L. Kevin and Donna Philippe-Johnson talk about their story here: http://earthstar.newlibertyvillage.com/thinkingsmall.htm
They downsized from an annual income of $42,000 to $6,500 by means of their voluntary creative simplicity.
Here’s an outline:
1. They were a middle class American couple who had an income of $42,000 a year in the 80’s but got sick of dealing with frequent layoffs and the instability of being unemployed and then employed off and on.
2. They decided to drastically cut expenses by moving to the country where they also met plenty of like-minded people.
3. Kevin and Donna decided to shake loose from the things holding them down and paid off all of their debt, cancelled credit cards, and followed an efficient financial plan to track every penny.
4. This led them to be able to save a little bit of money, so they decided that the next thing to do would be to change their eating habits to stay strong and healthy. They broke away from fast-food, pre-packed food and even prescription medicine to eating organic whole grains, fruits, vegetables and more.
5. They set up a special savings account for emergency first-aid treatment so that they could stop paying health insurance premiums.
6. Of course, the cell phone, cable television and internet bills were the next thing to go.
7. Eventually they began their “simple life” when they set up a dome tent to live in. They “happily lived in [their] tent that summer while clearing the land and constructing a rustic 10’ by 12’ room with a sleeping loft” on a pay-as-you-go plan.
8. The couple then build an underground cistern for collecting rainwater and finally, a 500 square foot cabin. Kevin took drafting, dish washing, courier, and other jobs to pay for the little cabin.
9. Kevin and Donna spent the next few years working towards their goals, building things, growing crops, spending quality time with one another and “replaced all of the costly false values that had occupied [their]time before”
10. In the end, the couple felt independent and truly self-reliant. Surprisingly enough, Kevin realized that the only thing he truly loved to do was to bake his own whole-grain sourdough bread to give away to his friends and family. He then came to the conclusion that he should stay at home and bake bread to sell to their neighbors. This provided for him and his wife. He also wrote this story to tell others that “little things” like baking bread for a neighborhood can be financially supportive and can make some people happier.