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Old 09-11-2016, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,757 posts, read 47,604,011 times
Reputation: 17641

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My Dw and I have focused years on frugal living, tax-shelters and investing. Our investments have done well and my career provided a pension, so we were able to retire early.

Together we formed a goal of how we wanted to live as soon as I retired, and now we are here doing it. I am a military retiree my pension is $1480/month.

We are both so accustomed to living on a low income, being frugal that we would not be able to spend more even if we had more. Frugalness becomes habit.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:36 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,872 posts, read 18,976,800 times
Reputation: 25152
If you (yes, I realize it's a hypothetical you, not you personally) only have $4 left after you pay the bills for the month, then you have to cut back on unnecessary expenses. Finish your car payment and don't plan on running right out to get another car payment when that car is paid off. Get rid of cable, pay off your credit cards, get rid of home phone, get the cheapest cell plan you can get (I pay $35/month for unlimited talk and text and 1gb of data, for example). Quit eating at restaurants and shopping at the mall and paying for after-school activities and socializing, at least the kind of socializing that gets expensive. If you've cut out all those things and you still have $4 and not enough food for the month, you either need a cheaper place to live or more income. If neither of those is possible and you have kids, you probably qualify for food stamps. Go apply for assistance, and fill out the form so your children can get free school breakfast and lunch.

Next, if you have kids and that little money, you're probably getting a decent tax return. You're probably also using it to buy all the things you feel deprived of during the year. Instead, pay for car insurance for the full year. Pay off any credit cards that have low balances.

I've learned to do a lot of things so that my family could live decently without a lot of money. I can cut hair, repair appliances, do minor repairs on cars, alter clothes, cook almost anything, decorate a cake.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,376 posts, read 7,171,473 times
Reputation: 9312
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68551 View Post
I am now comfortably retired and one way to save tons of money is to stop going to the mall to buy clothes, shoes, and household items.....I have great treasures in my house all bought from my local Goodwill, Salvation Army & yard sales. Think OUTSIDE the box and don't do what everyone else does.
I wore used clothes to work for years before I retired. And I had a "professional" job.

OP, I think you need to get a bit more creative.

And you might want to read Your Money or Your Life. I wouldn't follow the investment advice in it, but the questions the authors pose go right to the heart of paying attention to your spending patterns. Even if you do need to increase your income, as others are suggesting, more money won't necessarily change anything for you if the real problem is your attitude toward spending.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Washington state
4,728 posts, read 2,324,326 times
Reputation: 13831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
If all you have left is $4, you need to earn more and/or spend less.
Obviously. Now, be creative and tell us all HOW that can be accomplished!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Car insurance is a place to start. Shop around. If you've been with the same company for years, they may be assessing you a loyalty penalty.
My own personal car insurance is only $25/month. I suppose I could shop around to see if I could get it cheaper...........



Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
You are poor becasue all of the ill will and envy that you are sending forth is returning to you tenfold and your hexes are rebounding upon you.

A couple that saves a million dollars in 20 years has done you no harm, nor have they withheld any money from your pocket. Envy has eaten away your own logic center which would tell you how to improve your own life if you put that effort in that direction instead of being eaten up with jealousy of anyone that does better than you do.
How about I put a spell on you and make you disappear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
See, all gone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
If you (yes, I realize it's a hypothetical you, not you personally) only have $4 left after you pay the bills for the month, then you have to cut back on unnecessary expenses. Finish your car payment and don't plan on running right out to get another car payment when that car is paid off. Get rid of cable, pay off your credit cards, get rid of home phone, get the cheapest cell plan you can get (I pay $35/month for unlimited talk and text and 1gb of data, for example). Quit eating at restaurants and shopping at the mall and paying for after-school activities and socializing, at least the kind of socializing that gets expensive. If you've cut out all those things and you still have $4 and not enough food for the month, you either need a cheaper place to live or more income. If neither of those is possible and you have kids, you probably qualify for food stamps. Go apply for assistance, and fill out the form so your children can get free school breakfast and lunch.

Next, if you have kids and that little money, you're probably getting a decent tax return. You're probably also using it to buy all the things you feel deprived of during the year. Instead, pay for car insurance for the full year. Pay off any credit cards that have low balances.
Not trying to single you out, Mom, but your post is a pretty good example of what I'm talking about. Me personally: I don't have a car payment, I don't have cable or TV, I don't have a credit card, I have a pay-as-you-go phone and I put $10 a month on it (I suppose I could get rid of that), I don't eat at restaurants, I don't shop at the mall, I don't socialize except online, I use maybe one tank of gas a month, I am already on food stamps, I don't have kids, the rent for my place is subsidized, I don't work because I'm disabled, and I don't get enough money to live on to even file for taxes. Now, let's start over.......and get creative about how to save money when you have no money.



Maybe the sarcasm was a little too subtle here, but people, this was supposed to poke fun at all the self help articles. I'm not looking for some serious answers because there are no answers. We've already done everything people have told us to do, yet here we are, with $4 in our hand.

Most of us poor folks know what to do, or what needs to be done or that hey, yeah, you're right DUH, I need more money coming in! What I'm asking is how, exactly, you would go about doing it,

There are a lot of people out there like me. We have a big $4 left over at the end of the month. So I'm asking, what do we do with that magnificent windfall so that we, too, can have a million dollars in the bank? Tongue-firmly-in-cheek

C'mon, guys, this is your chance for being creative! Do you bring the $4 to your local college and ask them to accept a down payment on your education? Do you bring it to a resume business and have them print out some professional looking resumes? Do you use it to advertize that you will accept decals on your car and toodle around town for pay? Do you play the lottery? Buy a couple loaves of bread and sell slices on the street, 30 a slice?

Let's get those creative juices flowing here! And for heaven's sake, relax a little and have fun with this thread!



Quote:
Originally Posted by city living View Post
I appreciate your sense of humor. Did the last article about the couple who managed to save a ton and retire set you off?
Hey, somebody gets it!

On a more serious note, which article? There are so many of them around. What brought out the satire for this thread is the implication that anyone could do what they did and if someone can't, they probably shouldn't be allowed to live.

Anyone can do it? Well, I'll just get right on that then! (And yes, that was sarcasm.)

Last edited by rodentraiser; 09-11-2016 at 07:31 PM..
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:36 PM
 
Location: The World
3,025 posts, read 1,824,781 times
Reputation: 7789
One suggestion is to look for legitimate online work. I started writing articles and blog posts for pay on the side when I had a full-time job because we did not have enough money. I learned that I'm actually really good at it and can make good money doing it, and I ended up quitting my (not-so-good) full-time job to do it full-time. That was in 2011, and I now have a successful freelancing business.

There is a lot of online work out there...writing articles and blog posts, offering editing services, doing transcription work, taking an at-home customer support or call center job, etc.

I'm not saying this is the magical solution for everyone, but it did work for me and actually changed my life. I've been in the situation that you describe (perhaps worse, actually, because I had to alternate months when paying bills and determine what was most desperate and what I could put off...), so believe me, I understand. There aren't a lot of options, and some of the self-help articles and books seem to have been written by people who have never been really, truly broke. Perhaps broke by their own standards, but not broke as in, "I have absolutely nothing to eat in this house other than ketchup and an expired can of corn, all of my bills are a month behind, I haven't bought new clothes in years, and I'm probably going to run out of gas on my way to work tomorrow" broke.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:42 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,699 posts, read 51,999,353 times
Reputation: 83315
Here is my advice, OP:
First get off the computer and chatting on the forums. You don't seem to be mentally disabled and you used to have a job. You quit because you didn't like it. You went on disability and food stamps. Now you have tons of time and no money.
Anyone here quit a job due to bullying?
Try to get back to work, be more compromising at work, or learn new skills, and start earning money. Feeling pity about your situation isn't going to make you rich.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:45 PM
mm4
 
5,712 posts, read 2,966,386 times
Reputation: 1941
The Dave Ramsey Show - daveramsey.com - daveramsey.com

Live on less than you make.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:21 PM
 
1,731 posts, read 1,181,879 times
Reputation: 2854
If you can't find another job that pays more or get side jobs to supplement your income, just accept being poor. No magical tricks will make you a millionaire so embrace your poverty. A lot of people will never be upper middle class let alone rich.

I've given up on being rich and just content that I haven't experienced an illness, injury, or lay off that will derail my finances and send me to the poorhouse yet.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Maui, Hawaii
641 posts, read 574,671 times
Reputation: 1251
Well, rodentraiser, sell some of those rodents you are raising. Time is money, time on this forum, in this section anyway, makes exactly zero money. Google is your friend.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:05 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,872 posts, read 18,976,800 times
Reputation: 25152
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodentraiser View Post




Not trying to single you out, Mom, but your post is a pretty good example of what I'm talking about. Me personally: I don't have a car payment, I don't have cable or TV, I don't have a credit card, I have a pay-as-you-go phone and I put $10 a month on it (I suppose I could get rid of that), I don't eat at restaurants, I don't shop at the mall, I don't socialize except online, I use maybe one tank of gas a month, I am already on food stamps, I don't have kids, the rent for my place is subsidized, I don't work because I'm disabled, and I don't get enough money to live on to even file for taxes. Now, let's start over.......and get creative about how to save money when you have no money.


Well, your first post was about only having $4 left and needing to feed the kids and wasn't supposed to be about you. And none of what I told you was hypothetical for me, it was what I had to do when the recession hit, except for the food stamps because my husband wouldn't do that. We cut everything back to the bare minimum. My husband was making $12/hour at one job and $8/hour part time at the other. Then the part time job laid him off. We have two kids and they were young enough that I had to be home all the time to watch them. Rent was $750, utilities $250, car payment $245, car insurance $100. Gas to get to work was about $300/month. If I was lucky, I had $50/week to feed everyone and buy things like toilet paper and shampoo. In hindsight I should have told my husband I would leave if he wouldn't get food stamps, but instead I made that $50/week stretch to feed everyone, and we filled in the empty spaces with his pride.

I did things that I'm glad I don't have to do anymore...for example, one time I had to do the brakes on the car and I didn't have any jack stands, so I bought the jack stands, did the brakes, returned the jack stands and bought food with the money I got back. I ordered pet antibiotics from ebay and took them when I had an infection and couldn't afford to go to the doctor. I had to iron my daughter's t-shirts to try to stretch them out because she grew and I couldn't buy more clothes and I didn't want to send her to school in clothes that didn't fit. I learned how to take out medical staples because I couldn't afford to get them taken out, and the next time I had a cut that should have been stitched or stapled, I learned how to close it with artificial nail glue so I wouldn't end up with hospital bills.

So yeah, I know about being so poor that it hurts. To add insult to injury, my husband was constantly quoting Dave Ramsey to me and saying that I was wasting money and squandering his hard earned cash when we should be saving it for retirement. The only way I got him to stop doing that was to get him to cash his paychecks instead of depositing them, and pay for everything in cash. He'd start out with a nice, fat envelope of money, go pay all the bills, fill up the car, and be left with maybe $150. Then I'd tell him he had to put $50 in the glove compartment to fill up the next week and the $100 he had left had to buy groceries for two weeks, and to have fun making the menu.

Do you know what I really learned from all of it? Being poor sucks. I hated being broke all the time. So eventually I started filling out job applications for my husband until he got a better job. Now we're not totally broke anymore...we at least all have health insurance and we can afford to fix the car or the air conditioner when it breaks. We're not rich and we're not building up a savings right now, but we're at least not in that miserable, soul-crushing state of poverty where every minor disaster like a flat tire or the power going out long enough to spoil the food in the fridge would be a major disaster for us instead.
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