than other people?
Can any of your techniques be used by others?
I lived for more than 40 years on less than $2,000
But when I reached the magic age of 65, my income jumped by 350%.
And when I applied for SNAP and MSA at age 71,
I income rose to the poverty level.
And I still have not had to compromise my values in order to survive.
This major jump in income is provided by all you taxpayers:
If you pay federal income tax and/or Minnesota income tax,
you are supporting my frugal life-style.
And I hope you will agree that I am using your money
For example, your support enables me to offer several EXCO classes for
Whenever I hear "No
one can live on social
security," I raise my hand.
I live at the lowest level of social security—called SSI.
I prefer to call it my "guaranteed annual income".
And I would like to see this federal benefit
extended to everyone,
in the form of a reversible income tax:
If your income is less than the poverty level,
various public benefits combined should raise you to that level.
(The federal poverty level for a
single person for
2013 is $11,170.
Larger households have a higher poverty measure:
I now call it
I am able to
live at this
low level of income
because I have no mortgage payments or rent.
(I own a small condo in Minneapolis.)
And Medicare pays for my health care.
But everything else fits easily within this budget.
methods of simple living can be used by anyone.
If you live on less than $10,000 per year
—or would like to cut your
consumption to that level—
come and share your ways of saving money.
This workshop will be just one meeting of two hours.
This should be enough to share ideas for living cheaply.
We will discuss: food, shelter, medical care, travel, entertainment,
and anything else you spend money on.
If you would like to know how I save money on
electricity, for example
(now down to $17 per month), go to:
If you would
like to read some books on simplifying your life,
go to the Simplicity Bibliography:
FACEBOOK PAGE CREATED: SIMPLE
LIVING IN THE TWIN CITIES
The February 2010 meeting of this seminar
led to a suggestion of creating a Facebook Page
on living cheaply in the Twin Cities.
In March 2010 this Facebook Page was created:
"Simple Living in the Twin Cities":
We now have a widely-available way of sharing ideas
on earning and spending less than most people.
Even people who do not attend any of the EXCO
will be able to contribute ideas to the Facebook Page
and to read the suggestions and experiences of other people.
(If you are not yet on Facebook, this is a good
reason to join.
Go to: www.facebook.com.
Enter your preferred e-mail address and your chosen password.
At no cost, you are now a Facebook user.
You can add your picture and other details about you later.
Search Facebook for "Simple Living in the Twin Cities".)
Read the suggestions posted by others
on how to find the resources for living simply in the Twin Cities.
Add your own suggestions, especially if you can provide a website
for the resource or organization you are recommending.
If you have tried one of the suggestions already
please feel free to add your comments about that resource.
Our Facebook Page is also a place to discuss
the philosophy and practice of voluntary poverty:
What are our thoughts, feelings, & experiences
with various kinds of support available?
Which of these public or private benefits do we feel best about?
Of course, such questions can also be discussed in our seminars.
The February 2010 meeting was well attended.
So this workshop will be offered again.
Watch the EXCO website and this course description for details.
This workshop takes two hours.
to be arranged
to be arranged
If you have a ready-made group of people,
this workshop can be hosted by your organization.
Others will be invited to join by means of the EXCO course description.
Minimum 10 Maximum 30
What experience do you bring to this class?
The history of
this seminar has been
that the participants know more
about living cheaply than the facilitator.
But for what it might be worth, here
is my experience:
I have been living cheaply ever since I
retired in 1968
and sold my one and only car.
1968 was also the last year for which I owed any income tax.
Since then I have facilitated about 200 different adult education
Most of these were in the Minnesota Free University.
More information about my career in alternatives adult education:
Additional Facilitator Info:
When I have offered similar presentations before,
they have been well attended.
Lots of people are looking for ways to save money.
I have published my spending for the four years
And here is a suggested list of categories for
Because I have more than enough money for myself
(living at my very low level of consumption),
I have extra money to give away each month.
I have established a charitable program called FRUGAL GIVERS:
I am looking for others who live very cheaply
and who use their time to pursue meaningful purposes.
See if you might qualify for a grant of $100 from Frugal Givers.
December 6, 2008; Revised 2-7-2009; 2-18-2009; 5-24-2009; 6-2-2009;
1-23-2010; 1-27-2010; 2-19-2010; 3-8-2010; 5-24-2010; 2-27-2011;
5-6-2011; 8-16-2012; 3-13-2013