The Price of Independence

Published on Sep 2, 2020

Independence—as in, being able to live life on your own schedule—doesn't have to be expensive. It can be broken down into four phases:

  • Self-mastery: your ability to live on less with fewer material possessions, cultivating material detachment and fortitude. Or as Kipling puts it, being able to "start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss". Knowing thyself knows no limit, but we need to be as self-aware as possible to reach our goals.
    Introspection and seeking a variety of experiences are the way to go, and it probably won't cost you an arm.
  • Mastery: becoming a modern artisan. Seeking beauty with your craft. Owning your work and managing a profitable business that benefits society as a whole. Finding satisfaction and peace in the continuous deliberate practice rather than in the outcome.
    Launching a business and developing the mindset of a constant learner have never been easier and cheaper.
  • Financial Independence: earning enough money to cover your basic needs, benefiting to/from society (insurance, taxes, connectivity, public infrastructures, etc.) while doing what you love.
    You can live on $1000 per month and per person in most places around the globe, so once again it's not an unrealistic objective.
  • Landowner: Owning your own land to grow your own food and reach food self-sufficiency is the only way to make sure you'll always be able to provide to your family, independently of the economic context.
    An acre is often more than enough for a family of four, so it shouldn't take more than $50,000 to buy a piece of land and live in a tiny house.

All things considered, we don't need much money to reach higher levels of independence: we are the main obstacle.