I hope I dont cause a thread drift from pcdreams

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Rxnwl, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Rxnwl

    Rxnwl Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Phoenix Az
    I want to talk about how people get from a negative cash flow sitiuation to even a small homestead. I live in one of the most expensive states in the country(Arizona). I live in a rented house$675.00 which is really cheap here. I have a car payment and utilities. My only entertainment is the internet and my 2 dogs. I work 40 hrs a week, have not taken any time off in 7 years.
    I make 22,000 a year, I dont think I can cut back anymore, I also am to old to work 2 jobs. I want so much to have a small house maybe on an acre or 2 and raise enough for myself and a little extra. How do I get there from here? The house I rent is 900 sq ft 40 yrs old and would sell for $185,000.
    That is about the cheapest you can get here. There are no "cheap" areas.
    I cant afford to move to a cheaper part of the country which I would love to do, that is the only way I can see to make things better. How have some of you gone from a negative cash flow to getting what you want? Im not even making it pay check to paycheck.
  2. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 28, 2002
    No one can survive with an ongoing negative cash flow. If you are going in the hole each month you aren't going to survive where you are let alone achieve your dream. You've got to figure a way to spend less than you make NOW or you won't make it much further.

    You need to think outside the box ... extreme cost cutting. There are some good ideas for that at family forum on the frugal thread and no spending for a year thread. There are also a ton of money saving ideas on the thread here - don't recall exact name but deals with shtf now for them.

    You rent a house. Could you move to a small apartment for less rent? Or rent a room in your house to someone in your same situation? Sell your car and use public transportation? Do you raise any food where you're at? No garden - use containers. With a negative cash flow I'd give up the Internet and go to the library and use it there. If your situation is really that dire, you probably need to find new homes for your pets because you can't possibly afford vet care for them.

  3. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    It sounds as if you are single. Any chance you could move to another state or area in your state with cheaper housing. I think that may be the only viable solution. Otherwise you may have to go to a trade school or get some other education to make yourself more marketable.
  4. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Ocala, FL
    Why can't you afford to move to another part of the country? Take a deep breath and really get down to the nitty-gritty of "WHY I can't AFFORD to move".

    You have a car. You have two dogs. Everything else is just "stuff".

    I've learned the hard way that getting rid of the "stuff" that holds us back only hurts for a minute!

    You just need to make the decision to DO IT!

    When I joined the Army, I was renting a house for $500/month, had a cat and 2 horses (horses boarded out @ $200/month/per)

    The REASON I joined the Army was to make a better life for myself; a happier, more secure life with skills and money for college. I joined at the age of 27. I had just hit a point where I could not raise my standard of living from where I was at!

    I held a huge garage sale; selling everything including furniture and most of my clothes, even cosmetics. I put the horses for sale on consignment with my best friend. My mother agreed to take in my cat. I then drove myself and my car to Basic Training.

    You could do something similar. You've had a steady job for 7 years. You've made a regular housing payment for as many years or more. Any mortgage company would be happy to finance you if your credit is even half-way decent. At $22,000 per year, you could roughly afford a $60-$70,000 note, and you can do it with NO DOWN PAYMENT! Or even find an owner-finance situation.

    Now, just research locations that you can afford, and start getting excited! I know other posters will tell you their "breaking away" stories, as well!

    Good Luck! -Jill
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    It is August. I imagine if you could rent a bedroom to a college student for $250 a month and half the utilities, they would think they had died and gone to heaven. You can list your bedroom for rent on the college bulletin board, and be prepared to give him a shelf in the fridge.

    Fix up your resume and put out your application? I have noticed that wages are a bit higher in areas where the rent is so high. Working for somebody else might pay more.

    Learn to cook more cheaply. Personally, the "quick burger run because I am too tired to cook" is a biggie for me and it REALLY adds up! It is better to have some frozen meals that just need microwaving. The cheapest way I know to get frozen meals is to fix extra when you cook and freeze it. I place the frozen meals in one spot so I can find them when I am tired and cranky" it can be too discouraging to KNOW there is a frozen meal buried SOMEWHERE!

    If you decide on gardening in flower pots, remember that garden soil does NOT work in pots: it needs to be something ultra loose. I heard a long explanation why this is so, but I will not hijack the thread right now. I found ut the hard way that it is true: garden soil does NOT work in pots! (Leaf mold and fertilizer and SOME garden soil might, though!). Also, the bags of lentils in the grocery store can be sprouted for stir-fries. I have heard that some bean sprouts must be cooked, but lentil sprouts do not. Also, a couple of pots of lettuce in your milder winters might keep you in greens also.

    There ARE some good ways to buy property with little down, but you have to find a budget that you can live in before you make the move or you might find yourself in a negative cash flow AGAIN, which will do you no good. Ideally, you would say "I can live on $xyz, so I can afford payments of $Y. But, that will not happen until you know what you need to make ends meet.

    HUD will loan with a tiny down payment, by the way. Also, www.unitedcountry.com is a fun read, but you MUST hammer out a workable budget before you try to buy or you will lose the property.
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns
    Rx,what is that in take home pay?

  7. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Do you have family in the area? Are there any specific reasons you want to stay in Arizona which make you unwilling to relocate, or do you just feel as if you can't?

    One thing I would LOVE to do is go and spend some time at a farm owned by the Dominican Sisters here in KS. They raise alpacas and do organic gardening, various retreats and things of that nature. I really can't explain all that they do, and I'm not sure where you stand spiritually, but, maybe you could find yourself a similar opportunity where you can stay for awhile and help a bit on the farm, or....whatever. I'm having a bad brain-dead moment so I'm not doing very well explaining what I mean! Anyway, you can check this out...might give you ideas, if nothing else! http://www.ksdom.org/retreat opportunities.html
  8. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2005
    To simplify, I will show you what you will have to change:
    "I live in one of the most expensive states in the country(Arizona)."

    Move to a place where it's cheaper to live.

    " I have a car payment and utilities."

    Once you're settled sell the car and buy an older one with cash. Get rid of all utilities but the basics.

    Start working at least 50 hours a week - preferably, 60.

    Why? The successful people have more than one job or multiple sources of income. Face it, you're going to have to put your pedal to the metal.

    Stop telling yourself you "CAN'T" afford to move and you "CAN'T" work more than two jobs!!! You have to get past that if you want your homestead!!!
  9. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Alternatively, you could look at improving your marketability via education. You can get an RN degree at a community college in two years. Longer if you go part-time, but it will double your income from the outset. If that isn't your bag, find out what could be and see what your options are.

    I'd look more carefully at moving, too, but $675 a month isn't horrible. Where I'm at, we paid $725 for a 2-bedroom upper flat the first year we were here and You need at least $200 k to even think about buying a place in the city. Our solution was to move a half hour away. Got the house we needed at half the price and we can still work in the city.

    Check out the tightwad gazette for ideas to save money. It's really helpful. I'm betting you could find it at the library.

    The main thing is to not expect everything to happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and sacrifice and some time.
  10. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    southern New Jersey
    You CAN move if you decide you want to. My DH left Calif. after 25 yrs there. He got rid of everything, just took what fit into his car, mostly some clothes, when he left.
    The biggest problem would be finding a place to move, and a job there. It's up to you, but you can do it if you truly want to.

    Good luck!
  11. clamjane

    clamjane Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    Sounds to me if you cut back on much of anything else you won't have anything left. I don't know what or how you believe, but I can tell you from my own experiences to trust God. Someone told me a long time ago, "If your problems are too big ask God to help you". You don't have to go to a church, you don't have to talk to a preacher, just ask Him. He showed me He was real and He will show you too.
  12. Aintlifegrand

    Aintlifegrand Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2005
    Here are my suggestions: Some are repeats but it would be what I would do ( you must be physically able to lifet and carry and manage basic tools)

    Secure a second job that does not require much in the way of physical demands. ( ie internet, Ebay selling, phone selling , alarm dispatch etc) Save as much as you can for one year.

    At the end of the one year, look for land that you can afford to buy even if you have to move. Look for a job that makes as much or maybe a little more.

    Buy the land, sell all "stuff" that you can part with. Make the move to the land. Make sure that you will be able to live in temp shelter on it. Check with county for codes etc.

    Sell your car and buy a used car with the cash from selling all your stuff and savings and the regular rent payment you would have been making for that month.

    Buy a tent and set up about living. Use the money each month that you were paying in rent and utilities to build a small cabin and then live in it. Look for a plan that is easy to add onto as you go. It will take several years so make sure that you will have the stamina. Another option is to buy land that has a small used MH on it and build from there. My guess is if you are paying 650.00 in rent you could buy something small for not much more just maybe in a different state.