The rules for Perfect Poverty are very simple.
My annual budget for the year is $13,700. This falls below the Canadian Low Income Cut-Off for a single person living in an averaged sized city, as well as being comparable with the average social assistance, disability, or CPP income.
The year is a very heavy travel year for me, especially in the first 4 months, where monthly flights are required. I'm moving from city to city every 4 weeks, making my way from Newfoundland back to Victoria. For this reason, I have reserved $1700 for travel (though that does not include day-to-day commuting). The remaining $12,000 divides nicely into 12 months of living on $1000.
The $1000 has to buy everything that is required for living, being:
- transportation to and from work
- health care as needed
- cultural activities
- social endeavors
- personal items
- clothing (though I'll try not to buy any)
- incidental costs
- anything else possible
Obviously, a person can get themselves incarcerated and still be able to meet the criteria above. But this isn't about scaping by, cheating or falling off the face of the earth - it's about living a sustainable lifestyle that could potentially be continued by someone that works 9-5, in any city, anytime. The definition of "living optimally" for this project is:
- all expences are paid for legitimately. That means no stealing, begging, cheating or using anyone for the sake of making ends meet. Generosity incurring through informed consent is appreciated and welcomed.
- all food eaten has to be healthy, meaning as much plant-based whole food as possible, with limited eating out and processed food
- cultural and social activities must be embraced and partaken in. Staying at home feeling sorry for yourself in a new city is not acceptable.
- all decisions have to be made with the environment in mind. That means creating as little trash as possible, using self propelled transportation, eating low on the food chain, buying ethically produced items and not allowing cost to compromise sustainability.
- life has to be good. This means no bad feelings or substantial compromises on quality of life due to budgetary restraints.
All purchases are to be recored and published on the last day of the month.