Living a non-traditional life can lead to a lifetime of adventure. Not only will you be able live as you wish but often it will lead to keeping more money in your bank account.

The dream of a traditional home with a white picket fence is not as desired as it used to be. People of all ages are finding that enjoyment is not in a big house with the weight of a mortgage… but rather in things like their experiences instead. A portion of the younger generation is burdened with student debt and either can’t afford the lifestyle of “the Jones” or they simply don’t want a 30-year obligation. Those in their 40’s and 50’s are realizing that the traditional retirement age is still a long time away. For many it’s not the fact that they can’t afford that the house but living with less allows them to do more.

With the popularity of YouTube, you can find videos of people of all ages living all sorts of different ways. Whether it’s building a home out of shipping containers, living off-grid, going full-time in your RV or moving to a foreign country more and more people are finding unique ways to live.

It’s not about the right way or wrong way to live. It really boils down to your needs, wants and interests. I lived that white picket fence lifestyle in my late 20’s and into my 30’s and none of it made me happy.  I’ve always been intrigued with people who bucked the trend and lived in a way that society overall sees as different, often wrong.  I began to envy the happiness and enjoyment I saw in people who lived outside societal norms.  So, I began my own journey in discovering how I can cut expenses.  The mortgage and vehicles were the first to go. Now I am focusing on learning the most I can about different housing options to determine what will bring me happiness and enjoyment.

For less than $100,000 you can build a home out of shipping containers or a small off-grid cabin.  It’s easy to learn how people are doing that on much less than that just by clicking on YouTube.  This could mean a mortgage that you can pay off in 5-7 years or using equity from a house you already have and have no loan at all.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled up to the sheds at The Home Depot and thought to myself “I could live in one of those.”  I’m not cheap by any means but paying a 30-year mortgage seemed to me like dragging around a ball and chain.  Full-time RVing might cost you $2500 a month for a couple.  This is less than the upkeep of a home that is more than you need.  Moving to a foreign country can also dramatically reduce your living expenses. These are just a few options.

A huge change in lifestyle for some can be intimidating. That’s one of the wonders of the internet. You can hear directly from people who have already made the leap. You can learn from their mistakes and choose to follow what they did right.

One quote that has stuck with me since I first watched “Band of Brothers” is “I would live this war one day at a time, and I promised myself that if I survived, I would find a small farm somewhere in the Pennsylvania countryside and spend the remainder of my life in quiet and peace.” I am now looking for that quiet piece of land. The next decision I need to make is am I going to have a small cabin, a house made from storage containers or a converted shed. The money I will save living simply will allow me to spend time in Mexico or any other country I want to explore.

How you live your life is up to you. Selling everything and taking off in your RV full-time will get your friends and family talking. Some will be jealous. Some will be confused. Some just won’t get it at all. That’s okay, give them something to talk about. It’s your life.

Some people will judge you when you decide to live a non-traditional lifestyle. But who cares? Others will envy you. Living debt free, enjoying your life and taking off the financial pressure of a mortgage can be huge. Let your friends continue their rat race while you find a way to live on less.

It’s said, “Home is where your heart is.” Your home might be rolling down the road in your RV or tucked away back in the woods. This way of thinking is not for everyone but if you’re ready to retire earlier and design your life, then open up your mind to the possibilities.

Live free my friends,
Eric Gaddy