Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paying Almost $500 Less Monthly and Gaining Home Ownership, A Hobby and A New Love

Like many people these days, I have been struggling to not only make ends meet but just to have ends. I have over 100 job applications in. The days of deciding where I'd like to work are past. I just want a job, any job. Formally a professional writer, presently one month shy of panhandling.

A problem I was running into though was that I needed more then a job...I needed at least two to pay my monthly expenses. I live very frugally, drive a motorcycle to save gas and insurance, eat A LOT of tuna (mercury poisoning is less fatal then starvation) and pretty much have cut so many corners I don't have any left. Still I was looking at potentially living in someone's closet if something didn't change soon.

Then inspiration came in the voice of my dear friend Margie (aka my guardian angel I think sometimes). Financially savvy, her and her husband are 100% retired in these lean times. When she talks, I listen. And recently she was talking about an upcoming rv vacation, and listening has paid off big time.

Mentioning an rv spot cost them $250 a month, all utilities included meaning internet and cable TV also, a light bulb went off in my head. Why couldn't I do that permanently? Calling around, I found a park near where I live for $375 a month, internet, water and cable TV part of the deal. I pay electricity. Just that brings my total monthly expenses down by almost $500.

In addition I'm with in walking distance now of Walmart, a large Goodwill, a bakery and an old fashioned green grocer. I get a small yard I can fence off, access to a laundromat, an address with no apartment number and the pride of owning my own home. If I wanted a pet I could have one with no deposit or fuss. If I hadn't given up smoking I could now smoke in my own place.

Better quality of life, increased opportunity to save money and reduced monthly expenses as well as buying an investment that I can live in and enjoy. And the downsides are....

I'm SO glad I had my listening ears on! ^.^ See photos of my new home in my albums!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Survival Savings

Been awhile since I last posted to Penny Pinscher and a lot has changed in my life.

I went through a sudden divorce, moved out on my own and have been figuring out how a divorced writer that stayed at home with her kids for the past 17 years is supposed to make it in a job poor economy. I thought I was frugal before.... I wasn't even close. I'm getting a crash course in survival economics.

The past year has been an interesting one. I cringe when I think of some of the money I wasted and I have learned many new things. The whole last year of my life seems a little unreal, like an overly dramatized movie. I can see it now...

~Crouching Pinscher - Hidden Pennies~

A acolyte of frugality climbs up the mountain to see the wise man at the top who could give her the secret she yearned for. After a long montage rich with scenes of suffering and struggle she reaches the top to stumble and fall at his feet.

"How do I save more?" she gasps. He looks down at her now lean from long months of eating tuna and walking to save gas.

"If you want to learn to be a truly frugal saver you must first learn to save frugally." His voice creaks as his bushy eyebrows knit together like hairy caterpillars having a smooch. She looks at him imploringly.

"Can you teach me this knowledge?" The only sound is the wind blowing through her empty change purse, whistling mournfully. Their eyes meet, and from somewhere in the cave music from Rocky starts playing.

"I can teach you, but it will be hard. You will save like you have never saved before, eat things you never thought you would eat and learn new skills. You will want to quit, you will fail and have to try again but if you persist you will succeed and become a master like me."

"And live rent free in a cave?" She asks hopefully.

"If you are lucky and learn well, Grasshopper." (fade to black)

Well, I am learning. Necessity is a great teacher and I have already learned so many new things I look forward to sharing. At the moment I am making a move that saves me $500 a month which I will be discussing at length here. And no, I am not moving back in with my mother.

I'll be dishing out the details later today and redesigning a few things. Penny Pinscher has grown up a bit and is entering a whole new arena of savings.