OK here is how I do it, but remember… - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV
Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on October 13, 2003 at 22:03:54:
…you can’t continue to do the same things you are doing now, over and over and expect to get differet results.
We rent a room with utilities and about half of our food for $100 per month. We get a special deal because we are renting from a friend, in a condemned, house on a short term basis (about 7-8) months. Yes my circumstances are special, but I looked for, found, and negotiated my deal. My friend bought a 3 bedroom house 18 months ago for $25k cash. It is right nextdoor to the new Cabazon police station. The county wants this property very badly, to put in a refuling station for the police department. They haven’t actually condemned the house but would do so if they couldn’t buy it. I use my experience, and skill to help my friend with his real estate deals and kind of earn my keep here. I might note also that there are two other renters here that only pay $75 per month for their room and board. My friend is about to accept an offer from the county of about $110,000 for the house plus each of us is likely to get a VERY large cash allowance for relocation expenses, possibly as much as $5,000-$15,000 each. If that occurs my expense for rent, food and utilities, when viewed retroactively should be a large NEGATIVE number for the entire year. I think on the whole we will get paid nearly $1,000 per month to live here. Yeah, I know, noone will belive a negative cost of living but it is true.
Now don’t say I just fell into a special deal, When I move from here I plan to move into our just (to be)finished mini-storage. Since I will be managing it for the first 6-12 months (at a normal salary), I will also be REQUIRED to live on the premesis. I will not have to pay anything for my rent and utilities again. Ok, so you’re not building a mini-storage and can’t do this. Well after my time in the mini-storage, I will move into a 33 ft. motorhome, in local RV parks and only pay about $30 per month for my rent AND utilities. So I’ve given you 3 ways to live cheaply for rent and utilities, one for a NEGATIVE ultimate cost, one for free, and one for about $30 per month.
Now for the balance of my food. Carol’s Kitchen, a philantrophic organization serves free lunch 4 days per week. Anyone passing through Cabazon, Banning, or Beaument is welcome to stop in for a free commuity lunch. You dont have to be poor and you don’t even have to register or give you name. Everyone is welcome. Carol’s Kitchen also gives each guest a couple of loves of bread, a quart of orange juice and a small free bag of groceries each day. If I am alone I just pick up a couple of hitchhikers and take them to a free lunch. They appreciate the free feed and don’t mind when I take their bread, orange juice, and bag of groceries away from them after leaving. The Little Red Barn, on the Morongo Indian Reservation, here in Cabazon, also give boxes of free groceries to anyone who shows up, twice a month. Again there is no income or need requirement. You just have to show up and prove in writing that you live in the town of Cabazon. Set Free, in a nearby town gives a big box of food every Thursday, to anyone who bothers to show up. No requirements. I do NOT accept free food from any orgainzation for the needy, or any that that has income or need requirments.
My car insurance runs aproximately $60 per month for Charito and myself. It is liability only. I generally get my cars for about $200-300 each (not running) and I have a free repair agreement with my mechanic, Mark Lyon. I use my skills to buy non-running cars for him (with his money) and he fixes them and I resell them for him and give him the proceeds, and he fixes my cars free except for the parts which I buy. We often buy 2-3 cars per week and I siphon out any gas in their tanks and only put about 1 gallon back in before reseling them. Some weeks I have no expense for gasoline. I budget about $60/mo. for gas normally, if I can’t get it free. I never have to pay for car registration because I just sell (at a profit) any car I have that is nearing registration expiration and buy a new one with severl months remaining on the registration. I generally prefer late 80s Tercels, Civics and Accords. All are Japaneese cars with 4 cylinder engines for good dependability, gas mileage, and resale values.
My cell phone costs about $60 per month and I get a free local line for my computer where I live, but I could also get the free use of a computer, three houses away from me at the Cabazon Public Library on Wed. Thur. Fridays.
For a free newspaper, I just walk a block down to the Cabazon General store about 10:00-11:00 and take one away from the local drunks who have finished them by that time (really).
Naturally the misses cuts my hair. We get her hair done, along with dental, work , glasses and medical prescritptions filled in the Philippines. My last glasses cost $30, including the eye test. I used my existing frames. I can get custon made new clothes made there too, by her relatives, for about 14th the cost of here. Or better yet I can get my cloths custom made free by trading garage sale stuff with them. They like that better. I love to negotiate and trade too.
I buy all of my other clothes and other household items at garage sales. I formerly shopped at thrift stores, but no more, because I can use my negotiating skills to get what I need for about 1/5 the cost of thrift stores when I shop at garage sales. While there at garage sales I watch for underpriced items that I can resell on E-Bay. The profits from my resales usually give me everything I buy at garage sales ENTIRELY FREE. I also keep my eyes out for SFRs for sale when garage saling. I once bought a nice house one from the people having the sale. It was in forclosure. I made enough profit on that house to give me a lifetime worth of free household merchansise, appliances, and clothing when purchased at garage sales. Charito, my wife, loves garage sales and she often collect a 20ft. ocean shipping container full to take home with her when we visit the Philippines for a month or so, twice a year. We have built a small home there. It is the one that I referred to recently when I said that we pay about 660 pesos for a double lot ($12/mo). Charito usually gives away half of the container of garage sale items, free to friends and relatives and then empolyees them to sell the other half to pay ALL of the cost so the whole thing is usually about free.
Ok That adds up to zero dollars per month or as much as $260 per month or less, depending. on how you figure things. This is for our basic, necessary costs of living. Sometimes we splurge and spend more. I don’t count my foreign travel as a basic living expense, BUT I have learned to travel around the world ENTIRELY free anyway, buy using free courier service tickets and getting double frequent flyer miles (which I resell every time I get a cupon for 20k miles). That way I get free airline tickets (on Northwest Airlines) and the $300 or so, that I get (later), is what I use for living expenses when traveliong abroad. I stay at Youth hostels or friends homes almost exclusively. My foreign room costs, dormitory style, probably average $5 per night except in Europe ($15) and I stay out of Japan on an overnight basis. I carry nerly ALL on my food with me in a suitcase when traveling in Europe because food is double the cost there that it is in the U.S. Last time I went (alone) I carred 30 days worth of food.
This isn’t half of it but it gives you a general idea of what is possible when you put your mind to it and make it a brain-teasing game to try to reduce your costs. I have already written about how many mobile homes and houses and pieces of land that I’ve gotten for free. Its in the archives. I use tax sale lots to get other things either free or practically free, like mobile home moving and set up costs, rehab work, etc. I even once traded a $25 tax sale lot for a $500 restaurant meal credit at one of the independently owned Sizzler restaurants.
I just want to leave you with one final thought. Free isn’t the lowest price you can get.
I get many things for negative costs, now that I am alert to TRYING to do it whenever possible. We can talk more about this later when your minds are ready for it.
OK now. No free lunch folks. You all owe me some of your super-saving tips and ideas. Lets hear them, I think all will benefit by learning how to reduce unnecessary living expenses so we can buy more mobile home investments.