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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Besides the obvious prepping which we all support here ... how are the new economic realities changing how you and your family live? Are you changing your lifestyle? Downsizing? Share with the rest of us.

While our family income hasn't gone down, we are preparing for a more frugal lifestyle in the future.

We are ...

Actively seeking a move to the mountains/country further away from Atlanta and enough land to live on sustainably. Reduce living cost and taxes, etc. Time-table: 6-9 months.

Reducing our CATV package to save money.

Reducing how often that we eat out. own to 1-2 times each month from weekly. Budget restaurants now, nothing over $30-40 my wife and myself.

Significantly reducing how much we drive, consolidating trips. Even though gas isn't that expensive how, it will be again soon. My extended family are intimately involved in oil and gas exploration. Prepare for $150-$200/barrel oil in a few months. It was fun while it lasted (cheap gasoline) wasn't it?

Keeping clothing purchases to the bare minimum.

Reduced vacations ... we took only one vacation last year. A 3-day sojourn at a mountain inn. Far less time spent away (and money spent) than in years past.

Saving everywhere that we can, preparing for future hyper inflation.
 

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Why change, Obamanation said during his campaign "I" will help you pay your gas bills and house payments and "I" will give you one of those 5,000,000 new jobs that "I" will find. Darn, but after being elected that all changed and now he is saying ".....it might not happen in a year, and it might not happen in a term, but we as a people will........" He dropped the "I" and now saying the people will........... in other words we as a people it will remain as it is today. It was all talk, now he is going to change the Constituion, raid the social security system, put us 800 billion to a trillion dollars deeper in debt with the health care plan Bush vetoed as not doable, $700 billion to $1 trillion on a stimulus package. How about, "we" are going to have to work together to reduce the debt. "We" meant us not him. $150 million for his ten parties, $300 thousand for his new car. God help us
 

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CHEERS :p
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we stopped buying the stuff we "wanted" and started buying the stuff we needed.

we recently "in the past 6 months" moved to the Canadian east coast

we eat out much less....because we are over 25 Kms from the nearest town with a pop of 5,000 and it only has a McDonalds and a "Kentucky fried chicken" and they get old after a while, not to mention the health benifits from reduced fast food eating.

we do a tonne more fishing and hunting which reduces the food bill.

This summer we are planting 2 gardens, 1) in our yard and 2) at our property/BOL about 10 mins away

we realized moving from the city, that by doing many things ourselves we can save alot of money
 

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"I drank what?" -Socrates
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let's see...I'm sleeping less, my blood pressure is going up, and I get severe nausea every time I hear Chairman Obama's voice. All involuntary lifestyle changes unfortunately.
 

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Who is John Galt?
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let's see...I'm sleeping less, my blood pressure is going up, and I get severe nausea every time I hear Chairman Obama's voice. All involuntary lifestyle changes unfortunately.
LOL....that is good


We are taking a 401k, turning it into our prep cache, finishing what we feel is needed......paying off some debt, new shingles on the room, new windows all around the house, ammo stock, food/supply stocks.....also using cash as much as possible, using checking account for only the monthly bills, avoid using the last credit card we have open, reducing our eating out and excess gas usage.....I think the biggest thing is our thoughts and actions are working for something that we pray is not necessary but preparing for the worst......
 

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Prepping = life insurance
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let's see...I'm sleeping less, my blood pressure is going up, and I get severe nausea every time I hear Chairman Obama's voice. All involuntary lifestyle changes unfortunately.
^^^ Sadly many of us share this trepidation, or perhaps the best word for it is dread.

I actually skipped the propagand... err inaugural address yesterday and was instead listening intently to DC area police/fire/ems. I was just a little concerned that some idiots/nutjobs (either "foreign or domestic") would use this perhaps, "juicy" opportunity to attack either Chairman Obama or his flocks of sheeple.

But back to the topic at hand.... how have I changed my lifestyle?

I joined this forum.

I have paid off all my motor vehicles. Sold a few too.

As of last fall I began passively prepping (equipment first, then food).

I've also cut back dramatically on dining out, both as a cost saving measure as well as a means to eat what I store, and storing only what I will eat.

That's all I'm willing to share... :p
 

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I have paranoia and think people are watching me and I made sure my tires were inflated properly.
One lifestyle change was involuntary but not both
 

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I owed money to no one. No one owed me money. I lived within my means. - self Sufficient still

I owned a farm. I have used the time to buy up the lot across the street because it was foreclosed on - More Land then I had a year ago.

I bargain shopped and bought things used - I saved money in the bank that I still have.

In fact, I planned so well that nothing for me has changed. I am still in the same position I was a year ago. I have had no change in my life style or my standard of living. I did pretty darn good.
 

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"I drank what?" -Socrates
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I have paranoia and think people are watching me and I made sure my tires were inflated properly.
One lifestyle change was involuntary but not both
LMAO...I forgot that one. Look how the price of gas has dropped...everyone must have filled their tires and gotten new spark plugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
An update from the OP ... we made changes to our lifestyle by choice, not because lack of finances dictated those moves. There is a difference. We realized that our money is better spent in different areas than it has been in the past.
 

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My friend's and I spend alot of time out in the weed's, but the girl's don't go as often. I am going to try to make it a little more "fun" learning and practicing outdoor camping/ survival skill's without making them feel as if they have to kill thing's etc.
 

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Time to hit reset
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I would say about the same things...

>Saving cash (for what it'll be worth, and if you don't pay yourself 1st, you'll never get paid)
>Reducing CATV
>Turning the thermostat down (leanrt dat trick from Jimmy Carter:D:)
>Cosolidating trips to anywhere (major expedition some days)
>Buying in bulk and stocking up on what's on sale
>Eating out less
>Shopping pawn shops and even goodwill stores for household items
>Paying off any bills as much as you can
>Spending more time in the 'weeds' as someone else said:thumb:
Basically trying to adopt the "Spartan" attitude and get what you need, not what you want.
 

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HANDY MAN
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Im about to take a MASSIVE pay cut so reality is hitting hard quickly.

Only one vehicle
pay off all credit cards while I can, use only in emergency sit.
reduce eating out
moving into a smaller home (just sold my house in maine, now renting in Texas)
shopping goodwills, salvation army, yard sales...
buy bulk and buy cheap
SAVE SAVE SAVE

Dang...it was nice making 6 digits while it lasted!
 

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Im digging into the food I had stored, taking money out of the 401, cutting back on pretty much everything out of necessity.

Before I lost my income this month, I tried to pay for things ahead of time that i could anticipate and buy the kids clothes for next year on sale now. That didnt pan out too well as the sales never materialized.

We got rid of our cable tv months ago.

Even though we pay almost $800/mo for our health insurance, I dont use it so we dont have to pay medical/dental bills.

We didnt exchange christmas gifts with family this year.
 

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I have a more or less non-loseable job and I´m getting a 7-12% raise sometime before fall so the downturn with near zero inflation is working in my benefit.
I´m doing radical life style changes anyway but that´s just because realized that frugality is the appropriate way of life. If you don´t buy crap you can afford so many more good and useful things like a house, a hunting rifle or more food.
 

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"Knock on wood" we still have good jobs / work and other than our home we're debt free and in a better position than we've been in a long time; partially by timing and partially because we've had our eyes and ears open.

Our preps and plans are solid and better than most... not better than everyone but we're covered well in all the right places. Our weakness is we live in the high-desert mountains edge of a large metro area of over a million Sheeple. We are prepped primarily to bug-in but have prepped to bug-out as a last choice, though we have no retreat / place to go yet.

However, we're watching every penny these days and devoting more and more every week to supplementing our preps. Basically doing much of the same others have mentioned here.

Based on consulting our CPA, something we did that really helped our cash reserves lately was to change our Federal Withholding status to Exempt for the last three months of 2008. My wife has a good regular job and owning my own company almost always helps us get a large tax refund. We knew we'd get a refund this year as well and decided to claim Exempt and pocket that money NOW rather than wait to get it back if a few months. That has helped us expedite and enhance our preps even more.

We're continuing to claim Exempt at least through Feb/Mar 2009 when we'll try to project with the CPA at what point during the 2009 tax year or at what level we'll start paying into the system again so we don't end up owing at the end of the year or in hot water with the IRS. These are emergency set-aside funds; not buy a new 60 inch plasma / go on vacation funds.

We don't mind paying our fair share of taxes but paying in too much just means the Govt has it and I can't get it back until we file in 2010. Should TSHTF, the wife loses her job, I'm unable to work etc., we'd rather have the money set aside for now or then or hopefully never.
 

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Great Ideas here. I'm new to the forum and the suvivalists way of life. I can only say that something in my gut says the bottom is fixing to fall out. It may happen overnight, it may happen over the course of the next 3 years, but real hard times are comming. There will be food, it will just cost you 20 bucks for a loaf of bread. There will be electric, it will just cost you 3 times as much. Oh yes, and gasoline is going up to 5 bucks a gallon again. They raped us once and got away with it, they will rape us again!
My wife and I have begun stockpiling food. We rarely go out to eat anymore. I have been buying a little silver. Got my potassium iodide pills in the mail today. I'm doubling the size of the garden this summer and the wifey is going to learn how to can veggies.
It's a good feeling to know as a husband and father of 4 that we will survive, because we all put forth the effort to prepare.
Most of what we have learned has come from this forum. I'm grateful to Kev for his efforts and to all of those who support this forum. Thank-You for keeping us optimistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Lowering thermostat to 58 when we sleep and while away from home during the day. I try for 65 when we are home in the evening, but having a tough time getting the family to wear WINTER CLOTHING! Bare feet, shorts, etc. when inside. No WONDER they are cold. Sorry. Excuse the explosion of temper. :)

Starting last sumer, we raised the thermostat to 78 and installed ceiling fans in all rooms to reduce the need for continuous AC. Believe me, you need it in Atlanta in July-August!

My wife and I are voracious readers. We have significantly reduced book buying at Barnes and Noble and Books A Million. We use the public library more often. Luckily Cobb County, Georgia has an excellent system and we can order books from other branches if our branch doesn't have it on hand. A BIG savings in travel time and gasoline used. We buy books from Goodwill and other thrift stores and stockpile them until we have time to read them. It's an enormous savings over buying books new (mainly hard backs) if you are willing like we are to wait a few years after a new book comes out and not rush to buy it right away when it is first released. Amazon.com also has the best prices on new books I've seen anywhere, so we buy primarily from Amazon now.

Renting movies from Netflix instead of Blockbuster and reducing how often we go to the theater for a movie. In my new world, there are theater movies (big blockbusters that must be seen on a big screen) and everything else (Netflix DVD at home or watch some on my Mac laptop via on-line download).

www.freecycle.org - many great free things I've picked up this way, also via Craigslist.com.
 

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Hmmmmmm, lets see:

1. only 2 rooms in my home are heated. and when I say 'heated', that means the pilot light is on in the bathroom and the gas heater in the living room stays on '1' (which I think is about 45 degrees) unless the temp outside drops below 30. Then I crank the heater up to '3' which I think is 65 degrees.

2. to help me stay warm, I keep an electric blanket on in my chair. I have 2 other blankets on for the cats (yes, they get cold too!) and sleep w/ an electric blanket on the bed 'cause the heat isn't on

3. I might eat out once a week, might. and it never costs more than $3.39

4. I combine trips, use my cruise control and no longer drive over 65 mph. This has given me 50+ more miles to a tank of gas

5. I shop at Goodwill, flea markets, yard sales etc. for things I might need in the future. I actually scored BIG last week. I found a 'junk' looking place and stopped. I picked up a few cast iron frying pans, 4 - 55 gal drums, 2 water drums, a pair of (new) rubber & steel toed boots and a book for $36. I'm going back this week for a few more water drums, some piping, and a few more odds & ends.

6. I have the basic of basic for cable & internet

7. I download instead of renting or buying. there are many legal sites you can watch movies at w/o having to pay $8 bucks to see it

8. "Things are just things" and "you can't take it with you". So if I get a pretty good price on something, I'll sell it

9. I never toss clothes, towels, sheets or blankets.

10. I recycle my paper towels and paper plates. After I use them, I hang the towels to dry and if there's no stains on the plates, I keep 'em. Why? good to use the towels to clean up after the cats (fur balls!) and the plates to feed the cats.

11. I plant a larger garden each year than the last and I'm learning to can

12. I keep (wash out) all my aluminum cans and tin food cans because they will come in handy later on (predicting)

13. I save the lint from my dryer (great fire starter)

14. I started a compost pile this year instead of buying fertilizer

15. I unplug everything before I go to bed (phone, microwave, vcr, tv, modem, computer) and I turn off lights when I'm not using them!

Is that being too frugal? lol
 
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