Well, I have to throw in a budget blog now and then. Budgeting and being frugal never really goes away. I was inspired to write this due to a review I got on a book that I just published. Although I appreciated the persons few stars that he doled out and the fairly nice review, I’d have to say that he did not read the title or subtitle. He pointed out that the book was good for a minimalistic lifestyle, however, he enjoyed spending money. I get it. I enjoy spending money too! And the minimalistic lifestyle is not a big choice for all of us but born of necessity at times. My title is Dirt Poor and Lovin’ It! The subtitle is Living on Minimum Wage Painlessly. This is a reality for many.
I wrote this quickie because I was observing a couple single mothers living on small wages. I ask myself, “how could they make their homes more charming? How could they feed their families more healthily? Could they afford organics on this little coinage? How could they really utilize this yard to serve them instead of just having some grass to mow?”
I did receive a 5-star review from a couple that are making it work on little wages. They loved the advice because they have to make it on a minimalistic budget. This book is for people living on the cheap for survival and it’s loaded with great advice so you don’t have to feel like you are in poverty!
So, how do you thrive in all conditions? Why do some poor people live like really poor people? You can actually be far more healthy, environmentally active, happy, and stress free in this condition if you apply the right tools, have loads of ideas on getting creative, and choose wisely in all things. Being poor can be temporary. We all go through phases of having to live off pennies and make it work. Then times get better. Why not learn to live well on a tight budget and then when times get better, start saving and building the wealth? Learn to be smart in the lean times and then you won’t be so quick to blow funds when times are fat.
Here are some ideas for living well when times are lean:
- If you have a back yard start your own urban farm. You can get a few chickens, have a big garden, plant some fruit trees and berry bushes. Compost to make your own free and amazing soil.
- Always hang your clothes out on a line in the yard. Saves the clothes, saves the electric bill and you don’t need the cost of a dryer (or if it breaks down…who cares right?)
- Cooking from scratch is cheap. Making your own bread is a couple bucks. It’s also much healthier because you skip all the chemicals and sugar in the premade crap.
- Buy organics, shop at the Natural Food Store. Just buy produce in season (taste much better anyway and there are great things each season), buy bulk and talk to the store about how to get discounts. They usually have many and you can become a part owner and reap the rewards. Only buy basic, clean food; meat, eggs, veggie, fruit, rice, beans, potatoes. Your bill goes way down, health goes way up. Seasoning and garlic can make things amazing!
- Walk everywhere or bike.
- Drink water. Get a filtered pitcher or put one on the tap. Water is so good for you. Soda and milk is not.
- Cut out the cable but get a really good HDTV antenna. You’ll get tons of local channels and with that all those great old movies and westerns minus The Real Housewives (who are not).
- Decorate your home to make it cozy and charming. Staying home saves a bundle but you have to make it into a home that you love spending time in right? You can get great finds at yard/garage sales and thrift stores. Wait for sales at the thrift stores. Bargain with the yard sale people. Big and colorful area rugs, pillows on the couch, lush plants (you can make from starts for free) and cheap paintings can make it a home.
- Do little things like having a big scented candle near the coffee pot glowing in the morning. That’s cozy.
- Join a Church. They do all sorts of great stuff during holidays and volunteer work, missions, travel, youth groups, bible studies. You have a whole community there.
- Go vegetarian.
- Get into reading and learn to work the library. Free books, even new best sellers, movies, music. All free!
- Love that radio. All kinds of music free.
I have other advice too, however, you will have to either read all my blogs on budgeting or purchase a book. I am the frugal lady for sure. I have had to pay off huge debt for years and lived on a shoe string budget, then after being married we were out of work at one point, moved and had to work a job at a little above minimum wage. I know how to pinch that penny. I am raising a family of 4 (plus pets) and I stay home. I have never had to go back to work even when times were tough.
Here are a couple of recent books and a couple oldies but goodies.
Enjoy, I wrote these books for all of you out there with change jars and more bills than paycheck.