How to Live Like an Emperor For Very Little

Don’t smoke cigarettes.

Learn how to fix your car and drive it until that thing is on the verge of imploding. Don’t buy into the ‘Needing the latest car’ thing (or the ‘needing the latest anything…thing’ for that matter), there’s literally no reason – aside from empty status and narcissism – that you need that a new, or updated car. If it works fine, ask yourself, why am I replacing it?

If you can, walk or ride a bicycle to work. (Learn to fix a bike)

If your work is not within walking or cycling distance (or is over 10 miles away) relocate. The only thing you can’t get back is time. And time spent with friends and family is more important that a 2 hour commute for some extra money. A side note on this, try calculate the amount you spend on fuel, maintenance and additional car extras due to the commute – definitely isn’t worth it.

Most people pushing a frugal/hyper-environment-friendly way of living will tell you not to have kids, or to foster. I say fuck that. Having kids doesn’t mean you have to introduce them/bring them up in the same carbon-loaded way everyone else does. People assume your kids are also going to want a loads of toys, gadgets and junk, bring them up well and they wont.

Get your clothes from charity shops. Or, if you’re like most people, you’ve already bought at least 3-4 pairs of trousers, 5-10 shirts, 2 dress shirts, socks and boxers. You don’t need more, buying new clothes is boredom. You’re bored.

Learn how to repair stuff…sure, but more importantly, look after your shit. The amount of people that wouldn’t need to buy stuff if they just looked after their goddamn stuff, it’s not difficult.

Most of you who follow me will know by now that I’ve just started work as a joiner, so guess what, No.8: Learn a trade. Ha! Look at me on my high horse. But for real, I sat behind that marketing desk, I’ve been to university…you can’t bullshit a bullshitter, I know 90% of jobs are bullshit and so do you. Does what you’re doing have a direct effect on the world? On things people use routinely? No, well, you’re part of the ’embroidery upon the fabric of society’.

Question hedonistic western culture in general. Booze, weed, cigarettes, caffeine…why did you ever need this stuff? I doubt there’s a reason outside of boredom. Are you merely a culmination of your vices, habits and customs?

Helping people, or, cooperating is admittedly a tough one these days. I live in the country where there’s still an ethic of neighborly-ness, if you live in the city, well, I just don’t know. Move, leave, get the fuck out.

Much akin to repairing things, you ever try making something? Shit, can you remember the last time you actually made something? I don’t mean from a set, or blueprint, or some Amazon kit purchase, when you actually planned and made something that had a purpose and worked? Even if that purpose was to brighten someone’s day. Make stuff.

Look after your health. Take the basic supplements: D3 (4000UI Daily), Omega 3 (1000mg Daily), B-Complex and a Multivitamin. Find an agreeable diet – I recommend Carnivore, Ketogenic, Paleo and (shock horror) legitimate Vegan (as in, not just eating vegan alternative junk), also, work out, you weren’t supposed to sit on your fucking arse 14 hours a day, no wonder you feel anxious, depressed, isolated and like a rat in a cage, because you make yourself into one. Also, wear safety equipment if needed, like seatbelts etc. Don’t be a moron.

Find a job that gives you at least some feeling of fulfillment. Even a 30%+ pay-cut is worth it, why you ask? When you do what you – at least somewhat – enjoy each day, you no longer feel the need to buy mindless escapes, overpriced junk, alcohol etc. It works out.

Junkies, addicts, rebels, whiners, drama-queens, boozers, grey-vampires, downers, energy-drainers, moaners and overt campy pessimists all need to be cut out of your life. Fuck them. Let them go drool to death in their own shit.

The only things you should ever get on credit (if you’re family oriented) is a house and a car. If you have anything else on credit you’re an idiot.

Preventable expenses – things which were either avoidable, never-worth-it or a replacement for a personality: Tattoos, Streaming services, STDs, speeding tickets, gaming subscriptions, lootboxes, film-passes, dating-apps – just Western detritus in general.

Stop acting rich. It’s OK to sit in and read, no one cares that you’re not there, or here, or over there, that you don’t have that thing etc. No one cares. Everyone thinks about themselves as much as you think about yourself, therefore no one has time to think about you.

Did you just buy bottled water?

Prepare your lunches in advance. If you don’t know how to cook for yourself, please find your nearest suicide booth.

Get a budget.

It’s fine to just be.

It’s OK to be bored.

This list was based – admittedly pretty directly – off Thor Harris’ How to Live like A King For Very Little. Though I have some disagreements with it, I think it could have done with a minor update, a few tweaks and little more explanation regarding the current state of things. A lot’s happened since its original publication in 2014.

5 thoughts on “How to Live Like an Emperor For Very Little

  1. When it comes to ounce-of-prevention, oral hygiene is a prime example, considering the disproportionate cost in money, pain and stress of repair vs the minor daily investment. Yet the future cost is abstract, no one really thinks in terms of “I wonder when my next cavity will occur, better stash the money now for the filling”.

    Only recently did I learn of defined methods for brushing teeth. Everyone hears “make little circles, don’t scrub back and forth” but don’t know that that method (“Fones”) has been shown less effective than the Bass method, or Stillman for those with more sensitive gums.

    The million dollar question isn’t ‘Why was I never told this’, but ‘Why did I not care to inquire?’… A minimum effort daily brushing is almost like a compulsive, superstitious ritual, a prayer (NB our culture speaks of a “tooth fairy”) for no more cavities. But if we feel the need for this in the first place…

  2. This article is 50-50. Half is solid advice most people should heed. The other half is typical ‘overconfident twentysomething’ spiel.


    Children – It’s true that you can have children without the massive carbon footprint, but no, children’s preferences don’t come from their parents; children learn from their peers. Every parent thinks they’re going to raise their children in the same idealistic way you’re suggesting but these ideas are quickly shattered once as their kids enter their teenage years.

    Dieting – I commend you for including a variety of diets without being dogmatic (it’s rare you see somebody recommending both vegan and carnivore), however, pushing fad diets is what people who learned nutrition science from YouTube videos do. Yes, ALL of them are better than the standard American diet of sugar, fast food, and processed junk, but there is zero evidence that any of them are any better than the tried-and-tested diet of vegetables, fruit, meat, diary and wholegrain. There is, however, evidence that they have their problems.

    I could go on but you get the point. If the post didn’t have that arrogant “I just got my life sorted out why haven’t you?” tone I probably wouldn’t even have noticed how much of the advice was nonsense, but when somebody tells you you’re living life wrong and they don’t know what they’re talking about it stands out.

    1. I appreciate the feedback. Admittedly any article of this sort which promotes clear goals and ideas to strive towards as a way to improve your life should be approached with caution. I often make the mistake of thinking all my blog readers also read my Twitter feed – as both were created together – the former is where I make it at least somewhat clear that I don’t fully have my shit together -I’m getting closer to some ideal that I’m pursuing – I offer advice, but it’s largely advice which I’m exploring myself and have found helpful.

      There’s a question here to be stated: When is the correct time to offer advice? Of course if there’s a *clear* goal in mind such as money etc. then those who have money can offer advice and those who are failures in increasing money cannot. However, when it comes to happiness, fulfillment and contentment, alongside means to exit modernity who can truly give advice. A large amount of the boomers can’t because their goals are empty – that’s not saying many are content etc. – I’m simply giving advice which I have found has made my life more fulfilling and meaningful. I’d like to think my readership is intelligent enough to not simply take everything at face value.

      I’ll take your dieting example here. Sure, the diets I listed are often seen as ‘fad’ diets, and as you stated in relation to the average western diet they’re way better. The reason I advise to go on one of these is that they’re a great starting position, from there you can add or subtract that which works for you – there’s no such thing as the perfect diet.

      As for the ‘I just got my life sorted out why haven’t you?’ remark, I don’t mind it. But the whole point of my use of language in other posts – becoming & overcoming specifically – is that ‘sorting yourself out’ isn’t a conclusion, it’s a journey, as soon as you think you’re complete and have sorted it all out, you’re stuck and ignorant. It’s all about the journey. This post was a sort of cantankerous reaction to much of the ironic and moany behavior I see from a lot of people aged 20-40 nowadays. Everything is fucked and it’s someone else’s fault. I say no, take action, you have choices and possibilities.

      1. Fair response. It’s clear that you’re much more sensible than I had assumed from this particular post – I should have read a bit more of your blog before forming an opinion. I was also overly critical at an article with clearly good intentions.

        The audience you had in mind will benefit from reading this. I, too, as somebody trying to ‘exit modernity’ found it useful if only for the reminder about personality replacements. This is something you’ve mentioned in other articles too and I think your insight on this is deeper than most: the general idea is now mainstream but usually our understanding of how we substitute brands, interests, etc. for personality is superficial and we’re just as vulnerable of doing so as those we criticise.

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