It may be thirty years old, but Dolly Freed’s book offers some great insights into living without almost any money at all.
It may be thirty years old, but Dolly Freed’s book Possum Living offers some great insights into living without an income off almost no money at all. Detailing the five-year period Dawn Freed – then eighteen, and her father lived off their half-acre plot of land in suburban Pennsylvania; the pair spent a mere US$1500 a year, earned performing odd jobs around the neighbourhood. Choosing instead to grow their own produce and hunt or raise their own meat, Dolly believes that a respectable middle-class lifestyle is attainable without the hard work;
Why is it that people assume one must be a hippie, or live in some dreary wilderness, or be a folksy, hard-working, back-to-nature soybean-and-yogurt freak in order to largely bypass the money economy? My father and I have a house on a half-acre lot 40 miles north of Philadelphia, Pa. (hardly a pioneer homestead), maintain a middle-class facade, and live well without a job or regular income—and without working hard, either.
Whilst this lifestyle may be not be for everyone, it is a good reality check for all of us in the post-global-economic-crisis world.
With only a seventh-grade education, Freed published Possum Living and went on to educate herself at the public library, pay her way through college and become an aerospace engineer at NASA. Dawn now lives with her family in Texas.
Watch a day in Dawn’s life below.