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Tips for living on less...


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#1 JM

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:06 AM

There are lots of tips and tricks on the web for budget conscious readers. In fact there is a lot of info out there to the point of information overload. On the other hand reminders and sometimes just being put in different format may help the info click. I just came across this article and thought it may be of interest here.

"Need lots of money to live comfortably?
The average income for American workers was about $40,000 during 2010 while the median income was only $26,400 (meaning half of Americans made more and half made less). I’m sure it’s fairly close to the same today. ...
Here are a few tips…

Buy used things.
Learn to cook your own food.
Clip coupons.
Resist the urge to buy new high-tech gadgets.
Grow some of your own food.
Enroll in an employer-matching 401K fund at work.
Did I say don’t buy new things?
Pay cash for the things that you do buy.
Take enjoyment from the simple things in life.
Resist ‘bigger and better’.
Enjoy your friends boat, not yours…
There are plenty of old used cars that run just fine.
When you must buy, buy on Sale.
Ride a bicycle instead of a car when possible.
Make ‘being frugal’ a fun thing.
Did I say how there’s A LOT of good used items for sale out there?
Check Craigslist for FREE stuff.
Learn ‘do-it-yourself’.
"


Click Here for Complete Article


#2 Barbaraok

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:16 PM

If everyone buys used, where will jobs go? If someone doesn't buy new, where will you get a used product? If no one goes to restaurants what happens to those businesses and employees? Hard to garden going down the road in a MH at 60 mph. Posted Image


Barb

Edited by Barbaraok, 12 April 2012 - 10:09 AM.

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2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog: http://www.barbanddave.net
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#3 Garry G

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:03 PM

If everyone buys used, where will jobs go? If someone doesn't buy new, where will you get a used product? If no one goes to restaurants what happens to those businesses and employees? Hard to garden going down the road in a MH at 60 mph. Posted Image
Barn

Ha ha, there will always be plenty of folks out there buying new and eating out. I'm not worried about that at all. I've more than done my part over the last 50 years buying new, local and supporting small businesses even though it cost more to do so. When we recently emptied our house to go full time I had to either practically give stuff away or literally give stuff away getting just a fraction of what I originally paid or nothing. If I ever get another house I'm going to furnish it with all used stuff except for the stuffed furniture. All end tables, dining room, lamps etc will be used. Thanks in advance to all those buying new, perhaps some of your old stuff will furnish my home someday :D We will grow tomatoes and cukes in containers, they will go 60 as well as we do B)
Garry & Theresa
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2009 Chevy 3500 Duramax
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#4 moonlightrunner

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:49 PM

Container Gardening Guru

Container Gardening Forum

Guide to container gardening

I have plants from my old home that travel with me. They are my "green pets" (and I do give them names). I have been given many plants over the years that I share with others when I repot them. With a little care and ingenuity I believe most of my plants can go with me. I did see a Kiwi Berry vine recently that I would love to get. Only difference I have found is the soil needed. I use a soil-less seed starting mix (various brands, although Miracle Grow makes a nice one) with the moisture retention beads added. Some people use African violet soil mixes. I have used both commercially packaged and homemade versions. I can see no difference between the two. Some of my plants are in low shallow containers and others are in tall narrow containers. Depends on the plants. I think strawberries make a lovely potted plant . Many herbs are quite suited to container growing. Pretty when potted and you can snip bits off to cook with. I have even seen patio or tub fruit trees in many plant catalogs.

#5 Technomadia

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:48 PM

Resist the urge to buy new high-tech gadgets.


Ain't gonna happen here ::) New tech is what we are known for and how we make our livelihood.


I think the most important lesson in living with less is prioritizing. We love thrift shopping for things like clothing and housewares - it's fun and money saving. We love cooking at home, it's not only cheaper - but healthier. We love enjoying a free gorgeous sunset from a bridge, instead of paying for high end entertainment amusement parks. But for the tech, we're usually the ones buying the new stuff and selling it used a year or two later.


- Cherie

Cherie & Chris (and Kiki *meow*) / Blog: Technomadia.com
Full-time gen-X technomads (technology enabled nomads) since 2006

RV: Zephyr: 1961 GM 4106 bus conversion / Toad: Pixel: 2009 MINI Cooper


#6 Kirk

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:10 PM

If everyone buys used, where will jobs go? If someone doesn't buy new, where will you get a used product?

I can think of things to worry about but I don't think that this one will make my list. The last time I was out shopping it looked like most stores are fairly busy. :P But like Cherie, I won't go used for my puter or any of the related stuff. I could upgrade them several times a year if I had the budget! But we do get a lot of our clothing at the used stores and many other things from the garage/estate sale market.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
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#7 JM

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:23 AM

One size doesn't fit all thank goodness. One man's tip another man's bane. Bottom line: never stop questioning or learning: take what you can use and leave the rest... knowledge turns into the power to achieve your personal goals.

Where will the jobs go? IMHO they go away and come back in another form. The successful employee these days is the one that stays one step ahead of the employer taking care of themselves by keeping up and/or learning new skills, maintaining motivation and reading the writing on the wall (annual financial statements and/or news headlines) to prepare for company closings, relocating or obsolescence***. No longer can one rest on their laurels once hired. Labor is only a line item on a balance sheet though successful employers proactively try to take care of their employees, that labor cost is their primary interest.

Products don't seem to be made to last and with good reason something new and better will replace it next year,month week..., Ipads and computer technology come to mind... repair skills are fading and it is "cheaper" to replace than repair.

Scary Fact About Landfills
Click here for complete article
:Landfill Facts
In just 16 years, from 1979 to 1995, the number of landfills dropped by 84%, while the amount of trash generated increased by 80%. Although the American population has become increasingly aware of the need to reduce waste and to recyle, there still is so much green work to be done.
Only two human-made structures on Earth are large enough to be seen from outer space: the Great Wall of China and the Fresh Kills landfill, located on the western shore of Staten Island!
Every year we fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from the earth, halfway to the moon.
...
Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year, most of which winds up in landfills. Click here to find out how to stop receiving junk mail,...


Living simply is not everyone's goal nor should it be, we still need thinkers and dreamers to create the new next best thing which will create more jobs to replace the ones no longer needed. Just everything in moderation and we will all last longer.

More food for thought:
25+ things we didn't have 100 years ago


21 Things that became Obsolete this Decade


#8 TheDuke

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:27 AM

"If we don't buy new, where will the jobs go?" Well I guess China will go into a recession then.

#9 richfaa

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:15 AM

Lots of good tips there.We do not do most of them. We do not like to buy used for example.We like hi tech things. We do not have a employer for a 401K.We just purchased a bigger 5th wheel.It is important to plan well ahead so that we have the financial were with all to live the lifestyle we choose and stay within budget planning.

Pay with cash the things you do buy..Now we do that or save to purchase high $$ items. We do not run up credit cards..That is a waste of $$$.
Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky
SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

#10 Dick&Joyce

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:48 AM

We differ on the pay with cash idea. We only use cash as a last alternative. If you can control your spending, paying for everything with "rewards" credit cards will help you live a little better cheaper. We use Discover and an Amazon Visa. We pay them off every month no matter what. With the Discover card points we get restaurant gift cards $50 worth for $45 in points so we even get a discount on our cash back bonus. That's how we eat out when we want a nice dinner. With the Amazon points we get free stuff we need. Just our way of doing it Posted Image
Dick and Joyce
2010 3665RE Montana 5th Wheel
2011 Dodge 2500 laramie edition
Norm, Diego @ Bitsy

#11 richfaa

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:39 AM

If you pay the balance in full at the end of every month then you are NOT running up credit charges. We do that for example with the walmart card for fuel purchase. The perks that cards offer are a marketing ploy to encourage card use knowing that most folks do not have the discipline to pay in full at the end of the month thereby running up high interest credit charges. If you can pay in full at the end of the month then you have the cash to pay at purchase and are doing it for the perks.. We have got a "reminder" from credit card companies that we did not have to pay in full at the end of the month.
One gas card that we did pay off at the end of every month was mysteriously cancelled for "lack of use" which was BS.

We do save for high $$ purchases like a new truck or RV. We may have to take out a loan for high $$ items but we save to make the loan payment within our budget limits.

IMO high credit card debt is the downfall of many families. 18 to 25% interest...That is obscene
Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky
SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

#12 mockturtle

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:41 AM

My parents were well off but frugal and buying used was always the first choice, particularly for large items like cars. I buy used whenever I can and get some of my clothes at the local thrift store [although I probably donate a lot more than I buy].

It would be nice if bartering caught on in communities where small farmers, lets say, could barter their products for goods and services they need. I don't think 'earning a living' will ever have quite the same meaning that it did in the old economy.

RVing since 1994
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#13 geysergazers

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:29 PM

We learned our lesson early in our life together. One year after we married we bought a brand new automobile....and haven’t bought another one new in the next thirty nine years together. We did break down and buy a brand new TT in 2008 because there are virtually no used small Travel Trailers to be had. We also, at that time, bought a 2 yr old (lease turn-back) Ford Escape as a tow vehicle.

When buying electronics we try to buy either refurbished (both our Macbook Pro ‘puters) or at the end of production runs (both of our Canon cameras).

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Growing older is so much more Fun than the only Alternative


#14 David & Lorna Schinske

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:33 PM

... If you can control your spending, paying for everything with "rewards" credit cards will help you live a little better cheaper...

We thought that way too. Until a series of "unfortunate" events happened (all within the space of less than a year) that we had no control over. It left us in bad shape because we made the mistake of listening to other people and acquired the "good" debt. We blew thru our savings trying to keep up and when that was gone (months after the job was gone) we ended up living in a popup. So that sanctimonious "If you can control your spending" that so many spout off is great if everything is sailing along without any major bumps. After our bad year (which took years to recover from) we decided to pare down our debt as much as possible. We did buy another house (on 2 acres) on a private loan (bought from a judge... it was how he made his $$) but that was our last loan. It was cheaper than renting. We don't do credit any more. If you want to take the risk by accruing credit. Go for it. But please don't act like the folks who don't want debt or have been thru a debt crisis are unable to handle money. I know too many people who have had problems with credit due to identity theft (back before they had all the new safeguards), divorce, job loss, theft by their money managers and illness. I guess Dick&Joyce, richfaa, among others, would think it was their fault. Those people should have used their crystal ball to foresee events happening years down the road.

Wanna bet this get censored by the powers that be because I called someone sanctimonious when they don't have a solitary word said to them because they called the ones who prefer to be debt free unable to control their spending.

Okay flame futilely away because I won't be reading it. Got too much stuff to do for the next three weeks by which time I will have forgotten about this thread. I need more hours in a day and LOTS more energy. Have a nice FRUGAL Memorial Day weekend... go on a picnic in a free park!

#15 Dick&Joyce

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:48 PM

Had a daughter get cancer when I had no health insurance to cover her. I understand what you're saying and where you are coming from. Debt isn't something I have or want to have. The control your spending comment was meant for the folks who don't keep track of their expenditures and get to the end of the month and have to carry a balance over to the next month or longer. If you do that only the credit card company profits.
Dick and Joyce
2010 3665RE Montana 5th Wheel
2011 Dodge 2500 laramie edition
Norm, Diego @ Bitsy

#16 richfaa

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:15 PM

No one can control unfortunate events that one has no control over it can and has happened to many of us.But there are things within our control
Controlling your use of credit cards and pay them off at the end of every month if at all possible. Using credit cards to get the perks then paying off at the end of the month is good economics.

There is nothing wrong with acquiring debt. There is no way to look down the road and see what might happen.We would never do anything.

I know folks here in Florida that purchased property and took out loans based on their total income including overtime. These folks were working 50 /60 hours a week and in many cases both Husband and wife.The economy dumped, hours were cut, one or the other lost their jobs.They are in foreclosure. Multiply that by thousands of families. It was poor thinking on the part of the borrower and criminal on the part of bankers who advised them to do that.

This Truck and Rv was paid for cash money after years of savings and lucky investments. The new RV we purchased required us to take a loan on a portion of it.The loan and payment is well within our ability to pay and our budget today. We have no idea what might happen next year or 5 years from now or next week.

We can not plan or make decisions on what might happen. However...operating on a debit free basses is to be commended.

BTW.... I don't see that anyone said this..Or suggested it "" I called someone sanctimonious when they don't have a solitary word said to them because ...............they called the ones who prefer to be debt free unable to control their spending."
Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky
SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

#17 Barbaraok

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:46 PM

Lorna,
I believe that the suggestion was to use the CC instead of cash on hand, then pay the CC with the cash you would have used. Sometimes I end up with a credit on the credit card statement because I am paying ahead when I know a big charge is coming. I get the rewards and am only using the cash I have on hand. Also a lot of us are retired and have a pretty well fixed income and expenses.
I would also suggest that you are again trying to get in the first lick against someone and you don't need to be doing that. No one is saying you can't use cash, nor is anyone saying that those who don't use credit cards are in some way inferior to others. You're reading more into posts than is there.
Barb

Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
Full-timimg with our cat Shadow (16 yrs old)
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog: http://www.barbanddave.net
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#18 j2catfish

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:32 PM

My one great deal on credit card use is using my GM Mastercard. I get a rebate of up to $500.00 per year based on my useage. You can save up to 7 years credit ($3500.00) for use on a GM vehicle. So far, I have used it three times. You make your best deal, then before you sign on the bottom line, pull out the discount card and apply that. It really works. And it can be used by a direct family member if you don't need it. Once we reach the yearly $500.00 limit, we switch to another cash back card from USAA.
Works for me.
Catfish
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#19 GypsyQueen

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:00 AM

I think that one of the main tips for learning to live on less is a change of mind-set, something that happens to many RVers as they go into full-timing.

Because we have limited space, we learn to make do with less stuff. It doesn't take long to realize that we don't need, or even want, every cute thing we see in our travels, and think of the money we save!

Because we have limited funds, we learn to find discounted campgrounds and free places to park. We've learned to use 50% off campgrounds, BLM, National Forests, COE and other low cost campgrounds that are free or give us a break on fees. If you're into volunteering, then campsites probably come with the job--even better!

Setting priorities is crucial. If we love the latest technology, then maybe we limit our entertainment budget to what we can do for free. We spend more on gas, but we seldom spend money on eating out.

One of the most important lessons we've learned is that many of the best things in life really are free - beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers, sitting around a campfire with friends, jam sessions at campgrounds...

Stephie

Living on Less

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#20 mockturtle

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:58 PM

Stephanie, I could not agree more! Prioritizing is probably the most important part of cutting costs. For me, fuel is a 'biggie' because I don't like to stay put. But I spend a lot less on camping since I prefer to dry camp. As I never eat out, I can spend more my communication devices. And hiking doesn't usually cost me anything.

RVing since 1994
2000 Born Free 24RB Class C
6.8L Ford V-10 Engine, E450 Chassis