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Old 02-28-2009, 11:43 PM   #29
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
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I was born near the end of 'that' depression,1938. Mom and dad were married 7 years then and surviving the depression and even buying a house. My growing up years were WW2 and things were difficult to be had then too. All the 'penny pinching' suggestions already mentioned were our life style and that has carried on to now. I do a silent chuckle when my daughter reminds her boys to turn off Gramma and Gramps lights when they are done in the room they were playing or going potty. Our daughter and son were constantly reminded such when growing up even in good times. I remember my mom at 91, living in a retirement home, wringing out paper towels and draping them in the sink for reuse. She even separated double ply paper towels to get two!! And do you know what?...we made it and we were happy too.

Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
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1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:44 AM   #30
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Live below your means.

Hi, we can afford to have a lot of things, but chose not to.

(1.) Remove cable and/or satelite systems. Use an antenna and converter box. We did.

(2.) Use dial up computer service. I hate it, but I hate to pay $50.00 to $100.00 a month for a faster system. I have plenty of time.

(3.) Use free Wifi. Wife's lap top has built-in Wifi, good for camping at some places.

(4.) Fix it yourself, if you can. A neighbor was quoted $9,000.00 to install a wood floor. [mostly labor] I bought the wood, the nailer, the base moulding, and paint Etc. and did it myself for under $1,000.00

(5.) Repair and/or remodel your own trailer, I am. Check my blog.

(6.) Home phone for dial-up service, and basic cell phone for emergencys, no-nonsense calls with free long distance and free roaming for traveling.

(7.) Don't heat or cool the whole house. We have portable heaters and a portable air conditioner for the rooms we use. Heater for the bedroom and A/C for the living room. Close the doors in the rooms that are not occupied.

(8.) "We all just live in a plaster box" Quote from an old friend. Do you really have to have 3,000 [or more] square feet for two people? And for those with acres of land, grow some food. I have a lemon tree.

(9.) Discontinue as many monthly services as possible. You don't need them.

(10.) There are only two choices when it comes to spending your money: "Do I want it?" ------------------ "Do I need it?"


2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:00 AM   #31
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2008 30' Classic
Anchorage , Alaska
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Posts: 41
We built a raised garden in a backyard (approx 10x6) which has been an excellent producer. Put some copper strips around it and NO SNAILS which is a huge hassle where we live. We alternate from a summer vegetable crop to a winter one. For just my wife and I, it has turned out to be far more food than I would have ever guessed. And as someone mentioned earlier, nothing beats the taste of garden fresh.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:16 AM   #32
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1975 Argosy 24
Collierville , Tennessee
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Well ya'll have come up with some really good ideas. I will probably overlap some.
We don't have cable and haven't for the 14 years we've been married except for about three months when my wifes company was paying for it because of roadrunner so she could work from home.

We don't pay for touch tone service, caller i.d., inside wire maintenance service or long distance on our home phone(saves about 12 bucks a month). We have very cheap internet service.

We use a wood burning stove and keep our furnace set on 54. I go to a place where I help cut and stack the wood on my trailor and I haul it home, very cheap. Last time I got 7 chords of wood for 300.00 (that more than lasts all winter (really 1&1/2 winters). If you have a hydraulic splitter you can buy "scraps" (huge sections of good red/white oak that have knots, burls, and knubbs where limbs start) enough to fill a 20 ft flatbed trailor for about 30-50 bucks. You can get about 10-12 chords from it.

We last as long as we can in the summer (get's hot here in summer) with the windows open and ceiling fans blowing. AC on 75-76 when on.

We wash clothes in cold water only and only full loads and hang em on the line when possible.

We use energy saving bulbs in all lights.

I have a lawn and landscape service so I have lots of compost material. We have 5 acres with about an acre in woods (I normally only cut wood from there when some falls or needs trimming or undercutting).

The year before last had about a 1/4 acre garden, last year only a couple of rows but I'm going back to the bigger garden again this year.

I take military showers so my wife can have longer, hotter ones.

I try to stay on the kids about turning off lights and video games.

We watch very, very little TV.

Drive the wife's 4cyl. accord whenever possible and walk the kids to school whenever the weather isn't real bad.

I try to buy as many of our groceries on sale as possible.

We trade clothes throughout the extended family for all the kids. My youngest son is wearing clothes that have been worn by 5 other kids and they're still in good shape. Same with shoes. Younger children really don't care what they wear if they haven't been taught to by parents, as long as they're clean and well taken care of.

We do a lot of free entertainment, mostly in the free great outdoors.

We did the Dave Ramsey Univ. 3 years ago. We have no credit card debt and no car payments. We have a medical savings account to save on insurance (we tough out colds instead of going to doctor, which gives you a stronger immune system). We raised our deductibles on our car insurance to save on that( seems to help you become more aware when driving as well).

We have been keeping our AS camping trips to local state parks.

We hardly ever eat out.
I do all remodeling and maintenance on our house, rental house and barn.
I do all maintenance and most all repair work on our vehicles and the Argosy( the wife's car hasn't needed any repairs just routine maintenance).
The cat has to supplement her diet by catching rodents and birds.
Different strokes for different folks!

I never learned from a man who agreed with me.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:57 AM   #33
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1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
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Unfortunately, given the daily pronouncements from our nation's capitol, I am not bullish on the future of the economy.

I think all of the above are good ideas which reflect the hard work, thrift, and industry of a nation founded on freedom and individual liberty.

With 7.5 acres and 8 children, we are constantly exploring ways that we can be self sufficient. We have 12 chickens which produce between 8-12 eggs/day, but the horses don't contribute much (except personal enjoyment and small income for my daughter who gives lessons).

I think the most important aspect is to get out of debt as soon as possible. Debt presumes upon future income (revenues) which, given the current climate and where we seem to be heading, future income may not be something we can count on. (Everyone needs to take a pay cut, they just don't know it yet. Business owners took theirs last year.)

I think that everyone would be wise to prepare for a sort of hyper inflation, usually only associated with 3rd world nations, as a result of the massive infusion of government spending with freshly printed dollars. This will not happen until the economy starts to rebound, but it will happen. (No matter how high you throw a rock in the air, it will eventually return to earth. I don't think most people can comprehend how much debt and future debt we have obligated ourselves, children, and grandchildren to.)

High rates of inflation will be accompanied by high interest rates, which means now is a really good time to lock in a low rate on any long term debt obligations, which can preserve monthly cash flow (which is really what we're all discussing here anyway).

If I had money to invest, I think I would buy gold or invest in commodities right now. While it is true that there are probably some good buys in the market, I think that the federal government's continued intervention in the financial markets makes it extremely difficult to determine winners and losers at this point. While I think saving for the future is wise, I'm not sure where the best place to put it might be at this point.

Lastly, as a business owner, I am committed to remaining small and will avoid any expansion (creation of new jobs) in the near future as there will be no bail outs for me if I fail. I do not care to work even harder than I already am, spend less time with my family, and take on more responsibilities only to be demonized and taxed by the government if I am successful.

Spiritually, I think it is a good time (it's always a good time) to get your house in order. We as a nation have enjoyed over 200 years of freedom and self determination producing a level of prosperity unknown by any other nation in history. I think we're coming to realize that it was never a birthright, but rather the result of hard work, responsible living, and blessings from above (Providence, as our founding fathers referred to Him).

"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other." Eccl 7:14

I'm trying to forget but every time I look at the Sovereign (which is daily on my way out to feed dogs, horses, chickens, ducks), I am reminded of the time, treasure, and effort expended on a project which has never delivered on its promise and frankly, wish I could have it all back, especially the time I spent away from my family working on it so that we could have "family time" camping!

But I am realizing that in times like these, we have so much to be thankful for, and I am learning to be more thankful in many respects than I've ever been.
Ron Kaes
Psalm 112
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:52 AM   #34
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2007 31' Classic
holland , Pennsylvania
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Posts: 190
people are like herd animals,so what i try to do is do the opposite of the crowd.the older i get the more i realize how short time is.when employment eventually returns for folks they will spend money once again like drunken sailers.during this time i will still be traveling with my family and focusing on paying debt down as i go.i still have money invested for the long run and as warren buffet put it when people are fearful it is the time to be greedy.i grew up in a house of depression mentality parents who never borrowed money for anything .i was taught the importance of saving money.i just dont want to scrimp and save to ultimately give it all to the government or some nursing home.i intend with good health to spend my share on family memories that we can all enjoy for many years to come.i dont squander money and i dont have some over the top lifestyle and after 911 i dont see this life as some kind of dress with that in mind when people are worring them selves to death i will be traveling with my kids and using my dough to enrich their long as they have the work ethic that my parents instilled in me,they will be way above the herd.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:03 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by FreshAir View Post
I remember my mom at 91, living in a retirement home, wringing out paper towels and draping them in the sink for reuse. She even separated double ply paper towels to get two!! And do you know what?...we made it and we were happy too.
I remember Sunday afternoons playing scrabble at the kitchen table with my grammy smoothing out scraps of used, wrinkled tin foil with our thumbs. I still love doing that. Beats polishing an Airstream for me!
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:23 AM   #36
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Freeport , Maine
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Originally Posted by mistral blue View Post
Stockpile food, meds, water, paper products, toiletries, fuel...

Pay off debt.

Stock up on books you want to read in case you get to the point of having to "cancel cable" or having to "barricade yourself in the basement."

Pay off debt.

Get really good camping gear including zero degree sleeping bags, a wind up lantern and little propane stove, etc...

Prepare to be totally independant.

Help others who are less fortunate.

"When you are struggling, and everything seems totally hopeless... that's the time to find somebody else who maybe needs a helping hand even more than you, and give it to them, without expecting a doggone thing in return. That's where the best "dividends" are in farming sometimes." ~ Quote from an unknown farmer

OK, first of all, I agree completely with the "pay of debt" mentality. Always have. In fact, except for a small mortgage, I have no debt at all. I have always been careful, and lived within my own means. despite that, I find myself caught up in this one way roller coaster ride that the greedy people have put us on.

So, playing the devils advocate,...why bother if the entire system is about to fail, causing us to have to live totally independently? wouldnt it make more sense to borrow more, invest that money in durable/transportable commodities (gold,gems, equipment, guns, bullets, etc....)
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:54 AM   #37
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Lemme get this straight

You claim to have little debt but you think that maybe now might be the right time to max your credit cards in order to stockpile "gold, gems, equipment, guns, bullets, etc..." ?

I think that if you put yourself in that position you would be forcing yourself to pray for utter failure. I have NO problem at all with stockpiling the above goods if it's done prudently. Using credit to do so is foolish IMO.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:41 AM   #38
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1987 32' Excella
Poplar Bluff , Missouri
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Not really cheaper...that is a fallacy. One of the major networks did a special on it a while back. Process and packaged food is usually less expensive per serving than the fresh stuff. As well as being full of unhealthy amounts of sugar and salt. But in the long run fresh stuff should save you money, in that you are healthier so you should need less medicine and medical care.

I always tell people that it may be fine for lab rats...but I am not a lab rat!

Perhaps true, but have you ever read the ingredients label on some of that processed stuff? We have quit buying beef at a local supermarket after reading what they put in a simple package of steaks or roasts! It is amazing the chemicals in there...other local supermarket adds nothing. You simply have to wonder what we're putting in our bodies these days.
And we bought our AS to get away from the rat race! Go camping!
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:01 AM   #39
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1978 25' Tradewind
Petaluma , California
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I found this wonderful series of films on YouTube

Clara, who is 93 years old, recalls recipes from The Great Depression and talks about the struggles and joys that got her family through those difficult times. Her grandson, Christopher Cannucciari, filmed her and presents a wonderful insight into that era. Clara is full-on charming, funny and a joy to watch!
Mark, Karin and The Mighty Quinn

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results".
Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:27 AM   #40
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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frugality in hard times

There are an amazing number of helpful suggestions posted here. It seems to me the underlying mantra is "simplify, simplify, simplify" in all areas of life. Keep stepping back until you are down to basic needs.

As a young and financially desperate single mommy for too many years, I became a master at stretching a buck and a chicken. I could teach a class or write a book, were I so inclined to now spend my hard-earned retirement doing so. If we prepare foods from scratch, cut back on animal proteins and portions, etc., food budgets can be very significantly cut. This requires some extra time and planning, but you do whatever you have to when times are hard. Libraries are a free resource for the how-to's, and I especially recall a wonderful cookbook entitled "More With Less".

We urge those who are struggling to get up every day, put one foot ahead of the other and responsibly do what you must to deal with whatever you are facing. Believe that, if you keep yourself on track, everything will eventually work itself out.
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:31 AM   #41
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Durango , Colorado
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As one who pays off credit card bills in full twice a month, I'm wondering when we might start getting a "responsibility fee"? I recently received a notice from CitiBank jacking up interest rates and fees for late payment even though I've never carried a balance with them.
I monitor my bills very carefully and I'm seeing a lot of nickel and dime increases every month. And, I challenge every one of them and usually end up winning three out of four times. You'd be amazed at how much money you can save every month just paying attention to your statements and comparing charge receipts to credit card bills.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:41 AM   #42
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1959 26' Overlander
Putnam , Connecticut
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Originally Posted by mistral blue View Post
You claim to have little debt but you think that maybe now might be the right time to max your credit cards in order to stockpile "gold, gems, equipment, guns, bullets, etc..." ?

I think that if you put yourself in that position you would be forcing yourself to pray for utter failure. I have NO problem at all with stockpiling the above goods if it's done prudently. Using credit to do so is foolish IMO.

Kind of depends on what happens next. The Feds seem to be trying to figure out what will happen when Europe starts to fold up, "stress testing" the banks my butt. Do you want to be debt free and not prepared or have a balance and hope. Thus if you are maxed out already, you are maxed out already.

Join a secret society, pull together and buy a 100 acre farm south enough to grow most your own food and fuel.

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