Do you see the Today Show this morning? There was an interesting story about a family of 3 in rural Maine who lives, fairly comfortably, on $20,000 a year. They live in a home decorated right out the pages of Martha Stewart Magazine. It is truly lovely. What is most impressive? It is nearly 100% decorated with “found” items. The wife is creative and crafty – her husband said she could stretch a nickel into a dollar. Her favorite “shopping” spot? The dump. They grow as much of their own food as they can, they chop fire wood for heat, etc.
While I admire their thriftiness, living in rural Maine is a world away from living in San Diego suburbs. For instance for $600 a month we might be able to rent a decent size storage unit but certainly not a house or apartment. Also, since we are apartment dwellers growing most of our veggies is out BUT we can grow most of our herbs instead of spending $5.00 on those little plastic containers at the grocery store. I don’t see myself “shopping” the dump anytime soon BUT I can certainly look to repurpose what we already own.
Jeff Yaeger had lots of great tips we CAN use. Avoid debt. Don’t pay for depreciation….buy used. Do it yourself when ever possible. SKIP THE SODA…now, I don’t drink soda but I do order iced tea when we eat out. For the average family of 4 if you skip the soda (or iced tea) when eating out and only ordered tap water to drink you could save $800 a year!!! The other interesting tid-bit Jeff had to share was the fact that according to FDA we throw away 25% of our food each year. Just by being more aware of what is in your fridge, eating left-overs, not throwing away food you could cut your food budget.
Take a moment to watch the segment here: Living Well on $20,000 a Year
What a great way to get us motivated as we plan on the start of The Month Project.