Author Topic: Live in the mile around your house  (Read 8552 times)

A mom

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Live in the mile around your house
« on: April 03, 2016, 10:02:16 PM »
I liked this comment by MMM on his recent post. I wondered how many of you are able to do this.


Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 8:57 am

I think my new theme for designing and efficient life might become “Live in the mile around your house”.

When talking with friends at a party recently, I realized they live REALLY different lives than we do. They get up at 5am, take this kid to lessons and that kid to sports, then go to Yoga or the gym, then go to work, dash off to do something else with the kid or some volunteer thing or whatever.

Then go to the mountains every weekend for snowboarding, take family vacations elsewhere. The typical high-income modern person is barely ever in his own home!

In contrast, I get up, make some fancy coffee, do some writing and a few pushups and pullups, then my wife and boy wake up. I make them a fine breakfast, then they hang out to do some homeschooling while I go out for a walk or a bike errand.

In the afternoons, little MM and I do physical or educational projects together, I might disappear for a few hours to go build things with friends or do a meeting with someone. Then I come home and make a fancy dinner. Friends might stop by to play in our backyard park for some frisbee, and maybe stay for beers or dinner I’ll start a fire in the woodstove, make a fine dinner, and maybe the family and I will all watch a nature documentary or a new Sci-Fi epic or something. Occasionally we’ll go off on a trip.

The typical week varies a little with social events and such, but there is virtually no car travel and very few organized activities. We are much more freestyle than most and I generally dislike when stuff gets planned more than a week in advance. I’m much happier when I get to decide what to do RIGHT NOW.

I’m definitely a weirdo by modern standards – to a rich person, this might sound is like a description of an alien lifeform’s habits. But it seems this is more like how humans have lived for most of our existence, and that might be why it is so satisfying at the deepest level.
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« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 10:05:04 PM by A mom »

bobechs

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 10:45:43 PM »
You haven't seen the mile around my house.

Trouble

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2016, 11:01:40 PM »
I hope to achieve this when my family moves across country in 2 weeks. The plan is to see how much driving we can design out of our lives, and just use biking and walking as our default mode of transport.
I love the concept and my husband is on board with it so even if we can't completely achieve it straight away we will work towards it.

RedefinedHappiness

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 11:01:56 PM »
Not doing it, but would like to do more. Started biking to local parks for pinics regularly last summer. Will likely do again. Gradually will add local events, but likely won't be as local as MMM.

Zikoris

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 11:37:55 PM »
Cool idea - I just mapped out our regular places, and almost everything is within 1 mile. Our workplaces and two of our grocery stores are half a mile. My ballet studio and the library are a little under one mile. The park I like to go to is about 1/4 mile. The furthest grocery store that we go to is a bit over the limit at 1.4 miles. One mile also gets us to any of the performing arts venues if we feel like seeing a symphony or opera, and the movie theater is just slightly over a mile.

Pretty much the only time we leave our one-mile bubble is to go hiking or biking, plus some socializing here and there with people who don't want to come downtown. Downtown Vancouver is just great.
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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2016, 11:43:57 PM »
I really loved this comment. We really try to do this -- we chose our current home with this goal in mind. And with a Walk Score of 84 and a Bike Score of 99, we have no excuse for not doing this. Within 1-2 miles of our house we have groceries, hardware stores, garden nurseries, drug stores, parks, a library, our kids' school, a venue that hosts huge free festivals and fireworks every year, friends, etc. Our jobs are further off -- 5 mi and 2.5 mi -- we still bike there, but not quite as convenient as the rest of our lives. The more we make an effort to "live" near our house, the less stress and more enjoyable our lives feels. At this point we can't even imagine living in a place where we need to use a car for our day to day lives.

Rural

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 02:34:09 AM »
We'd have to go to true subsistence level on our property as the nearest place to buy food is over 5 miles.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 04:52:26 AM »
For the most part, it's not possible where we live. The trio of places I shop for best food prices requires a car. The library where I volunteer, the post office where our p.o. box is, and our health care providers are all about 5 miles away. I batch errands as much as possible.

However, DH is still working, and plans to do so for about five more years. His office is three tenths of a mile from home. I walk him to work every morning. We enjoy the quiet pre-dawn walk and the workout the steep hill provides. Since work happens far more often than the need to run errands, I'm very happy with this arrangement. The fact that there are wonderful hiking trails and walking paths within easy reach is also far more relevant to our lifestyle.

Not everything is within a mile, but the most important things are.
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Cranky

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 05:46:00 AM »
I don't drive, so we've always planned our life with that in mind. I walk to work, to the library, to the stores. When my kids were still school aged, we were able to walk to school (though not always very enthusiastically. ;-) )

My dh has a 6 mile commute, and we do run car errands on Saturday morning.

The only thing that's out of easy reach for me is our church, which is downtown.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2016, 05:47:13 AM »
Says the man who flies to Ecuador for meetings. :D

I guess I'm confused about his point; is it totally just to avoid car travel? Or any trips outside of the home? Is even biking distance too far for one to go for errands or entertainment? Or that being a homebody is superior to someone who likes to travel when they're FI?
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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2016, 06:04:17 AM »
This sounds like a great ideal to strive for, but one I'm unlikely to achieve before FIRE. I like how it also emphasizes the value of having "a tribe" which is something MMM has also talked about in the past.
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A mom

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2016, 06:16:16 AM »
Says the man who flies to Ecuador for meetings. :D

I guess I'm confused about his point; is it totally just to avoid car travel? Or any trips outside of the home? Is even biking distance too far for one to go for errands or entertainment? Or that being a homebody is superior to someone who likes to travel when they're FI?

I guess I should have included that the statement by MMM was in response to the following question: What change do you think the average Joe can make that’ll have the most impact on finances?

So no issues of moral superiority involved. :)

steveo

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2016, 06:26:36 AM »
I love to do this but currently it's not possible as my job location is now a commute away. In my opinion it's the way I like to live in that I can basically use my bike to get everywhere I want to go.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2016, 06:30:25 AM »
I manage 1.5 miles, which is the distance I walk to work. We live near the city centre and on the edge of a busy neighbourhood, so most things we need are within that distance. (DH's job is a little further away though, so he takes the bus). Neither of us drive and the public transport isn't great, so we do have to pay higher rent for this location, but I'm sure it's more economical overall than owning and running a car. For daily living, this is cheap and healthy, but adventures elsewhere are important too.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2016, 06:46:18 AM »
Limiting cycling to just the mile around my house would get old pretty quickly.  :P

lizzzi

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2016, 06:47:20 AM »
This is pretty much the way I live. The only thing I need to do is build up more of a tribe. (Moved from very HCOL area to very LCOL area).  I am probably in some ways happier than I've ever been in my life. Simple, home-like, very much in tune with nature. Small house, 4400 acre park across the road, family around the corner (pros and cons there,ha-ha), a good dog to walk with, all services 5 minutes in the other direction--life is good. There are a couple places I might travel to once in a while, but for the most part this simple woodsy life suits me fine.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2016, 06:49:56 AM »
It's a nice idea. I definitely have to move before I tried it though as the area I live in isn't particularly nice!

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2016, 07:03:10 AM »
The closest supermarkets (as opposed to convenience stores) are two miles away. There's another one being built a little closer, but even that one is 1.5 miles away. There used to be grocery stores (barely) within a mile, but that was back in the 1970s before "grocery stores" turned into "supermarkets."

Also, my job is 6 miles away (biking distance) and my wife's job is even farther (mass transit distance).

For me to live in the mile around my house, I'd have to either substitute my house for a condo/apartment or spend $500K+ (probably closer to $1M now) for a single-family house in Midtown or Home Park.

Nickyd£g

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2016, 07:03:30 AM »
I thought about this and realised that I do mostly "live" within a mile of my home. I do have to work about 2 miles away, and I live within 15 minutes walk of a large city (Glasgow), but I tend to spend most of my free time within my own area. 

I have a gym 2 streets away, a library, bakery, greengrocer, butcher and a Lidl supermarket within a 5 minute stroll, a couple of pubs and a nice restaurant in the next street and a gorgeous park that I use on sunny days for picnicking and hiking about half a mile away (I live in an apartment block, with no garden). I don't have a car - I walk everywhere but the city has fantastic public transport options.  I live pretty simply, I don't want or need to go to lots of places. 

I hate shopping, and Glasgow is known for it's shopping malls, so I tend to stay out of the city centre.  I rarely go to the museums, cinema or theatres and when I do it's a special treat - and usually free (our museums and art galleries are always free) or low cost.  I live alone, am on nodding acquaintance with my neighbours and shopkeepers and I'm very content with my lot.
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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2016, 07:12:36 AM »
Says the man who flies to Ecuador for meetings. :D

I guess I'm confused about his point; is it totally just to avoid car travel? Or any trips outside of the home? Is even biking distance too far for one to go for errands or entertainment? Or that being a homebody is superior to someone who likes to travel when they're FI?

I guess I should have included that the statement by MMM was in response to the following question: What change do you think the average Joe can make that’ll have the most impact on finances?

So no issues of moral superiority involved. :)

Thank you! Putting it into context has cleared up the confusion; as a response to that question I would say it's a great answer.
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TRBeck

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2016, 07:25:53 AM »
My work - 1.3 miles
Wife's work - 1.5 miles
Church - 1.5 miles
Grocery - 2.1 miles
Kids' school - 2.3 miles
Running trail along the river - 1 mile
Closest park - 1.4 miles
Home Depot - 2 miles
Soccer fields/rec center w/pool - 2.5 miles

Not quite the mile around our house, but that's pretty much everything we do except the gym (~4 miles), at least with any regularity. It's a great life. We can drive into the city with ease if we want or need to, but the want to has decreased steadily the longer we've been here. It makes not spending excess money easy, and it's all bikeable.

Squirrel away

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2016, 07:28:43 AM »
I thought about this and realised that I do mostly "live" within a mile of my home. I do have to work about 2 miles away, and I live within 15 minutes walk of a large city (Glasgow), but I tend to spend most of my free time within my own area. 

I have a gym 2 streets away, a library, bakery, greengrocer, butcher and a Lidl supermarket within a 5 minute stroll, a couple of pubs and a nice restaurant in the next street and a gorgeous park that I use on sunny days for picnicking and hiking about half a mile away (I live in an apartment block, with no garden). I don't have a car - I walk everywhere but the city has fantastic public transport options.  I live pretty simply, I don't want or need to go to lots of places. 

I hate shopping, and Glasgow is known for it's shopping malls, so I tend to stay out of the city centre.  I rarely go to the museums, cinema or theatres and when I do it's a special treat - and usually free (our museums and art galleries are always free) or low cost.  I live alone, am on nodding acquaintance with my neighbours and shopkeepers and I'm very content with my lot.

That sounds like a perfect location.:)

undercover

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2016, 07:37:18 AM »
You have to keep in mind that the words that MMM is spewing these days is from the perspective of a multi-millionaire with a $500k income who still travels extensively and also moved 2000+ miles away from his birthplace into a different country.

Living within a mile is just stupid if you're in the accumulating phase or you simply want to build your stash in general. Sure, it's possible for a lot of people to make their millions online with a laptop and an internet connection, but it's silly to only focus on that and not try tons of other things until something clicks. It's likely that what you find won't be within one mile of your house.

Sure, if you're completely FI and have all the money you'll ever need, living within a mile of your house can be a really satisfying experience - not having to move too much to get to the things you need, aka efficiency.
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Inaya

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2016, 07:51:31 AM »
You have to keep in mind that the words that MMM is spewing these days is from the perspective of a multi-millionaire with a $500k income who still travels extensively and also moved 2000+ miles away from his birthplace into a different country.

Living within a mile is just stupid if you're in the accumulating phase or you simply want to build your stash in general. Sure, it's possible for a lot of people to make their millions online with a laptop and an internet connection, but it's silly to only focus on that and not try tons of other things until something clicks. It's likely that what you find won't be within one mile of your house.

Sure, if you're completely FI and have all the money you'll ever need, living within a mile of your house can be a really satisfying experience - not having to move too much to get to the things you need, aka efficiency.

I don't understand why you have to be a multimillionaire for this. Why is it stupid? Plenty of people in this thread have already spoken up that they do this--or close to it. His comment was a suggestion for having a strong positive impact on one's finances, and it was spot on. It's a great sentiment.

I'm not FIRE  or wealthy. I do have a 90-minute (one way) commute 3 days a week (which is subsidized by my company), but other than that, 90% of my carless lifestyle is within a 20 minute walk of my building. Now, that has a LOT to do with where I chose to live. If you're not in a dense area with a lot of walkability or bikeability, this probably isn't going to be practical. I imagine this would be much harder to do in sprawling suburbs, for instance. But I don't see it having anything to do one's accumulated wealth (or lack thereof).
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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2016, 07:57:00 AM »
I think this is great if you are a transplant to an area where you can just choose to associate with people in a certain radius of your home.

My wife and I both grew up in Massachusetts where we now live to we spend a lot of time traveling on the weekends to visit family with our kids.

Vilgan

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2016, 08:03:57 AM »
We pretty much live within a mile of where we live, with the exception of the wife catching the light rail downtown for work twice a week. We work from home, parks/lake/library/grocery store all within easy walking distance. Community garden across the street. The price we pay is that we had to pay Seattle housing prices, but well worth it imo. We occasionally talk about how much profit we'd make if we sold the house and moved somewhere cheaper (prices have gone up 50% in the last 4 years) but to get much cheaper we'd have to move to the suburbs where stuff seems a lot less walkable.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2016, 08:27:11 AM »
My world is pretty much bounded by my office, 7.5 miles southeast of me (wouldn't want to live near it, it's in an industrial area with very poor schools) and my wife's parents' place 8 miles west of us.  And local to us, the shops (grocery, home depot, target, etc) are <3 miles away in various directions.  This weekend, for instance, the farthest I ventured from my house was Home Depot a few times. 
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greaper007

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2016, 08:50:43 AM »
If you live near an older city that has an actual downtown like Longmont (where mmm lives) this isn't a bad idea.    For the rest of us in the burbs built post 1950, I think it gets a lot more doable if you stretch the mileage to about 3.5 miles.    That gets me to grocery stores, the library, the gym etc.

undercover

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2016, 08:58:12 AM »
You have to keep in mind that the words that MMM is spewing these days is from the perspective of a multi-millionaire with a $500k income who still travels extensively and also moved 2000+ miles away from his birthplace into a different country.

Living within a mile is just stupid if you're in the accumulating phase or you simply want to build your stash in general. Sure, it's possible for a lot of people to make their millions online with a laptop and an internet connection, but it's silly to only focus on that and not try tons of other things until something clicks. It's likely that what you find won't be within one mile of your house.

Sure, if you're completely FI and have all the money you'll ever need, living within a mile of your house can be a really satisfying experience - not having to move too much to get to the things you need, aka efficiency.

I don't understand why you have to be a multimillionaire for this. Why is it stupid? Plenty of people in this thread have already spoken up that they do this--or close to it. His comment was a suggestion for having a strong positive impact on one's finances, and it was spot on. It's a great sentiment.

I'm not FIRE  or wealthy. I do have a 90-minute (one way) commute 3 days a week (which is subsidized by my company), but other than that, 90% of my carless lifestyle is within a 20 minute walk of my building. Now, that has a LOT to do with where I chose to live. If you're not in a dense area with a lot of walkability or bikeability, this probably isn't going to be practical. I imagine this would be much harder to do in sprawling suburbs, for instance. But I don't see it having anything to do one's accumulated wealth (or lack thereof).

I'm saying it's silly to move somewhere and then say, "well this it! everything within one mile is now what my opportunities are confined to". It doesn't happen in real life. It doesn't even really happen in MMM's life. Sure, most people's everyday activity in dense areas happens within a mile or two. That makes sense. That's just natural given that denser areas have more things within proximity to one's home. No shit.

But to live somewhere and say you're only going to work at places that are within a mile of your house? That's where the logic begins to become flawed and you're limiting your opportunities. Yes, I'm taking it a bit too literal - sometimes one's mobility can be directly correlated with one's success.
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mtn

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2016, 09:02:49 AM »
I walk about 1/5 mile to the train stop, ride it 5 miles to work, and walk another 1/5 mile to work. Wife unfortunately has to drive about 8 miles each way.

Other than that though, we're pretty close. I think our grocery is just outside of that radius, but that is because the Aldi closed for renovation and the local place (1/10 mile walk) is too expensive for everything (and doesn't have everything); we go there when we need 1-2 items. Oh, and wifey stops at Costco on the way home from work 2-3 times a month.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2016, 09:12:05 AM »
If you live near an older city that has an actual downtown like Longmont (where mmm lives) this isn't a bad idea.    For the rest of us in the burbs built post 1950, I think it gets a lot more doable if you stretch the mileage to about 3.5 miles.    That gets me to grocery stores, the library, the gym etc.

Even then.  I live in an old town that does have a nice downtown right on the rail line (but my house was built in '59).  I live about 1.3 miles from downtown.  If my house were a mile closer, it would probably have cost ~$100k (30%) more.  Plus, the downtown area, which is very nice, is mostly restaurants and boutique type shops, yoga studios, salons, etc.  Great to have around, but not exactly good for the staples we need.  The actual places we shop regularly (grocery, Target, Home Depot) are within your proposed 3.5 mile radius. 
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honeybbq

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2016, 09:18:43 AM »
I don't really understand living somewhere beautiful like Colorado and not taking advantage of the mountains.

I mean, yes, 75% of my life is right around my house, but when I want to go for a hike, I go to the mountains (PacNW). Why not live in Kansas if you're not going to take advantage of your beautiful surroundings?

ketchup

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2016, 09:21:23 AM »
If you live near an older city that has an actual downtown like Longmont (where mmm lives) this isn't a bad idea.    For the rest of us in the burbs built post 1950, I think it gets a lot more doable if you stretch the mileage to about 3.5 miles.    That gets me to grocery stores, the library, the gym etc.

Even then.  I live in an old town that does have a nice downtown right on the rail line (but my house was built in '59).  I live about 1.3 miles from downtown.  If my house were a mile closer, it would probably have cost ~$100k (30%) more.  Plus, the downtown area, which is very nice, is mostly restaurants and boutique type shops, yoga studios, salons, etc.  Great to have around, but not exactly good for the staples we need.  The actual places we shop regularly (grocery, Target, Home Depot) are within your proposed 3.5 mile radius.
This is how the suburbs by me have ended up too.  I work in Downers Grove and its "downtown" is exactly what you're describing.

The only places I frequent at all within a mile of my house are Ace Hardware, the library, and a really good Thai restaurant.  Everything else is right around this mythical 3.5 mile suburban bubble.  Everything's available, it's just all a few miles away.  Very clearly designed with "everyone has a car" in mind.  In fact, I'd probably be closer to grocery stores/etc if I lived *farther* from my suburb's "downtown."

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2016, 09:26:11 AM »

I'm saying it's silly to move somewhere and then say, "well this it! everything within one mile is now what my opportunities are confined to". It doesn't happen in real life. It doesn't even really happen in MMM's life. Sure, most people's everyday activity in dense areas happens within a mile or two. That makes sense. That's just natural given that denser areas have more things within proximity to one's home. No shit.

But to live somewhere and say you're only going to work at places that are within a mile of your house? That's where the logic begins to become flawed and you're limiting your opportunities. Yes, I'm taking it a bit too literal - sometimes one's mobility can be directly correlated with one's success.

I don't think that's what he is saying at all, and you can always move closer to your work.

Travelling Biologist

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2016, 09:30:02 AM »
That comment struck me as well, and not just as a way to save money, but as a pleasant way to live. We had the opportunity to do this while on sabbatical in Europe and it was amazing (we did it in both large cities and tiny villages). We walked to work and walked almost everywhere else with some public transit for longer distance attractions. We walked to grocery stores and parks, and had our favorite bakers, and cheesemongers, and farmers markets, and pasta shops all within walking distance. And we were much healthier for it. It is harder to do in North America because most smaller cities are not designed to be easily accessible without cars. We are 80% of the way there. Our work is about 5 miles away, but groceries, school, library, nature trail, etc, are all a mile or less from our house. My ideal would be able to walk most places including work and school, and occasionally drive to other places on the weekend for more outdoorsy adventures.

Northwestie

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2016, 09:31:36 AM »
I've always ascribed to the this:  if I can't bike to work it's too far. 

Been doing this for 30 years.  Walk to grocery stores, do the garden, good ale house a few blocks away, etc.   OK - take the car to the mountains for climbing/backcountry skiing, but generally the car stays parked during the week.   Commuting distances, spending hours of your day going back and forth in a line never made sense to me.

LauraLovesKiss

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2016, 10:17:43 AM »
I live in Phoenix and while we do venture outside of the 1 mile radius, it's very easy for my family to live happily within  3-5 miles of our house.  We have grocery stores, schools, churches, fast food and family owned restaurants all well within walking distance. Also movies, Target, a hospital , doctors and dentist, all nearby.
Not to mention friends who also live in the neighborhood, which is priceless.
We live just a short walk to bus stops and a quick bike ride to the light rail.

I work at home. My husband works about 3 miles away--a straight shot on one city bus.
 
3/5 of our kids still live at home.
We have 2 sons at two different high schools, both within 3 miles of our house.One of our adult sons also lives at home.  He is a recent college grad who works at an elementary school right across the street from us.

Our neighborhood would probably be considered lower-middle class, and in the 18 years we've lived here, I've seen it swing in different directions, but I love it. Wouldn't trade it for a newer, bigger or more expensive home. We have ample space and a huge back yard in an established, well-developed part of town.

It's perfect for us and while we'd have to make a few small changes to live within 1 mile, it's definitely do-able.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2016, 01:23:57 PM »
hah.  Within a mile radius I have....11 neighbors.  Three ponds.  Three barns.  One church, if you don't count going up the driveway in the mile.  That's it.
Within 5 miles we have a post office, bank, pizza shop, 4 churches, and a CSA.  Now we're talking.
I live my life within 40 miles.  Day to day within 20 (my husband's commute), usually.

But I live on a farm.  So I realize this is basically the total opposite of living in a city or town.  I do like the concept of not racing around everywhere-my parents limited us kids to up to 2 activities apiece at a time growing up, and there were still weeks when we were rushing around.  But I'm really glad I got to play a sport and a musical instrument, so thanks parents!

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2016, 02:57:13 PM »
I aspire to this as much as possible. My work is three miles from home, but most other day-to-day things are within a mile. Within that radius we have four supermarkets, a post office, a library, a big thrift shop, a few parks, our dentist, my son's daycare, the pediatricians' office, an elementary school, a high school (middle school is 1.1 miles away), a couple dozen restaurants, and more. The net result is that our car sits idle more days than not, and we have exercise as a natural component of most errands. It's good for the body and the wallet at the same time.
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MilesTeg

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2016, 03:13:48 PM »
I don't understand why you have to be a multimillionaire for this. Why is it stupid? Plenty of people in this thread have already spoken up that they do this--or close to it. His comment was a suggestion for having a strong positive impact on one's finances, and it was spot on. It's a great sentiment.

I'm not FIRE  or wealthy. I do have a 90-minute (one way) commute 3 days a week (which is subsidized by my company), but other than that, 90% of my carless lifestyle is within a 20 minute walk of my building. Now, that has a LOT to do with where I chose to live. If you're not in a dense area with a lot of walkability or bikeability, this probably isn't going to be practical. I imagine this would be much harder to do in sprawling suburbs, for instance. But I don't see it having anything to do one's accumulated wealth (or lack thereof).

In most places, being within 1 mile of everything you likely need (work, food, etc.) also places you in prime real-estate. And by prime, I mean extremely expensive.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2016, 03:17:10 PM »
This was an interesting thought exercise.  There's a park and lots of houses within one mile of my apartment, but that's about it.  3 miles gets me to the grocery store, and I can get downtown if you push that to 4 in a slightly different direction.  Not easily walkable per se, but certainly bikeable.  There's trails and bike lanes everywhere here, so I can run and bike to my heart's content.  You'd have to push it out to 11 miles to include my work commute, but my life fits pretty neatly into a 4-5 mile radius about 95% of the time I'm not working or visiting family out of state.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2016, 03:33:41 PM »
This was important for us when we moved, and we are very happy to live less than one km from work, school, and the center of our medium to small size town. Since we chose the "wrong" part of town, the house was relatively cheap too.

It is not about limiting ourselves, but about not wasting time and energy on irrelevant stuff. The kids can walk to school, or run over to the library on their own. I spend no time at all commuting. If the kids get sick at school, DH can be there to pick them up on three minutes. Of course we travel outside the zone, but because we want to.
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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2016, 03:37:49 PM »
I need to do more of this.  Within a mile, we've got 3 parks, including one of the best in the city, a Whole Foods, a Sprouts, a Safeway, a public library, a golf course, three light rail stations if we have a reason to go downtown.  I think there are 6 micro breweries.  A weekly farmer's market.  Dozens of restaurants if you stretch to 1.5 miles.  I think the only things we don't have are retail shopping and my wife's gym.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #43 on: April 04, 2016, 03:39:34 PM »
That comment struck me as well, and not just as a way to save money, but as a pleasant way to live. We had the opportunity to do this while on sabbatical in Europe and it was amazing (we did it in both large cities and tiny villages). We walked to work and walked almost everywhere else with some public transit for longer distance attractions. We walked to grocery stores and parks, and had our favorite bakers, and cheesemongers, and farmers markets, and pasta shops all within walking distance. And we were much healthier for it. It is harder to do in North America because most smaller cities are not designed to be easily accessible without cars. We are 80% of the way there. Our work is about 5 miles away, but groceries, school, library, nature trail, etc, are all a mile or less from our house. My ideal would be able to walk most places including work and school, and occasionally drive to other places on the weekend for more outdoorsy adventures.

Exactly. It's nice not to travel too far. I also wouldn't take the 1 mile as a literal figure - for me it's say 5 miles or so. For me it's a fair bit further than that but the point is you can live your life predominantly via using a bike or walking to get around. Traffic isn't an issue.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2016, 03:42:44 PM »
My wife would still drive to the grocery store even if we lived IN the grocery store. It's been a substantial challenge convincing her that we should let the kids walk or bike the 0.25 miles to their school instead of her taking them there by car. But she's getting better. :)

We do have an ace hardware 1 mile away and a grocery 2 miles away, both of which I bike to. Work is 8 miles, but that is a bikeable distance too, though admittedly I haven't done it many times yet.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2016, 03:47:09 PM »
I would like to live in the mile around my house, but that isn't possible at the moment without moving.  Our jobs are in a different town that is 15 miles away and we do most of our shopping in yet another city that's a lot larger, but also about 7 miles away. 

We both love living in the country and I'm not sure we will ever give that up to live in the mile around our house.  It's a nice thought, but I like having a big yard and privacy from snoopy neighbors.  I hear stories from my friends that live in the city about how their neighbor complains about them not raking their leaves or not removing snow from one of their cars soon enough.  That would drive me crazy!
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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2016, 04:45:58 PM »
In most places, being within 1 mile of everything you likely need (work, food, etc.) also places you in prime real-estate. And by prime, I mean extremely expensive.
Depends on your definition of expensive. We live in downtown Chicago, but our living expenses (for 2 people) are about $30,000 per year--very achievable in a childless two-income household with Chicago's soon-to-be $15/hr minimum wage. On one hand, my rent is a bit lower than average, but on the other I have an facepunchingly high food budget that could be halved easily--so it probably equals out.

And since everyone else is doing it: Within a mile, I have 2 Targets, 2 Whole Foods, 2 candy stores, 1 Trader Joes, 1 terrible supermarket, 2 good supermarkets, 3 small independently owned supermarkets, about 50 Starbucks (not hyperbole; they're rarely more than 2 blocks apart), and several CVSs and Walgreens. Also, 2 farmers markets, the main branch of the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Riverwalk, Millennium Park (free concerts!), Grant Park, Chicago Cultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, some smaller museums, 2 ice skating rinks, tons of really cool architecture, lot of water features, all of the public transit (including a water taxi), and several university campuses. Hundreds of "neighborhood" restaurants, hundreds of pubs/bars. thousands of chain restaurants, a couple churches, lots of gyms, lots of salons, and way way way too much crap to buy (I'm looking at you, 2 Disney Stores that tempt me so). Stretch to two miles and you've got the Museum of Contemporary Art, Navy Pier, a beach, the lakefront trail, and part of the museum campus.

But. No schools. No real playgrounds. No neighborhood sandlot type places. No bakery. No butcher. No fishmonger. No awesome ethnic supermarkets. No independently owned ice cream joints. No yards. No vegetable gardens. No backyard animal husbandry. No "tribe." No nearby friends, family, or coworkers (downside of working 30 miles from home). No parking for less than $200/month.

Big city living is not for everyone, particularly families with children (although there is a 2-child family on my floor--I suspect they homeschool?), but I think anyone who loves it can make it work. We think about moving to the suburbs--I want a dog and a garden, he wants a car and a man cave. But then we look around us and realize what we'd be giving up--including our smallish annual budget.
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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2016, 04:57:22 PM »
There's something to be said for this - I mean, just think of how much less time is spent "traveling". 

It's a sliding scale, and we were a LOT closer to MMM's end of the scale for a few years.  My son's school is 0.7 miles from home.  We have a produce stand, 2 drugs stores, a couple of coffee shops, and two grocery stores about 1-1.25 miles from home.  Well, we lost the main grocery store.  Will get another one some day.  I used to do yoga up there too.

Especially when I had babies, we were not in any activities.  I like to go for little walks/ hikes in my neighborhood.  I can walk to the beach in under 2 miles.

But.

Well, we lost the grocery store.  The one that is left?  You can take MMM's grocery budget and double or triple it.  So, I drive to get groceries.

I do work out at home a few days a week.  But I also drive to the gym 2x a week to swim, drive my toddler to swim lessons (we live at the ocean, swim lessons are non-negotiable for me.  I was 40 when I finally felt comfortable in the water.)

My 10 year old decided he wanted to play baseball.  He was 9 when he started.  So many friends "when are you going to LET him play a sport?"  What do you mean, LET HIM.  He doesn't really want to play a sport?  Well, at 9, he decided to play a sport.  When I was a kid, his age, I wanted to play a sport too.  My dad wouldn't let me.  I tried gymnastics, but he didn't want my mom to drive me on Saturdays (I lived in a rural area).  Then I tried basketball in 5th grade and baseball too.  I wasn't particularly good at either, but the kicker was the the bus would drop me off 0.4 miles from home.  My dad did NOT want my mom to have to pick me up because I got dropped off at dinner time.  So, at the age of 10 or 11, I could sense this, and I quit.  To make my mom's life easier.

Finally when I was 14 and "old enough" to walk home, I played volleyball.  But I don't want to be *that parent*.  Sorry, you can't play a sport because I don't want to drive you around.  He tried a few bits here and there (the school had a soccer team one year).  He likes baseball.  He's learning a lot, staying fit. 

We still try to stay at home a lot.  Aside from work and daycare and school. Those are my choices, not MMMs choices.  On weekends, we walk to the park.  Our 'hood has a potluck brunch or dinner every Sunday.  This is my entertainment and social outlet.  Instead of going "out" with other groups.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2016, 05:41:38 PM »
Aside from work about 80% of what I need is within 1 mile and 95% within 3 miles. Work is about 6 miles away. I live in a dense suburb, so I don't have to go far for much of anything. (The three mile diameter gets me to Home Depot, target, and downtown). There are two grocery stores within easy walk g distance, restaurants, banks, cvs, bakery, etc.

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Re: Live in the mile around your house
« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2016, 05:46:48 PM »
You haven't seen the mile around my house.
Yeah, to make this happen, you'd have to choose the mile pretty carefully.  I don't live in that spot.