~ajroach42.com

I'm Andrew. I write about the past and future of tech, music, media, culture, art, and activism. This is my blog.

Life and Work in 2018

Posted: December 19, 2017

I’m moving! We’re still working out the exact details on when and where, but it’s pretty certain that it’s going to happen sometime in 2018! This is exciting! But it’s also pretty scary. Over the last few days I’ve talked through a lot of our plans for the future over on Mastodon and here I’d like to summarize the key points and takeaways from that discussion.

Personal:

  • I’m moving to Georgia
  • We’ll be living in a sub 600 sqft home, on ~1.5 acres of land
  • Our expenses will be reduced dramatically, which means that if we can keep something close to our current income levels, we can pay this place off quickly.
  • With that, we’re on track to be debt free with very low monthly expenses in 5-7 years.

Expense reduction:

Tiny House

  • lower mortgage (less than half of our current rent), and we’ll pay it off quickly,
  • less to heat/cool,
  • less room to put things means we’re less likely to buy things we don’t need

solar power.

  • We are currently exploring options for generating our own power and living off grid. This will save us money.

Hydroponics.

  • We are currently exploring options for growing our own food, so that we spend less money on food.

Remote work

  • If at all possible, I’m trying not to commute. This will save us money on gas and car expenses

Cooking

  • If we are living where we are currently considering, there will not be many restaurants (other than a fast food joint or two) within reasonable driving distance.
  • This means that we will neccisarilly be cooking our own food more often.
  • Combine this with recepies selected for cost effectiveness, the food we grow, and some basic meal-prep, and we’re left with a serious reduction in our biggest variable expense.

Meal sharing

  • Probably not right off the bat, but eventually, I’d love to get set up with a local community of like minded people, through which we can do some meal sharing.
  • Basically, we take turns making Big meals for the community, packaging them up and delivering them arround.
  • Most of the time and expense in making an item is in the first serving, the cost per serving goes down with each serving you add (up to a point.) Economies of scale and all that.
  • Plus, you don’t always have time to cook, but getting on a rotation within your community can mitigate that.

Of course, I am very interested in new ideas or strategies for expense reduction.

  • How can we decrease our economic footprint?
  • What has worked for you?
  • What hasn’t?

Tech:

  • Looking at getting a cellular modem from the Calyx Institute.
  • Considering setting up an Office in a “temporary” structure (ie one that does not require a building permit) using the SolarHome 620 for lights and power.
  • This, and any other, temporary buildings we set up on site will have a wireless connection back to our home network.
  • I’m exploring options for (very) low power PCs built around tech like the Raspberry Pi 0W, and eInk or unlit LCD screens. Very little of what I do requires high powered computers, and embracing this will further reduce our expenses

Revenue generation:

I may not be able to keep my job after we move, and I won’t know until we are closer to our move date, so I am looking at alternate methods of revenue generation, in the event that I need to rely on a backup plan. This is the area I’ve talked about the most, and the area that I am the least certain about.

Ideally, I will come up with multiple avenues for revenue generation, rather than just a single job. This would make me feel less dependent on any specific revenue stream, which is freeing.

I am currently considering:

  • part-time remote work with a DC, Atlanta, or Chatanooga based tech company
  • teaching basic tech literacy clases in cooperation with a community or senior center
  • Specifically, teaching old people how to send emails and use wikipedia.
  • Teaching anyone how to build and host websites
  • intro to programming
  • Basic robotics
  • Pop-up arcade/LAN parties (in conjuction with local businesses and events.)
  • Movie screenings from my PD collection
  • Audio-engineering for local musicians
  • Custom/bespoke computers and electronics (including retrofitting vintage radios with BT/Wifi)
  • Basic web development (quick and dirty, templates + SSG + plug and chug)
  • Patreon – get on a regular release schedule for Podcasts, serialized fiction, computer games, magazines, etc. and offer these things as patreon rewards
  • Some kind of project ops consulting, or something, IDEK.

But, of course, none of these things is particularly reliable, and several of them (specifically “part-time remote work”) are far to vague to actually be useful. Also, most of those things are centered around the near/mid future, the next 5-7 years durring which we are paying off our new home and generally reducing our expenses and saving as much money as possible. Our ideas of revenue generation/requirements will change dramatically in the interviening time, so this is a topic I expect to revist often.

There’s still a lot of work to do in terms of solidifying my ideas on revenue generation, and turning them in to actionable items, so I expect I’ll keep talking about this as time goes on.

Specifically, look out for more conversation around Revenue Generation, Low-Power/Solarpunk Tech, and details on off-grid living as they develop. I may eventually spin that content off in to it’s own blog. Let’s see how it goes.

Aynway, thanks for reading. Join in the coversation on Mastodon, and let me know what you think, what’s worked for you, and in exactly what ways I’m oversimplifying things.

Until next time,


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