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How a Programmer Gets By On $16K/Yr: He Moves to Malaysia

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the wouldn't-be-for-everyone dept.

The Almighty Buck 523

An anonymous reader writes "If you can make $10 and hour doing remote work, you can afford to live in Malysia. Make it $15 or $20, you can work 30 hours a week. Real money? Make it ten. This article talks about how John Hunter did it." Malaysia's not the only destination for self-motivated ex-pat programmers, of course. If you've considered doing this kind of sabbatical, or actually have, please explain in the comments the from-where-to-where details and reasons.

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30 hours per week? (4, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207707)

Who the hell works more than 30 hours per week anyway?

Re:30 hours per week? (5, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207735)

Menials and the uneducated.
*Rich guy laugh*

Re:30 hours per week? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207781)

Or people who work for Electronic Arts.

Re:30 hours per week? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207967)

ha- are we taking smart or educated? My experience is they are not one in the same. Smart people can't be educated. They can learn. Stupid people can be educated.

Re:30 hours per week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208039)

Many people fall somewhere in between.

Re:30 hours per week? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208041)

It's "one and the same"!
You're a pal and a cosmonaut.

Re:30 hours per week? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207951)

I know it was a joke, but generally I would find the opposite is true. highly educated and rich tend to actually work far beyond normal working hours. If I worked only 30 hours a week it means I was very sick or took a few days holiday. I would expect the average working week for most people I work with (all highly paid and highly educated) would be a minimum of 50+ hours. most probably higher.

Re:30 hours per week? (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208183)

That's those who hope to make it rich. Those who actually are rich AND smart delegate and "work" by browsing the internet or go golfing to "foster customer relations". Which can sometimes be hard work, but most of the time amounts to similar effort as average man's leisure. Of course, they often get the extra stress of "I have a lot, how do I not lose it" so their position is not necessarily an enviable one.

Can't blame them for it either, that's what I would do in their position.

Re:30 hours per week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208239)

There are certainly those that operate how you describe. But I also work with the opposite, e.g. the person in the office next to me, he owns 13 investment properties, has a huge share portfolio and would be worth somewhere in the vacinity of 10-15 million. He also works a minimum of 50 hours a week, partly because he enjoys he work and partly because that is always how he has operated and gotten to where he is now. I also easily pass the 50 hours a week mark and while I am not anywhere near the wealth of my colleague, only 2-3 mill, I am certainly comfortable. I think the thing is once you get to that level you already have a certain work ethic and also you are pretty good and knowing what you want when you retire (I am still well short of where I need to be for my comfortable retirement).

Re:30 hours per week? (5, Insightful)

serialband (447336) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207757)

People who do physical labor will work that much. Some people with 2 jobs work more.

Re:30 hours per week? (1, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207815)

My job is split about 50/50 between sitting in front of a computer designing complicated radio systems, and the manual labour involved in hauling all the kit up to the roofs of very tall buildings and putting it together. It's still only about 30 hours a week.

Re:30 hours per week? (2)

serialband (447336) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207927)

You're not doing the kind of manual labor I was refering to. The type of jobs I refer to regularly top 35 hours a week for a measly hourly wage. Some of these people work 2nd jobs to make ends meet.

If you work at a computer, you're working a desk job, which in your case is half the time, which means you have access to a way to look busy without doing much work. (slashdot.)

Re:30 hours per week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208191)

Most I know work 2 jobs and clsoe to 50.

Terrible lifestyle

Re:30 hours per week? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207775)

2nd post!

Re:30 hours per week? (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207801)

Entrepreneurs!

Re:30 hours per week? (4, Insightful)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208225)

Entrepreneurs never stop working, off hours, weekends, holidays, those are just words, they don't mean anything when you run a business.

Re:30 hours per week? (2)

isorox (205688) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207825)

Who the hell works more than 30 hours per week anyway?

Depends. Does "work time" include "slashdot time"?

Re:30 hours per week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207903)

Of course not. He said 30 HOURS per week, not 30 seconds.

Re:30 hours per week? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208091)

When I had a job in industrial manufacturing before attending college, I would regularly work up to 100 hours a week.

Of course, I was a teenager fresh out of high school, enjoying the 18/hr straight time + time-and-a-half for overtime + double time for holidays.

Damn, but those were some bitchin' summers!

Re:30 hours per week? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208101)

These days... Well, I'm here for 40 hours, what more do you fuckers want from me? Actual productivity?

Meh, I'll leave that for the newbs who still have some ambition left to beat out of them.

Re:30 hours per week? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208161)

For the record, I'm head IT manager at a small-ish company (100 ppl, 6 servers, 40 desktops) for 25 hours a week for 19k/yr with no benefits in the US and the rest of the day I operate my own retail and computer repair store. It's quite awesome and I tend to catch less exotic diseases here than in Malaysia.

Re:30 hours per week? (4, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208299)

Your problem is you don't know what you are worth. I expect you're living in a small town and the employer thinks you have few options. However, they also have few options.

All you need is to reduce your desperation level and all the power in that relationship comes to you. Get another contract or two. Make the effort. Offer rates similar to the one your giving now if you have to. Then let them stew, just turn down their change and let entropy take over. They will be back, on their knees. You should be charging them $50/hour or more.

No article linked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207717)

Fail

The Job? Slashdot Editor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207859)

This guy is Samzpenus.

What article (2)

serialband (447336) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207727)

I don't see a link for an article.

Re:What article (2)

swanzilla (1458281) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207807)

Knock yourself out. [techtarget.com]

Re:What article (0)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207933)

You must be new here.

Re:What article (0)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207991)

I don't see a link for an article.

Does Timothy get paid?

If you can make $10 and hour

I know I only have a public school education, but I'm pretty sure it's: an hour. $10 an hour. Which is about $11 more an hour that I'd ever pay him to be an editor.

Re:What article (5, Informative)

ph1ll (587130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208111)

... and I can't find a country called Malysia (please note, editors: it's Malaysia).

I know Malaysia well (even though I live in the UK). I first went there in '97 and married a Malaysian-born woman. Some observations:

  • They really like and respect white people.
  • They don't particularly like Chinese people (my wife is half Chinese so I see rampant discrimination against this large minority - about 25% of Malaysia's population - all the time).
  • The weather is great (although sometimes a little too humid).
  • Kuala Lumpur is a very advanced city that can compare to anything in the West.
  • Broadband speeds are so-so according to my cousin-in-law.
  • There appears to be a demand for good engineers (according to another cousin-in-law, a Chinese who studied IT in England). So, assuming you can get a visa, getting some interesting work shouldn't be too hard.
  • The political situation there is... interesting. But I get the impression that if you don't cause trouble you will be left alone - especially if you are white.

HTH

Re:What article (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208243)

I know Malaysia well (even though I live in the UK). I first went there in '97 and married a Malaysian-born woman. Some observations:
  They really like and respect white people.
They don't particularly like Chinese people (my wife is half Chinese so I see rampant discrimination against this large minority - about 25% of Malaysia's population - all the time).
The weather is great (although sometimes a little too humid).
Kuala Lumpur is a very advanced city that can compare to anything in the West.
Broadband speeds are so-so according to my cousin-in-law.
There appears to be a demand for good engineers (according to another cousin-in-law, a Chinese who studied IT in England). So, assuming you can get a visa, getting some interesting work shouldn't be too hard.
The political situation there is... interesting. But I get the impression that if you don't cause trouble you will be left alone - especially if you are white.

HTH

The reason is that after the war or so, the first people to start running businesses and such were Chinese (most likely chased out from Singapore by the Japanese), and they got very rich doing so.

The government exploits the fact that a lot of Malaysians are jealous of the Chinese for being successful (which happens because they worked hard at building businesses and such) , so they put up huge campaigns of national identity and such to encourage hatred of the Chinese. However, they government doesn't really do anything about it (they can't - said Chinese businesses pay a good amount of tax and employ a lot of Malays). So basically the Chinese are demonized for being successful and "exploiting" Malays

If you're white, you're usually a tourist or an investor, so you're treated well to get at your $$$. If you're a Chinese investor with $$$, everyone eyes you like you're going to enslave them.

The government feeds off this sentiment and basically just fans the flames. There's no real democracy (there is voting, but the opposition is usually highly discredited, or even arrested if they have a chance of winning - being a Muslim state, there are plenty of "crimes" that one can accuse the Opposition of).

Which Article? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207737)

The article that's not in the summary?

Um, what article? (4, Funny)

rk (6314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207741)

No link in the summary, no link after the fold. Really?

Re:Um, what article? (4, Insightful)

CriminalNerd (882826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207851)

It's not like anybody clicks the link anyway.

Re:Um, what article? (5, Funny)

rk (6314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207907)

I must be new here.

where is TFA????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207743)

come on timothy!

Missing link. (2)

Bongoots (795869) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207749)

Has /. evolved to a point where there is no A to RTF?

Re:Missing link. (5, Informative)

Bongoots (795869) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207793)

Re:Missing link. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208213)

I found the missing link!

So, was Darwin right?

Thread hijack:

I know a Brit who works for a German bank and lives anywhere tropical, sometimes Thailand, sometimes Mexico... Globalism is cool... this is the way it's supposed to work

Re:Missing link. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207809)

well no-one reads them anyway

Re:Missing link. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207915)

Has /. evolved to a point where there is no A to RTF?

An A has vanished from "Malysia" too. Open season, I guess.

Re:Missing link. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208293)

F**king "A".

How did it? (1)

Bloody Bastard (562228) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207759)

How did it get to the front page without the link?

Re:How did it? (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207893)

How did it get to the front page without the link?

I don't know what website you think you're on, but this is Slashdot.

So...where's the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207763)

Think you forgot something.

Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207767)

This is a joke of an article... of everything out there this is what Slashdot has become? Talk about a nose dive over the last couple years...

Lovely article (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207771)

Next time we might even get an article with a link. Finally an excuse not to RTFA!

Move to country with cheap expenses while retaining job with good pay. Sounds simple, I'm sure everyone has done it, after all there can't be any complications?

Re:Lovely article (4, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207835)

You need an excuse not to RTFA?

Imagine the lovely article (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208199)

So it's ITFA.

But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207777)

Where's the hyperlink?

What article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207779)

"This article talks about how John Hunter did it" - What article?

Link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207797)

I hate SlashDot. I can never work out where the link to the original article is.

Article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207799)

I wish I could RTFA. Link missing?

I know folks working in Malaysia... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207813)

...and getting over $100K a year.

But if $16K floats your boat... by all means take the job.

Re:I know folks working in Malaysia... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207955)

I think the intent was to not take a job, i.e. the suggestion is that if you're a freelancer making low-but-nonzero money, you can just move somewhere with a low cost of living. Of course, you could also move there and get $100k+ job, but that would defeat the goal of not having a boss.

Re:I know folks working in Malaysia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208207)

As a freelancer you *definitely* have a boss. Many different bosses. They're generally not as pleasant to deal with as a real boss either.

This is a strange misnomer. Unless you are extremely good and well know for being extremely good (thus not earning the above wages), you can't really dictate much as a consultant.

Re:I know folks working in Malaysia... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207983)

This. I've spent the last 10 years working in South East asia (Malaysia now, but Singapore before that for 3 years). As a white guy with any level of technical smarts you're easily earning 100+, 180 for managers. My coworkers are pleasant, cost of living is very low meaning I've been able to save quite a lot up. I don't see myself moving home so much as I do retiring.

The article's URL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207839)

Here: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/unchartered-waters/interview-with-a-digital-migrant-meet-john-hunter/

Once you are in can you get out? (1)

Elijha (2805781) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207849)

I mean once you go down to earning a livable wage in say Malaysia. Can you move out to a country that costs more to live? You wouldn't save enough to make the move and your clients would probably be miffed at the increased charge rates you pull to do it.

Re:Once you are in can you get out? (4, Insightful)

Mathieu Lutfy (69) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208163)

If you're doing R&D on a project that you later want to commercialize, and you don't need to physically meet clients (or you have someone else who can represent you).. and no kids/family to take care of, you may as well lower your cost of living as much as possible.

The problem is when your business model assumes you'll be in Malaysia forever, then you're stuck.

I lived in Eastern Europe (BG) for 2 years. I would bill as a canadian company, get paid in Canada, then transfer money back. The cost of living wasn't very different though (circa 2002), when you even things out. Living in "poorer" countries looks appealing at first, but when you look further than the cost of food and beer, the costs of housing, health system, education system, social inequalities / security, etc. you usually don't want to stay there too long.

That Summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207857)

So if I get paid $10/hour I could afford to live in Malaysia? If I start making $15 or $20 I can work 30 hours?? Wow, that's better than the 37.5 hours I work ... oh wait, real money?? Yeah REAL MONEY??? Make it ten.

What kind of shit did the story submitter smoke? Timothy must be suffering a hard post-St.Paddy's day hangover to have approved this submission ...

Ubatuba, SP Brasil (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207877)

Graduated with my Masters in EE/CS at 23. Got a job that allowed for remote working. Saved up the required $50K to apply for a permanent resident visa as a foreign investor. Opened a shop and hired some local Brasilians to do contract programming work for US firms. Learned Portuguese and became a Brasilian citizen. Quit my job and renounced my US citizenship once I was making enough on my Brasil business. Ignored letter from IRS demanding "exit" tax.

Now do contract work for US firm at US labor rates via sales office in the US, and the money comes to Brasil where it goes farther, and I live on a beach in a Pousada. I don't even speak English well anymore. I'm not even 40 and I could quit work today but the money is too good.

Thanks for nothing (0)

ccguy (1116865) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207887)

Dear idiot who went to Malaysia so you could live well working for for peanuts: You are fucking everyone else you left behind, by lowering their wages a bit, and if you come back you will find a much worse country.

I assume you are working from Malaysia with US clients, of course, not Malaysian clients who wouldn't pay for $10/hour if that what it takes to live a king there.

You are doing it backwards.

Re:Thanks for nothing (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207963)

he's just taking initiative and sticking it to the man.

The man says, "I can scour the globe for the cheapest labor, while selling my product for full price to the peons who are captive because they cannot scour the globe for the cheapest housing/medical care"

Dude says, "Oh yeah? Watch me, I'm moving to where housing/medical care is cheap. F_ You."

I don't see a problem here.

Re:Thanks for nothing (2)

tkrotchko (124118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208215)

"and sticking it to the man"

At $10/hour, I don't think they mind. They say "please stick it to me some more!"

Re:Thanks for nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208061)

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

P.S. The game is never going to change. Welcome to capitalism. Live by it, or stay pissed all your life.

WORK AT HOME MOTHER EARNS $668686634635/WEEK (5, Funny)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207905)

Link removed.

Top form, timothy.

Re:WORK AT HOME MOTHER EARNS $668686634635/WEEK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208153)

Next time, Iâ(TM)m going to talk to John about the other side; where he got the income.

Malaysia (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207923)

The major caveat to working in Malaysia of course, is that you are in Malaysia.

Lese Mageste (0)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207937)

Any country where insulting the leader is illegal should be absolutely off the list for any freedom loving individual.

Freedom is relative (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208009)

If you have to work for someone else to pay for your basic expenses you aren't really free, are you?

Re:Lese Mageste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208051)

I think that depends on who your enemy is. I'd prefer to live somewhere my enemy wasn't. For instance if the US government is after me (although I'm not a major target) and there is a country which realy hates the USA- and won't extradite. At the same time I can make a decent salary and live a good life- the fact I can't insult the leader may not matter. Or in the event where I can pay off the local police... That might work too.

Re:Lese Mageste (1)

mupuf (2617831) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208069)

Welcome to France where insulting the president can land you in jail.

Started company, hired employee, moved to Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207949)

Not quite the same thing although I now work in Boston with customers who are dependent on me in New Jersey. Via my extra hand I don't even have to be where my customers are. Now I just have to focus on the details my less enabled employee can't. I could move anywhere!

Doing that now in the US. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43207969)

I have been doing this for about three years now in the United States. Basically, bought property ($6000), built small dome to live in ($3000), went half time at work (4 hours a day doing low stress programming). I make about $17,000 a year and live pretty comfortably on that. The key is having no debts, eliminating as many recurring payments as possible (I pay about $300/mo for all utilities and phone), drive as little as possible and don't eat out much.

I even wrote a blog about it. http://www.minimalintentions.com/search/label/Geodesic%20Dome

My plan was that when I had all this free time I could work on my own projects (of which I have many). Unfortunately turns out that I am pretty lazy so instead I sit in a hammock and read books more... ah well... I still plan to get motivated at some point... eventually.

you could do that in the U.S. too (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207973)

If your goal is just to live cheaply, and you don't have kids, there are plenty of places in the U.S. where you can live ok on $16k/yr. I did it as a grad student. Not in the SF Bay Area, though.

Re:you could do that in the U.S. too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208221)

I was thinking the same thing. There are some towns that will give you free land. Alaska will even pay you to live there.

Re:Color me skeptical (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208227)

I do not see how you can unless this was 20 years ago.

Car insurance $200 a month. Uncle Sam's rent money = 25% of pay = $4000 or $360 a month, Food = $350 a month or = the other 25%. Now rent you are looking at $700 a month. I live in cheap ass Florida and you can not find a good apartment for anything less.

You would need $25,0000 to just break even.

Re:you could do that in the U.S. too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208247)

Well done for ignoring the difference between living and living well.

You can't do the latter anymore, maybe when you graduated, but not now. $16k in Malaysia is a good wage, probably with a comparable lifestyle to a $40k wage in most of the US.

Prison Hotel (1)

number17 (952777) | about a year and a half ago | (#43207977)

I know a place where you get a free place to stay and a meal every day. Won't cost you a cent to go there either.

Re:Prison Hotel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208077)

sure, if you don't mind the butt rape, rigid power structure, gang fights and violence, shit-shankings, random searches and disruptiveness, hostile guards, and generally miserable life aspect.

Re:Prison Hotel (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208261)

Yeah, but he got sick of living in the USA.

I work from remote from my vacation home... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208021)

I manage a team of programmers and data analysts from my vacation home I purchased a few years back. I make six figures and can easily afford the two mortgages I have, both of which are quickly falling because my vacation home is in an area that has a far lower cost of living than my home in the city.

My vacation home is very small, less than 500 sq ft, but comfortably fits my family of four by using small living comforts such as murphy beds. We have everything we need and my family is right next to me enjoying the waterfront property and pool.

I see my employees in person a few times a month when I travel back home to the city and everyone is happy. By having this arrangement we save money, enjoy our vacation home nearly year round, and upper management still sees me on a regular enough basis that I am not out-of-site, out-of-mind.

This was my dream and I am thrilled to do it. While I will never stomp on this guy's dream to live overseas, Malaysia is not the place for me and I prefer to live here in the States. YMMV.

For anyone thinking about it, go for it; it's so worth it.

Have done this for 3 years in the US. (5, Interesting)

bhoult (132229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208027)

I have been doing this for about three years now in the United States. Basically, bought property ($6000), built small dome to live in ($3000), went half time at work (4 hours a day doing low stress programming). I make about $17,000 a year and live pretty comfortably on that. The key is having no debts, eliminating as many recurring payments as possible (I pay about $300/mo for all utilities and phone), drive as little as possible and don't eat out much.

I even wrote a blog about it. http://www.minimalintentions.com/search/label/Geodesic%20Dome

My plan was that when I had all this free time I could work on my own projects (of which I have many). Unfortunately turns out that I am pretty lazy so instead I sit in a hammock and read books more... ah well... I still plan to get motivated at some point... eventually.

(repost since I was logged out the first time)

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208093)

300$ a month for utilities?! We're paying maybe a hundred, living in a normal condo in a normal city. Maybe 25-30 for electric, 10-15 for gas, 50 for phone and internet. And that's two people; I only had bills like that by myself in the middle of the summer, running the AC all the time. What crazy utilities are you paying for? (I guess there are probably other less exciting utilities, like water/trash/etc. that go into our HOA bill, but I can't imagine they come to 200 dollars a month...)

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (1)

bhoult (132229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208131)

Including internet and phone ... so $50/mo for electric (not enough insulation), $50/mo for water (have a big garden), $60/mo for dsl, and $100/mo for smartphone... guess that leaves $40 for the usual crap that always seems to happen.

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208201)

Ah. Alright, yeah, if you're paying 100/m for a smartphone... to be fair, I didn't include my smartphone - I don't think of it as a house utility - and my girlfriend is paying almost that much for her plan, so if you really need crazy unlimited everything fast all the time, there you go. I'm paying 15 bucks a month for my smartphone (if I use less than a hundred minutes, less than a hundred texts, and less than a hundred mb of data. Which I have no problems doing, personally. Even if you use more, though, you have to use quite a bit to make it up to 100 bucks a month. Ting for the win!)

(And I have heard a lot of people paying a lot more than we do in electricity. I don't totally understand it, but I'm happy about it anyway.)

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (1)

bhoult (132229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208251)

Well.. I am grandfathered into the verizon unlimited data. Don't really use it though so when the contract is up will go prepaid and save $50/mo. Problem is that carriers are a little limited in this part of the country.

Part of the electric is a installation charge they spread out over a number of years. I think I only use about $18/mo, but I don't complain since they had to run about a half mile of cable to get here. I hope to convert to solar eventually... buying bits and pieces if I find them inexpensively.

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208331)

Ah, yeah, I suppose I am spoiled for wireless coverage - if Sprint doesn't cover your area, then that cuts out most of your options for prepaid. (I'm just saying, if Sprint *does* cover your area, you should look into Ting. I didn't really feel like paying the standard 50$/m for prepaid, let alone the crazy 90-100 Verizon and others of that ilk charge, so I just didn't have a smartphone for years after everyone else did. When I found out I could be paying 15-25 bucks a month, I jumped on it. I don't work for them in any way, I'm just happy with their service. :p)

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208177)

The dude lives & works at home, so everything is running all year long whilst you guys goto work.

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (5, Insightful)

matrim99 (123693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208117)

The key is having no debts...

Actually, the key is having no medical problems.

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (1)

bhoult (132229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208157)

true... thankful for that.

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208159)

Property for $6,000?? Where did you buy it, Detroit?

Re:Have done this for 3 years in the US. (1)

bhoult (132229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208203)

Arkansas... but it is only 1.3 acres. Outside of city limits, but only 10 miles from a town of 30k. Luckily I am friends with a couple of my neighbors so am basically free to use about 20 acres. I probably should have put that community is also pretty important when living cheap. Not necessary, but it sure makes it more fun.

Me want (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208145)

I often dream about living in southeast Asia, can you tell me something additional what does it take to relocate there and get an IT job?

Re:Me want (1)

longk (2637033) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208277)

A plane ticket and the guts to work without a work permit.

Want the legal route? Not going to happen, unless you become an expat for a US company.

Re:Me want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208313)

I'm wondering how he got a visa valid for longer than 90 days. Is he ignoring the return date stamped in his passport and living there illegally? He says "it doesn’t seem to happen much." Well, maybe that's because he's doing it wrong?

China (3, Interesting)

longk (2637033) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208173)

I've been doing this in China for the last 7 years. The good thing here is that live is very scalable. If income is low you relocate to the countryside where you get by quite decently on $100/month and 4M Internet. If income rises you move towards bigger cities where you can spend over $10.000/month and have FTTH if you must.

And by scalability I don't just mean the living expenses. Also moving from place to place is dead easy. I arrive in a place and spend a day if not just a few hours on finding and renting a flat. I'll move in that same night or the next day and have my stuff arrive by truck a few days later.

If you're a remotely political person or care mildly about human rights, China may not be for you. For the average person however who just wants to work the least amount possible and yet have her/his dinner cooked, house cleaned and pussy licked/dick sucked as if she/he were queen/king, it's an awesome place.

Re:China (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208281)

Problem are the cities are as expensive as US ones. IN Honk Kong a 1 bedroom goes for $4,000 a month!

Or you can stay in the U.S. (4, Informative)

tgeller (10260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208211)

Just get the hell out of high-cost areas like Silicon Valley.

I moved from San Francisco to small-town Ohio four years ago. I'm a freelance writer and have never met most of my clients face-to-face, so my income didn't change at all.

But now I'm out of debt and living in a huge house I bought for $50,000 and enjoy very much. The money that used to go into such things as $6 drinks and $130 residential parking stickers now goes into travel, entertainment, and investment.

I can't walk to eight sushi restaurants anymore. But I've found my lifestyle's improved quite a bit without having to leave my home country. And if I want to be around that many sushi restaurants, I can fly back to San Francisco whenever I want.

Unless you really want to, why leave the country? The U.S. can be very cheap -- you just have to get away from the coasts.
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