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Old 05-17-2013, 11:33 AM
Location: USA
5,775 posts, read 4,162,850 times
Reputation: 9254


Originally Posted by thenicepartsoflife View Post
I was reading some blog about a guy who traveled the world in a backpack for a few years, he had a laptop, 1 bottle of Cologne, toiletries, like 6 t shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of jeans, a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of flip flops and he said pretty much thats all you need to make a functional wardrobe. Just do laundry more often, you don't need like 30 different shirts. I don't remember what he said about underwear though. I should do something like that, reduce my stuff.

I wonder if there is a girls version of that, how much more do they need? My last girl friend had like 2 walk in closets worth of clothes and like 200 pairs of shoes.

I have 5 t shirts, 5 pairs of underwear, 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of sneakers, and 1 pair of gortex boots for bad weather. I only do laundry once a week and have no white items so I don't need to do a separate load.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:33 AM
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,801 posts, read 6,629,359 times
Reputation: 4912
I think some low-income earners just learn to live with less.

My mother was a low-income earner. I don't think she made more than $31k her entire working life (she's retired now). But she lived within her means. That means no cable, no internet, no cell phone, no new clothes or vacations or trips. She bought only what she needed and what was on sale. She's beena renter for over 20 years.

She got her clothes from consignment shops and doesn't really drive anywhere. If she does eat out (which is rare) she only eats a side of something or a small appetizer. She keeps her bills down by not using A/C in the summer and very little heat in the winter (she bundles up).

Seems very constricting? She's been doing it so long, I don't think she knows any different.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:41 AM
Location: USA
5,775 posts, read 4,162,850 times
Reputation: 9254
Our service oriented economy pretty much revolves around mindless consumerism. I suppose it is a necessary evil.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:54 PM
503 posts, read 916,839 times
Reputation: 404
Living with less. It's not so bad. It's just stressful, especially when you relocate and hit that pocket of unemployment. I've been extremely lucky to have supportive friends and family. Some of my friends pitched in on relocation costs and my family foots the bill for my phone.

I'm a bit against the idea of ditching the computer and internet. Many public computers charge or set time limits. There was a point where I couldn't get a job for 10 months (retail/food service and manual labor included). I spent 16 hours a day doing outsourced data entry for pennies on the dollar (mTurk) while applying for every job opening in the area. I made enough to pay some small bills, buy 1 Christmas gift for a friend and feed my dog and I during unemployment. I couldn't do that on a public computer where I was living then. Also, WiFi is easy to find these days usually. I didn't have to pay for internet. Haven't paid for it ever, actually. I've always had it provided for me where I've lived (or in public hotspots like WalMart.)
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:20 PM
1,923 posts, read 1,835,794 times
Reputation: 1808
I knew a guy who lived right next to a mcdonald's and used it. He never paid a dime for internet. In fact, I think he's still doing it. He told me they leave it on 24/7. But when there's a storm or bad weather the signal goes bad. I've even seen people who disconnect their internet (to save money) and just walk to starbucks when they need to use it, either with a laptop or cell phone.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:10 PM
805 posts, read 900,659 times
Reputation: 714
The key is to learn to not to care about the things that a lot of people consider "necessities" (such as cable tv, iphones, etc.). It helps if you live in an area that is low cost of living yet either has half-way decent public transportation or where you can walk to most places you need to go. That will help keep your housing and transportation expenses down. Knowing how to cook and buy groceries that will last and are inexpensive is also important. As is a willingness to forgo or at least limit ac in the summer as well as limit heat in the winter. Also, for recreation, you learn to appreciate things that are free, such as public parks.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:30 AM
1,092 posts, read 2,548,854 times
Reputation: 1115
Adding Uninsured Motorist Coverage to your auto insurance is super inexpensive and a tremendous value! (Someone mentioned being devastated financially when they were hit by a UI driver that totaled their car and caused injuries.)

Paying for Long Term Disability Insurance, can be very inexpensive, and a very good idea. A 20 year old has a 30% chance of needing disability at some point in their career before retirement.

Considering moving to an area with a lower Cost of Living. I'm permanently disabled and my rent was being raised every 6 months. By moving to an area that has few jobs, but lots of seniors and disabled workers, I can afford to buy a MUCH nicer home than I'm renting for less than half the cost. I chose a home with no HOA, and with Prop 13 in CA my property taxes will remain manageable.

Don't buy food with low nutrition--much of what is sold in grocery stores. Avoid the center aisles in the grocery store and learn to read labels! Shop in bulk for quality items that you regularly use. Many food items from Costco cost me 1/4-1/3 of what they would at the grocery store and are freezable.

Find a great mechanic you trust that is affordable and buy the model of car he repairs! I purchased an old MBZ for $1600, hoping it would last me a year, and got another 6 years and 80,000 more miles out of it with very low maintenance costs. When it finally failed to pass the smog test, the state gave me $1000 back to retire it. It was dependable and only broke down once at the end on a cross country journey with my son (who hadn't maintained it as carefully.)

A college education can be an excellent investment, but not all are equal! Don't go to a private school and rack up 100k+ in debt when a public school education can be had for a fraction of the cost! Some people are taking classes just to live on the loans, and don't intend to ever do anything with the education--a very short sighted plan.

I realize this thread originated in 08 but the idea that it's simple for anyone to get SSI or SSDI approval simply because they can't find work, is not the norm. It's also highly offensive to those that are disabled that have done everything in their power to return to work, but are unable.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:54 AM
Location: Henderson, NV
586 posts, read 707,430 times
Reputation: 566
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
Low income - $15/hr to minimum wage. I met one guy who was a burger flipper and asked how he afforded living. He said, "are you good with women? How up with one and live with her!" But let me guess, many $7/hr workers have multiple jobs, probably get food stamps, public aid, SSDI, or Section 8. Otherwise, I heard they gang up together and live in an Apt - probably little privacy.

Ok, if you're a low earner - how do you survive?

How dreary is life when you can't afford many things?

I was thinking about getting a PT job to supplement my unemployment checks which I haven't gotten my last 5!, - so I'm suffering. Maybe working $7 / hr isn't worth it but like I'd get a 20% employee discount at Ross. I am able to get contract $30 - $35 / hr Proe jobs, but I haven't gotten one in 7 weeks. But I did get a 2 day $60 /hr job that messed up my unemployment check situation! - I should have never taken it!
I've put off moving out on my own because of low wages. My mother, my sister, her boyfriend and I all live in a two bedroom apartment. We have four jobs among us and we just barely make some of our payments. We do, however, manage to survive.

Last edited by tonylu; 05-18-2013 at 05:03 AM..
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:47 AM
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
1,794 posts, read 3,109,591 times
Reputation: 1389
A 57 year old male acquaintance works a supermarket job p/t, often pushing carriages. But seems to want more hours but can't find another p/t steady job. Used to work p/t at Barnes and Noble in the back storage area sorting books. Doesn't like much people interaction at work.

Volunteers at a church to do whatever, and gets supermarket gift cards. He asks me to give him money for them, which I do since I shop there anyway. Takes public transit. Does many of those medical studies advertised. Lives in a rooming house/housemate situation for many years.

Still, needs to sometimes ask me to lend him small amounts of cash which he pays back in a few months. Says he has retirement funds he gets penalized for if he withdraws...

Last edited by bostonguy1960; 05-18-2013 at 05:48 AM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:46 AM
19 posts, read 9,806 times
Reputation: 39
Live in the woods to save on rent, clean yourself and do laundry at a nearby friend's house. Ride a bicycle even if you have a car. Don't spend any money on anything that isn't necessary or needed.
Don't stumble and fumble into so many unfair agreements and contracts, these are the problems most people find themselves in, like your mortgage which is really nothing but a 30 year prison sentence, kids are an 18 year sentence if you're lucky, That new car you don't need will cost you dearly, get off your fat ass and ride a bicycle around, it will take place of your health club membership. That 2 year contract you signed for DirecTV is another thing you will regret fumbling into, don't do it.

Most people spend a lot of money to fill a hole in their lives because they feel trapped where they are, Stay free and mobile until you are too old, save money for then.
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