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Posted: 11/10/2007 2:51:36 AM EDT
Long before "Peak Ammo", "Peak Oil", and a declining US dollar, I realized I would need to make some proactive changes to ensure long term financial stability. Last year, I finished up eight years of active duty military and plopped into the civilian world - which  really cares less if you've ever served. Be as it may, I am employed and will hopefully get my dream .gov job in the near future.

Being from Maine - almost everyone up here is either poor, middle class, or a liar. You learn to live with less unless you're some retard running around with 10 credit cards. Learning to live within my means, I've done a lot of things to cut back. Its not just about day to day or paying bills. Saving up for my own land requires perseverance in the financial frugality department. Here are some of the things which have helped me immensely. Curious what other tips others might have as well.

1) Cutting back on travel. I spend around $35-40 per week on gas by traveling to work locally and rarely visited friends/family outside of my area. Being able to take long road trips is a privilege - not some "right" - not matter how spoiled we may be. It's not realistic for most when gas hits over $3/gallon.

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput.

3) Avoiding Take-Out and dinner on the town. Meals plus tips cost money. They're a nice treat but if you do it ALL the time it's not fun anymore. People who eat out all the time tend to whine and complain about service and turn into restaurant snobs who leave small tips. A nice meal every few months is realistic if you want to save.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.

5) Less toys - more savings. Guns are great tools - but can quickly become an out of control addiction if you aren't savvy with your finances. I own the firearms and ammo I NEED. Not necessarily what I "want". For me, one rifle and one pistol for each adult in a household is enough for basic needs. Currently, I only buy firearms or related items to fill a specific need - which is very rare. The only way to save is to not spend money. I know - amazing Something that many here struggle with.

6) Lower the electric bill. We use CFL's for most of our indoor lights and air dry most of our laundry on wooden racks. Running the dryer uses up a lot of unnecessary energy. Not an environmental nut - just being practical. It is burning money after all.  

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal.

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small.

9) Vehicle expenses. I go to a smaller auto mechanic business that I trust. Rather then paying $80 an hour for service on my truck, I pay around $50 - and I actually trust the people. I also try to purchase vehicles that will run forever. My Toyota Tacoma has a lot of life left in it still. I also avoid unnecessary wastes of money like car washes.

10) Stop subscribing to magazines and unnecessary memberships. I belong to the NRA - that is it. I didn't reknew my ar15.com membership because I'm not online enough to justify it. I no longer subscribe to some of the gun magazines I used to. All the information I need from magazines I can get from books or the internet.

11) Disconnect internet service. In case I don't respond in time - I'm having my internet disconnected soon. I'll be using the local library in the future or using someone else's computer. Since I don't have a regular land line, my internet costs $40 a month. The library is good as well since I plan to do a lot more reading of practical non-fiction.

To save money, I do a lot of purchasing through local classifieds, grocery sales, and other deals. I buy used books from amazon.com or read them for free from the library. Yes, Walmart haters - I still go to Walmart.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 3:01:16 AM EDT
[#1]
I would imagine you will find the price of RE up there in Maine much lower in a few years.  That market has been really driven by 2nd home purchases.  When it falls it goes kaput.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 3:10:36 AM EDT
[#2]
Know what you mean about the gun stuff. While I was deployed I bought thousands worth of gun stuff, and in the past year several more thousand. Recently Ive sold a lot of that stuff off and learned my lesson at my loss financially. Now just have 2 AR's and 2 handguns. Fiance has 1 AR and 1 handgun. Ive got a couple thousand rds per caliber. We used to shoot every weekend and burn about 2krds a month. Now we go 1-2 times per month and shoot about half as much per session. Ive turned it into more of a utilitarian hobby as opposed to just having a bunch of cool toys, and besides shooting paper targets gets boring. Sold off some guns I had a hard time handing over to FedEx but in the end its what needed to be done.

We are now spending the extra money on paying my car off within a year of getting it by putting around 2k a month into the payment. We are also moving into a newish house in another state and will save 300 a month in housing costs, and that money becomes equity instead of cash in someones pocket (currently renting).

We dont buy clothes very often. Its easy to get a couple outfits each and be at 600 bucks or more. No more new clothes for a while.

Personally if it were up to me I wouldnt have a land line phone or cable but the woman insists on that stuff. She doesnt get her nails done anymore though... We also got rid of anything but basic cell phone service and it cut our bill in half. We hardly used text anyways.

With food we make grocery lists and limit dinner to 10 or less, and less than 800 month on groceries (feeding and clothing two toddlers too).

Now that we cut back our spending overall is nearly half of what we used to spend month to month. When I was a bit younger I was stupid and got a couple credit cards which Im paying off but that cant come quick enough. That was one of the stupidest mistakes Ive ever made and was at a point when I didnt really think about having to pay it off.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 3:13:31 AM EDT
[#3]

Quoted:
I would imagine you will find the price of RE up there in Maine much lower in a few years.  That market has been really driven by 2nd home purchases.  When it falls it goes kaput.


Hopefully, by the time I have money saved for land or land/home, the prices are at an all time low and I have cash in hand. Even if the US slips into a recession, people can come out of it fine if they're smart with their finances. I owe $2k left on my mobile home then my wife and I are saving for land and another vehicle for her. This year we paid off $4k in student loans and another $2k on the trailer. (This all after getting married in April). We've been really blessed to say the least.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 3:27:56 AM EDT
[#4]

Quoted:
Know what you mean about the gun stuff. While I was deployed I bought thousands worth of gun stuff, and in the past year several more thousand. Recently Ive sold a lot of that stuff off and learned my lesson at my loss financially. Now just have 2 AR's and 2 handguns. Fiance has 1 AR and 1 handgun. Ive got a couple thousand rds per caliber. We used to shoot every weekend and burn about 2krds a month. Now we go 1-2 times per month and shoot about half as much per session. Ive turned it into more of a utilitarian hobby as opposed to just having a bunch of cool toys, and besides shooting paper targets gets boring. Sold off some guns I had a hard time handing over to FedEx but in the end its what needed to be done.

We are now spending the extra money on paying my car off within a year of getting it by putting around 2k a month into the payment. We are also moving into a newish house in another state and will save 300 a month in housing costs, and that money becomes equity instead of cash in someones pocket (currently renting).

We dont buy clothes very often. Its easy to get a couple outfits each and be at 600 bucks or more. No more new clothes for a while.

Personally if it were up to me I wouldnt have a land line phone or cable but the woman insists on that stuff. She doesnt get her nails done anymore though... We also got rid of anything but basic cell phone service and it cut our bill in half. We hardly used text anyways.

With food we make grocery lists and limit dinner to 10 or less, and less than 800 month on groceries (feeding and clothing two toddlers too).

Now that we cut back our spending overall is nearly half of what we used to spend month to month. When I was a bit younger I was stupid and got a couple credit cards which Im paying off but that cant come quick enough. That was one of the stupidest mistakes Ive ever made and was at a point when I didnt really think about having to pay it off.


When I was young and single, I had a plethora of guns,ammunition, and a pickup truck - and that's it.......I didn't have the foresight that someday I would meet the right woman and also need to acquire a home of some sorts. Even if a person stays single - they should save towards a home. If only I had had any sense when I was younger.

My wife and I rarely have time to shoot but we occasionally shoot on her parents land. I can't justify spending money on a range membership if I simply don't have the time. Shooting for us is also practical in nature. I used to burn through 300 rounds of 5.56mm or .308 at a time just for fun....These days most people would kick themselves for doing that. I try to keep around a thousand rounds each of rifle ammo and pistol ammo around. I'm lacking in the pistol ammo. right now. In the course of cutting back to save, I I reverted to iron sights for both our AR's. No more EOTech's, laser sights, Surefire weapons lights, fancy free-float rail systems, Beta C-Mags, or Magpul accessories. I have two basic AR15 midlength rifles which is all I feel I "need". For handguns, I have a Glock 19 and she has a Sig P239. Both have night sights and I have a handhelf surefire flashlight for things that go bump in the night. In the future, I might get a Glock 26 or J frame revolver for something smaller. I'd also like a .308/.30-06 rifle at some point. Neither are a pressing need though.

Thankfully, I have never had a credit card. I used to be just as bad with my debit card though. Going paycheck to paycheck. Blah. I don't miss those days. I rarely use ATM's now and only carry the cash I need. Almost every purchase I make is a deliberate one - very little impulse buying.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 3:34:09 AM EDT
[#5]
I advise you and the wife to write down every dime you spend every day for a few months.  You can't really work on cutting back until you know exactly where the money is going.  The wife and I did this and it really opened our eyes as to how much small expenses add up.  I'm constantly amazed at all the folks who arrive at our office drinking a specialty coffee when we have free coffee at work.  That's $3 per day or roughly $1,000 per year that's just wasted.  
Writing down you expenses for a few months will also have the side effect of making you think about every dime you spend.  You'll ask yourself - do I really need this thing I'm thinking about buying?  More often than not, the answer is no.  
It goes against conventional wisdom, but I also recommend that you get a few "rewards" type credit cards.  For a while, we had one that gave us 5% back on gas and another that gave us 5% off groceries.  The rewards add up and if you have the discipline to only use the card on something you'd buy anyway, you're ahead.  (If having a credit card would cause you or your wife to spend more, disregard this advice).  
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 3:43:43 AM EDT
[#6]
Move away from America?





just sayin'
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:01:50 AM EDT
[#7]
I have conditioned myself to not spend petty cash on a daily basis. No stops for fast food, coffee, soda, etc saves hundreds of dollars per year. We cut back to basic cable (from $45 to $11 per month). Thriftiness is a lifestyle.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:13:38 AM EDT
[#8]
You can  save a lot more money every month by dumping the cell phone.

Everyone has them, but is it really needed? Nice in an emergency but other than that everyone is just yacking to each other just to yack.  

You cant help but listen to most conversations people have on thier cell phones. I have yet to hear anything important.

Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:14:49 AM EDT
[#9]
Great topic. I got married in July and we are working on knocking out credit card bills and other debt as quickly as we can. Neither of us has used a card in over a year but we both punched up some bills in the past. We should be free of them in 2 1/2 yrs at this rate. Unfortunately she doesn't want to cut back as much as I do (living as a bachelor for years made me pretty frugal, I couldn't afford cable and ammo!) so there are some compromises such as satellite for her and my stepson. With my stepson in karate and Boy Scouts we spend 3 nights a week driving to activities and often that results in eating out, we are still working on cutting that down. She didn't take kindly to my wanting to get rid of her 2 cats as a cost saving measure either, you would think the dog would be pet enough! We have cancelled most magazine subscriptions and some memberships. I dropped my cell phone and just added another phone to her plan, that did save $11 a month instead of two plans and we have free cell to cell calls which is nice. I have stopped buying guns for the time being.  I have also been seriously thinking about getting a part time job to help knock the debt down faster.

I can't see the economy doing anything good in the near future, getting as close to debt free as quick as possible should be a serious goal for everyone.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:17:18 AM EDT
[#10]

Quoted:
You can  save a lot more money every month by dumping the cell phone.

Everyone has them, but is it really needed? Nice in an emergency but other than that everyone is just yacking to each other just to yack.  

You cant help but listen to most conversations people have on thier cell phones. I have yet to hear anything important.



I pretty much HATE cell phones. That said we will keep them because they are great for emergencies. If your car breaks down or someone cuts your phone line at night or you have to use your concealed handgun for self defense a cell phone comes in pretty handy...
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:25:51 AM EDT
[#11]

Quoted:
Long before "Peak Ammo", "Peak Oil", and a declining US dollar, I realized I would need to make some proactive changes to ensure long term financial stability. Last year, I finished up eight years of active duty military and plopped into the civilian world - which  really cares less if you've ever served. Be as it may, I am employed and will hopefully get my dream .gov job in the near future.

Being from Maine - almost everyone up here is either poor, middle class, or a liar. You learn to live with less unless you're some retard running around with 10 credit cards. Learning to live within my means, I've done a lot of things to cut back. Its not just about day to day or paying bills. Saving up for my own land requires perseverance in the financial frugality department. Here are some of the things which have helped me immensely. Curious what other tips others might have as well.

1) Cutting back on travel. I spend around $35-40 per week on gas by traveling to work locally and rarely visited friends/family outside of my area. Being able to take long road trips is a privilege - not some "right" - not matter how spoiled we may be. It's not realistic for most when gas hits over $3/gallon.

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput.

3) Avoiding Take-Out and dinner on the town. Meals plus tips cost money. They're a nice treat but if you do it ALL the time it's not fun anymore. People who eat out all the time tend to whine and complain about service and turn into restaurant snobs who leave small tips. A nice meal every few months is realistic if you want to save.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.

5) Less toys - more savings. Guns are great tools - but can quickly become an out of control addiction if you aren't savvy with your finances. I own the firearms and ammo I NEED. Not necessarily what I "want". For me, one rifle and one pistol for each adult in a household is enough for basic needs. Currently, I only buy firearms or related items to fill a specific need - which is very rare. The only way to save is to not spend money. I know - amazing Something that many here struggle with.

6) Lower the electric bill. We use CFL's for most of our indoor lights and air dry most of our laundry on wooden racks. Running the dryer uses up a lot of unnecessary energy. Not an environmental nut - just being practical. It is burning money after all.  

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal.

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small.

9) Vehicle expenses. I go to a smaller auto mechanic business that I trust. Rather then paying $80 an hour for service on my truck, I pay around $50 - and I actually trust the people. I also try to purchase vehicles that will run forever. My Toyota Tacoma has a lot of life left in it still. I also avoid unnecessary wastes of money like car washes.

10) Stop subscribing to magazines and unnecessary memberships. I belong to the NRA - that is it. I didn't reknew my ar15.com membership because I'm not online enough to justify it. I no longer subscribe to some of the gun magazines I used to. All the information I need from magazines I can get from books or the internet.

11) Disconnect internet service. In case I don't respond in time - I'm having my internet disconnected soon. I'll be using the local library in the future or using someone else's computer. Since I don't have a regular land line, my internet costs $40 a month. The library is good as well since I plan to do a lot more reading of practical non-fiction.

To save money, I do a lot of purchasing through local classifieds, grocery sales, and other deals. I buy used books from amazon.com or read them for free from the library. Yes, Walmart haters - I still go to Walmart.



I live in Maine and I have been cutting back also....I have my own home with a wife and kids and I have been marveling at the cost of things just like you. My home value has almost tripled since 1996!

Would you consider a used wood stove instead of a pellet stove? I only say that because you can get wood for free if you look around and own a chainsaw and ax?

Have you considered collecting scrap metal? I have, and it pays here and there for the little things (especially if you have a truck or trailer).  I have made over $1000 cash so far this year. It is a lot of work, buy cash is cash and I do it when I want too.

I would also recommend you buy any books by DAVE RAMSEY or listen to his radio program. He gives good financial advice and he can give you inspiration when you get down.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:30:10 AM EDT
[#12]

Quoted:

Quoted:
You can  save a lot more money every month by dumping the cell phone.

Everyone has them, but is it really needed? Nice in an emergency but other than that everyone is just yacking to each other just to yack.  

You cant help but listen to most conversations people have on thier cell phones. I have yet to hear anything important.



I pretty much HATE cell phones. That said we will keep them because they are great for emergencies. If your car breaks down or someone cuts your phone line at night or you have to use your concealed handgun for self defense a cell phone comes in pretty handy...



Handy YES, needed NO.

Car breaks down, walk, it will give you time to think how you are going to prevent it from happening again. With the money you save by getting rid of the cell phone you can put it towards a better car.

Cut phone lines or intruders. Well I think someone will notice the bodies and call the cops.

How did people get by so long without them? They are a luxury. If you dont mind spending $80 a month on it fine, but it is an easy way to save money.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:37:59 AM EDT
[#13]
If you really need a cell phone any phone that will turn on "should" be able to bounce a tower and call 911.

Times are tight everywhere and everyone is trying to cut back.

Joe
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:40:09 AM EDT
[#14]
I heat my house for about $500 per year using bought firewood.  It would be about $100 per year if I cut it myself. Keep your eyes open and you can find enough free wood through the summer for a large part of your needs.

Plan your drive to or from work so that it takes you near the store of choice for shopping.  There's a gas savings right there. Carpool if you can stand it.

Keep your internet service and dump cable TV or dish. Use your TV for watching movies on DVD. The internet will give you everything you could get from TV and more.

Cook large meals and freeze portions for later. Most foods are better anyway when they have time to "marry" all the flavors for a while.

Make sure that trailer has good skirting around the bottom and a good coat of Cool-Seal on the roof.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:44:34 AM EDT
[#15]

Quoted:
I live in Maine and I have been cutting back also....I have my own home with a wife and kids and I have been marveling at the cost of things just like you. My home value has almost tripled since 1996!

Would you consider a used wood stove instead of a pellet stove? I only say that because you can get wood for free if you look around and own a chainsaw and ax?

Have you considered collecting scrap metal? I have, and it pays here and there for the little things (especially if you have a truck or trailer).  I have made over $1000 cash so far this year. It is a lot of work, buy cash is cash and I do it when I want too.

I would also recommend you buy any books by DAVE RAMSEY or listen to his radio program. He gives good financial advice and he can give you inspiration when you get down.

Good luck.


I would use a wood stove but I live in a mobile home park. Between fire hazard concerns and not having any real land to speak of - its not an option yet. Once we have our own land and preferably some type of house - I'll definitely get a wood stove. Yet another reason why I'd like at least 10 acres of wooded land when I do buy. Today, I'm going to plastic sheeting around the outside of the trailer to try and winterize it by keeping cold air out. I'm looking into other ideas to keep any draft out of windows/doors, etc.

I've read Dave Ramsey's book a few times. Good advice overall. I could care less about becoming wealthy - but I'd like to reach a healthy level of financial security. My wife and I try to keep at least $1k in savings - sometimes hard to do with real world expenses.

I'd ditch the cell phone as others have suggested except for concern over emergencies. I will look into a family plan though. We both have US Cellular and come to think of it - its kind of dumb that we have two separate plans. Her work does pay for her plan for now though.

Other things I've done to reduce spending include quitting my coffee drinking habit entirely. Well - I'm cheating today - but I broke the addiction. I used to *require* a large coffee morning and afternoon - at Dunkin Donuts rates - that adds up real quick. Without caffeine, I sleep better and I'm not dependent on a drug.

Haircuts. In the military, I got a haircut almost every week. Now I'm learning to get a haircut every month or two. I may get clippers so my wife can learn to cut my hair. I'm not some model so I don't need a $15 haircut all the time.

Someone else mentioned buying clothes. I used to buy clothes just because I was bored. Now I shop if my clothes are beyond repair. I may look into buying more generic clothes in the future or yard sales. When I do spend a decent amount I try to buy rugged clothes like Carhartt products. Expensive - but it lasts. Same theory I have for vehicles. I plan to stick with products like Toyota which require very little maintenance to keep running.

Cats. They're annoying and pretty much useless. My wife and I found out we were also allergic to ours. It found a new home with my parents and saved the cost of a .22 bullet and disposal. We're looking for a medium sized dog now though. A friendly dog that can stay indoors most of the time but will also act as an alarm system. Dog = companionship, entertainment, and home security at a fair price.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:45:24 AM EDT
[#16]
Your financial strategy?  I believe in reducing and eliminating debt, but a good argument can be made that with dollar debasement and with oil and gold rising, that we are about to enter a highly inflationary economic environment.  In that case, it would be better to run up as much debt as possible and pay off this debt in the future with inflated money.

Of course, this only works if you keep your job and your wages keep up with inflation.  Not a sure thing.

My personal theory is that I should pay off all my debt asap as I may not have a job that keeps up with inflation, if I have one at all.

I think that rising oil prices will lead to reduced demand and an economic slowdown.  Thus debt in a deflationary environment becomes a millstone around your neck and is to be avoided.

Just my .02
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:52:03 AM EDT
[#17]
Amen brotha!  I'm looking to leave the mil in a couple of years and in between now and then my wife and I are pulling in our horns and paying off everything!  When I decide to leave, we will have zero debts period.  That will go a long ways to not having to find a higher paying job and being able to live where we want to.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:56:08 AM EDT
[#18]

Quoted:


1) Cutting back on travel. I spend around $35-40 per week on gas by traveling to work locally and rarely visited friends/family outside of my area. Being able to take long road trips is a privilege - not some "right" - not matter how spoiled we may be. It's not realistic for most when gas hits over $3/gallon.It's going to get worse, before it gets better. I look for +$4 per by spring.

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput. WRONG! The one thing you can do is put back a good supply of basic medium to long term food. If something happens to interrupt the income stream, that stock of food can be a big comfort-and a lifesaver financially.

3) Avoiding Take-Out and dinner on the town. Meals plus tips cost money. They're a nice treat but if you do it ALL the time it's not fun anymore. People who eat out all the time tend to whine and complain about service and turn into restaurant snobs who leave small tips. A nice meal every few months is realistic if you want to save. With you there. Dining out is expensive.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.Only good advice if you drive junkers and have cash in hand to replace if it gets totaled. I keep full coverage on both my vehicles. It's not that much more, and having had to use it before, can make the diff between walking and driving to work.

5) Less toys - more savings. Guns are great tools - but can quickly become an out of control addiction if you aren't savvy with your finances. I own the firearms and ammo I NEED. Not necessarily what I "want". For me, one rifle and one pistol for each adult in a household is enough for basic needs. Currently, I only buy firearms or related items to fill a specific need - which is very rare. The only way to save is to not spend money. I know - amazing Something that many here struggle with. Heresy! True though.

6) Lower the electric bill. We use CFL's for most of our indoor lights and air dry most of our laundry on wooden racks. Running the dryer uses up a lot of unnecessary energy. Not an environmental nut - just being practical. It is burning money after all. Hear, hear!

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal. You live in Maine. Freezing to death is a possibility there. Pellet stoves cost money for pellets and require power to operate. What's wrong with your basic wood stove?

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small. Prepaid phone time is ridiculously expensive. Not a great idea. Maybe you need to switch providers?

9) Vehicle expenses. I go to a smaller auto mechanic business that I trust. Rather then paying $80 an hour for service on my truck, I pay around $50 - and I actually trust the people. I also try to purchase vehicles that will run forever. My Toyota Tacoma has a lot of life left in it still. I also avoid unnecessary wastes of money like car washes. Sure, why would anybody pay more for that?

10) Stop subscribing to magazines and unnecessary memberships. I belong to the NRA - that is it. I didn't reknew my ar15.com membership because I'm not online enough to justify it. I no longer subscribe to some of the gun magazines I used to. All the information I need from magazines I can get from books or the internet.

11) Disconnect internet service. In case I don't respond in time - I'm having my internet disconnected soon. I'll be using the local library in the future or using someone else's computer. Since I don't have a regular land line, my internet costs $40 a month. The library is good as well since I plan to do a lot more reading of practical non-fiction.

To save money, I do a lot of purchasing through local classifieds, grocery sales, and other deals. I buy used books from amazon.com or read them for free from the library. Yes, Walmart haters - I still go to Walmart.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:56:57 AM EDT
[#19]

Quoted:
Other things I've done to reduce spending include quitting my coffee drinking habit entirely. Well - I'm cheating today - but I broke the addiction. I used to *require* a large coffee morning and afternoon - at Dunkin Donuts rates - that adds up real quick. Without caffeine, I sleep better and I'm not dependent on a drug.
You're a better man then me Gunga Din! I have cut back on buying cups of coffee and make it at home and work but to cut it out completely would be tough. Maybe I'll try to limit it on my days off and see how that goes first.

Haircuts. In the military, I got a haircut almost every week. Now I'm learning to get a haircut every month or two. I may get clippers so my wife can learn to cut my hair. I'm not some model so I don't need a $15 haircut all the time.
Same here, I have gone from once a week to once every 6-8 weeks. After seeing how my wife does with the stepson's hair I am leery of letting her do mine, the only way to fix it would be to go bald (I start with a high and tight and let it grow from there) and I don't want people to think I'm a skinhead wantabee.

Someone else mentioned buying clothes. I used to buy clothes just because I was bored. Now I shop if my clothes are beyond repair. I may look into buying more generic clothes in the future or yard sales. When I do spend a decent amount I try to buy rugged clothes like Carhartt products. Expensive - but it lasts. Same theory I have for vehicles. I plan to stick with products like Toyota which require very little maintenance to keep running.
Heck I still have clothes from 10-15 yrs ago, if the step son would just stop growing we would be OK! He doesn't have expensive taste and we can still get away with good will for jeans and the like.

Cats. They're annoying and pretty much useless. My wife and I found out we were also allergic to ours. It found a new home with my parents and saved the cost of a .22 bullet and disposal. We're looking for a medium sized dog now though. A friendly dog that can stay indoors most of the time but will also act as an alarm system. Dog = companionship, entertainment, and home security at a fair price.
I agree but the cats were there before me  We have a hound dog mix (looks like a fox hound) and she is exactly what you described!
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:59:06 AM EDT
[#20]
I just started an austerity plan to pay off my enormous student loan.  Cutting out a lot of junk, entertainment, services, and booze.  I'm starting out with $100/week for food, gas, and incidentals.  That should free up about $450/month.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 4:59:35 AM EDT
[#21]
I would suggest to you to put some money aside to have fun with. Your description of how your living doesn't sound like fun. You have to build into your budget an occasional release or you will go nuts and be at each others throats.
Even a cheap dinner and going grocery shopping on a Friday night can be a real help. If you cut off all dating your relationships will suffer.

I have been married almost 19 years, I have gone threw some very tight times. If you don't have something to look forward to, it will lead to problems later. Divorce is very expensive.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:03:31 AM EDT
[#22]
Freedom of travel is a RIGHT not a PRIVILAGE. You are free to travel or you are a SERF.

Just because you CHOOSE not to because of financial reasons does not change this. You are making a choice to save money vs travel.

Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:05:50 AM EDT
[#23]

Quoted:
Amen brotha!  I'm looking to leave the mil in a couple of years and in between now and then my wife and I are pulling in our horns and paying off everything!  When I decide to leave, we will have zero debts period.  That will go a long ways to not having to find a higher paying job and being able to live where we want to.


 Back in early 2006, I was debating on whether I'd reenlist or not. Ironically, I'd just made E5 finally and would have been eligible for a big reenlistment bonus - had I opted to stay in the Coast Guard. A lot of people thought I was foolish for leaving - but I heard the same crap when I left the Army prior to that. Many good aspects to military life but also negative ones. Its not an ideal place to raise a family that's for sure.

Overall, I'm much happier now. I'm happily married. Adjusting to civilian life hasn't been easy. I was living in a bubble with an automatic paycheck every two weeks for eight years. Out in the civilian world, you often have to work by the hour - unless you walk into some nice salary job. I'm currently waiting to get into the Post Office. I'm not a big union fan - but a unionized federal job is a pretty safe place to be even with a crappy economy.

Prior to ETS-ing, I saved up around $10k to put towards my mobile home. I also eliminated any other debt - including paying off my truck.  

If you're planning on getting out of the military, do a lot of research on jobs a year or two out. I tried to prepare for civilian life but you can only do so much. Depending on your military background and education - you may have limited options when you get out. (Or not). I lost my GI Bill years ago when I switched from National Guard to active Army. At least I have veterans preference to help. Military TAP classes can help somewhat. But I think the best research is what you do on your own. Deciding where you will live and what career field is right for you.

Best of luck with your transition to civilian life YukonJack69.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:07:33 AM EDT
[#24]

Quoted:
Long before "Peak Ammo", "Peak Oil", and a declining US dollar, I realized I would need to make some proactive changes to ensure long term financial stability. Last year, I finished up eight years of active duty military and plopped into the civilian world - which  really cares less if you've ever served. Be as it may, I am employed and will hopefully get my dream .gov job in the near future.


Can you get a pension if you put in another 12 years with the .gov job?  I have a friend who's a pharmacist who enlisted because of that.  He had 4 years in the Army way back when and, doing the math, he will be sitting pretty if he puts in another 16 years.

I'm a rich doctor so I have to take care of my own retirement.  Then the .gov will raid my 401K, etc. to pay for Social Security.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:11:54 AM EDT
[#25]
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:18:45 AM EDT
[#26]

Quoted:
I would suggest to you to put some money aside to have fun with. Your description of how your living doesn't sound like fun. You have to build into your budget an occasional release or you will go nuts and be at each others throats.
Even a cheap dinner and going grocery shopping on a Friday night can be a real help. If you cut off all dating your relationships will suffer.

I have been married almost 19 years, I have gone threw some very tight times. If you don't have something to look forward to, it will lead to problems later. Divorce is very expensive.


We make small trips on occasion. When we want to see a movie, we usually get one through Redbox - $1/night DVD rentals. Occasionally, I'll buy a frozen pizza or something else so my wife doesn't have to make dinner. We have no problem with leftovers either - some people are picky when it comes to eating leftover food. I hope to do more dating of my wife - the last month or so has been rough financially though (i.e. - her wisdom teeth out, new vehicle tires, and a new refrigerator) I plan on taking the two of us out for a nice meal either this month or next. And she's overdue for flowers. Good point though. Its not about money - but its important to put time and thoughtfulness into your married life.



Quoted:

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput. WRONG! The one thing you can do is put back a good supply of basic medium to long term food. If something happens to interrupt the income stream, that stock of food can be a big comfort-and a lifesaver financially.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.Only good advice if you drive junkers and have cash in hand to replace if it gets totaled. I keep full coverage on both my vehicles. It's not that much more, and having had to use it before, can make the diff between walking and driving to work.

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal. You live in Maine. Freezing to death is a possibility there. Pellet stoves cost money for pellets and require power to operate. What's wrong with your basic wood stove?

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small. Prepaid phone time is ridiculously expensive. Not a great idea. Maybe you need to switch providers?



On the groceries, I meant mainly perishable food that isn't normally frozen. We try to buy things like meat on sale and freeze for later use. I'm trying to do more with stocking up pantry type items as well. In the past, I've been annoyed when fruits or vegetables go bad because they weren't used in time. Yes, it does pay to keep extra food on hand.

Full vehicle coverage for insurance is an extra $40 a month. If I still worked in Boston, I would definitely have the full coverage. Locally, driving isn't that bad and I have a solid safety record. Bad things happen - but I plan to use that extra $40 towards a new vehicle anyway. My truck is a 2000 with 144,000 miles on it. Lots of life left but I feel safe going to liability now.

Winter heat. Again, if I didn't live in a mobile home I'd opt for a wood stove. Also, pretty sure the trailer park would frown on my using one. Pellet stove is supposedly safer though a pain if power goes out. I may get a pellet stove next year.

My phone bill is currently around $45 a month. I hope to exercise enough self discipline to get my minutes down to under 300. If so, I'll switch to the lowest plan which is 300 minutes a month for $30. I'd switch services to T-Mobile - but T-Mobile coverage sucks in this area. US Cellular is the only good network locally imho.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:26:02 AM EDT
[#27]
On #2, buying groceries - only buy the "perishables" (fruit, fresh veggies, milk) that you will use before next trip to the store.  Otherwise, look at your cost per unit of measure.  My family and I like peanut butter, it is not an everyday item but I will buy the largest unit I can get that will be eaten in a month.  The per-ounce price between a small bottle and a large jar can be huge.  We have 3 kids, and we use about 5 or 6 boxes of cereal per week - we buy bag cereal and whatever else is on sale.  If you have a big enough freezer buy your meat on sale and freeze it.  We can eat steak cheaper than hamburger because we buy clearance and freeze it.

On clothing, we take the time to yard sale.  I haven't bought over $30 in new clothes this year for myself.  Unides and socks are about it.  I do maintenance work, my uniform pants are provided and I buy yard sale T-shirts as I am liable to ruin them the first time I wear them anyways.  I do buy my wife some new stuff to keep her happy - you can chince yourself out of a happy life if you don't provide for the missus properly.

Another thing I have learned is not to be TOO cheap.  Buy on value not price.  Cheap can sometimes cost you much more in the long run.  I buy neither brand new nor over 5 years old for the main family vehicle (currently a 2004 Dodge Durango).  I keep a couple older Mercedes for my personal auto - I have less than $7K invested in those two ($5K in one and $2K in the other) and I always have something to get in and drive.  I spent more on used cars than if I found comparable domestic cars, but I work on them myself and the parts are actually cheaper than most other cars and I have a nice safe ride for negotiating the 30 mile drive to work through Memphis, TN traffic (you need above-average handling and braking to dodge the crackheads here).
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:27:33 AM EDT
[#28]
I would suggest getting a large freezer and going hunting more. Free meat, if you can shoot it. Also, you NEED to have a surplus of food, beyond just a few items in the pantry and going to the market to get the remainder of what you need for dinner. If your economic situation takes a down turn, you are going to have to start making the choice between paying the bills and buying food. Not a good choice...trust me, I have been there.

I still have my cell phone, but I got rid of the home phone, cable, and internet, which saved about $105/month. Prepaid phones are a rip off. You buy a card and you have 3 months to use the minutes. If you dont use them, you lose them, which is basically thorwing money away. I can get movies from the video store for the price of a rental, or my ex had netflix. $20 per month and we didnt have to go anywhere. We would watch a movie one night, drop it in the mailbox the next morning, couple of days later a new one showed up.

I have cut back my fancy coffee habit to one or two per week as just a pat on the back for surviving. I like my lattes, so I there is no room for negotiation on that one

Toys? Yeah, I am considering selling a rifle or two that I have sitting in the safe, that I havent shot in a couple of years. I have returned to college, so money is super tight right now and the extra cash would be really helpful, right now...
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:29:52 AM EDT
[#29]
First come up with a budget. Then switch to a cash only system. Each week take a certain amount of money from your pay to place into each envelope to cover your expenses. Find stupid shit that you are spending money on, cable for one is something I got rid of along with going out to bars etc.  
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:47:22 AM EDT
[#30]

Quoted:
I would suggest to you to put some money aside to have fun with. Your description of how your living doesn't sound like fun. You have to build into your budget an occasional release or you will go nuts and be at each others throats.
Even a cheap dinner and going grocery shopping on a Friday night can be a real help. If you cut off all dating your relationships will suffer.

I have been married almost 19 years, I have gone threw some very tight times. If you don't have something to look forward to, it will lead to problems later. Divorce is very expensive.


We do put aside $50 a paycheck each for "spending money", this includes extra meals out, whatever. As for the dating thing that can be an issue, especially in a case with stepchildren. Definitely an area we are trying hard to keep up. When we fight it is usually over stupid things, often we are saying the same thing from different points of view.  
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:51:22 AM EDT
[#31]
If you can install a solar clothes dryer (clothes line) do it. Let the fresh air and sunshine dry your clothes and save money. Even on cold days the clothes will dry if you put them out early enough.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 5:55:25 AM EDT
[#32]
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:00:46 AM EDT
[#33]

J_Smith
Member


Joined :: February 2001
Post Number :: 4770


ME, USA

Online Indicator ::
 




I see part of your plan is to not purchase an AR15.com membership.

I expect you're just cheap.  And from reading your 'plan', I bet you're just a blast to be around.




5sub


Imagine being sorry enough to use a board that you will not support as the vehicle to post your plan !!!
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:09:10 AM EDT
[#34]

Quoted:
I would suggest getting a large freezer and going hunting more. Free meat, if you can shoot it.


Free meat?

I started doing the math on how much my hunting meat has cost me. I'd have been money ahead if I'd have gotten some of those fancy overpriced mail-order meats. A person's gotta be careful how much they spend going after that free meat. Travel and equipment costs are a bitch.  Elk trip to Colorado - 2200ish miles of ~$3.40 diesel while pulling an enclosed trailer of quads and gear to the tune of about 14 mpg - $550. My non-resident cow license was something like $250-$400 (been a couple years, can't remember exact any more). While planning for aforementioned trip, I realize that I don't actually own a decent pair of binoculars. Or any pair, actually. I always just borrowed other people's. Buy the cheapest decent pair I can find (~$100). Gonna be on a mountain in November where it could be 15 and snowy or 55 and sunny, so contemplate shortcomings in cold weather and rainproof gear, including boots, socks, long underwear, layered jackets, bibs, etc. Nothing another $500 can't fix. Realizing that my folder is not up to the task of sawing through pelvis bones and gutting an elk: $50. Not wanting to be one of those hunters who gets lost in the mountains, cheapest mapping GPS I can find at the time: $175. Another half dozen similar situations that I am unable to remember right now: $200. Then processing costs if a guy wants sausage, etc. @ a couple bucks a pound, so let's call $125 in processing. I gotta count my rifle in there. Even though it's my favorite toy, I still bought it back in 1998 or 1999 with the intention of taking an elk trip. Could have been done cheaper, but as it is, I think the rifle was about $600, and the scope was around $300. Most of the equipment (canvas outfitter tents, wood camp stoves, etc was borrowed, so I won't count that.
$550+300(low-mid license guess)+100+500+$50+175+200+125+900 = $2900.
4 of us in the party splitting the meat, net result 2 cow tags filled. I still got a lot of meat out of the deal. Can't remember, but I'll ballpark it @ 200 lbs for easy math.

$14.50/lb. The good news is, my cost per pound starts looking a LOT better once I'm working with pre-existing equipment. I f'd up my last deer trip by upgrading my scope ($750) and buying a range finder ($250?) One of these days I'll find that free meat, though.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:11:24 AM EDT
[#35]

Quoted:
Long before "Peak Ammo", "Peak Oil", and a declining US dollar, I realized I would need to make some proactive changes to ensure long term financial stability. Last year, I finished up eight years of active duty military and plopped into the civilian world - which  really cares less if you've ever served. Be as it may, I am employed and will hopefully get my dream .gov job in the near future.

Being from Maine - almost everyone up here is either poor, middle class, or a liar. You learn to live with less unless you're some retard running around with 10 credit cards. Learning to live within my means, I've done a lot of things to cut back. Its not just about day to day or paying bills. Saving up for my own land requires perseverance in the financial frugality department. Here are some of the things which have helped me immensely. Curious what other tips others might have as well.

1) Cutting back on travel. I spend around $35-40 per week on gas by traveling to work locally and rarely visited friends/family outside of my area. Being able to take long road trips is a privilege - not some "right" - not matter how spoiled we may be. It's not realistic for most when gas hits over $3/gallon.

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput.

3) Avoiding Take-Out and dinner on the town. Meals plus tips cost money. They're a nice treat but if you do it ALL the time it's not fun anymore. People who eat out all the time tend to whine and complain about service and turn into restaurant snobs who leave small tips. A nice meal every few months is realistic if you want to save.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.

5) Less toys - more savings. Guns are great tools - but can quickly become an out of control addiction if you aren't savvy with your finances. I own the firearms and ammo I NEED. Not necessarily what I "want". For me, one rifle and one pistol for each adult in a household is enough for basic needs. Currently, I only buy firearms or related items to fill a specific need - which is very rare. The only way to save is to not spend money. I know - amazing Something that many here struggle with.

6) Lower the electric bill. We use CFL's for most of our indoor lights and air dry most of our laundry on wooden racks. Running the dryer uses up a lot of unnecessary energy. Not an environmental nut - just being practical. It is burning money after all.  

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal.

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small.

9) Vehicle expenses. I go to a smaller auto mechanic business that I trust. Rather then paying $80 an hour for service on my truck, I pay around $50 - and I actually trust the people. I also try to purchase vehicles that will run forever. My Toyota Tacoma has a lot of life left in it still. I also avoid unnecessary wastes of money like car washes.

10) Stop subscribing to magazines and unnecessary memberships. I belong to the NRA - that is it. I didn't reknew my ar15.com membership because I'm not online enough to justify it. I no longer subscribe to some of the gun magazines I used to. All the information I need from magazines I can get from books or the internet.

11) Disconnect internet service. In case I don't respond in time - I'm having my internet disconnected soon. I'll be using the local library in the future or using someone else's computer. Since I don't have a regular land line, my internet costs $40 a month. The library is good as well since I plan to do a lot more reading of practical non-fiction.

To save money, I do a lot of purchasing through local classifieds, grocery sales, and other deals. I buy used books from amazon.com or read them for free from the library. Yes, Walmart haters - I still go to Walmart.


you may regret that choice if you are ever involved in a major accident, medical bills pile up fast on both parties, and can result in millions of dollars in expenses all total.

this is one area where I WILL pay extra. for under insured and higher medical coverage.

yeah, it's a roll of the dice, but it's like owning a gun for defense, you more than likely will never need it, but if you do you want to have it "ON YOU" and a good enough one to get the job done.

never met a cop that said, "man,  I wish I had a smaller baton and weak pepper spray, fighting that drug crazed crack head.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:32:28 AM EDT
[#36]

Quoted:

Quoted:
I would suggest to you to put some money aside to have fun with. Your description of how your living doesn't sound like fun. You have to build into your budget an occasional release or you will go nuts and be at each others throats.
Even a cheap dinner and going grocery shopping on a Friday night can be a real help. If you cut off all dating your relationships will suffer.

I have been married almost 19 years, I have gone threw some very tight times. If you don't have something to look forward to, it will lead to problems later. Divorce is very expensive.


We make small trips on occasion. When we want to see a movie, we usually get one through Redbox - $1/night DVD rentals. Occasionally, I'll buy a frozen pizza or something else so my wife doesn't have to make dinner. We have no problem with leftovers either - some people are picky when it comes to eating leftover food. I hope to do more dating of my wife - the last month or so has been rough financially though (i.e. - her wisdom teeth out, new vehicle tires, and a new refrigerator) I plan on taking the two of us out for a nice meal either this month or next. And she's overdue for flowers. Good point though. Its not about money - but its important to put time and thoughtfulness into your married life.



Quoted:

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput. WRONG! The one thing you can do is put back a good supply of basic medium to long term food. If something happens to interrupt the income stream, that stock of food can be a big comfort-and a lifesaver financially.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.Only good advice if you drive junkers and have cash in hand to replace if it gets totaled. I keep full coverage on both my vehicles. It's not that much more, and having had to use it before, can make the diff between walking and driving to work.

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal. You live in Maine. Freezing to death is a possibility there. Pellet stoves cost money for pellets and require power to operate. What's wrong with your basic wood stove?

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small. Prepaid phone time is ridiculously expensive. Not a great idea. Maybe you need to switch providers?



On the groceries, I meant mainly perishable food that isn't normally frozen. We try to buy things like meat on sale and freeze for later use. I'm trying to do more with stocking up pantry type items as well. In the past, I've been annoyed when fruits or vegetables go bad because they weren't used in time. Yes, it does pay to keep extra food on hand.

Full vehicle coverage for insurance is an extra $40 a month. If I still worked in Boston, I would definitely have the full coverage. Locally, driving isn't that bad and I have a solid safety record. Bad things happen - but I plan to use that extra $40 towards a new vehicle anyway. My truck is a 2000 with 144,000 miles on it. Lots of life left but I feel safe going to liability now.

Winter heat. Again, if I didn't live in a mobile home I'd opt for a wood stove. Also, pretty sure the trailer park would frown on my using one. Pellet stove is supposedly safer though a pain if power goes out. I may get a pellet stove next year.

My phone bill is currently around $45 a month. I hope to exercise enough self discipline to get my minutes down to under 300. If so, I'll switch to the lowest plan which is 300 minutes a month for $30. I'd switch services to T-Mobile - but T-Mobile coverage sucks in this area. US Cellular is the only good network locally imho.




I see you are a veteran.  Maybe consider gut-shooting yourself insuring a long hospital stay at your local VA.  Then your wife could sell your truck, rent out your half of the trailer and would only have to buy half the food !!!  I'm betting the wife would save money on gas by NOT visiting your ass too.




5sub



Edite­d to add:

Better plan would be to have the WIFE gut shoot you.  You could go to the VA and save money and your wife could go to prison and save even monre money !!  Wife would probably like this deal.


Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:36:33 AM EDT
[#37]

Quoted:

Quoted:
I would suggest getting a large freezer and going hunting more. Free meat, if you can shoot it.


Free meat?

I started doing the math on how much my hunting meat has cost me. I'd have been money ahead if I'd have gotten some of those fancy overpriced mail-order meats. A person's gotta be careful how much they spend going after that free meat. Travel and equipment costs are a bitch.  Elk trip to Colorado - 2200ish miles of ~$3.40 diesel while pulling an enclosed trailer of quads and gear to the tune of about 14 mpg - $550. My non-resident cow license was something like $250-$400 (been a couple years, can't remember exact any more). While planning for aforementioned trip, I realize that I don't actually own a decent pair of binoculars. Or any pair, actually. I always just borrowed other people's. Buy the cheapest decent pair I can find (~$100). Gonna be on a mountain in November where it could be 15 and snowy or 55 and sunny, so contemplate shortcomings in cold weather and rainproof gear, including boots, socks, long underwear, layered jackets, bibs, etc. Nothing another $500 can't fix. Realizing that my folder is not up to the task of sawing through pelvis bones and gutting an elk: $50. Not wanting to be one of those hunters who gets lost in the mountains, cheapest mapping GPS I can find at the time: $175. Another half dozen similar situations that I am unable to remember right now: $200. Then processing costs if a guy wants sausage, etc. @ a couple bucks a pound, so let's call $125 in processing. I gotta count my rifle in there. Even though it's my favorite toy, I still bought it back in 1998 or 1999 with the intention of taking an elk trip. Could have been done cheaper, but as it is, I think the rifle was about $600, and the scope was around $300. Most of the equipment (canvas outfitter tents, wood camp stoves, etc was borrowed, so I won't count that.
$550+300(low-mid license guess)+100+500+$50+175+200+125+900 = $2900.
4 of us in the party splitting the meat, net result 2 cow tags filled. I still got a lot of meat out of the deal. Can't remember, but I'll ballpark it @ 200 lbs for easy math.

$14.50/lb. The good news is, my cost per pound starts looking a LOT better once I'm working with pre-existing equipment. I f'd up my last deer trip by upgrading my scope ($750) and buying a range finder ($250?) One of these days I'll find that free meat, though.


Aren't there deer somewhat close to where you live?  You can get a remingon 710 for $400, treestand $100, camo $100.  I could get all the meat I could handle with that set up.  And everythings reusable.  If you offer to help a farmer, you could wouldn't have to pay to hunt either.

-dan
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:38:21 AM EDT
[#38]

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
I would suggest to you to put some money aside to have fun with. Your description of how your living doesn't sound like fun. You have to build into your budget an occasional release or you will go nuts and be at each others throats.
Even a cheap dinner and going grocery shopping on a Friday night can be a real help. If you cut off all dating your relationships will suffer.

I have been married almost 19 years, I have gone threw some very tight times. If you don't have something to look forward to, it will lead to problems later. Divorce is very expensive.


We make small trips on occasion. When we want to see a movie, we usually get one through Redbox - $1/night DVD rentals. Occasionally, I'll buy a frozen pizza or something else so my wife doesn't have to make dinner. We have no problem with leftovers either - some people are picky when it comes to eating leftover food. I hope to do more dating of my wife - the last month or so has been rough financially though (i.e. - her wisdom teeth out, new vehicle tires, and a new refrigerator) I plan on taking the two of us out for a nice meal either this month or next. And she's overdue for flowers. Good point though. Its not about money - but its important to put time and thoughtfulness into your married life.



Quoted:

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput. WRONG! The one thing you can do is put back a good supply of basic medium to long term food. If something happens to interrupt the income stream, that stock of food can be a big comfort-and a lifesaver financially.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.Only good advice if you drive junkers and have cash in hand to replace if it gets totaled. I keep full coverage on both my vehicles. It's not that much more, and having had to use it before, can make the diff between walking and driving to work.

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal. You live in Maine. Freezing to death is a possibility there. Pellet stoves cost money for pellets and require power to operate. What's wrong with your basic wood stove?

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small. Prepaid phone time is ridiculously expensive. Not a great idea. Maybe you need to switch providers?



On the groceries, I meant mainly perishable food that isn't normally frozen. We try to buy things like meat on sale and freeze for later use. I'm trying to do more with stocking up pantry type items as well. In the past, I've been annoyed when fruits or vegetables go bad because they weren't used in time. Yes, it does pay to keep extra food on hand.

Full vehicle coverage for insurance is an extra $40 a month. If I still worked in Boston, I would definitely have the full coverage. Locally, driving isn't that bad and I have a solid safety record. Bad things happen - but I plan to use that extra $40 towards a new vehicle anyway. My truck is a 2000 with 144,000 miles on it. Lots of life left but I feel safe going to liability now.

Winter heat. Again, if I didn't live in a mobile home I'd opt for a wood stove. Also, pretty sure the trailer park would frown on my using one. Pellet stove is supposedly safer though a pain if power goes out. I may get a pellet stove next year.

My phone bill is currently around $45 a month. I hope to exercise enough self discipline to get my minutes down to under 300. If so, I'll switch to the lowest plan which is 300 minutes a month for $30. I'd switch services to T-Mobile - but T-Mobile coverage sucks in this area. US Cellular is the only good network locally imho.




I see you are a veteran.  Maybe consider gut-shooting yourself insuring a long hospital stay at your local VA.  Then your wife could sell your truck, rent out your half of the trailer and would only have to buy half the food !!!  I'm betting the wife would save money on gas by NOT visiting your ass too.




5sub



Edite­d to add:

Better plan would be to have the WIFE gut shoot you.  You could go to the VA and save money and your wife could go to prison and save even monre money !!  Wife would probably like this deal.




You've got problems.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:40:55 AM EDT
[#39]

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
I would suggest to you to put some money aside to have fun with. Your description of how your living doesn't sound like fun. You have to build into your budget an occasional release or you will go nuts and be at each others throats.
Even a cheap dinner and going grocery shopping on a Friday night can be a real help. If you cut off all dating your relationships will suffer.

I have been married almost 19 years, I have gone threw some very tight times. If you don't have something to look forward to, it will lead to problems later. Divorce is very expensive.


We make small trips on occasion. When we want to see a movie, we usually get one through Redbox - $1/night DVD rentals. Occasionally, I'll buy a frozen pizza or something else so my wife doesn't have to make dinner. We have no problem with leftovers either - some people are picky when it comes to eating leftover food. I hope to do more dating of my wife - the last month or so has been rough financially though (i.e. - her wisdom teeth out, new vehicle tires, and a new refrigerator) I plan on taking the two of us out for a nice meal either this month or next. And she's overdue for flowers. Good point though. Its not about money - but its important to put time and thoughtfulness into your married life.



Quoted:

2) Buying only the groceries I will use. My wife and I buy what we need for groceries and use it before it goes bad. Keep a good supply of basic foods in a food pantry to augment what you buy as well. We've also starting canning - this will help down the road. We just purchased a new refrigerator unfortunately since the other one went kaput. WRONG! The one thing you can do is put back a good supply of basic medium to long term food. If something happens to interrupt the income stream, that stock of food can be a big comfort-and a lifesaver financially.

4) Pay only liability vehicle insurance. My wife and I own both vehicle outright. They're old enough now that I can just pay liability with good conscience. Since we have USAA auto insurance - that's around $40 a month for both of us.Only good advice if you drive junkers and have cash in hand to replace if it gets totaled. I keep full coverage on both my vehicles. It's not that much more, and having had to use it before, can make the diff between walking and driving to work.

7) Winter heat. Unfortunately, we still have oil heat and live in a mobile home. Thinking about a pellet stove next year. I keep the thermostat around 55-65. I tried buying oil in the cheaper "off season" but you can only do so much here. Wood heat would be more ideal. You live in Maine. Freezing to death is a possibility there. Pellet stoves cost money for pellets and require power to operate. What's wrong with your basic wood stove?

8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small. Prepaid phone time is ridiculously expensive. Not a great idea. Maybe you need to switch providers?



On the groceries, I meant mainly perishable food that isn't normally frozen. We try to buy things like meat on sale and freeze for later use. I'm trying to do more with stocking up pantry type items as well. In the past, I've been annoyed when fruits or vegetables go bad because they weren't used in time. Yes, it does pay to keep extra food on hand.

Full vehicle coverage for insurance is an extra $40 a month. If I still worked in Boston, I would definitely have the full coverage. Locally, driving isn't that bad and I have a solid safety record. Bad things happen - but I plan to use that extra $40 towards a new vehicle anyway. My truck is a 2000 with 144,000 miles on it. Lots of life left but I feel safe going to liability now.

Winter heat. Again, if I didn't live in a mobile home I'd opt for a wood stove. Also, pretty sure the trailer park would frown on my using one. Pellet stove is supposedly safer though a pain if power goes out. I may get a pellet stove next year.

My phone bill is currently around $45 a month. I hope to exercise enough self discipline to get my minutes down to under 300. If so, I'll switch to the lowest plan which is 300 minutes a month for $30. I'd switch services to T-Mobile - but T-Mobile coverage sucks in this area. US Cellular is the only good network locally imho.




I see you are a veteran.  Maybe consider gut-shooting yourself insuring a long hospital stay at your local VA.  Then your wife could sell your truck, rent out your half of the trailer and would only have to buy half the food !!!  I'm betting the wife would save money on gas by NOT visiting your ass too.




5sub



Edite­d to add:

Better plan would be to have the WIFE gut shoot you.  You could go to the VA and save money and your wife could go to prison and save even monre money !!  Wife would probably like this deal.




You've got problems.


I mean I'm just trying to be help this guy save money !!




5sub
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:51:36 AM EDT
[#40]

Quoted:

Quoted:
I would suggest getting a large freezer and going hunting more. Free meat, if you can shoot it.


Free meat?

I started doing the math on how much my hunting meat has cost me. I'd have been money ahead if I'd have gotten some of those fancy overpriced mail-order meats. A person's gotta be careful how much they spend going after that free meat. Travel and equipment costs are a bitch.  Elk trip to Colorado - 2200ish miles of ~$3.40 diesel while pulling an enclosed trailer of quads and gear to the tune of about 14 mpg - $550. My non-resident cow license was something like $250-$400 (been a couple years, can't remember exact any more). While planning for aforementioned trip, I realize that I don't actually own a decent pair of binoculars. Or any pair, actually. I always just borrowed other people's. Buy the cheapest decent pair I can find (~$100). Gonna be on a mountain in November where it could be 15 and snowy or 55 and sunny, so contemplate shortcomings in cold weather and rainproof gear, including boots, socks, long underwear, layered jackets, bibs, etc. Nothing another $500 can't fix. Realizing that my folder is not up to the task of sawing through pelvis bones and gutting an elk: $50. Not wanting to be one of those hunters who gets lost in the mountains, cheapest mapping GPS I can find at the time: $175. Another half dozen similar situations that I am unable to remember right now: $200. Then processing costs if a guy wants sausage, etc. @ a couple bucks a pound, so let's call $125 in processing. I gotta count my rifle in there. Even though it's my favorite toy, I still bought it back in 1998 or 1999 with the intention of taking an elk trip. Could have been done cheaper, but as it is, I think the rifle was about $600, and the scope was around $300. Most of the equipment (canvas outfitter tents, wood camp stoves, etc was borrowed, so I won't count that.
$550+300(low-mid license guess)+100+500+$50+175+200+125+900 = $2900.
4 of us in the party splitting the meat, net result 2 cow tags filled. I still got a lot of meat out of the deal. Can't remember, but I'll ballpark it @ 200 lbs for easy math.

$14.50/lb. The good news is, my cost per pound starts looking a LOT better once I'm working with pre-existing equipment. I f'd up my last deer trip by upgrading my scope ($750) and buying a range finder ($250?) One of these days I'll find that free meat, though.

Hunt closer to home. Shoot deer. Less expensive and you still get meat. You're talking vacation here, not gathering food. Rifle, ammo and vehicle you'd have whether you hunt or not so why include those costs? Resident license is probably not above $20 or so. Again, you're taking a vacation to hunt elk. That's a different part of the budget.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 6:54:41 AM EDT
[#41]
I find it very easy to follow a monthly set budget

+$I know exactly what I make each month
- $I know what my bills are per month
- $I give myself and my wife $XXX every 2 weeks, if you need more $$, tough luck

= $Savings/ $Investments

Using my method I have paid off all credit card debt, my school loan, a motorcycle and 1 $35k truck, all in under 5 years.  The savings is going VERY well.  

Couldn't be much simpler than this folks!  Set a budget and STICK TO IT!!!!!
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 7:09:01 AM EDT
[#42]
J-smith,
This is an EXCELLENT post, that we could all glean something from, although I dont agree with a couple of your points, many benefits could be different from region to region.  You have focused primarily on maintaining the downstream effects, but what about the upstream? Additionl income is not all that difficult to obtain, as it is very rare that someones employer is holding a gun to their head keeping them at their current wage/position.  You did mention waiting

I am employed and will hopefully get my dream .gov job in the near future.
and that is the way to go.
I have found that you must be proactive.  I am the first to admit that the job market is rough now, although I am constantly told that there are thousands of jobs out there, I am not interested in going back to Wal*Mart.  A part-time, saturday job can bring in a few hundered more $$$ every month while waiting Busting your ass looking for a higher paying more rewarding form of employment.  PERSERVERE my brother, I just found my dream job after a year of serious searching "YOU CAN DO IT!"
COmbine a new job with your cost cutting measures and you should be alrignt.
Good luck,
Mills
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 7:31:15 AM EDT
[#43]
I'd reconsider the vehicle insurance and Internet access.  As you know, I was in a disabling accident 9 years ago and didn't have adequate medical coverage.  It took 8 years to settle the case, 8 years of fighting with collection agencies, etc.  It all came out in the end, but it was NOT worth the emotional toll.

We do a LOT of mail order via the Internet.  I save enough in fuel and purchases to make up for the $28 a month it costs.

Our cell phones have free long distance, so that pays for part of the cost.  The phone booth is near extinct, how many public phones do you see anymore?  Communication is a necessity, and the peace of mind plus free long distance keeps us going with cell phones. Do investigate adding yourself to your  wife's plan.

We are living on Social Security.  Tell me about austerity budgets..

Ops
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 7:56:15 AM EDT
[#44]
To those who mentioned hunting. I currently live inside city limits. A hunting license is around $20. Traveling 10-20 miles to hunt at $3+ a gallon is not saving money with "free meat". There isn't that much wild game here and when you only have Saturday to hunt - its not worth trying. If I had my OWN land - this would be a viable idea.



Quoted:
I'd reconsider the vehicle insurance and Internet access.  As you know, I was in a disabling accident 9 years ago and didn't have adequate medical coverage.  It took 8 years to settle the case, 8 years of fighting with collection agencies, etc.  It all came out in the end, but it was NOT worth the emotional toll.

We do a LOT of mail order via the Internet.  I save enough in fuel and purchases to make up for the $28 a month it costs.

Our cell phones have free long distance, so that pays for part of the cost.  The phone booth is near extinct, how many public phones do you see anymore?  Communication is a necessity, and the peace of mind plus free long distance keeps us going with cell phones. Do investigate adding yourself to your  wife's plan.

We are living on Social Security.  Tell me about austerity budgets..

Ops


The public library is only a few miles away. Lately, I only use the internet to check email and surf mainly for entertainment (ar15.com, etc). As for needs, I really don't need the internet. Internet is $40 for me and an unneeded cost imho. Plus, my wife can always use her internet at work to find something if really necessary.

I'll probably keep my cell phone but hope to go to their lowest plan. Its still a good chunk of change for something that I rarely need.

I realize the risks that come with liability only insurance. That being said, its worth the savings to me personally.



Quoted:

J_Smith
Member


Joined :: February 2001
Post Number :: 4770


ME, USA

Online Indicator ::
 




I see part of your plan is to not purchase an AR15.com membership.

I expect you're just cheap.  And from reading your 'plan', I bet you're just a blast to be around.




5sub


Imagine being sorry enough to use a board that you will not support as the vehicle to post your plan !!!


When I originally joined the board in 1998/1999 - the old board - there were no paid team memberships. The *ONLY* advantage a team membership offers is to search "my active topics" and the elusive Team AR15.com room. "My active topics" used to be free. And don't bother giving me a guilt trip for not paying $20. Much of the site's money comes from dealers in Equipment Exchange. Beyond my NRA membership, you can't convince of a "need" to pay money to "belong".


Link Posted: 11/10/2007 8:13:09 AM EDT
[#45]

Quoted:
Aren't there deer somewhat close to where you live?  You can get a remingon 710 for $400, treestand $100, camo $100.  I could get all the meat I could handle with that set up.  And everythings reusable.  If you offer to help a farmer, you could wouldn't have to pay to hunt either.

-dan


What, now you're trying to get me to spend another $600?  

Yeah, there are deer closer. In my backyard, actually, but I'd have to start hunting w/ slugs in my area of the state, and I'm a rifle snob. I had the opportunity to hunt this year for a $150 lease w/ my brother, but turned it down due to being all busy and unknown quality of hunting. I lack the social networking here in MN to get free access to hunting land, my roots are in SoDak. I hunt in there, but have to buy nonresident license (ends up being about a wash w/ the lease option I described above). It worked out well for my brother, so I'll probably get in on that next fall.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 9:07:03 AM EDT
[#46]

Quoted:


Yeah, there are deer closer. In my backyard, actually, but I'd have to start hunting w/ slugs in my area of the state, and I'm a rifle snob. I had the opportunity to hunt this year for a $150 lease w/ my brother, but turned it down due to being all busy and unknown quality of hunting. I lack the social networking here in MN to get free access to hunting land, my roots are in SoDak.  


Backyard deer taste just fine on the grill. Dove too.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 9:31:22 AM EDT
[#47]

Quoted:

I see you are a veteran.  Maybe consider gut-shooting yourself insuring a long hospital stay at your local VA.  Then your wife could sell your truck, rent out your half of the trailer and would only have to buy half the food !!!  I'm betting the wife would save money on gas by NOT visiting your ass too.




5sub



Edite­d to add:

Better plan would be to have the WIFE gut shoot you.  You could go to the VA and save money and your wife could go to prison and save even monre money !!  Wife would probably like this deal.




That is about the rudest and most uncalled for post I've ever read here. You ought to be ashamed. You ought to have your head shrunk.

At the very least you ought to apologize for showing your ass and then STFU.

And give the "pay up you cheap skate" bullshit a rest. Stupid assed comments like that just keeps other members from "paying up" anyway.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 9:33:46 AM EDT
[#48]
My thoughts?

Do it, and don't look back.

My wife and I did, and we couldn't be happier.
Link Posted: 11/10/2007 9:34:20 AM EDT
[#49]

Quoted:

Quoted:

I see you are a veteran.  Maybe consider gut-shooting yourself insuring a long hospital stay at your local VA.  Then your wife could sell your truck, rent out your half of the trailer and would only have to buy half the food !!!  I'm betting the wife would save money on gas by NOT visiting your ass too.




5sub



Edite­d to add:

Better plan would be to have the WIFE gut shoot you.  You could go to the VA and save money and your wife could go to prison and save even monre money !!  Wife would probably like this deal.




That is about the rudest and most uncalled for post I've ever read here. You ought to be ashamed. You ought to have your head shrunk.

At the very least you ought to apologize for showing your ass and the STFU.

And give the "pay up you cheap skate" bullshit a rest. Stupid assed comments like that just keeps other members from "paying up" anyway.




That is about the rudest and most uncalled for post I've ever read here.


Thanks much !!  




5sub

Though­t I had several post that more more rude and even more uncalled for but I guess not.
Link Posted: 11/11/2007 9:24:00 AM EDT
[#50]

Quoted:
8) Lower phone bill. I'm still struggling with this one. Thinking about going to a prepaid phone. I currently have a 700 minute plan - the only lower one offered by my phone service is a 300 minute which is just a little too small.  

If you mean cellphone, can't help you.  If you're obsessing over your house's landline fees and all the crap the telcos cram onto the bill, cut it back to the absolute minimum, eliminate long distance, and get an MCI calling card from CostCo.  It's currently 2.85 cents per minute, rechargable by credit card ten bucks at a time whenever you run low or out.

Cellphones, personally, I can't see why anyone gets them.  Or cable TV, for that matter.
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