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Reader Story: How I Built My Own House — Without a Mortgage

Ian's parcel of land

Modified on May 23rd, 2011

This guest post from Ian is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. It’s the extended version of the story he shared in his prize-winning entry to this year’s GRS video contest . Some reader stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes.

It dawned on me in college, having experienced several different summer jobs, that I really didn’t like being employed. Sure, the money is nice — but it’s just no fun at all to spend your days working to reach some boss’s plans or goals. I’m sure

there are some folks out there who find a 9-to-5 job fulfilling, but that sure ain’t me. There’s too much fascinating stuff out there to learn and do to spend 40 years in a cubicle. The mere thought makes me shudder, and I wanted nothing to do with a career.

Most of the financial advice out there is geared towards building up a big account to retire on. I figured that I would enjoy taking a different route — reducing the total income I needed to live on. With a significant reduction in expenses, it becomes feasible to live very comfortably on a part-time income, or even just income from hobbies. How do you reduce your expenses that much? Live off the grid.

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