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Ken Ilgunas

Ken Ilgunas at Acorn Abbey, with his van

Guess who was a guest at Acorn Abbey this weekend. Ken Ilgunas, who has become quite a celebrity after he wrote a piece in Salon Magazine about how he goes to graduate school debt-free by living in his van near Duke University. Ken, a brilliant writer, is becoming a powerful voice for frugality and sustainable living.


  1. mountain madness wrote:

    I’m sure it was nice to share your Abbey with good company. I can’t wait to get started on mine. Just got the plans and the basement drawings. I’m putting two bedrooms and a full bath in the basement. I also moved the washer and dryer to the basement and added a shower in the master bath. My builder had a great idea to add a small room in the attic above the master bedroom using a ladder type stair. If I do that I’ll probably put a skylight in it for more natural light. Can’t wait to share my pictures with you once I begin building. I really enjoy your web site!!

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    Wow! You are turning the gothic cottage into quite a mansion! The space in the attic is awesome, and you are wise to find such a neat way to use it. I use the attic space only for storage, with a pull-down stair in the upstairs hall. I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the house…

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  3. mountain madness wrote:

    Well, I have to fit 3 growing teenage boys into the house… The basement will become the “Man Cave” so that the main floor hopefully stays clean and uncluttered. The attic idea was my builders idea once he saw the full plans for the house he was like that attic space is huge we should use that for something rather than close it up. I’ll have a full mechanical room in the basement and more storage under the stairs in the basement so I said why not???

    Monday, February 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  4. Quetal wrote:

    Hi – I enjoyed Mr. Ilgunas’s article. I sent it to my daughter, because she is always longing for something and Ken’s article says it quite right – be satisfied with what you have and in my view life does continue along with a tweak here and there of some creature comfort like real foods from Whole Foods (provided theres no farmers market around).

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink
  5. mountain madness wrote:

    So after reading Mr. Ilgunas’s article I have two questions? Did he graduate yet and has anyone outed him now that he has published this article? I admire him for going back to just the basics and not following the flock into debt… I don’t know many people who would be willing to give so much up to have so much. It makes me wonder if he will ever get a loan to purchase a home or land? Or if he will find a partner who will embrace his need to be so debt free without that becoming an issue when his partner carries debt for things he has learned are no longer important to have quality in life. He has embraced the true meaning of living like not many people will ever be able to begin to understand.. I almost am envious of his ability to do just that as I look at my mortgage on my Florida home and the private school tuition for my son and so on……. I take my hat off to him and wish him the best of luck in his endeavors. What a strong soul he is!!!!!!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

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