At least I try to.
And 5 out of 10 times I don't succeed.
But I also succeed 5 out of 10 times.
So why would anyone even want to live on $5 a day?
So here's the thing...
We live in a world where no matter how much you make or how much you have, there will always be more stuff to buy. More stuff to desire.
But how much do we really need?
I don't know.
Because I don't know you.
But for me, the only thing that really matters is freedom.
Freedom and being able to do the things I want to do.
To go where I want to go without having to ask anyone for permission.
Sure, buying a hell lot of stuff might make you happy.
For a while.
But then that feeling of happiness fades away.
And to get that happiness back you'd have to buy more and more things.
It's a never ending cycle.
For me the only way to break that cycle is to do more of the things I enjoy doing.
Like writing for example.
Or going for a walk at the beach.
And it's hard.
Because there are millions of things that need our attention.
Millions of things to think about.
Millions of things to do.
Things that help us to pay rent.
To pay for food.
To pay the mortgage.
And on and on and on.
And it's easy to get lost in the maze.
It's easy to get lost in the maze of responsibilities and things to worry about.
I get lost at least once a day.
And sometimes I'm stuck in the maze for days. Or weeks. Heck, sometimes I even get stuck in the maze of responsibilities for months and months.
Months and months of checking the box.
Months and months of taking care of my responsibilities.
When all I really want is freedom.
Freedom that allows me to do more of the things I really enjoy doing.
Freedom to go where I want to go.
Freedom to spend time with people I really want to spend time with.
At the end of the day we all want freedom.
That's the only reason why we go to work each and every day.
Because we dream of the promised land.
We dream of freedom.
A time where we will finally be free.
Free to do the things we really want to do.
Free to go where we really want to go.
Free to travel the world.
And explore new things.
Free from worries.
So what does living on $5 a day have to do with any of this?
Nothing and everything...
# EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Once you realize and really understand the fact that you can get by relatively comfortably in almost every country in the world on just $5 a day it changes pretty much everything.
Because no matter where you live in the world (especially when you’re able to read this right here) it's easy to make $5 a day. Everybody can make $5 a day. Again, I'm only talking about people like you and me. People who are able to read stuff like this. On a platform like this. People who have the luxury to be able to spend 5 minutes reading an article like this.
Sure, there are hundreds of millions of people who can't make $5 a day. But if you're lucky and fortunate enough to have access to the resources that allow you to read stuff like this, then it's probably also easy for you to make $5 a day.
Because we all can work shitty jobs for a while. Like flipping burgers. Or cleaning toilets. Or collecting other people's trash. Heck, I even collected other people's trash and made around $8 that day.
And when you realize this, it's like you're invincible. Because no matter what happens, you'll never end up dead on the streets. Because you'd always be able to somehow make those $5 a day. Or $10. Or whatever your number is...
And that's why to me living on $5 a day changes everything. It takes away almost all my fear of failure, my fear of ending up broke and having to live somewhere on the streets and all sorts of other fears.
It makes me feel invincible. And sometimes in life you've gotta feel invincible. Sometimes you've gotta feel like you can't possibly lose.
Sometimes being able to tell yourself that you're invincible will be the only thing that will make you invincible.
Whether that's true doesn't really matter that much....
# BUT WHERE SHOULD YOU LIVE?
Heck, I don’t know. I don’t know you. Or your life situation...
Stay with your friends for a while. Or your parents. Or your uncle. Or live in a tent. Or sleep in your car and work in libraries (that’s what I did for a couple of months) for example.
Why should I do all the thinking for you?
Think! Think! Think...
Just like someone a lot smarter than me once said...
“The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
And it’s true...
Trying to live on $5 a day is incredibly hard.
There are millions of temptations out there.
Millions of things you could buy. Millions of things to eat. Millions of things to drink. And it never really stops.
It's a real challenge to resist all of these temptations. Every single day.
Just yesterday I went to have a burger that ended up doubling my expenses that day.
But that's ok.
Because some days are rough.
Some days many unpleasant things happen.
And then it gets incredibly hard to resist.
But that's ok.
Because tomorrow is another day.
Just like the day after tomorrow is another day.
At the end of the day trying to live on $5 a day helps me with my discipline in everything.
It even helps me with my writing discipline.
Or my writing discipline helps me with my other disciplines.
I don’t really know.
And it doesn’t really matter what influences what.
Because the way you do anything is the way you do everything...
It's hard to figure out when you have enough. Because there's always more stuff you could buy. More things to desire. More things to crave.
Every single day temptations increase.
And desires increase.
But at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is this...
Try to figure out what's enough for you.
Enough of what?
Enough of everything...
Yann Girard: "I stopped giving a shit a long time ago!"
I worked, lived and traveled all over the world with a carry-on backpack with just 3 outfits in it.
The most valuable thing I own is a $300 laptop.
I never had a place of my own.
I never bought any furniture in my life.
And at one point I decided to I write a book about what I've learned.
And today you can get a free copy of it.
Click here to claim your copy now (it's free, for now)...
# BEING CHEAP
This isn't a post about being cheap. This is a post about how to survive, thrive and succeed in a world where no matter how much you succeed you will always feel like you need to achieve more. Like you have to have more. And it never really stops.
A world that’s an amusement park that’s open 24/7 where you can ride rollercoasters all day long until you realize that you didn’t really want to ride rollercoasters in the first place anyway. Heck, you probably don’t even remember how exactly you ended up in that amusement park.
All you know is that you wanted to be free. And now after climbing dozens of ladders you realize that the ladder you’ve been climbing for years and years and years only got you to a place you never really wanted to go.
And now you're sick and dizzy and ran out of energy after riding all those rollercoasters for way too long...
# EAT WHAT YOU KILL
No great things ever happened when you’re comfortable. Whenever we have everything we want we get lazy. And when I say we, I’m really talking about myself.
Because why would you want to change anything? You already have everything you could have asked for, right? No need to change things…
Just leave everything as it is. But guess what. At one point things are going to change. And it’s going to get really, really uncomfortable. Because things change. Times change. And the things that worked yesterday won’t necessarily work anymore tomorrow.
And when you’ve been comfortable for too long, your entire body atrophies. Just like when you sit in front of the TV for too long. Your eyes hurt. Your legs fall asleep. It’s really hard to move or to get up.
And when you’ve been comfortable for years or maybe even decades you won’t know how to take care of yourself anymore. You don’t know how to hunt out there in the wild anymore. Because you’ve been fed by corporations, jobs, the government, bosses, the rangers and pretty much everybody else for way too long.
You don’t know how to hunt out there in the wild anymore. You’re just like a lion in the zoo. Fat and lazy. Not able to hunt anymore...
But you’ve gotta learn how to hunt again. You’ve gotta figure out how to make it out there on your own again. Without anybody else feeding you anymore. Or you’ll starve to death. If you don’t, then the next couple of years won’t be so pleasant anymore.
And the only way to get out there and learn how to hunt again, how to make money on your own and take over responsibility again for your own life instead of outsourcing it to corporations, is to be uncomfortable. You’ve gotta get hungry again.
And for me living on $5 a day does the trick. Maybe it also does for you. Maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know. Just a quick side note just in case you’re worried about my health and safety…
I’m fine. I eat vegetables, fruits and carbs every day. And meat and fish a couple of times a week. So no need to worry about me. I’ll keep writing things for you to read…
So what do you do with all the extra money?
# SAVING MONEY
Here’s the thing…
You can’t save your way to freedom. It just doesn’t work.
The only thing that works is to make more money.
So how do you make more money?
When you’re just getting started invest everything in yourself. Learn new skills. Skills that will turn you into a hunter again. Skills that will help you to survive in the 21st century. You learn the micro sills I’ve talked about repeatedly in the past.
And the only way to learn those skills is by doing. By not just reading about them in books or blog posts.
No, the only way to learn them is to get out there into the wild. To hunt again. Maybe you try to find a job where you can do all of these things. Or maybe you start something on the side.
What matters is that you do. And then by doing these things you will learn new skills. Skills that might help you to build possible new income streams in the future. And those income streams will lead to even more freedom. And then you take those income streams and reinvest them again.
Maybe into learning new skills. Maybe you invest them into other people’s projects. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you don’t put your money into dead assets. Like buying useless things that won’t increase in value over time. Things that have zero chances of increasing in value over time. And most of the things we buy decrease in value over time.
So instead, invest in yourself as much as you can. Invest into learning the skills that will in the mid to long term lead to freedom. Again, here are those micro skills. And just a quick side note…
A job will never lead to freedom. Ever.
A job will always pay you just about enough to get by. Always a little bit more than the year before. And because you’re working a job and essentially trade almost all of your time for money, you want the remaining time of your day to be as pleasant as possible.
So you want your lifestyle to get better and better. Nothing wrong about that. But then you end up spending all of it. Again. And you have to go back onto the treadmill. Again and again.
And you’ll basically end up distributing all of your hard earned money back to the exact same people who employ you and make a profit off your labor. You’ll end up buying their products, services and on and on and on. It’s a never ending circle.
It’s just like the old communist folks said back in the days…
The bourgeois people will always make sure you stay small enough so you'll always depend on them.
But the truth is that communism sucks. And that the 21st century is a time where everybody, no matter where you’re from, can level up. And the way you level up is by buying yourself some time and freedom to learn the things that really matter.
The things that will help you to break free. The things that will help you to thrive and succeed in the 21st century. And the way you learn these things is by investing in yourself and by buying yourself some time and freedom.
Don’t give your hard earned money right back to the folks who gave it to you just a minute ago. And instead put it on the side. Invest it in yourself. Learn new skills. Create things. Sell things.
And that’s how you really create independence and freedom for yourself.
And then you go out there and tell people how you did it.
So even more people can do it.
And that's how you make the world a better place.
So what does any of this have to do with living on $5 a day?
Again. Nothing and everything...
# SPREAD YOUR RISK
At the end of the day all we can really do is to spread our risk. To spread it across different projects, different streams of income and different investments.
Because no one really knows what’s going to happen next. No one knows when the robots and artificial intelligence will replace most of us.
No one really knows. All we can do is to get ready for it. And the way to get ready for anything bad that could happen is to spread your risk. So no matter what happens you have a better chance to survive and thrive.
So how do you spread your risk?
By doing all of the above.
And all of the stuff that's about to follow below.
Here’s the thing…
The worst thing you could do to yourself and your family is to only bet on one thing and one thing only.
Especially when that one thing is something that has worked for a couple of decades. Sure, most of the things that worked in the past still work. And they will keep working. Until they don’t. Things always work. Until they don’t. Until they don’t...
Let’s face it. Life is expensive. And we all have bills to pay. We all have to pay for food. And pay the mortgage. Or for the kids. Or whatever.
So we can’t just disappear. We’ve gotta make money to be able to survive. We can’t just go and live in the woods somewhere. That won’t make anyone’s lives better. It probably won’t even make your own life any better.
Long story short: we all need money. But what we don’t need is to keep trading our time for money. Because the only thing we have in life is time.
I have maybe 50 years left to live. Give or take a few years. And I don’t want to spend my life working until I’m 65 or maybe even 70 for someone so that I might maybe enjoy a couple of years in freedom.
Trading 40-50 years of my life for a small break of 10-15 years in freedom seems like a pretty bad deal to me.
So what can we do?
All we can do is to try. To try all of the above and see what happens. No one knows what’s going to happen. A lot can happen. Maybe magic is going to happen. Or nothing will happen. Everything is possible. And nothing is possible.
And here I am writing this right here and people from the other end of the world I’ve never met and probably will never meet are able to read it.
So sometimes magic does indeed happen...
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]