As weight is tied to work, work to energy and energy to money in the current economic system (oil, gas and electricity, primarily), one way to reduce cost (and thereby freeing yourself incrementally) is to reduce the weight of the items you own and need to live day by day. As many of our transactions and information can be stored online or in very lightweight storage devices (such as micro SD cards), this reduces the need to carry around paper versions of the same. For example, receipts can be photographed and the resulting image used as a proof of the transaction (check in your jurisdiction before relying on this method). By the same token, working systematically towards the items that are deemed essential, should leave one with the items one really needs over time.
A useful working goal is to determine if I can carry everything I need on my back. Weighing my own equipment, I found that I ended up with about forty five pounds (~20kg). With this weight I was able to walk (taking my time) a distance of 12 miles (~20 km). Translating this into metric we end up with a 20/20 rule (20kg over 20km) in a single day. The difference of this method to the current alternate method is that (a) no vehicle was used, (b) no storage would be needed over the long term if this method could be sustained, (c) no permanent housing would be needed over the long term if this method could be sustained. With just these items eliminated from the equation, one can see that this reduces the amount of money required substantially. This method can also be applied to larger groups, such as a family, once the bugs are ironed out. As some items can be shared (a laptop or computer, for instance), the total weight is still something that could be carried by the group as a whole.
What are your thoughts? Would you be comfortable reducing what you needed to what you could carry on your back? Let me know at cbos [at] tnoep [dot] ca and I will post the best ideas here.