Simple Living Supreme

Watch video “A Young Couple Find Freedom in Simple Living” (Peak Moment episode 160).


Simple Living: it was my dream when we moved to our house at Lone Bobcat Woods in 1990.

Walking into Tammy and Logan’s apartment the first time, I saw how beautifully they’d accomplished simple living. Two bikes on a wall rack in the bedroom, a few versatile pieces of furniture, long-term food storage hidden under the kitchen window seat.

Yesterday we came to their “tiny house” to tape a Peak Moment Conversation with them. Their 400 square foot home still felt spacious, even after we added four chairs, two tripods, and a reflector stand!

We first “met” Logan online when he commented on one of our Peak Moment shows in fall of 2008. Sharing emails, I learned he and Tammy were just down the hill in Sacramento, and we had a lot in common. Last winter we shared a delicious dinner at their home, where we also fell in love with their two cats.

You’ll hear their story in an upcoming Peak Moment Conversation. These thirty-year-olds turned their lives around after reading Derrick Jensen and learning of Peak Oil (and getting it!!). They talk of their depression as they contemplated both their future and our shared future.

Then Tammy and Logan realized they could do things that moved towards sustainability. They started by freeing themselves from many traps in consumer culture: they downsized their possessions, sold their car (and television!), moved to their small apartment in midtown Sacramento, and got bikes, and got out of debt.

They also found something in the simple living lifestyle to look forward to — a Tiny House (don’t we all need a good carrot, a reward, something that’ll pull us forward through hard times or tough choices?). You can find out a lot more on Tammy’s blog at

There’s more, but we’ll let you wait to hear their whole story when we produce their conversation. Logan and Tammy are each articulate, and their story is inspiring.

With younger folks like these two, aware and making life-sustaining choices, I feel like humanity can weather some really tough storms up ahead and will make it through — transformed, but just fine.


  1. Ohhhh I just noticed a typo – I meant to say….

    (As a side note, I’m thankful that I cashed out of the stock market when I did because about 3 months later the market crashed. I probably would have lost 30-50% of that money. Now I make very conservative investment choices).

  2. Hi Erik – All the student loan debt was from my degrees. I have a BA, MPA and MA.

    We were able to pay it off by selling both of our cars and instead of saving a lot of money every month we put it all toward my debt. In addition, I was hardly making any money through my 401k and decided to cash it out. That was about $10,000 and I applied it all toward my student loans while I was in school. You can withdrawal money from your 401k and put it toward student loan debt, without penalty, ONLY if you are in school. However, you still have to pay taxes on that amount. (As a side note, I’m thankful that I cashed out of the stock market when I did because about 3 months the market crashed. I probably would have lost 30-50% of that money. Now I make very conservative investment choices).

    Only after our debt was paid, did we start saving money for a rainy day. Also, Logan has not accrued any student loan debt for his PhD program. His education has been funded through teaching on on the side, fellowships and scholarships.

    Essentially we followed the program laid out in Your Money or Your Life.

    I wish you the best. 🙂

  3. Erik Harper says:

    I have one question about how Logan and Tammy got out of debt. They said in the video that they had around $30K in debt. What I’m wondering is were they able to pay off this debt by simply doing all the downscaling they did?

    I’m currently going down a very similar path with my wife and 3 month old son. We moved to DC from Virginia, sold our car and rent out a small apartment that is affordable with just my income. I find that it is still going to be very difficult to pay down our student loan debt. My wife and I both have bachelor’s degrees and I have a masters. The forecast is about a 30-year payoff on our current payment plan. I also noted that Logan is getting his PhD, which is a lot of more loaned money.

    I’m just wondering how they got themselves out of the 30K debt in such a short time. Seems like a lot of educated folks like us will have considerable difficulty truly becoming debt-free with the crushing costs of student loans and the continuing decline and interruption of income.

  4. Thank you Janaia and Robyn for the wonderful visit. It was a fantastic opportunity to be apart of Peak Moment and we are happy we could contribute to your growing library of conversations.

    Be well! 🙂


  5. Thank you so much Janaia! It was so good to see both of you this week. I’m looking forward to more visits in the future. Hugs… 🙂


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