Friday, May 14, 2010

Cash Flow On the Homestead

Adding to your cash flow is the hardest thing to do. But if you find ways to cut your cost of living that should give you a little more cash. Here are some ways I have found to really cut down on cash going out.

One big saving has been having our own energy systemTake your electric bill and add it up for the year. Then multiply it for the amount of years you have lived in your home. I have lived here for almost eleven years now. My electric bill to live here would have been costly. At least $100. a month. This house is old and not insulated so if we were using a furnace that would have been running a lot. Plus, we have two computers and in the past we had the big desktop ones. Now we have three laptops, because my son has been living with us and he has his laptop too.

Our last house was a two bedroom ranch house we rented in 1997-99 and the bill ran approximately $119. a month. So this is not an out of line figure. At $100. a month, the annual amount paid would be $1200. and for 11 years that would come to $13,200. Now it doesn't sound like a lot of money.  But I could have taken that same amount, or got a loan and put in an awesome solar system.  Then pay for it monthly like you do the electric bill. It would be paid for now and from now on our electric would be free. Now that sounds good doesn't it? To eliminate that $100. a month bill. I know! I  know! Most people I know, tell me how cheap their electric bill is and how they just love paying it! That is their choice. Not mine. If it was only $10. a month.............I'd still choose to have my own system. It gives you independence and that is why I chose this lifestyle in the first place! I hate being told what to do...............

Unfortunately this is not our wood pile!

Another way to be independent and add to your cash flow is by providing your own fuel for heating. We use wood and have taken trees down off our small piece of land while we have been clearing it. It was pretty much all woods right up to the house. Firewood is a lot of work and I would never say it wasn't. But if you provide it yourself  then the cost is your hard work and chainsaw costs. I have never figured out what we have saved over the years. There are times when the weather is not cold enough for the wood stove so we use a kerosene heater during those times and try not to use it unless we have to.

One of our raised beds in 2009

A garden saves you so much money! Plus it allows you to eat those vegetables and fruits that are too pricey for your wallet. You can grow whatever you want. Start the seeds early in your house and get a head start on the growing season. Grow as much as you can, and can or freeze it for the winter months. Now this is where you can make a big difference in your cash flow!

By growing your vegetables and fruits you can afford to buy meat from local farmers. Or try to find  a way to buy meat in bulk and it will save more money. You can sometimes make a special deal with a farmer.

Another way I have found to save is by following a low carb diet. I call it a food plan not a diet as it is my way of eating for life. Now most people will say it is an expensive way to eat. But I have found it is exactly the opposite. The reason being that if I live on low carbs, no processed foods and no white flour or sugar or artificial sweeteners.................that saves you A LOT of money right there! Just look in other people's shopping carts and see how much of that stuff is in there. Adds up to a lot of money. I try to buy only some dairy products, fresh meats, some low carb mayonnaise, mustard and ingredients to make my own salad dressings and condiments. Just think how much that saves? It is healthier and makes you feel great as soon as you have been on it the first two weeks. And if you need to lose weight it does that too.

I have been working on buying some of our supplies online. That saves me not only the gas of running around  to stores, but the time. My time is really stretched..............and I work at home! Maybe that is why. I have been finding that ordering supplies from Alice is a good thing! Just fill my cart and order pet foods, personal supplies and household supplies. Free shipping.  I also save money by shopping at Netrition and they only charge $4.95 for whatever size order you have. I buy all my low carb bread mixes, almond meal, etc. there. Very quick shipping for me since they in Albany, NY.  You can find online sites yourself that sell the products you use. In the long run it saves me much money.......puts that savings in my cash flow.

Just search through your budget for things that take your cash and see what you can do to cut those costs. It is very expensive to live now. We are in a major depression and trying to make ends meet is not easy. So I do what I can do. How about you?

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
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