I’m Not Sure I Would Have Done It, But This Guy Made A Drastic Change And Is Now Happier Than Ever.

Twenty years ago, Dan Price had a job, a wife, and two kids–everything modern society says to strive for. After his marriage dissolved, he decided to pursue a simpler life. Now he lives in a “Hobbit hole,” and survives off of only $5,000 a year. His new life, he says, is paradise.

Price refers to his home as the “Hobbit hole,” and for obvious reason.


The space is eight feet across and the ceilings are four feet high. He lives alone with only the most basic of furnishings.

He was inspired to live a simpler life after reading the 1974 bookPayne Hollow by Harlan Hubbard.


The book describes the author’s choice to forgo modernity and live a simpler life by the shore of the Ohio River. Price mixes oats, nuts, and grains with grocery store cereals in order to create a simple meal for one. Because he doesn’t have a refrigerator, he doesn’t keep milk, so he pours water on top of his concoction.

Price wrote about his life’s adventures in his series of illustrated books called Moonlight Chronicles. His writings provided a modest income.


He wrote the books for twenty years.

Laundry is cleaned in the river on the edge of Price’s property.


Price finds the simplest solution to essential needs in life.

“What happens when you get richer and richer is you dream of making a paradise for yourself,” he said. “What I have here is what rich people have.”


Each year he cuts down one cottonwood tree on his property. He is sure to replace that tree by planting a new one, and replaces them with evergreens because of their smaller limbs which are safer from falling during storms.

He only buys tools that are absolutely necessary, and even then tends to buy them used at garage sales or on craigslist.


To stay in shape, he lifts the barbell he made himself out of scrap metal.


Price said that he doesn’t have health insurance which posed a problem when he was hospitalized with a kidney stone a few years ago. Unable to afford the $3,000 bill, he was upfront and told the hospital his situation, and they agreed to set up a payment plan.

Instead of a car, he rides a recumbent tricycle to get around.


Price bought a $6 file in order to sharpen a saw his friend gave him.


“People get this real high when they buy something. That’s why they buy stuff all the time. I’m the opposite. When I buy something I get this depressed feeling,” he said.

Price decided to lend his expertise to Nez Perce Native American photo exhibit.


He lived in a teepee for a while before moving to the “Hobbit hole,” so he’s a bit of an expert on the subject.

For a time, Price also held the job of caretaker at the local cemetery.


“It was like a revelation. Caretaker, there’s something so cool about that word. Like being a monk. I love mowing and taking care of a place. I wanted the job so badly I started cleaning up [the grounds] before I got the job,” he said. Have you ever heard anyone talk about a job with such simple excitement? I certainly haven’t.

Price’s simple lifestyle is such a change from the normal daily grind we find ourselves in. Without the demands of so many expenses and obligations, he’s found a way to re-prioritize what he lets into his life. It’s really inspiring, and just goes to show what’s possible when we choose our own direction.