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Can you live on just $14,000 per year?

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We're not far from that now. When my employer passed away it also took Mountain Man's income (he worked for her also) so I retired on a widow's pension. Then Mtn.Man retired early, this year. We spent nearly all our life's savings to get everything paid off so we could live debt free. It sure isn't easy to live on a drastically lower income, but we do it. I too make my own detergents, we put in a garden last year for the first time, I learned to dehydrate, I cook from scratch, we buy "pre-owned" clothing (except underwear etc.) and garage sale items that we need if at all possible. Through my 42 years of a previous marriage and through his 20+ years as a divorced batchelor, we accumulated ALOT of stuff and are now "housing" it in a gigantic garage that we did build at the homestead house (which we had purchased from my Mom's trust to give her additional income and let her still live in the lower part...and finished the upper part into a small apt. for disabled son) and are now going to start turning those items into cash. We'll also be selling both my house (where we live now) and his previous house in another city and that too will add to cash reserves. Our goal is to spend most of our time RV'ing and come back to "home base" (the homestead house) when we want to come off the road. Our life is complicated, but happy.

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We are a little higher on our S.S. than they are. Debt-free and living on cash is a must. Scrutinize everything and don't buy on emotion.It can be done, and it can be fun. :hapydancsmil:

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Wow. I would imagine I spend more than that at wal mart in a year!!, I must admit to being quite spoiled, I used to live on very little when I was a single mom and going to college, but I am thankful everyday that I don't have to do that anymore!!!

Edited by Deerslayer
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I see more and more people getting wise and trying to get out of debt. Sure, you may not have all the fancy toys, but they are not necessary in life. I don't see how people sleep at night having all that credit card debt and wondering how to pay for it.


I do have a car payment now, but I am working to help pay it off as fast as I can. That is our only debt other than just monthy utilities, insurance, etc.


One thing I do feel is important is to have some skills to use to barter with later on if needed.

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Bartering would be nice even in these days...when dollars are tight. I know when we shoveled our friends out and cut up their broken tree limbs (he's got a pacemaker and just can't do much heavy upper body stuff) we were giving them our most valuable possessions...our time, our strength and our tools...all wadded up in love! They in turn took us out to eat at our favorite chinese buffet restaurant...which we can't go much because of costs etc. Sorta like a "barter"?

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Yes, that is like a barter. I would like to find someone to do yardwork in exchange for something. That or have them do some housecleaning. My back is so bad. I have an awful time keeping things done anymore.

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You're such a wonderful canning expert and I'm thinking you have lots of canned foods. Perhaps if you could find a young mother or young couple that could use some extra food, they'd do some yard work for you? No need to let them know how much you have, just that you've got "this, this & that" in exchange for some yard work?

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we too are living that life style.

I can't tell you how many people tell us "How much we had to give up to live like that!"

Yes we gave up debt , credit cards, TV , buying things we don't need, cell phones, etc. . . . . .. . . . .


I Love the Simple Life!

instead of watch TV or Video Games or talkinf on cell phones over the weekend we went for nature hikes, visited Amish Friends, read books together and even had supper outside by the firepit (60+ out that day).

and the best part was nobody could call us (no cell phones) when we were hiking. And we were just about the only ones on trail so it was so quite we could hear all the birds greating the day.

Didn't have to go shopping and hear all the 'noise' of people talking load on cellphones with stuff that I would not even tell my Mother! and hearing all the crap about how prices are going up and up BUT there they were buy it all and on credit! So for most it will cost even more when they pay the interest on what they got?


Have a nice day............................................


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We live a "simple" life style...but not a "plain" one. We need cell phones due to elderly mother and disabled son, as well as elderly father. If they need us, we want to be available. We also have done alot of traveling (and will do more) so we need to stay in touch. Guess we don't see them any different that wifi people. However, with that said, we don't have the expensive cell phones, we buy a pre-paid (and have had them for years) that is $100 for 1000 minutes and if we don't use all the minutes, they roll over if we renew our expiration date before it expires. No texting, no pics, just a plain old phone! It rings and we answer it or they can leave a message. LOL Mtn.Man needs his separate number because he's still in the work force for his business. As for tv...yep, it's a luxury and we enjoy it when we're home, otherwise we watch videos etc, when we're in our camper. Both of us are avid readers, so we finally bought ourselves kindle readers (the simple ones) so we can take our reading materials with us and read when we want to. I like your comment about the birds. I've marveled for years how I can hear the robins etc., singing before the sun is even up...and said "Lord, we can all learn something from them. They praise you before their day even starts!" Hiking, climbing, walking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, target practice, ballroom-type dancing, bicycling, we love the outdoors too, and now can take our Lab-brat with us most of the time. We've got several camping buds that we all enjoy gathering around a camp fire and telling life stories etc. So much laughter when you hear some of the tales...LOL All of us are retired except three people, so we try to schedule our camping to linclude them, since one is a wife and the other is a younger couple which are both still in the work force. Isn't it interesting how each of us at Mrs. S have such a varied lifestyle, yet gather here?!

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We have been on a very tight budget for over 5 years now. DH's social security just doesn't hack it.


I am very thankful that DH is very handy and keeps eveything running and repaired. As long as it's a mechanical problem (and not electrical) he can fix it.


We qualify for food stamps but I just can't change the mindset I have had my whole life about taking care of myself.

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  • 2 months later...

Beware of strings with those 'free' food stamps....

Yes I can live on $14,000 a year. Been living "poor" all my life - I keep thinking of one of the Foxfire books in which one interviewee said she was glad she lived 'poor' all her life, because she didn't miss what she never had.

Edited by kappydell
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