Let's get real.... - Posted by Johnnie (FL)

Posted by Tarheel T on October 14, 2003 at 18:46:24:


While doc often has some good ideas, I think that he told us a little too much in his last post.

I remember Bryan from Sacto posting about his goal of becoming a billionaire. I think that doc is about as likely to become a billionaire with his “strategy” as Bryan is with his.



Let’s get real… - Posted by Johnnie (FL)

Posted by Johnnie (FL) on October 13, 2003 at 14:36:42:

the truth is what I need to hear and you will not hurt my feelings one bit by being honest. My only request is that the responses to this post be made by successful investors. Preferably ones who started out broke and made their own money. I want to hear from someone who had nothing and ended up with much.

I have a wife and three kids living at home, my income pays all the bills. Currently it is about $26,000 a year. My monthly expenses are approximately 1900.00 a month, this includes everything. I want out. I am willing to do what it takes. I don’t mind working 70 hours a week. I just want someone to tell me what to do…
What would you do?

Wow - Posted by Johnnie (FL)

Posted by Johnnie (FL) on October 14, 2003 at 15:11:16:

I would like to say I sincerely appreciate every response. It has been very informative, interesting, and down right entertaining.

In case anyone was wanting to know the reason my expenses are so high is credit card debt. (which I don’t use anymore) Nevertheless, there are some very good money saving tips in the responses to my original post that I will utilize and apply the savings to debt reduction. Oh yeah and anymore monthly expense reducing ideas will be greatly appreciated. As a matter of fact I’m going to search the archives for just that…

Johnnie (FL)

Re: Let’s get real… - Posted by Lyal

Posted by Lyal on October 13, 2003 at 20:50:52:


You don’t say if you’ve read Lonnie’s book or not so that’s the first place to start. If you don’t have it, get it and read it several times.

I wasn’t broke but I borrowed the money to start (3K from a 401K loan). I’m a slow cautious kinda guy so I’ve built slowly and steadily and I’ve gone from working 1 deal every few months to working on 4 simultaneously right now.

Read the posts by Ken Semler (KenS_WV I think is his signature). He started by using google and the phone to assemble a list of lenders who will finance his deals to practically anyone with a pulse. He would buy bank and lending company repos and “flip” them to retail buyers for cash (from his lending contacts). He did this to build his “war chest” if you will. Philip used private lenders (his was family but you can beat the bushes and find someone who has their savings tied up in CD’s at 3% and show them how to really grow their savings) to finance his first deals. Lonnie shows several ways to split things up; trade for work, merchandise or services.
The only limiting factors to this are your energy and imagination. You may really work 70 hours to start but it’ll be worth it 5 years down the road. All you need to do is take that first step.
All the best, Lyal

Stop seeking the easy way out - Posted by Tony-VA/NC

Posted by Tony-VA/NC on October 13, 2003 at 16:45:02:


Take this as intended…constructively.

You have reached a milestone in that you realize you have to do something different in order to receive something different.

You want out but don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Get out and do something for youself. That way, win or loose, you get the credit and education.

Now I don’t intend for you to go off on your own without any advice. Study and apply. Take action but do not sit around waiting for someone to guide you. The knowledge is here. Honestly, most any course sold here would get you started. Once you have decided what approach you like, what interests you have and how realistic you are…then choose an author and course and apply it.

You don’t need to know everything to get started but you do need to know enough to protect yourself and to get business started off on the right track.

Lonnie’s material was that start for many of us here. His book is inexpensive and so are the deals he teaches. Pound for pound, nothing beats the experience you gain from his approach. It can be a beginning, an end or simply a money maker. From there you may branch out into other areas of interest but you will be doing so through a knowledge base backed by experience. Now that sounds like my receipe for success.

If you find yourself a week from now still asking the same question in this post, then you have not taken action and you have not tried to succeed. Don’t let that happen.

Best Wishes,


The magic bullit if there ever was one. - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on October 13, 2003 at 15:11:46:

Here is the silver bullit if ever there was one.

Good ‘investor’ education, hard work, thrift, sacrifice and focused goals.

My advice to you is to read this board, top to bottom, every post. You can do it in a few hours.

I can guarantee you that you will find all of the answers that you seek and then some. You will have a mix of information from more than 100 different and successful investors. Among them you will hear from a number of millionaires who have started from scratch and achieved what you desire. You can follow in their footsteps if you can follow their directions. The directions are easy, the work is long and hard. If you have the will and make the effort you can achieve anything that anyone else has. This board is always here to help in any way possible.

Your family’s cost of living is presently 5 times as high as mine (family of 3) yet we lack nothing. You can enjoy a good present, if you wish. I prefer a better future. I wanted out, like you. I had and still have a BURNING DESIRE to get ahead. I toiled long and hard, made the sacrifices, and I got out. I can tell you from first hand experience that the mobile home business, in one form or another, is the best way to start out that I know of.

Best of luck to you, if you can’t make your own. doc

Re: Let’s get real… - Posted by Chuck

Posted by Chuck on October 13, 2003 at 14:57:59:

Spend $30 for a copy of Deals on Wheels, and spend the next month reading this forum and it’s archives.

I know that’s not what you wanted to hear… but if you choose to ignore me you’ll still be where you are right now… only it’ll be 30 days later and all you will have saved is $30 and abit of your free time.

Your choice.

Money Saving Ideas… - Posted by Kevin in OK

Posted by Kevin in OK on October 15, 2003 at 18:30:46:

There are several sites you can go to for money saving ideas.

The Dollar Stretcher is one of the top ones. Cut & paste this into your browser: www.stretcher.com/

Let me know what you think…

Kevin in OK

$380 per month - Posted by jp

Posted by jp on October 13, 2003 at 17:29:17:

I’m currently on a quest to reduce my monthly expenses and I would like to know how you break down that $380 per month to cover all your expenses. I’m pretty creative and I don’t mind depriving myself of a lot of things, but $380 per month just seems really low. I’m assuming you have no debt service, no mortgage or rent, and no car payment. I’m having trouble living without things like electricity, running water, heat, groceries, health insurance, gasoline and a phone (kinda hard to do REI w/out one). Some of your ideas to help me along would be greatly appreciated. I’m trying to go full-time REI within a year and I need to stretch my nest egg as far as possible. Thanks Doc.


Re: The magic bullit if there ever was one. - Posted by Johnnie (FL)

Posted by Johnnie (FL) on October 13, 2003 at 16:13:31:

I appreciate your response. I was rather hoping you would be one of the ones who responded Doc. I do realize that my expenses are rather high (due to some stupid decisions on my part), but I am labouring deligently to get them down. I have read a lot of the posts on here (archived and current) although I have not read them all. That is why I posted this question on this board. Mobile Homes do seem to me to be the best way to go for someone with limited capital. Again thanks for the insight…

Johnnie (FL)

And Mr. Personality (Chuck)… - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on October 13, 2003 at 15:24:46:

…is one of the very successsful ones that I was talking about.

He can talk, if you can listen. The admission is free.

Regards, doc

Re: Money Saving Ideas… - Posted by Johnnie (FL)

Posted by Johnnie (FL) on October 16, 2003 at 23:41:07:

Appreciate the website Kevin. I read one article and learned a way to save $$$$$ that I had never heard of. I will be sure to go through the site thoroughly.

Anyone else who has not checked out the site www.stretcher.com/ should.

Johnnie (FL)

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.

Regards, doc

Re: OK here is how I do it, but remember… - Posted by larrynohio

Posted by larrynohio on October 19, 2003 at 09:36:02:


This was very interesting. I celebrate the fact that in the U.S. we can be who we want and not like everyone thinks we should be.

Thank you for taking the time to author these insights, something that I don’t do.


Re: OK here is how I do it, but remember… - Posted by DDD(AL)

Posted by DDD(AL) on October 14, 2003 at 11:47:04:

Hi Doc,I’m the one who asked about using my 401K. I’m about to go apply for a job with one of the former employers.
I’ve been reading a lot about using waste vegtable oil from restaurants to run diesel engines.
It can also be used to heat with in some cases. They have to pay to dispose of it.
Here’s some links: http://www.northwales.org.uk/bio-power/links.htm. Searches for SVO +diesel or WVO +diesel should find more. A lot of this going on in Europe.
Right now I’m looking for a 12 - 20’ shipping container for storage and there seem to be several availible from military surplus. I’ve just started watching so I don’t know how cheap they’ll go.
(If my brother didn’t own several flat bed trucks it would not be practical). Looks like
I can get secure storage really cheap which is a major concern for me right now. I really need out of
my apartment and want to stay flexible about moving.
I shave in the shower using bar soap and get a better shave. Use baking soda for to brush my teeth.
I still use a truck I bought new in 1987 and a car that was given to me.
I sometimes trade my auto + computer repair skills for electronic repairs to good stuff I
get free or cheap. Like a very good home audio and a 21’ moniter that had been tossed.
I’ve found lots of good stuff that usually just needs a part to repair the power supply.
Lots of stuff that will not sell on Ebay or is not worth the time to list and ship will bring
a good price locally. I like to rent a table I can back into every 6 months or so and spend a
day at the local flea market. It gets a lot more traffic than a yard sale for about the price of
an ad and less hassle.
I pick up washers and dryers when I have time and see one. I fix the really good ones and local
used appliance places usually pay $25 bucks for the rest. I knew of one guy who advertised cleaning out
garages,basements,etc and then sold the stuff he was paid to haul off.
I watch Lowe’s. They usually put damaged plywood and drywall outside the door at the
lumber checkout @25%. The local drywall distributer used to sell damaged sheets @ $1.
Now if I could find a deal like this on skirting!
If you can get the contacts shipping companies often have a sale on damaged goods with some really
good deals on all sorts of stuff.

Re: OK here is how I do it, but remember… - Posted by jp

Posted by jp on October 14, 2003 at 10:26:51:

Thanks for your time and information.

I know that you have a cult following on this board, so I’ll probably get reamed for saying this, but I think you are way too extreme. Eating in soup kitchens and living in a 30ft motor home is not what I pictured myself doing after achieving real estate riches. Are you poor? Do you actually NEED to live the way you do or do you just like the challenge? You gave similar advice to a poster named “Anneise” a while back and I completely agree that her situation warranted some extreme measures. But for some people, that’s just ridiculous. I have always believed that when it comes to saving money, there is a point of diminishing returns. Eventually the inconvenience and time requirements of taking extreme measures will begin to detract from money-making efforts.

Here’s a money saving tip:
-If you have to mail in a bill that is common with all of your neighbors, go door to door and see if any of them would mind sharing an envelope. That way you can divide the cost of postage amongst everyone.

Extreme, right? Doc, you give some really good advice most of the time. From reading your posts I got the impression that you were really good at investing. But if that is true, why on earth would you need to go to such extremes? I can’t picture a millionaire lugging 30 days worth of food through an airport.

I got involved with real estate investing, and mobile home investing, so I don’t have to live the way you describe.

I know what you might respond…“You can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results.” That’s definitely true. But making huge changes in my spending habits for a negligible reward is not nearly as effective as making dramatic (or subtle) changes in my investing strategy for HUGE rewards. Right?

I will continue to read and heed your advice, just not your lifestyle advice.

OK all you Dr Whisler minions, have at me!

Re: OK here is how I do it, but remember… - Posted by Ed C (CA)

Posted by Ed C (CA) on October 14, 2003 at 24:57:59:

Doc is living it like he is telling it! He is the most interesting, creative man, I have ever meet. His willingness to share his knowledge with us on this forum I greatly appreciate. Thanks Doc!!!

Several more cheap housing ideas. - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on October 14, 2003 at 15:34:22:

I’d warn you against accepting used oil of ANY kind. It is probably regulated by the Haz. Mat. people. You could lose thousands of dollars playing with it. I have had some bad experiences with used oil. I used to be certified to buy surplus hazardous materials from U.S.Military bases. Save yourself a LOT of grief on this one. NO OIL.

If you are single I’d have another use for that shipping container. All a shipping container needs on the outside to be livable is a walk in door and a couple of windows. Find a farmer who will let you put it on his ranch for feeding his llamas or something. Lets see 8x40: that is as big as some travel trailers and older mobile homes. Or move out of your apartment and rent a room in someone’s home for half the amount of money you’re paying now. If you are married and have a child,just look for a master bedroom.

You could rent a 4-5 bedorom home, live in it, and sublet the extra rooms for enough to live free as far as rent and utilities in concerned. You could buy a home and do the same thing.

Move in with your family, if you can. This has been done for thousands of years and is still being done. Look at how many foreign immigrants started saving money this way until they could buy a business or investments. Why do we ridicule foreigners when they do this, then envy them years later when they are rich. Don’t ridicule them, copy them. Many of them know more about saving money than we do.

If you buy a duplex or 3 or 4 unit building. You can live in one unit and rent the others, letting the other, less creative, folks, pay for your living costs.

One of my all time favorites is to have a moble home rental on 1/2 acre or more of land and illegally slip another unit into the back yard, sometimes two. I just connect it or them up to the existing water, electricity and septic tank and set it up for propane gas. ZERO land costs Zero housing costs after you pay the $2-$3k for the second mobile. Zero set up costs if it is a single wide and you can cut and attach a few wires and saw and glue plasic PVC pipe. I’ve done literally dozens of these and NEVER gotten caught. The penalty if you get caught in my area is just that you have to disconnect the utilities and stop living in it or renting it. Big deal. I’v rented and lived in such bootleg units for nearly 20 years with never a problem. Most such properties will pay of their ooriginal mortgage in about 2-2 1/2 years from rents.

You could get a watchman’s job that requires you to live on the premesis. This is real common on horse ranches in my area. You maybe feed the animals and live near them to keep an eye on things. This means practically free rent and utilities.

DDD, your thrift is fine but remember not to be pennywise and pound foolish.

I wouldn’t worry so much about my toothpaste or shaving costs to the exclusion of reducing larger items like rent and utilities, transportation costs etc.

Your time has value. Try to use it at whatever its most profitable use per hour, is.

By the way, do you enjoy life any less when you are thrifty?

Regards, doc

Jp, you misunderstand . I don’t want to be… - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on October 14, 2003 at 11:26:08:

…a millionaire, I want to be a billionaire.

I have a burning desire to be able to feed 4-5 million hungry people, every day, in less fortunate parts of the world. Hopefully my charitable trust will carry out these desires posthumously. I guess I am just like a dog who pees on the boundries to mark his territory. I want to leave a mark on this world that will be remembered a 100 years after I’m gone.

I said that I control my NECESSARY costs of living, not that I don’t enjoy life, or spend as much as I want whenever I want. You didn’t read my post carefully. Yes, I do find it a real intellectual challange to improve my life in every way, every day, without it costing me or my family any of their future.

I have a comfortable home. I am surrounded by loving family. Three who live here are amature chefs and one who visits regularily is a professional chef. We have barbecues about 5 days a week, 11 months of the year. We have a near perfict climate, friends, lots of recreation, and a laid back low presure life style. I don’t have to deal with inter-office politics to try to keep my job during the next acquisition/layoff. I can, and have, traveled all over the world (many times), have you?

I can spend 24/7 with my lovely young wife and darling baby daughter. Can you sleep in for the next year or next decade, like I can? I sail with friends on million dollar yhacts, Jet around the country with them on their lear jets and golf on millon dollar golf courses in near by Palm Springs (10 miles away).

I live an hour from the best desert recreation in the world plus I am only an hour from Mexico, the Pacific Ocean and the sno-covered mountians of San Bernardino.

It doesn’t cost much to go fishing or watch a ball game with friends on t.v.

Many of the best things in life are free. At least in my life they are. How much does it cost to have fun playing cards with life long friends or to stop an smell a rose, or to help an old lady cross the street?

I pity folks who must have so much money, just to be happy.

I didn’t know I was so unfortunate and deprived until you told me so.

Thanks for the heads up, I think.

Regards, doc

Re: Several more cheap housing ideas. - Posted by DDD(AL)

Posted by DDD(AL) on October 14, 2003 at 17:52:28:

Hi Doc, I was already thinking of the watchman or bootleg ideas. I’ll be working soon in an area that’s
very close to a rural county that’s pretty lax. I’m
asking peolple if they know of any abandoned lots with power poles. I wouldn’t be surprised to find one that already has 2 or 3 hookups on it. Hoping eventually to get all the lots out in this county I can and put Lonnie deals on them but keep the land long term and rent the dirt.
I don’t think I get any less out of life being thrifty, but I have had to balance out the time involved against the savings. I don’t do a lot of the things I mentioned any more due to lack of time.Heck I’m just getting to the point where I will be able to do what I want because of it.
I once spent a lot of time sking and boating and I always said it was better to have friends who owned boats than to own one. Not just thrifty, owning a boat is a headache. I was always willing to contribute for gas,beer and often grilled for everyone after we came off the river(BYOF) and was always welcome. Being good on the grill got a lot of invitations for a blue collar guy like me.
I don’t think I’ll ever carry a suitcase full of food but I once saw a tip from a lady who simply carried peanut butter and bought a piece of fresh friut for a meal. Carried her through when she couldn’t find resonable prices.
Thanks for all the posts Doc.