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Post Info TOPIC: How does one live on $4000. a month


RV-Dreams Family Member

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RE: How does one live on $4000. a month


Thanks, Bonnie and Clyde smile  Looking to put my skills to something that will serve myself better; working in social services, feels more like being part of the problem than the solution lately, but that's a whole nuther thread! evileye



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Perfectly said Tim!!



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Beth & Cal ~

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06 Lincoln Zephyr



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Decided to add my two cents here for the good of the cause...

As many have pointed out $4000 per month is a lot but what they miss is it isn't if you were use to living on $6000 per month or more... so if I understand right you simply were looking for ways to cut costs to reach your goal... We started planning for our early retirement and transition to fulltiming 2 years or so before we did so... actually financially I started long before that but that is another story... Having noticed you have made a lot of positive (to the bottom line) financial decisions to reach your goal as well... to give you a ballpark ideal we spend close to your target goal and I have seen a lot of budgets posted on line from other fulltimers... after our first year I posted a synopsis of our budgeting but presented it differently than dollars and cents... it is a pie chart that show budget categories by percentage... the link is as follows:

http://zeetraveler.blogspot.com/2012/03/first-year-expenses-for-fulltiming-how.html

Hope this gives you a clearer picture of one persons challenge to meeting full time expenses head on...

Best of luck to both of you...

Edit by moderator:  Activated link.  Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Sunday 2nd of September 2012 07:48:09 PM

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On the Road to Retirement...zeetraveler.blogspot.com



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Thanks heyduke,

Thanks for your insight and link to your blog.  I printed  out your expenses and am studying it.  We are more committed then ever to keep cutting our expenses.  So far this year we have camped away from home for 101 nights and have another 28 to 58 planned (still working on it).  We just can't seem to get enough of the rving lifestyle.  I have stayed somewhat involved in my work(Real Estate) but am finding that by turning 62 this month we can earn about the same collecting social security as staying involved with work.  It is very hard to feel I am doing the job I want to in Real Estate for my heart is in rving.  As far as insurance and expenses, we have been self-employed for many years so we are used to paying our own benefits.

I am thinking at this time I would like to retire and see if we can keep our home and travel about 180 days a year.  My budget is still in the $4500. to $5,000. a month range--we may find that we can not do both and may need to sell the house.  Our biggest challenge is our 4 young granddaughters are in the area and our daughters ( and we ) want us to play a key role in their lives.  Still trying to find the balance but this I know--our happest times are rving ( exploring/walking/bike riding/reading/ meeting old and new friends --we have met up with 5 couples from the rv-dreams rally last fall ).

Eating out with friends and buying drinks( beer and wine ) have become a major expense and one we are working hard to cut.  We just spent a week with our kids in a condo at Bethany Beach, Delaware ( we pay for the condo) and had a great time but will need to look at other options.  It is difficult to cut out the things we have been doing but we are committed to make rving a major part of this stage of our lives.

Thanks for all the thoughts/ideas/suggestions---I am open to any new ideas or thoughts.

Thanks much

 

 

 



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Key role in the lives of Grand daughters seems to be the ... forgive me ... key to this much more to then the house.

If that is the case then I think the answer may be part of what we do for cousins of my wifes and my nephews then keeping the house.

We go to where they are and stay in a campground to visit them and have them out to visit us. And yes I can hear the answer might as well still have the house more room for the kids.

The next part of that though is we take them with us on the road for some times months at a time. Younger kids sleep on an air mattress in the "living room" area of the RV. Yes it means the wife and I end up going to bed some times earlier then we might want but heck we can read in bed during the two weeks to three months we've had them with us. Older kids to young adults setup tents on our site. (only had one campground balk at a single tent)

They've seen things been to places their mothers couldn't or wouldn't take them too, and we got to share why we love this life with them.

A way to live the life you want still be involved in the kids lives and reduce the budget that 300 plus a month in real estate taxes is a fair chunk to getting down to that 3500 you were first asking for.

Mallo


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I have to chime in and agree with Mallo here.  As far as I am concerned, the only "iffy" thing is whether the kids would like the traveling, but I've yet to find a kid that didn't like seeing new things.  Shoot, I'm 66 years old and I still like seeing new things.

I guess Jo and I are fortunate in that we grew up in the '50's and '60's in the Panhandle of Oklahoma.  Think really rural area with little to go and see or do.  That lifestyle was very beneficial to learning how to be happy with what one has.  No "adult beverages"....no big deal to us.  Not eating out a lot....no big deal as I like good hamburger as well as good steaks, and grilled outside is better than bought in a noisy restaurant.

Life is all about adjusting and it is all through life.  Feel some confidence that you can find a good balance.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



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Hi- when I first saw the question I thought 'Jiminy Crickets!' but after seeing the list, wow, I GET IT! the good news is it sounds like you are lucky enough to have a comfortable lifestyle, a family and enough dough to have some fun out with friends. You're getting down to the hard choices now. Especially when you've lived a certain way for a long time. (So, ask, how bad do you want it?)

The hospitalization is a big owie, but necessary. Consider how long til retirement? If it's a year or two, can you rough it for a while- You have 2 cars and a truck. Especially if you are making PAYMENTS, sell one car and drive the other car and truck. Even if the vehicles are paid for it saves money monthly on gas, ins, maintenence and headaches.  

Go bare bones cell, cable and internet (you will adjust, and it's not forever). Hmm, remember when TV was free?! You can borrow dvd's for FREE at the library.

Buy a track phone type cell plan and buy minutes, no contracts- it's usually much cheaper. 

Cut down on the gift budget and discretionary spending (I know it's hard!) A moderately nice dinner with a drink for two ($60.00) once a week, is $240 right there. If you do more than that, change restaurants!

Have friends over instead of going out. Have card game night, dinner and a movie night, buy a board game. Believe me, spaghetti and meatballs and a bottle of vino or two, you and you friends will all have a fun night. When you're friends decide it's a blast and you're a genius, you can even suggest a potluck thing. Or if your friends live close by, have a progressive dinner. First couple serves apps and some wine- we wrap the wine and have everyone try to guess what it is- fun! The second home serves an entree, third one has dessert and coffee. We have done this with the neighbors in the dead of winter when otherwise, you'd be stuck in the house when it's snowing. No worries about drinking and driving either.

OK I'm blathering on, sorry. If you have a longer time til retirement, you may really need to cut deeper. Or work longer :(  Put it ALL, brutally and honestly down on paper. Make your best hard choices. Then stick to the plan. It will be easier when you see the progress. Good Luck!!



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It took us 2 years to get our lives simplified down to where an RV/Motorhome could be large enough. While working on your 'lifestyle', their are practical things, like your cell phones -- do you both need one? Or, could you have two numbers come into one and use walkie talkies between you and your mate/family. (We do this, it works great). Any where you can shave off $$$ do it, listen to the veterans out here and they will share good insights.

But, you won't ever get here if you don't actually start taking the 'painful' steps of getting rid of excess items (just keep 3-5 outfits that you can interchange, a few shorts and tshirts, good footwear, and throw the rest away. I did it and I actually need to do it again (and I have plenty of room). It's about the mindset though, less is more. [As a side not, expect in advance, that a lot of your friends and family, are going to think you are crazy or envy you to death. The friends 'raised eyelids' were the oddest when we first told them and saying good bye to our family wasn't on the best of terms due to them being so entagled in this world and have debt they can never get out of, definitely in the rat race for the long haul]

We sold everything including our house, (took our proceeds and paid off everything) and are workcamping doing a 3 month gig in Northern California right on the ocean that provides FHU and $$$, so our expenses are very low, and that's the key. Keep your expenses below $2500 and you can live quite nicely out here on the road. 

Their is an unlimited number of ways to get out here and live on your terms, just get started. Part of the fun is the journey, not the destination. Meeting people who are quite nice and kind, willing to share tips you won't get anywhere else. 

Believe me, I'd like to live on $7500 a month, I could live like a king, but I'm realistic and we live within our means with a bank account to cover incidentals in between paychecks. (Yes, we return the funds we spent, we keep that number at a sacred level)

Neither of us are disabled, but we love being out here in Yellowstone at the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone Park, Napa valley, and now in California. I don't have a phone, just my walkie talkie to talk to my wife (23 mile range, so she can get me anywhere)

 



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With every good wish, Jet


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Agreed, cars all need to go. We got rid of all of ours (even taking a loss of $3000 on one), but the goal was for them to be gone. Mission accomplished. 

If you haven't work it in 3 months, throw it away, (when it comes to clothes). 

 



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With every good wish, Jet


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I would love to try to Live on $4,000 a month. you should try 1/2 of that.

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I have peeked at the added responses to the original post in this matter for a couple of days now. Our situation is similar but not the same. Those who who have posted that you "know what to do" are absolutely right.

We too know what to do but to execute it is another story entirely. We also are of the mind that it is our time now to live as we have both worked for a very long time to move toward doing what we really want to do. However, we are Guardians of one daughter's now 17 year old child (we have had her since she was 4) and also have our 29 year old daughter with her 2 year old and 6 year old children living with us. We must have been the world's worst parents as I DOrealize they are supposed to leave the nest at some point but they don't seem inclined to do so.

The 17 year old is off to college in 2 years, so her residence will no longer be in the family home at that time. However, I do worry about my daughter and her kids. No matter how I try to move them up and out (nicely) her finances prohibit the move as rents in our area for a 2 bedroom apartment start at $1300/month and she is working at a job nights while the 6 year old is in school so she can care for the 2 year old during the day (granny and papa watch them for a couple of hours each night, after working all day, until their bedtime).

My expenses could be cut much lower if: I could get both girls off of our cellphone plan and we could take advantage of a much less expensive plan for Hubby and I; we could cut out all of the "kid crap" tv and cut our cable cord the way we want to; and, we could count on being able to sell the house that we have worked to pay off (but everyone still needs a place to live).

See, I know some of the things that need to be done, but find myself at a loss regarding how to tell everyone they need to raise themselves up and be independent so their Dad and I can live.

Any suggestions that are not the obvious would be appreciated as I've gone over it so many times in my head that it hurts.

 

 



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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

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