Freedom Starts at HOME

By the time you realize you can take responsibility for your own life and that you want to take responsibility for your own life, the people who have been used to being able to use your life for their purposes already have you locked up tight.

There’s this especially insidious lie that tells people they ought to spend 50% or more of their income on housing if they want to be happy.

And that’s just stupid.

I’m building a house for under $10,000, which weighs less than 5,000 lbs, so you don’t even need a special vehicle to tow it. It’s open. It’s accessible.

And you can too.

Stop letting other people call the shots. Come along with me on this journey toward freedom.

Bring your freedom home.

 

The House

Under 5,000 lbs. Under $10,000. No loft. Huge windows. Heck, it even collects its own water.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Thanks to some very determined research and engineering, The Freedom Link is all about building smarter, not harder.

This home was designed with New Hampshire in mind, from the few hot summer days to the cold winter nights.

The floor plan was heavily inspired by Ana White’s amazingly clever Open Concept Rustic Tiny House. I adapted it to a smaller frame and altered some of the components, but how could I see this and not be inspired??

As for the framing, the idea to use post-and-beam structure and Optimum Value Engineering to save significant weight and cost came from Peter Matheson’s description of his house over at Tiny House Talk.

I think it’s possible I’ve never had a truly original thought in my entire life. I just love exposing myself to new ideas and have a mind that can’t stop trying to fit them together in creative ways.

Combining these two ideas, I designed a beautiful, open, efficient house, for a fraction of the cost and weight of other houses.

I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine!

Who Is Link?

Well me. I am. Obviously.

At the time of this writing, I’m 31 years old, living in southern New Hampshire, having moved here 15 months ago with the Free State Project to try to get the government out of people’s ways so they can live their lives and interact with each other voluntarily, working remotely for a cryptocurrency startup in San Francisco.

I like people who think for themselves, Doctor Who, Jesuits, learning new things, disruptive technology, and Orson Scott Card’s fiction. I dislike governments, the idea that positions or traditions deserve respect for no reason beyond their existence, humidity, confined spaces, and people who can’t take a joke.

I’m VERY bad at thinking inside boxes. Often, I can’t even find the box.

But now that I’ve finished sharing my online dating profile, what does being me have to do with building a tiny house?

Freedom and authenticity are my highest personal values, because I think the uniqueness of each human person is the most valuable and interesting thing in the world.

And I hate–fucking HATE–the lies and lives people live that hold them back from living a life that means something and that matters to them and the world.

Building a tiny house, sharing that journey, and helping other people do the same is one of the ways I hope to fight back against that.

Actually, in the long run, there’s a good chance this blog won’t only be about building the tiny house. I don’t really want it to be.

See, the house is called “The Freedom Link,” sure, but I’m also “The Freedom Link.” I’m not only “the Link who’s all about freedom,” but also, “Your link to freedom.” It’s fun having a name that’s a noun (and a verb!).

My goal in my life is to help people find freedom on all fronts, and I’m sharing the process of getting there in the ways I’m pursuing it.

Right now, I’m focused on stabilizing my housing situation in such a way that my overhead gets extremely low. That might be easier for me than most people. Some people actually like stuff. Collectibles and fancy things and having more than one of something makes them happy. OK. Cool. This ultra-minimalism part of my journey and story might not be for them.

But the parts where I’ll talk about saving and investing and finding job freedom? Or cutting out relationships with people who don’t help you grow? Or improving your physical health so that you can accomplish whatever it is you do want more easily? Maybe those are right up their alleys.

I think the key to freedom is ruthlessly cutting out things from your life that aren’t important to you so that you can focus all your attention, effort, and passion, on the things that make you come alive.

Another example: Some people love traveling. They live for it. They feel their lives would be dramatically worse if they weren’t able to travel the world and explore different cultures and places.

I can’t stand traveling. I feel like a spectator rather than an agent, an observer rather than a part of something. So while some people invest lots of time and energy into travel hacking to make sure they can afford to travel as much as they want, I come up with excuses not to leave home. I don’t think any less of people who love traveling; I just don’t spend as much time with them.

I’m going to be sharing the things I do that free me, that make me come alive, that allow me to thrive. Right now, that’s starting with building a very small house. Take from them what suits you, what you think will help improve your life. Ignore everything else completely. If you see something you think I could improve, please let me know! Would love to be in touch with you.

How to Save 28% On Practically Everything

I’d never be able to build this house for under $10,000 were it not for two of my favorite companies:

Coinbase* and Purse

(Yes, those are affiliate links. If you use them to sign up, you’ll get $10 from Coinbase and $5 from Purse after your first $100 in purchases–and so will I!)

In a nutshell, Coinbase is the easiest way I know of to buy Bitcoin, and Purse lets you save up to 33% on everything you can buy on Amazon–including gift cards from Visa and Lowe’s by paying for things with Bitcoin.

I don’t normally go for the full 33% discount, because as Purse gets more popular, more competition means lower discounts, so I’ve gone with 23% in my calculations. That’s the rate I’ve found that gets most of my orders filled within a week.

Lowe’s and Home Depot also offer 10% off for all military veterans, up to $500 off.

So here’s my process:

  1. Buy Bitcoin on Coinbase.
  2. Create Amazon wishlist for the item I want, like a $200 Lowe’s gift card.
  3. Import wishlist into Purse.
  4. Set Purse discount to 23%.
  5. Pay $160 for Lowe’s gift card (after Purse fees).
  6. Buy $222.22 of supplies at Lowe’s with 10% discount by going with a friend who’s a veteran.
  7. Pay with $200 Lowe’s gift card.

$222.22 of materials for only $160! That’s 28% off the total price!

Since I’m a mathemagician (and a geek), I’ll go ahead and do the math:

You can buy $13,888.89 of stuff for $10,000 that way.

 

And frankly, you really, really should!

 

*Full disclosure: I work for Coinbase. And I think we’re awesome.