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Author: workwayless Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1490  
Subject: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 12:46 PM
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Recently I read the book "Living well on practically nothing" written by Edward H. Romney (2001 edition).

Due to job woes, the author and his wife have perfected the art of living on the cheap.

He claims that two people can live on as little as $12k per year:

Food $3500 or $70 per week
Rebt $3600 ($300 per month in a smaller city or town)
Utilities $1200 (no phone or cable TV)
Clothing (used) $500
Transportation $1200 (older car)

Remaining $2k for personal items, gifts, donations, and medical care.

But in another chapter the author seems to contradict this budget when he admits that health insurance premiums cost ~ $7k for a small healthy family. He advocates that people take advantage of guvmint programs (VA/medicaid) if eligible. But everyone else he advocates to "stay healthy".

The book has an interesting chapter on ways to live on no money at all. Another chapter covers living in mobile shelters and it includes an idea on living in a converted school bus.

I felt the author's writing style was somewhat rambling and I could have done with out the chapter on keeping your dignity while poor. But I did pick up a couple new frugal ideas.
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Author: jennynoel Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 263 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 12:58 PM
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workwayless,

Nice review. You should post this on Amazon (assuming they sell the book). I know from your comments that this book wouldn't be helpful to me, so I know it would help others decide as well.

(Even library goes like me often check the reviews at Amazon.)

-jennynoel

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Author: Evelynk Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 265 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 1:43 PM
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The health insurance seems too inexpensive for two people. Did the author mention what kind of deductible he had?

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Author: rosewine Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 266 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 1:47 PM
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The health insurance seems too inexpensive for two people

It depends a great deal on age. For individual coverage with a high deductible my cost is close to $3000 annually at my age.

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Author: andrew61 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 267 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 1:53 PM
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WWL, thanks for the book review. I'll have to check it out for some ideas.

But -- no phone? That would be too rigorous for me, especially if I moved to a small town far away from family and long-time friends.



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Author: workwayless Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 268 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 2:59 PM
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You should post this on Amazon (assuming they sell the book). I know from your comments that this book wouldn't be helpful to me, so I know it would help others decide as well.



That's a good idea. I got the book through the library, thinking that I would purchase it if I thought it would be a good edition to my RWOL library.



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Author: workwayless Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 269 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 3:01 PM
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The health insurance seems too inexpensive for two people. Did the author mention what kind of deductible he had?

No, he didn't mention a deductible--he was talking in generalities.

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Author: workwayless Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 270 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/19/2003 3:07 PM
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But -- no phone? That would be too rigorous for me, especially if I moved to a small town far away from family and long-time friends.


Yeah I agree. Basic phone service is not that expensive and you can get good deals on long distance. If I couldn't afford at least basic phone service, then I'd keep working until I could. IIRC, he did mention getting a cell phone but only using it for 911 calls.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 272 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/20/2003 3:31 AM
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Recently I read the book "Living well on practically nothing" written by Edward H. Romney (2001 edition).

I read "Shattering the Two-Income Myth" a few years ago. It was extremely helpful even though I'm a cheapskate and was already doing most of the things they mentioned.
I normally keep our food budget to $300 or so a month. That's simply the way I shop, and cook.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 275 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/20/2003 3:53 AM
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He claims that two people can live on as little as $12k per year:

Food $3500 or $70 per week
Rebt $3600 ($300 per month in a smaller city or town)
Utilities $1200 (no phone or cable TV)
Clothing (used) $500
Transportation $1200 (older car)

Remaining $2k for personal items, gifts, donations, and medical care.


We do not live that cheaply, but we live fairly inexpensively in most areas, so that we can splurge on travel.
When we are home we cook most everything from scratch. A loaf of bread costs about $1.50 to buy, but only about $.20 to make. We shop at the warehouse store, but only for what is on the list + the amount that I designate as "spendable". I know when we go in, we'll think of a few other things we need, and we'll see a few deals that are really too good to pass up, so I designate an amount that we can safely spend. Also, I limit my trips to any and all stores. I find the more often I go, the more I spend.

We homeschool the girls so our time is our own. When we see or hear about a really good deal on travel, we do not have to wait for a company vacation, or school vacation to go. I have a small online business, and I take my laptop almost everywhere we travel. I'm starting to yawn so I'll try to give more details tomorrow.

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 280 of 1490
Subject: Re: Living well on practically nothing Date: 12/21/2003 5:08 PM
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We homeschool the girls so our time is our own. When we see or hear about a really good deal on travel, we do not have to wait for a company vacation, or school vacation to go. I have a small online business, and I take my laptop almost everywhere we travel. I'm starting to yawn so I'll try to give more details tomorrow.

Hi again! I said I'd give more details. Our most expensive bills right now are our mortgage, various educational stuff for the girls, normal household bills (gas, electric, etc.), food, and travel.
We do a lot of gardening, and canning so that cuts our food bill way down. I make most everything from scratch, which also cuts our food bill way down, and we have a deep freeze. If you do not have one, I highly recommend getting one. It will pay for itself in no time.

When I cook, I cook as old farmers did, and completely use everything. I buy large cuts of meats, adn we have several meals from them. For example, when we have roast chicken, I save the carcasses in the freezer. Later, I take the carcasses and make chicken noodle soup, or chicken pot pie (better than most restaurants, and for pennies). When we have a ham, I save the extra ham and the bones and make ham & bean soup. When we have a turkey, I make another 4-5 different meals out of it.

We do not eat out very often, but we do have folks over for chow quite often. It's actually a rarity when it's just the 4 of us for dinner. So, although our food bil is a bit higher than what was quoted, we eat much better tan most and feed more people.

I make a lot of Christmas presents, and those I don't make, I usually buy in February on super sale. I make most of the girls clothes, and after they finish with them, I sell them. I make very high-line children's dresses, and they bring in a nice profit.

Hubby makes a lot of our furniture needs. I enjoy finish work, so I do the furniture finishing.

Our major "splurges" are travel (parts of which we write off), computer stuff (which is a tax write-off), fiber-optic internet (which is a write-off), cable, and cell phones (also a write-off).

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