How do you do it? Budgeting

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pcdreams, May 21, 2006.

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  1. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    There have been several threads that talk about health insurance, etc and I'm curious to see how people can afford it..Not knocking them But I want to give an idea of what some folks (such as ourselves) are up against when it comes to budget constraints..

    Heres a breakdown of our monthly income/outgoes

    $1400 income

    House payment $375
    Land(for hs) $160
    Utilities $200 (actual varies from 100-250)
    phone/internet $60
    trash $17 (live in city so we can't burn)
    farm equipt $50 (will be paid off in about 6 mths)
    auto ins $75
    gas $160 (too and from work, 2x to grocery store/month)
    groceries $300
    -----------------------------------
    $1397

    Total leftover $3

    As you can see health insurance, savings etc are out of the question.

    I could get a job (which I had before) but we were actually having to borrow to pay bills when I was working.. Due to the fact that we spent more getting to work as well as while at work (travel)..

    Our job market here sucks.. You're luck to find a job at minimum with no upward mobility.. Top of the scale is around $12 and thats for someone with masters. SIGH

    Anyway I'm open to some ideas.. We REALLY need to figure out something different or we're going to be in trouble before long..
     
  2. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Sorry I cant help our situations are similar.If your not working a job where is your 1,400 a month from?Your own home based buisness right? I got your letter today and wrote back. Nice to hear from you
     

  3. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    actually its from slinging rock on the corner. LOL.. j/k..

    Thats the income from wifes job.

    Glad it arrived and look foward to reading your reply :)
     
  4. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you're in the same boat as many. Hopefully you have time to bail out before it capsizes.

    The solution, which sounds easier than it really is, is multiple income streams. Are you good with repair and remodeling projects? You could run an ad in the paper for handyman services. Some other things would be to learn soap making, although I hear that lye is really hard to get ahold of these days because of meth dopers.

    Maybe learn a trade like building decks, or a very lucrative field might be small engine repair, computer repair, electronics repair, that sort of thing. You could also learn bookkeeping, or learn to do taxes, or locksmithing.

    Does your wife have access to insurance where she works? If not, and you have previous or current health problems you'll probably be uninsurable. Does Missouri have a state run health insurance plan for the uninsured? With your current income you might qualify.

    Sheesh. Only in Missouri can you have housing for $350 a month. Our property taxes are higher than that!
     
  5. jersey girl

    jersey girl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try checking out www.crown.org It is a christian financia ministry. They can,t help you get more money, but they help you budget what you have. You have no extra and seem to have no extra spending. That makes it rough. I agree with above though, maybe there is another way to make money for you.
    Good luck. I hope something comes your way soon.
     
  6. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    I've become better with remodeling.. I've done the work on ours and it's gotten progressively better. I'm not sure if it would be considered "quality" by most folks standards. I'm rather slow with it.

    We've made soap as well as cheese but these maybe things to follow up on.. We were doing it mostly to learn self sufficiency but may be able to sell some.

    I actually know computer repair (took a associates in network technology, also have a+, network+, security+ certifications.. Just not any jobs in that market in our area..Had my own company for a couple years.

    I had though of learning small engine repair..but don't think I could afford the training. Already know how to do taxes (at least basic 1040 stuff).

    I'd also considered selling bird houses. Should be simple to build.. but once again you need $$ for materials

    Wife can get health at work (hospital) but it would be $90 every payday (180/month).. Just for her. I think it adds something like another 50 or so per payday for me... Cant do that.

    On the + side neither one of us have any injuries/illnesses etc. so as far as being difficult (other than affording it) insurance shouldn't be a big problem.

    I'll have to check on state health care.. I honestly don't know if they do or not. I know we don't qualify for food stamps (too much income)..

    Trust me our mortage is the exception instead of the norm.. I think they figured that for that amount we should be able to afford to make substantial repairs on the house. LOL.. Not to mention its in the middle of a large town on a small(50x150) lot and its 100 yrs old (which isn't a bad thing) and no insulation (thus $$ utilities)
     
  7. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    I think I remember you, PC. Aren't you the one who's recently moved into this area and was having a tough time with the isolation last fall? If I remember correctly you were picking up a part time job to help with the lack of socialization. Sorry that didn't work out for you.

    Please forgive me if I've confused you with someone else.

    Maybe if you'd run some adds for computer repair, you could pick up some extra cash to get you going on another endeavor. Can you do electronics repair too?
     
  8. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could you apply at the hosp with a cleaning crew or in the supply room??. You could then ride to work with wife and the extra income would help pay for insurance. They usually provide you with uniforms for a small deduction of your first ck... Can you reduce your phone/internet service? Many people I know just have cell phones and not land lines. Cheaper and easier. What is the Land (hs) listing?
     
  9. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    Must be thinking of someone else.. We've lived here (in town) for darn near ever.

    I've got fliers and business cards everywhere for computer work (as well as resumes and app.. I don't know anything about electronics.. I applied for an electrician apprentship and am waiting to hear results of my aptitude test (fingers crossed)..
     
  10. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    I have/keep applying with the hospital. Each time they have a job down in either janitoral or central supply.. I'm starting to get frustrated with them now as i've applied 4 times and have yet to get a satisfactory answer as to whats going on with my application.

    I sure wish I could get rid of our phone/internet.. Truth is here land line is cheaper. We don't use long distance very often because all our family is local.. We had prepaid cell service for awhile but it was costing us about the same, not to mention the hassle everytime the companies merge/get bought out.

    Land(hs) is the land for the homestead.. Can't give that one up as thats our last shread of sanity (oppertunity to get out of the city)..
     
  11. earlsfarmgirl

    earlsfarmgirl Active Member

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    What about groceries? I feed our family of 2 adults and 7 kids on a little under $400 a month. We are not vegetarian, although we do have meatless meals 1-2 x a week. Groceries are usually the most flexible area of my budget. I buy alot of staples, watch for sales and stock up then. In other words, don't just shop for what meals you eat that week but think about how much of a given item you will consume in a month or so. I do have a garden that I grow basics in and can and freeze what I can. Check out hillbillyhousewife.com for some really good tips on eating cheaply but nutritiously.
     
  12. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    Are you fairly healthy and have a truck? How about cleaning out people's basements and garages for a fee. Then take their "get rid of it" stuff and sell it on ebay. Some may be old kitchen stuff that people really like on ebay or small appliances, which are also good. You may be able to rake in a couple hundred a month this way. If you know neighborhoods where some of the people are elderly, what they consider junk is now really popular. I am not by any means saying take advantage of anyone, but I personally know if you want your garage/basement cleaned you are usually ready to get rid of the stuff. Also people moving would be a good place to offer the cleaning job on. I know from experience with my last move I threw away tons of stuff I am looking for now, just sick and tired of the thought of moving it all! :shrug:
     
  13. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    groceries is something we're working on.. We garden also but the last couple years have been pretty slim pickings mostly due to weather.

    We're still in the figuring everything out stage of groceries.. We tend to spend about 50-75 one fresh veggies/fruit.. about 75-100 or so on meat and about 100-125 on canned goods, staples, and other things (usually laundry soap, tp, etc).

    We probally do spend a bit much on groceries because we buy fresh veggies and fruits instead of prepackaged stuff. I know its cheaper to buy that stuff but I can't see wrecking your health to save a dollar or two.
     
  14. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    This is something I hadn't thought of.. :) I'll give this a go and see what I come up with
     
  15. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    I meant to add that auctions will also ask/let people haul away the stuff that doesn't sell sometimes. We have one around here, that after the auction people can go over there and haul away everything left.
     
  16. earlsfarmgirl

    earlsfarmgirl Active Member

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    I agree, we like fresh better than canned or frozen veggies. I buy very few store bought frozen veggies and eat only home canned veggies. I don't think we are wrecking our health by doing this. No processed foods/convenience foods. No soda,or store bought breads etc.
     
  17. farmgirlmama

    farmgirlmama Well-Known Member

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    We had to get CA "healthy Families" insurnace for my son last year...he needed surgery and we had no $$$ (it was $3000-$5000 for an operation). It was an HMO and cost $9 per month. You may qualify for something until you make more $.

    If you are a Christian and do not use tobacco products there is Samaritan (I think it's called that) and everyone sends a check to people in need every month (I think around $120)...a pastior I know had $100,000 surgery and they paid it ALL.

    There is also catastrophic coverage insurance (my husband is on that) I think it's about $60.00 per month and covers the big stuff.

    I second the Crown financial program. my inlaws teach that and people have a lot of success with it.

    Jennifer
     
  18. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    A heavy duty truck or a 2 axel trailer can haul about $250.00 worth of scrap metal each trip to a scrap yard. You will need a torch to size the metals, there are size limits that will be followed in order to sell, the scrap yard will reject or lesson your money due to oversize pieces.

    20 years back I was making up to $400.00 per week on occasions with scrap metals. Usually averaged at least $250.00 or better. Scrap is at a seldom seen high level right now.

    Ferrous metals (those that respond to a magnet) are about $6.00 per hundred right now here; non ferrous metals are sold by the pound, copper is at $1.40 per pound; aluminum cans are $0.60 per pound, 21 tall beer cans or 28 12 ounce cans, or soda cans.

    To start out, you need to share the cash with the source of the metals, usually at a 50-50 level, which is standard for this trade. As your reputation grows you will gain clients that just want their metals gone, I have been paid to haul away metals at 3 times their sellable value. A 6 foot high chain link fence equipped trailer, parked at a local location on a scheduled system is a good place to make money. If aluminum is selling for $o.50 cents per pound at the far away scrap yard; and you offer to buy at $0.40 per pound, that allows you to gain $0.10 per pound, suppose you have 4500 pounds to take in to sell, thats $450.00 for sitting on your hind side - crushing cans at your leisure in order to get a larger load on the trailer.

    You do not have a budget problem - it is a cash flow problem that requires action on your part. Just my opinion...
     
  19. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    I'd give up the meat and the canned goods and buy some plain dry rice, dry beans, and a bag of masa harina (tortilla mix - easy to make your own with this). Well, maybe also buy one industrialized size can tomato sauce and split it up into smaller portions (freeze them) and use it a sauce ingredient with your fresh veg..

    Maybe that's simpler than you'd want to live all of the time, and if it is try the beans/rice approach every other month and only save $600 per year. It is a good way to enjoy an abundance of good food at a super low price.

    Lynda
     
  20. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you thought of selling your present house in town, use the $$ to move onto your land and get settled there? Not withing driving distance for wife's job? Also consider buying your staples in bulk so you don't have to buy them every month and surely cut down on the meats and canned goods. If you are spending a goodly amount of fresh stuff what canned goods ARE you buying? Are you folks cooking from scratch a lot or using premixed, microwave, open the bag and heat stuff.
     
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