Living Frugally in an Affordable City

A few days ago we visited the home of a woman who works at our doctor’s office.

She and husband live frugally in a simple but incredibly spacious house located in Garland, Tx.

Their housing cost are far lower than ours even though we were thrilled at how inexpensive housing was when we first moved here.

She is an extreme couponer and they supplement their wages by doing swap meets.  They also have chickens and garden.  Beyond living frugally they are trying to live in a way that is earth friendly by lowering their levels of consumption, recycling, repurposing, reusing.

I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as Los Angeles.  I lived on Long Island for a year.  While I never lived in New York City it is similar enough to places I have lived for me to know that living in such a place is a form of voluntary slavery with highly dubious benefits.

I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  We have decent museums, great restaurants, a thriving live music scene, all sorts of professional sports teams, numerous universities and are centrally located for travel through out the USA.

We also have affordable housing.  Not just for rent but to purchase for less than one pays in rent in LA, SF, NYC and according to an article Portland.

Today I read an article on Tree Hugger Little apartments cause big row in Portland about “micro apartments.”  Apartment measuring between 130 and 300 square feet.  Now I know it is possible to live in a small space, my last apartment in LA was probably somewhere between 300 and 340 square feet, but they described these apartments as being low cost at under $1000 per month.

I don’t know about these folks but a thousand dollars per month is quite a bit of money and one could be buying a house in a number of Dallas suburbs for that.  Further one would have space to garden and have hobbies.

What Price Hipness?

Now I’ll admit Garland and Mesquite Texas lack the cachet of San Francisco or Greenwich Village but there is something to be said for not having to pay so much for rent.

Austin, Texas is just about as hip a place as you will find anywhere and yes there is affordable housing in the Austin area.

And there are lots of musicians.

I sometimes think people gravitate to certain places because they have historically been hip.  Now in NYC all those places that were formerly bohemian are now filled with Wall Street Bankers.

It’s hard to be hip when life is a total grind.  It is hard to be earth friendly when your life is driven by consuming. It is hard to enjoy life when you are rent poor and paying a bunch of interest on student loans, credit cards and keeping up the image required by those hip meccas.

Having time to have a life while earning enough to live well frugally is a much more earth friendly way to go.

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