It's been a crazy week!
Financially, it's been a real roller coaster these past 4-5yrs, and much more so since moving back to PA. I won't go into the details... but suffice it to say that at points on this spectrum we have had a very good income; and, at the moment, are unemployed and living way below the poverty line.
For 2016 ( according to a google search), the federal poverty line for a family of 3 is a yearly income of $20,160. It is amazing when you think about it... that we have gone to such dramatic extremes in a relatively short span of time... but there you have it. In fact, our only "reliable" income at this very moment is funds I make selling my artwork and such.... which in reality, would potentially only cover about half of our house payment.
So. Life is interesting! and challenging!... and we are exploring creative ways to make ends meet.
And, I know lots of folks are in the same situation as us. So what do you do?
For us, first off we planted a garden. We have planted mainly herbs and salad greens... but also a few squash, onions, and peppers. And other than "someone" eating my lettuce and parsley last night... it looks pretty good. We have cut down on our utilities, and minimized future bills as much as we can. We have no cable, a pay as you use phone, but we have kept the internet. I think I got my hair cut once last year, and once this year (so far). We only "eat out" once a month, and order pizza perhaps once a month as funds allow. We drive minimally, and consolidate trips as much as we can. I looked into coupon-ing, but frankly, we use so very few (if any) brand name products, that the whole process is not very helpful to us. We buy fresh and local as much as we are able, don't buy much of anything that is pre-prepared, and tend to buy things as they are on sale or in season (cheaper). We barter. Last week we watched my niece's dog for a few days in exchange for fresh rhubarb. We have several trees in our yard that need to come down, and we hope to store up some firewood for the winter.
And of course, we are trying to go through stuff we have to potentially sell... and we are fixing up and finishing off a few projects in the hopes of making some extra funds.
What things do you do to help stretch your dollars? Send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Perhaps this will be an occasional series of posts...
*54 ways to save money
*100 ways to save money
*97 ways to save money