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Post Info TOPIC: How does one live on $4000. a month


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How does one live on $4000. a month


I know--we should be able to live on less.  Til I pay my 900 a month for hospitalization, pay our real estate taxes of 3800. a year, pay for traveling 100 days a year, keep our house maintained, pay for gas, all our insurances(auto/life/ umbrella liability/2 cars/ a truck and a 5th wheel), donations, gifts for kids and grand kids, groceries, keep up with friends by eating out weekly,cable, Internet, cell phones, HELP--any pointers or personel experiences would be appreciated.  If I could actually get my total expenses down to $3500. +or- we could retire sooner than later.
Thanks for any insights,

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Unload all the overhead and you can make it easily on much much less, the freedom of full-timing. But you're right, keeping the S&B and all the associated costs that goes with it ain't cheap...that's why we unloaded all that "stuff" that was complicating our lives (and pocket book).

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Everyone has their own set of necessities and priorities and has to make their own choices.

If I had the expenses you have, I would get rid of the house and all it's upkeep expenses and taxes, the 2 cars with insurance, maintenance and fuel, life and umbrella liability insurance, donations until I saw that I had extra income, expensive gifts for family, eating out weekly, cable and extra cell phones. But, that's me.

It's a different life out here, in most ways simpler, more casual and much less expensive than any life in a S/B. With a fair amount of volunteering or work camping, and cooking your own meals, you can also dramatically minimize ongoing rent and food expenses.

It's a great life out here, hope to meet you sometime,

Fred

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The first year we went full-time our expenses were about 45% of the previous year when we had both a house and an RV. You can downsize and you don't have to spoil your kids and grandkids.



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We have a mortgage, insurance, utilities, four children, insurance on 4 cars, one motorcycle, boat, rv, etc and we don't spend that much per month.  I guess we will have a ton of extra money when we hit the road fulltime!biggrin 

We have always been extremely frugal with our money and I'm sure that will carry over to our fulltime lifestyle when the time comes.  Lots of boondocking (we like being off the grid), we will probably stay in one place for 1-2 months at a time, and we have never liked to eat out much.   When we prepare the food, we know exactly what we are eating and it's so much cheaper to eat at home.  I have looked at other fulltimer's budgets and I see plenty of expenses that could be eliminated.  Some claim that it cost about the same as the S&B but those people are living high on the hog IMO. 



http://www.rvlifestyleexperts.com/free-rv-info/getting-started/budgeting/

http://www.roamingtimes.com/iloverving/rv-on-a-tight-budget.asp

http://www.myprimeyears.com/rv/r_financial.htm

http://www.bing.com/search?q=full+time+rv+budget&FORM=SSRE

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We are new to this lifestyle(3months) so not totally set up but can tell you that it costs quite a bit less for us to live this way. I think it is different for everyone though. You pay for what you need, want, and desire. I like to cook and dine out so we do a little of both. I need internet and he needs tv so we have it. We both desire as little amount of debt as we can possibly have so that is the way it is also. We love our coach and sold our fancy suv and 3/4 ton pickup and have a small Colorado as a tag a long. It is all your decision...............

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To be rather flip, one lives pretty darn well on 4000.00 per month. You just have to emancipate the kids and select those things that are important to you. Two cars plus a truck and an RV? S&B with associated taxes, upkeep and utilities? 100 days per year of travel?

Where do you stay when traveling? Resort or semi permananet location? Is the travel in frenetic vacation mode? Gotta hurry and "see" everything? Gotta make 500 miles today? Or is the travel more relaxed, set up a site for a couple of weeks at weekly rates and then explore the area? Makes a lot of difference.

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WOW--I have been out on appointments and just had a chance to check the forum.  THANKS everyone for the feedback--I find it encouraging that a lot of you are living the dream on less.  I believe my challenge is I have one foot in each world and can't afford both.  We are commited to figuring this all out in 2011.  Thanks for the input and perspective-I needed that.  Hope to see you all in the future.

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Fred,

I can see getting rid of the umbrella liability insurance, but not the life insurance.  Do you really think one should cancel their life insurance?  

Terry

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TerryG wrote:

Fred,

I can see getting rid of the umbrella liability insurance, but not the life insurance.  Do you really think one should cancel their life insurance?  

Terry




Funny thing is we have an umbrella policy but no life insurance.  The umbrella policy is to protect our assets so we have money for heirs. 



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I can see why you would want to have an umbrella policy to protect what you have. But I have always seen life insurance as something to replace your income for the remaining spouse. at retirement age you should have a fixed income and not need life insurance.

Mark

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You might check out Dave Ramsey's FPU (Financial Peace University). Was an eye opener for us, and made a big difference in our lifestyle.

 Another book I would suggest, Shut-Up  Stop Whining  &  Get A Life, by Larry Winget.  His message is not new by any means, but he is brutally blunt. 

  I agree with Fred, you have more "STUFF" than you need. Think serously about down sizing, and letting go if you truely want to change lifestyles.



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I understand both.  Umbrella to protect your assets.  I know what Dave Ramsey says about life insurance.  Even if you are on a fixed income.  If your spouse dies you lose the lowest SS check.  That is a loss of income.  If you have enough assets then I agree life insurance may not be necessary.

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2fortheroad wrote:

You might check out Dave Ramsey's FPU (Financial Peace University). Was an eye opener for us, and made a big difference in our lifestyle.

 Another book I would suggest, Shut-Up  Stop Whining  &  Get A Life, by Larry Winget.  His message is not new by any means, but he is brutally blunt. 

  I agree with Fred, you have more "STUFF" than you need. Think serously about down sizing, and letting go if you truely want to change lifestyles.



Glad to know other people like Larry Winget.  I wish more people had seen his show, Big Spender.  But at least he is around to give advice and his book titles are great, like "It's Called Work for a Reason".

 



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Thanks for the references--I have read Dave Ramseys *Financial Peace*--I have given it out to clients.  We do not have debt, but I struggle with getting my monthly bills to a level I feel I can retire with..  I am researching Larry Winget.  With Hospitalization I don't know how one can get their expenses down.--Thanks

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Just to be specific, Dave Ramsey recommends Umbrella Insurance when your assets exceed $200,000. Unless they do, your homeowners or vehicle insurance will most likely cover you if you're sued.

Regarding Life Insurance ... if your assets exceed $200,000 and your kids are out of the house on their own, and you have any kind of fixed income (SS or Pension) you probably don't need life insurance. Remember, many insurance company policies' premiums start to rise dramatically once you are in your 70s ... basically following your life expectancy, making the premiums extremely expensive at a time you are probably on a fixed income.

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bonnie and clyde wrote:

Thanks for the references--I have read Dave Ramseys *Financial Peace*--I have given it out to clients.  We do not have debt, but I struggle with getting my monthly bills to a level I feel I can retire with..  I am researching Larry Winget.  With Hospitalization I don't know how one can get their expenses down.--Thanks



     Sorry if this might offend anyone (not really).  Thats why I like Larry Winget so much, "If you don't want to hear the answer don't ask the question". You can't just read Dave Ramseys books, you have to follow his plan step by step. 

      You say you have no debt in one breath and in the next you are struggling with monthly bills, sorry just doesn't make sense to me. Have you ever sat down and wrote out a monthly budget and accounted for every penny that's went out?

     Check out Howard and Linda's method of budgeting, could be very beneficial.

     Only you can decided the lifestyle you want to live 
       
     

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Thanks Ron and Sharon--no offense taken--appreciate your directness

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2fortheroad wrote:

bonnie and clyde wrote:

Thanks for the references--I have read Dave Ramseys *Financial Peace*--I have given it out to clients.  We do not have debt, but I struggle with getting my monthly bills to a level I feel I can retire with..  I am researching Larry Winget.  With Hospitalization I don't know how one can get their expenses down.--Thanks



     Sorry if this might offend anyone (not really).  Thats why I like Larry Winget so much, "If you don't want to hear the answer don't ask the question". You can't just read Dave Ramseys books, you have to follow his plan step by step. 

      You say you have no debt in one breath and in the next you are struggling with monthly bills, sorry just doesn't make sense to me. Have you ever sat down and wrote out a monthly budget and accounted for every penny that's went out?

     Check out Howard and Linda's method of budgeting, could be very beneficial.

     Only you can decided the lifestyle you want to live 
       
     

I think he is talking about the cost of their lifestyle not debt so much. 

I have no debt other than the S/B. furious  I have looked @ other budgets (including Howard & Linda's) and I see a ton of waste, keep in mind this is only my opinion, don't flame me for it:)  If you can afford it, more power to you but I worked too hard for my money to give it away.

I don't pay for cable or sat!  I still use an outdoor antenna and have 13 clear channels to watch (totally free).  Same with the RV if the antenna picks up stations we will watch but I'm not going to pay to watch.

I don't understand driving two vehicles (RVing) when one will do.  The little bit of fuel savings will not pay for maintenance, insurance, etc.

I don't see the need for internet when there are so many free hot spots/wireless wi/fi sites available now.

We don't go out to eat at all (unless picking up a pizza is considered going out..lol) if we can help it. 

We still listen to the radio (free radio); I see no need to pay for XM just to avoid the ads/commercials.

I got rid of my umbrella (insurance) policy when I sold my business, I do have plenty of life insurance.  On my insurance, I carry the highest ded. therefore, my premiums are lower.  I have saved thousands by doing this!  If you have an accident, you should be able to shell out 1,000-2,000 to cover the ded. IMO

Don't get me started on cell phones...lol.  We do have one but only because my wife wanted it.... it is just the basic plan & I never turn mine on.

I could go on but you get what I'm trying to say...or do you? biggrin

We are planning to fulltime for different reasons than most of the people who have posted budgets on RV sites.  I want to have more money to travel, spend time with family, soaking in all this country has to offer, re-connecting with old friends/make new ones, slowing down so that we can enjoy life, and to simplify our life.  It seems to me that most people want to take all of the baggage from home with them on the road.  I would just stay put in the S&B if that were the case. 

Like Luvglass stated>> "Everyone has their own set of necessities and priorities and has to make their own choices".


Take care & Happy Camping.


 



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Thanks Mark and Nancy,
Sounds like you are doing a lot of things right  You are so right , it is all about choices.  I believe you understood what I was saying--cost of lifestyle.  My wife and I are 60, no debt, healthy savings-but I find I am no longer interested in the competitive world of sales, and am looking for a way to step away.  I am now working about 1/2 time but find I am just no longer interested in the business world at all.   I was introduced to rving about 3 years ago and my wife and I have found a lifestyle that has a lot of interest to us.  I really appreciate all the input we received for it reminds me it is up to me to make it happen.  During the last 2 years I lost a lot of weight and my mantra was *everything matters* that I eat.  I am realizing that EVERYTHING matters in my spending--choices-choices=choices

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Nice post and responses!

We left the careers and commutes to work on the road. We are new to this lifestyle (started March 2010). So far it has worked well for us. No debt. We both agreed that this lifestyle would have to support itself. Not allowed to use savings or even think of touching retirement funds. We have another 15 or so years before retirement.

We are pretty healthy, so decided to go with catastrophic health insurance to protect the assets. Annual checkups and other standard tests are included. The policy runs us just under $200 a month. 

We hired a property management company and rented out our home. That works out to be awash, or a little to the positive side. We sold all of our household goods, so no storage fees. We may still sell it in the near future....not sure yet.


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  Have you read Your Money or Your Life ?  Joe Dominguez and  Vickie Robbins.  Dated - from the early 1990's, I believe.  But the concepts are golden.  My dad had me read it in college and while I don't do all the steps, or follow their investment advice, my whole adult financial life has been influenced by their ideas. 

   I found we spend what we have available in our checking account the same way a serving size of ice cream is whatever is in my bowl - whether it is 2 cups or 3 cups.  Some people budget everything (that may be a better way, IDK.) 

    In 2010, as a way to focus on our future we increased our 403B's (like a 401K) to 25% of our income.   We haven't really noticed a money crunch.  We are considering going higher in 2012.  (May have to do some other vehicle like a ROTH, as we are approaching maxing out the 403B.) I can't remember if you have a mortgage, but if you do you could try increasing your payment.  You can't spend it if it is gone.  This only works if you have some wiggle room in your budget that you are currently buying gazingus pins with (Your Money or Your Life reference) and refuse to add debt as a way to increase your spending power.
Heidi

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Hi Pinon,
Thanks for the response.  Yes, "Your Money or Your Life" was instrumental in us selling our trophy house and buying a small older rancher.  The biggest challenge is living in two worlds.  We are now in Florida for 7 weeks enjoying the climate, and very excited Howard and Linda are coming to the Hershey area in the fall--we will be there.  Our desire is being in the class of 2012 and not paying for 2 lifestyles.



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Sounds like you know exactly what to do.  I hate when people tell me that.smile.gif  I think it would be very hard to live frugally in both worlds.  My wife and I are both united on the idea of living primarily in an RV, but she is more inclined to keep the house.  After all, in our case it really would be just a few thousand a year...  Except that if we have a homebase we will buy souvenirs, decorative accents, etc.  Part of the cost savings I hope to recognize is an extremely non-consumer lifestyle.  Compared to our friends we are very non-consumer, but compared to a full-timer?  I think the transition time is the hardest!  Good luck for 2012!
Heidi




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A reference in a friend's blog today pointed me to http://earlyretirementextreme.com/in-praise-of-small-space.html, which I think fits this discussion.



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Hi Bonnie & Clyde:

We will be attending the fall rally as well. Hope to meet you there. We had to make a very difficult decision to part-time; after many lengthy discussions, that was our final decision.
So I guess you could say that we have a foot in each world; but I think we found the perfect solution for us. We did decide to travel 6 months and be at our home base for 6 months. Influenced greatly by Canadian rules. We cannot afford to lose our health care and pensions and that would happen if we are out of our province longer than 6 months. We are Canadians so different rules than State side. So we are now in the process of downsizing, selling items on Kijiji and Craigslist and packing up stuff for an early spring garage sale we are selling the house. We have a small mortgage (no other bills) and the maintenance,taxes, utilities and work involved, shovelling snow, cutting grass, fixing items here and there is not what we want to be doing. We have decided to move to a 2 bedroom apartment from a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage home.
We are decreasing our expenses drastically; and when you live on a fixed income that is what you have to do. We are very busy, have all the same anxieties and feelings that others have that have sold their s&b to fulltime only we are doing it to enjoy part-timing even more and have the money to be able to do so. That fixed income can only be stretched so far. We want to spend the rest of our lives doing things that are enjoyable and fun as much as possible. We have worked most of our lives and now it should be our time; before we run out of time. We decided that the only way we could achieve this dream was to make it happen and we are doing that now. This year will be an up and down roller coaster ride but when it is all over we can sit down and say wow; we did it. Good luck to you both. Will see you in the fall.
Kathy & Rick
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Thanks Kathy and Rick,
Look forward to meeting you this fall.  Great post.  It is all about options, isn't it.  We are currently in Florida for 7 weeks and LOVING every day.  We feel the same way-we want to spend our time enjoying each day and each other.  Best wishes as you put your plan in action, and that is how we look at 2011--a year to figure it all out.
All the best

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I'm naturally very cheap so this is very easy for me.

We do not have Cable, we get 3-6 channels with our rabbit ears and we watch old TV shows and movies through Netflix for about $10/month for a savings of approximately $60/month.  I find myself watching more of the shows I like and less time flicking through channels looking for something to watch.

I bought a used reliable car so I have no car payment and I pay very little in auto insurance.  (My hubby's truck to pull the fifth wheel is another story).   This probably saves me at least $300 per month and probably more.

Gifts do not need to take a physical form or have a monetary value associated with it.  Twenty years from now your grandkids will be more likely to remember and appreciate a weekend camping or a trip to a park than some item bought at the store (that was likely made in China).

Everyone is different, but life insurance is typically not needed after retirement.....depending on the type of policy this could save you hundreds of dollars per month or at the very least a few hundred dollars per year.

There are all sorts of ways to cut back.  It is probably best to find out what you are spending your money on now and determine which things are important to you and which ones you could do without.

There is a radio show I often listen to on my drive home from work, Clark Howard, he has lots of useful tips.  The following is a link to his website, http://www.clarkhoward.com/.

Good Luck!
-Colleen







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Colleen,
Thanks for your thoughts.  We are taking a hard look at cable and life insurance.  The more time we spend in our 5th wheel, the more time we want to continue.  We just returned from 7 weeks in Florida, and I am determinrd to figure out this year how to go full time with a budget--Thanks--If I don't learn how to cut our budget, we can't fulltime and I must continue working.  Best to you

-- Edited by bonnie and clyde on Friday 18th of March 2011 06:00:18 PM

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Ken, if you sell the house and the associated "baggage" then you should have plenty of money to fulltime....assuming no payments. It is amazing how a house can sap you dry. You live for the house....I call it being a house slave. In many ways beside monetary.

We have been fulltime for 11 years. While we do own 4 RV lots as investments (diversification is good), we do not really consider that we have a "home base". Being on the road is very freeing. While I do not publish a budget on our website, we live on about $25-26K a year. And, believe me, I have toys. Just ask my wife - or Howard and Linda :)

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To me, from a 10,000 foot altitude, there are a lot of basic philosophical questions involved here. And this is all just personal opinion, so toss it if you want to.

One of the hardest things to do in life is to distinguish between 'needs' and 'wants', and for everyone that line in the sand is different.

One of the things that our commercialistic society tries to do through advertising is to convince us that some of our 'wants' (nice-to-haves) are really needs after all. And that's not necessarily bad, because it keeps the economy humming and provides jobs to people so that they can meet their true needs - food, shelter, clothing, health care etc.

We all want to be successful in life, but the definition of what constitutes success is not necessarily the same for everyone. To me, success is being able to meet my needs by my own efforts so that I'm not a burden to anyone else.

I don't have to go RVing to adopt a simpler lifestyle.... I can do that in my sticks'n'bricks if I put my mind to it... and reduce my stress levels as a result. I don't have to be a slave to others through debt; all I have to do is avoid debt... and the seductive advertising that wants to lead me there. By doing so I free myself to be able to enjoy a quality of life that is fulfilling for me, without stepping on anybody else's toes.

This may be a lot of hooey, but it's what is on my mind at the moment.

Take care, Tim 





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Tim & Robyn wrote:

To me, from a 10,000 foot altitude, there are a lot of basic philosophical questions involved here. And this is all just personal opinion, so toss it if you want to.

One of the hardest things to do in life is to distinguish between 'needs' and 'wants', and for everyone that line in the sand is different.

One of the things that our commercialistic society tries to do through advertising is to convince us that some of our 'wants' (nice-to-haves) are really needs after all. And that's not necessarily bad, because it keeps the economy humming and provides jobs to people so that they can meet their true needs - food, shelter, clothing, health care etc.

We all want to be successful in life, but the definition of what constitutes success is not necessarily the same for everyone. To me, success is being able to meet my needs by my own efforts so that I'm not a burden to anyone else.

I don't have to go RVing to adopt a simpler lifestyle.... I can do that in my sticks'n'bricks if I put my mind to it... and reduce my stress levels as a result. I don't have to be a slave to others through debt; all I have to do is avoid debt... and the seductive advertising that wants to lead me there. By doing so I free myself to be able to enjoy a quality of life that is fulfilling for me, without stepping on anybody else's toes.

This may be a lot of hooey, but it's what is on my mind at the moment.

Take care, Tim 




 AMEN!  I like the way you thinkbiggrin

 

 

"Less is More"

 



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Thanks much Jack and Danielle, Tim and Robyn, Mark and Nancy,--

It sure is an interesting journey.  Since starting this post in 1/17/11, we have spent 7 weeks in Florida and been back at work for 3 weeks.  It has been a lot of time for experiences and thinking.  Since back we have dropped our cable to basic (saves over $500. per year), changing our Internet hookup to Verizon MIFI, saves 120. a year and we get to take it with us, dropping our land line, reviewing all the deductibles on insurances, changed the deductible on health insurance, and using faithfully a new budget program our son-in-law just developed.  Life is good and we are examining all expenses.  Not sure what the future holds, but we are planning and dreaming of being able to sell the house in 2012 and make a commitment to the fulltiming lifestyle for 2 years and then see what happens.  At a minimum we want to get where we are rving 1/2 half of the year.  Finances play a big part, and I  appreciate all the thoughts and opinions.  Life is made up of choices, and we are consciously trying to make better ones that lead us to our dreams. Hope to see you all down the road.



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bonnie and clyde wrote:

I know--we should be able to live on less.  Til I pay my 900 a month for hospitalization, pay our real estate taxes of 3800. a year, pay for traveling 100 days a year, keep our house maintained, pay for gas, all our insurances(auto/life/ umbrella liability/2 cars/ a truck and a 5th wheel), donations, gifts for kids and grand kids, groceries, keep up with friends by eating out weekly,cable, Internet, cell phones, HELP--any pointers or personel experiences would be appreciated.  If I could actually get my total expenses down to $3500. +or- we could retire sooner than later.
Thanks for any insights,


 

First off let me say that I am quite baffled by your OP here. $4,000 PER MONTH? That is an insanly huge income. OMG! That's just mind boggleing! I wish my YEARLY income was anything close to your MONTHLY expenses! The most my income has ever been since 2006, was $2,483 in 2008. That was my TOTAL income before taxes and deductions - FOR THE WHOLE YEAR. My MONTHLY income is rarely over $200 and usually between $50 - $90.

Looking at your post I did see the key to your problem... you said it quite clearly yourself, when you said:

 

bonnie and clyde wrote:

 keep up with friends 


 

Let me ask you this...

Would your friends think any less of you if you did not go out to eat weekly?

Would your friends think any less of you if you did not have 2 cars?

Would your friends think any less of you if you sold your house to cut taxes/maintaince and moved into a cheaper home?

Would your friends think any less of you if you did not have cable?

 

Would your friends think any less of you if you got cheaper internet?

 

Would your friends/family think any less of you if you did not buy them gifts?

Would your friends think any less of you if you did not have a cell phone?

 

If you answered "Yes" to even one of those questions than it's time for you to kiss your friends good bye. Why? Because they only care about your money. They only care about your material goods. And when push comes to shove and you lose everything and find yourself homeless and out on the streets, those same friends will be the first in line to kick sand in your face and stuff it. Why? Because they did not care about YOU as a person, they cared about appearaces and the things money brought you. Friends like that aren't worth the saliva it takes to spit on them.

I can talk from experiance. Been there. I used to have a house. I used to have things. I used to have friends. Than one day a flood took it all away. Thee house. The things inside the house. You find out quickly who your REAL friends are when one day you have it all and the next day you are homeless and living on the street under an 8x6 tarp. I learned the hard way that fair weather friends are not worth your time or trouble. They are only there for you when they think they can leach something off of you, and when you have nothing for them to ask for they scatter to the wind to find someone else to sponge off of. Hard fact to learn. Sad, but there it is.

I noticed you say you have no debt, but you say you have bills to pay? Confused. Did I miss something? Because debt = you owe money to someone.  And bills = you owe money to someone. Debt and bills are two ways of saying the same thing. You can't be debt free if you still have bills. I'm assumming that when you say no debt you mean, no mortage, car loans, student loans, or credit cards?

The hospital bills. Yes, been there. That's a killer. My dad was in a coma for 2 months as a result of the flood, it cost $30,000 a day to keep him on life support. Than 6 months in rehab and intesive care. It went into the $millions. We were lucky, the state picked up the bill, but unfortuantly not until after he had lost his grandparents farm to pay for said bills.

You should definatly find a way to STOP spending money on EVERYTHING but food & gas, until you get the hospital paid off.

Cut back on eating out, cut back on gifts...cut gifts down to 1 small gift (less than $50) per person on Christmas ONLY, and 1 "special" gift (less than $100) per grandchild on birthdays ONLY. Gifts all other times gone!

Can you cut gas by carpooling or using a bus or bring work home? Do you need all 3 cars? Can you sell the 2 cars and use just the truck?

If you can't not eat out, try eating out at cheaper places - all you can eat buffets, for example.

Cell phones - do you REALLY need them? And why is there a "s" on the end? No one person needs more than one phone. Pay for your phone only - tell every one else to foot their own cell phone bills.

Donations? Are you sure they are doing any good? Did you know that 87% of all dontations go to the CEOs and NOT to those you are hoping to help? Try giving food to the homeless people in your city, rather than giving money to the charities for homeless and you'll do more good with less money. 

For one month - 30 days - write down EVERY SINGLE PENNY you spend. You may be surprised to find you are wasting more money on frizalities than you think. Try cutting every corner you can find. 

 

 I see in your later posts you have been cutting corners already, so that's a good start. Best part of cutting corners to save money is it can get addicting - once you starrt, you can't stop, and well, who knows, someday you could be like me living on $2,000 a year! LOL!

 

Fulltiming can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it be. I once talked to a guy who fulltimes in a van and lives on $500 a year. No idea how he does it. I once talked to another guy who was a stock broker and he and his wife fulltime in a 40' motorhome, buying a brand new one every few years, and live on a $200,000 a year income. Now granted these are both extreme and not the norm, but it shows you that you can fulltime on ANY budget big or small.

 

As for myself?I live on around $150 per month, which means my TOTAL expenses are likely less than your monthly food bill.

 

A lot depends on where you live and how you live there. Some regions have skyrocketed rents, others are very cheap.

 

I don't move often. I'm pretty stationary, so at the moment, my gas bill is about $20 a week or $70 a month at $4 a gallon.

 

I plan to drive to Alaska (from Maine, making several side trips on the way) in 2013, and I figured it up and it's going to cost me about $2,000 for the gas alone.

 

I spend about $60 a month on food, but I'm vegan and meat does cost 68% higher per pound than fruits and veggies.

 

Insurance? Mine I think is $538 for 6 months, I think, something like that.

 

I currently use public access internet (libraries, etc) and at a relative's house. I plan to upgrade to having my own internet access next summer and $50 a month is about average from what I've seen so far.

 

I've no credit cards or loaans or anything like that to worry about.

 

Health or life insurance. I don't have it and when folks ask me if I'm worried about it?Yes. All the time. But I have Autism, so what can I do? This is not an issue of money, it's an issue of discrimination. Certain illnesses such as Autism and Cancer bar you from being allowed to buy medical insurance. You have to be in good health BEFORE you apply for insurance and if you were born with one of the disqualifying illnesses, than your parents can't even get health care coverage for you in your infancy or childhood. Hard fact of the matter is, that in the United States of America children and adults with Autism do not get the medical care they need because both government and privately owned insurance programs refuse to allow them the option to get health insurance. This is why 35% of America's 2billion homeless adults have Autism...in most cases they became homeless after becoming sick and not being able to afford to pay cash for their medical bills, so hospital collection agencies took everything they own and left them alone to die on the streets.

 

I am a full time boondocker. So no electricity, no running water...my lifestyle is not for everyone. I'm a nature person, I spend most of my time hiking and stuff, so my exspences are really very small.

 

But, you know, once you get your house sold and hospital bills paid and downsize to just the truck and the 5th wheel, you'll be able to live quite a high life on $4,000 a month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



-- Edited by EelKat on Sunday 14th of August 2011 03:02:03 PM

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Eelkat--------------Thanks for your thoughts.  The one thing I find exciting is the different perspectives and ways of doing life.  I find it encouraging as I find out how different people live.  Since I started this subject we have cut:  regular cable to basic-savings $500 annual: high speed internet to mifi(plus we have it where ever we travel ($180. a year) dropped our land line (savings $400. a year), dropped life insurance (savings $900. a year), changed dedutable on hospitalization-savings $1,000. a year; changed dedutable on insurance (savings $500. a year); changed our personal allowance ($1200. a year)-----we are working on other areas of our life such as eating out and gifting.  I am down to 13 months til we can collect social security and we are starting to see our dream come true.  My plan was to figure out our life this year, and we are hoping the Fall Rally will help bring clarity to our life.  Thanks to all for the perspectives.



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Sounds like you've been making some good progress in getting a handle on things.

Although I will probably never go RVing now for health reasons, I've been following this thread with a great deal of interest, because there have been many good tips on how to simplify your life without feeling deprived.

$4,000/month is really a great deal of money when you consider that a large portion of the population who are static stix-'n-brixers probably don't gross that much in a year, unless both partners are working. And if that's the case, how much time is really left over to simply live life? Smell the flowers,  strengthen a relationship, and enjoy being with each other?

Just my opinion, but 'stuff' enslaves us. Keeping up with the Joneses enslaves us. I haven't seen this TV commercial for a while, and don't remember what company it's for, but it's about a guy who 'has it all'....  he's up to his eyeballs in debt,

Well, I'm drifting so I guess I better cut this off.

Good luck,

Tim





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Tim & Robyn wrote:

Sounds like you've been making some good progress in getting a handle on things.

Although I will probably never go RVing now for health reasons, I've been following this thread with a great deal of interest, because there have been many good tips on how to simplify your life without feeling deprived.

$4,000/month is really a great deal of money when you consider that a large portion of the population who are static stix-'n-brixers probably don't gross that much in a year, unless both partners are working. And if that's the case, how much time is really left over to simply live life? Smell the flowers,  strengthen a relationship, and enjoy being with each other?

Just my opinion, but 'stuff' enslaves us. Keeping up with the Joneses enslaves us. I haven't seen this TV commercial for a while, and don't remember what company it's for, but it's about a guy who 'has it all'....  he's up to his eyeballs in debt,

Well, I'm drifting so I guess I better cut this off.

Good luck,

Tim

 




 

Here you go Timbiggrin

http://youtu.be/hn5EP9StlVA






-- Edited by azrving on Friday 19th of August 2011 09:54:04 PM

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azrving, nice find.That is a great commercial and typical of many people today.

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Greed is nothing new & has been around from the Dawn of the Ages. Although we are in good financial condition, my DW & I have have decided to "invest" in people rather than things.

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Tim & Cindy



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Jake62 wrote:

my DW & I have have decided to "invest" in people rather than things.


 

You should find a great return on this investment. 



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What does S&B mean?


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S&B = Sticks & Bricks ... which basically is "RV Lingo" for a permanent residence with a foundation, walls, and roof.

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Tim & Cindy



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Bonnie and Clyde,

My hat is off to you two for being so open minded to criticism and advice and responsponding so graciously. Best of luck to you to resolve your dilemma.

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Here is a website geared more torwards living in a van but it has alot of information on living on less.

http://cheaprvliving.com/index.html

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George and Sandy--thanks for the kind words.  The question was asked seriously and we appreciate all comments as we are seeking to live our dreams.



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Readytogo wrote:

Here is a website geared more torwards living in a van but it has alot of information on living on less.

http://cheaprvliving.com/index.html


 Well there's always this lifestyle:

Chip

 



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Sushidog wrote:
Readytogo wrote:

Here is a website geared more torwards living in a van but it has alot of information on living on less.

http://cheaprvliving.com/index.html


 Well there's always this lifestyle:

Chip

 


 Classic ...



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Tim & Cindy



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Hi, I'm new, and I have just bought a 2012 Springdale 257RLLS... currently sedentary, living at the RV dealership! I finally qualified for something, somewhere (even though my credit is average+) Been working in social services, in the SF Bay area, in a field where even those with Master's degrees average less than $40,000 a year.

Even with my trailer payment, and the space payment, I now have a nice lil' studio apartment on wheels for $750 a month, which is "room rent" around here. I was previously living in a 325 sq ft in-law (converted storage shed) so "living small" is nothing new, but I still made a lot of trips to the Goodwill paring things down to fit in here! Funny, there is not one thing I have missed! So for me, it hasn't been a matter of so much what to give up, but how to get off the "2 full time jobs, just to keep a minimal roof over my head and a 10 year old car hamster wheel".

The question is not how do you live on $4,000 a month, the big question is, how do you make at least $4,000 a month doing something you actually want to do? That allows you freedom and dignity? I have an online business which is about 1/2 way to the liveable level, which will be completely portable. Now, all I need is a truck!

Jane

 



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Jane,

Welcome to the RV Dreams forums.  You will find a lot of knowledgeable folks here that are willing to help with any questions you may have.  Believe it or not, they are also friendly and helpful.

You might also post an introductory comment in the "Introduce Yourself" category at the top of the forum categories.  Not everyone reads into all of the post cagegories.

As for making enough to make $4000 a month, many of us live in other parts of the country and travel to parts of the country where that much money isn't even needed.  There are a lot of places where the money isn't all that important.

Jo and I talked with a fellow in our local car dealership that was telling us that he was moving his family back to Oklahoma from California.  He stressed how it was that so many people out where he lived in California wanted to emphasize how much money they earned, and not the really important things.

Long ago, we learned that the cost of living is more important that the salary earned, as far as money is concerned.  Plus, the more rural an area is (Oklahoma vs California), the more important personal values become.

As far as trucks are concerned, be sure that you consider the loaded weight of the trailer when you purchase a truck so that you are assured of having a truck capable of handling that weight.  Handling means being able to tow, stop, and be stable in winds while towing.  You may also need equalizing bars and an anti-sway system for the hitch as well.  Don't necessarily trust salesmen.  Make them show you in writing that the truck will handle a trailer weighing nearly 8,000 pounds when loaded.

Enjoy your experiences with the forums.  There is a lot to learn here.

Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Tuesday 25th of October 2011 02:20:39 PM

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Hi Jane,

Congratulations on your purchase--looks like a good floorplan.  I don't have an answer on how to generate the income you need but, you have been in social work which is to be commended for it is a labor of love.  One does not get into social work for the money.  You have a lot of courage to have taken the steps you have, and I am sure you will be rewarded for following your dreams.  As you seek, you will find.

Best wishes



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