Living Without a Salary

How to reduce your expenses, so you can live without a salary!

I’m Back! May 29, 2010

Posting daily to a blog has not been one of my strengths. However, I have been kept busy working on other writing projects that brought in some money. One of those things involved writing for the Personal Money Store when their writers’ programs were up and running. Unfortunately, about every 4 months, they tend to stop all their programs except for the commissioned writing programs. Basically, that means writing articles and receiving a commission every time someone applies for a personal loan. Maybe not exactly honorable writing intentions, but at least it was some money coming in.

After a short sabbatical, I have re-worked my priorities and chosen to come back to consistently update this blog. Many people are having financial trouble these days and are looking for ways to make ends meet, and perhaps come out ahead. While I have not always followed my advice in the past, I have learned some valuable lessons along the way that you may be able to apply to your life. Therefore, the new purpose of this blog will to show you, not only how to save money, but how to make it as well.

Thank you for your patience while I was gone, and I hope to continue to see you all as we start this new phase together. Now, according to that Vulcan saying, “Live long and prosper!”

 

If it’s Not One Thing… January 25, 2009

So, I found out today that I was cut out of the health insurance I was covered by on my ex’s insurance. Technically, we are still married, but I thought that we had made an agreement that I was going to be on the insurance until we got divorced. Didn’t happen…he cut me out in November to “free up some money” for them. And he claims that I was supposedly going to find something else, which is why he did that. And now, he can’t divert any extra money, because they have to save up for a vehicle. (So do I, by the way.) Wow. The greed of some people…

But I guess I can’t complain too much. Why? Because there are programs that I can join, or ways I can get what I need. It’s just the idea that he didn’t even tell me that I was cut, or that he didn’t renew the FSA card. I had to find out through trial and error, which I don’t want to go into now. The point is, he didn’t even have the decency to let me know!

Why is this on a blog about living without a salary? Because if you put too much faith and trust into something that you cannot control absolutely, then in the end, you will wind up with nothing. Eventually, you will be screwed by the ones in control of your financial future. That is one important topic of many in my book, “How to Budget Without a Salary“, in which I tell you that you need to put the money that you would normally pay on health insurance premiums into a savings account of some sort. (You can read more about that here.) Buying this low cost book will help contribute to helping me with my high cost prescription….

The moral of the story? Be sure that you have something lined up before you lose health insurance benefits! Also, be sure that you are in complete control of whatever you line up!

 

Living on a Tight Budget January 13, 2009

The news is littered lately with businesses cutting jobs or shutting down plants in various cities and towns across the United States. Of course, this is nothing new to see today because it has been happening for at least two years now, or more. Those affected by these decreasing jobs are finding it harder and harder to create a workable budget. They may find odd jobs, or another job that pay less than their previous jobs did, and it is making life extremely hard. And on it goes…the media loves to talk about how hard it is to make a decent living in today’s economy, and sensationalize how tough it is. While I have compassion for those who are suddenly left with little to no income coming in, I feel the media is blowing the situation way out of proportion. The reason? Because they don’t focus on the other side of the spectrum–creating your own job, or living on a casual income. They don’t focus on the hope there is…only the discouragement. Really, why do you think America is called “The Land of Opportunity”?

A tight budget is also the fallout of the recession we have right now. However, life doesn’t have to be depressing or fall short of the abundance of love and life. Living on any size budget doesn’t mean only the rich get to have fun…

While you may not be able to spend as much money, the best part of living on a tight budget is to find the adventure of searching for ways to conserve money, while having fun. What do I mean by that? Here is an example…say it is summer and you want something fun to do with your kids. Instead of sitting home, bemoaning the fact that you have no extra fun money to go to places that cost money, why not search for the free attractions in your town/city or surrounding areas? You will more than likely find that those things can be just as fun, or more so, than the activities that actually cost money.

And how do you even create a budget with a limited income? I wrote a book about that very topic. You can find it here.

 

New Parents Just Don’t Get it! December 17, 2008

Filed under: Living without a Salary — joetb @ 9:12 PM
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When a new baby comes into the world, it’s a blessed event. And a huge responsibility! But it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money up front to support this baby. All it needs is a warm and safe place to sleep, some type of nourishment, and lots of love and nurturing. Okay…if you want to get technical, it also needs clothing, especially in a colder climate. 🙂 But it seems that many new parents here in the US spend thousands of dollars on crap for their baby that the baby doesn’t even really need! Why? It must be sleep deprivation, or something, because most of the items parents buy are pure crap! Oh, they say it is for “mental enrichment” or “to give their child the best advantage” in life. In my experience having had 3 babies, who are now 13, 10 and 6 and all in school, babies respond to love, affection, and care that comes from being an attentive parent.

I recently saw something I had to laugh at. There was a video series made for babies and toddlers that was supposed to be able to teach babies to read before the age of 1. Are you kidding me?  Some observations were made on twin girls who were 3 and half years old, who had been watching those videos since they were about 1 or so. They were shown the words from the video, and were asked to point out a certain word. Every single time, they got it wrong! Did it work? I think not! And how much money did the parents pay for this crap? I don’t know, but it seems to be a luxury item bought to do something that obviously didn’t work.

As an aside, I should mention that when my kids were babies, we weren’t able to buy the crap that most parents do today. We didn’t even read to them–much–and all three are now getting straight A’s and B’s in school. This is the public school system we’re talking about here. Nothing wrong with the public schools when parents get involved with their children’s learning.

You don’t have to spend extra money on things that frankly will not give your child any advantage in school. Especially for babies. Really–what do babies really do? Drool….eat…sleep…poop…and cry. Not really open at this point for extra learning, are they? Why not put that money in a college fund for when they are ready for more advantages, then to waste it on stuff that will not help them now? Believe me–you will not be doing them a disservice if you don’t get that for them at this point in their lives. It would be better for your baby to spend time with it, instead of plopping them in front of a stupid video that is, at the very most, entertaining. You will provide many more advantages for your baby if you give him or her the attention from you, rather than some cold video. And if you are trying to make do on only one salary right now, because of being on maternity leave, then you could stand to save the extra money–right??

 

The Point of this Blog December 5, 2008

Filed under: Living without a Salary — joetb @ 8:18 PM
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I haven’t updated this for a few days, as I have been busy actually living my theories. Meaning: I have been working at odd jobs, and getting a free table for my kitchen. Living without a salary does not mean you have to live without money. After all, we all have bills to pay and need food to eat. Living without a salary frees me up to make money by any means I want to, and how it resonates with me. I recently completed a job for someone where I ripped up the carpet and cleaned up the staples, etc. It took a few hours, and I got a good workout. Just because I don’t have one of those “jobs” where I have to slave away all the time, even when I am sick, doesn’t mean that I don’t work, or that I am lazy. All it means is that I am in control of MY life…no one else is.

The key to all of this is to begin assessing what it is in life that you love doing. Are you an artist? Then create, and then find venues where to sell your art. Do you love working with numbers? Great! Find a market where you can provide accounting or financial planning services. Personally, I enjoy doing odd jobs, such as general labor or mental work on the computer. This lets me meet new people and make friends. And I get a great workout without having to pay a gym for the privilege to exercise.

One more thing for now: someone pointed out that I had mentioned in a previous post that my ex-spouse is still supporting the kids and me. And that is why I can make these claims. However, I barely get enough to squeak by, which is why I set up this blog. I want it to show the process I am going through to reduce my expenses, while reducing my dependence on someone who I would rather not have to depend on. As time goes on, and I learn more about living without a salary, I will be posting it here so that you can see how the process can work for you as well.

But for now, I still need to depend on the money I do get from my ex so that I can transition to being independent and self-sufficient. And unfortunately, right now, the money hasn’t been deposited that I needed. So, yes–I am struggling just like everyone else. But to feel sorry for myself would be self-defeating, because what purpose would that solve? Sure I can get depressed or stressed out, but being positive is much more fun, and I can begin pulling positive events towards me that much quicker. (More on that in another post.) So, for all who are wondering, life doesn’t have to be depressing even in the face of not knowing when money will come in next if you keep a truly positive attitude. Until next time, keep positive!