Low Income – Disability Check – Recession
This year is hard on everyone with the recession : high gas prices – high food prices – job cut backs – no jobs – etc. I wanted to share how we are making it on just a disability check of $996 a month for 3 people. This is our second month living off of it, and it was a little hairy last month but better this month.
With this check, we first pay the rent, power and phone bills. And we are left with $ 211. The $211 is used for: food, gas for the truck, truck ins., soaps and etc., and animal food. And this can be tricky and overwhelming, but so far we are doing it.
The rent bill, we can not lower.
The power bill: is high in the summer due to having to run a AC in the food barn (which holds a years supply of food) , in the winter: we use gas to heat with so power bill will drop but then we have to add back the gas bill. Everything is turned off when not in use.
The phone bill: is a little high but it includes- free long distant and a toll free number ( for family and friends to call), and our Internet which is used for school and to find new ways to save money.
Some ways we are saving money, not spending money, doing without wants, new ways of doing things:
- We started last year storing and stocking up on food and other house hold goods. Which I am so thankful we did because we would be having a hard time now if I had not. And we put a beef cow in the freezer a few weeks ago. So our meat is good and will last 1 1/2 to 2 years.
- Our milk cow is giving us 21+ gallons of milk a week, chicken give us eggs ( 80+ a week) and meat, and vegs from the garden. You can do a lot with milk and eggs including feeding cats and dogs.
- We only go to town twice a month. I’d like to get it down to once a month but I’m not there yet. A trip to town cost us $30 in gas round trip.
- Bought power strips to plug in the TV, VCR, etc., so as they can be turned off all the way when not in use.
- Lower watt light bulbs
- Home school books left over from older kids, another 4 years worth left before I need to buy more.
- We do not eat out, and our sweets are homemade. I do buy cereal as I have not learned yet to make it. The good, low sugar kind- the good for you kind.
- I make a lot of my cleaners, clothes soap, monthly pads, dish clothes, cloth napkins, socks ( I buy wool sweaters from the thrift store, and take them apart for the wool.)
- I do use my dishwasher but I don’t use my clothes dryer. I chose to give up using the dryer so I could use the dish washer. And it is only ran once or twice a day.
- I chose to have Internet over dish/cable TV. We have air TV and get 3 channels (ABC, NBC, CBS), we think that is enough for us.
- We fix things when they break not buy new. I love DUCT tape, but hubby does not. Oh, well I still sneak it in once in a while.
- We save for things that are needed. We don’t rent to own, where you end up paying twice. Now there is nothing wrong with people who choose this, as I know it’s their only way. But we chose not to.
- When I go to the store, I only buy things on sale. I plan my menu on what I have on hand. And at times it’s been hard, as you ladies know sometimes you just want something you don’t have on hand.
- You really have to learn to give some things up but not everything. We have all of our needs meet and still have a few of our wants. It’s hardest on the kids. But I have been giving mine a choose of things. I just don’t say no. I ask her, “Would you like this or that? or Do you want to do this or have that?” Recently she wanted to go to the pool, well we did not have the gas money. Which I told her, she said ok and went out side to play. She came back in a while later and asked,” Mom, can I use that big roll of plastic to make a water slide?” I said sure. She found a way to have fun with out spending a penny. I am so proud of her.
- Read a lot. There are so many ways to learn something new.
- Pray a lot. Count your every blessing both big and small.
- Remember this earth is not our home. I say, Earth and living here is our boot camp for heaven.
I know it’s going to be a long hard winter for everyone. And we might have to give up some things for a while. But the sun will come out again, this I know. I know some of you are working with a income lower than ours. Some of you may not be able to pay your rent or buy food. And I’m really sorry, I wish I could be of more help to you, but I’ll pray for you. Maybe some of my ideas will help you, at least I pray they do.
I will list more things as they come to mind on saving money, etc. And I’ll let you know when I find great web sites, too.
Well I better go for now, work to do. Hope you all have a blessed day.