Reducing Expenses - Tips

Discussion in 'Wealth Creation & Management' started by Krakked789, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. JohnnyBravo300

    JohnnyBravo300 Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I have drastically changed our lifestyle over the last 10 or so years and we are more on the extreme side you could say.

    Our home is less than 200 square feet, I built it and we are homesteading here. I can build anything and fix most anything. I can weld with gas or mig or arc and swing a hammer and I split wood and i dig for my own gold at my claim. I can run heavy equipment and anything else with an engine and I installed our solar for our power complete for less than $1500.
    Weve sold off everything we had collected over the years that we didnt use and downsized greatly in every way and it felt great.
    Now we have no bills and only a small land payment and not the extra stress from our old life.
    We can live easily on minimum wage if needed and we have a few times although it's not my first choice. I've been lucky enough to work various state park jobs and lift operations at a Crested Butte and they arent high paying jobs, but very rewarding and fun jobs I've always wanted to try out for a season.
    At my current job we can survive on 10 hrs per week if we need to but I'd rather work 60 hours and buy gold!
    We garden, make our own toothpaste, have chickens, an outhouse and we cook at home every night mostly. We pump and carry our water, snowmobile for a few miles in the winter and ski when we can.
    I bought both of our subarus for less than $1000 and fixed them up over time to nice cars and one has almost 310,000 miles, the other 200,000 miles.
    Our wood and water truck is a 1970 f250 Ranger "camper special" and oh is she a sweet old truck.
    We thrift shop and bargain shop for everything and I rarely pay full price for anything and I dont buy very much new.

    A little maintenance and TLC and things can last for a long time. I take pride it my tightassedness and it's a constant challenge to see where else we can cut needless expenses and what I can fix and make run for a few more years.
    I even go as far as picking up dead deer on the highway to feed our dogs and they sure love that.
    I can just imagine what the tourists must think as they drive by and I'm hacking up a frozen muley on the side of highway 50 haha.
    I've never figured exactly what I save in dog food but its rediculous and its trash for them to eat.
    3 or 4 deer will last my dogs the entire winter and it's good meat.

    Just a few ways weve cut costs that I can think of but theres probably more haha.
    I like to imagine what something would cost in oz's of silver and if I would trade silver for it and I think EFF no. It sure takes the shine out of whatever I was looking at, that's for damn sure.
     
  2. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Johnny, great story mate, well done. I love the part about the mule deer; a few years ago I watched a video regarding the fantastic migration of mule deer, they really are unique.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
     
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  3. willrocks

    willrocks Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    That's like giving the ATO a interest-free loan. If you have self-discipline, which most stackers do, you'd be better off paying as little tax as possible, then owing tax at the end of the financial year.
     
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  4. Oddjob

    Oddjob Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Top post that JohnnyBravo300 ! Well done on the off the grid living / homestead. With all your handyman skills, there's gotta be a still on that patch pumping out something....only cos it's cost effective of course! :)
     
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  5. madaw1

    madaw1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank for the post @JohnyBravo300. Instead of sitting on your own bump waiting for government handouts and complain,you are running your life in very practical way-you should be proud of yourself-Bravo!!!:cool:
     
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  6. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Administrator Staff Member Silver Stacker

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    Shop on Amazon.
     
  7. Krakked789

    Krakked789 Well-Known Member

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    I shop at op shops... or did until the stupid covid thingy.
     
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  8. OneDay

    OneDay Active Member Silver Stacker

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    If hyper inflation happened to kick off. How will these savings have helped you?
     
  9. forgedinfire

    forgedinfire Member

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    Isn't your question kind of pointless when directed at a crowd of precious metals enthusiasts? Not trying to snarky.
     
  10. JohnnyBravo300

    JohnnyBravo300 Well-Known Member

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    Wed all be trillionaires!
     
  11. Ag bullet

    Ag bullet Well-Known Member

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    ......and a can of coke would cost $1 trillion
     
  12. Krakked789

    Krakked789 Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully you'll have put your savings into precious metals.
     
  13. ozziestacka

    ozziestacka New Member

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    That I agree with.
     
  14. Mill3d

    Mill3d Active Member

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    Killer rabbits
     
  15. MLP

    MLP Member Silver Stacker

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    There's some good ideas here, but I'm not convinced shopping around for everything, fixing old broken things or planting garden saves any money in the long run. I like to step back an look at the big picture, not just how much money I make, how much did I save or how much tax I pay but rather all said and done, what can I do to maximize my bottom line when it's all paid for?

    Don't get me wrong, on a personal level I get satisfaction from fixing old things. I used to have a large garden but I don't any more.

    The reason is time. Simply it is cheaper for me to buy food than to burn up time growing it. In the time that it would take me to grow a garden I can earn money far in excess of what the food costs.

    Fixing old worn out gear is not viable to me. I buy new. The cost/loss of production (and therefore income) from machinery downtime in my business far exceeds any small savings from repairing old things. Once something is starting to break down, it will only get worse when it is used hard commercially for long periods of time. I can't pay people's wages to stand around and look at broken gear.

    For me again I think it would probably take at least three hours to catch and kill a rabbit, clean it, cook it and tidy up the mess + the risk of being caught somewhere or doing something not quite right. Depending on what project I am working on, in that three hours I could earn who knows what. Even just basic labor for three hours is $150, at absolute least. I can buy a meal from a bar or a truck stop that someone else has cooked for $20-$30.

    To comment on the point above about saving $5 or so on medication by shopping around, for me the lost income in the time burned going to another shop is worth at least ten times that.

    In Johnny Bravo's post above he even comments he'd rather work 60 hours a week to buy gold. If his wife does that as well, they would be hard pressed to find the time to do everything he lists. A garden is a big job to set up and constant work to maintain, especially if you are carrying water as he says. Livestock is also a constant job to keep fed, watered, fenced, caged and generally looked after. That said, hats off to you Johhny, I'm jealous, and I would like to go back to that quiet, peaceful, stress-free kind of lifestyle one day again.

    I do not believe in buying on Amazon or eBay, regardless of price. I prefer to support my local suppliers where possible. Remember they are the ones here who have the part I need and will open for me on Sundays. Some of them do my small jobs for free because I'm a large repeat customer. Many of them also give me work and use my business in return. They employ local people who live here and spend money in this town. I personally do not help anyone who has tried to save money by outsourcing and then comes crawling to me for help when things haven't worked out.

    I live a very simple life personally but from an economic point of view many of these ideas to me seem like spending $50.00 to save $10.00. I appreciate if someone is old and retired or can't work things would be different.

    The only way I have found to truly save money is don't buy things you do not need, and to work efficiently.
    Set your worksite up properly. Think of your work flow, time/motion, think of next week, will you need to move this job from where it is to fit in another? DON'T DOUBLE HANDLE THINGS!
    Organise your tools so they are easy to find and your not looking for them.
    If you need a shifter for you oxy set, buy one just for that and keep it on the oxy, it's then right where you need it always.
    Organise all your parts in labeled containers so you never need to search for them. Also if the bolt you are looking for isn't in that spot you know you don't have one and can stop looking.
    Organise your day so you do jobs in a set order with no back tracking.
    Organise your transport with back loads so you can effectively be paid to twice to do the same job.
    Know when to quit. You reach a point sometimes when you are throwing good money after bad on a machine or project.
    Move your rubbish bin close to the job and throw the rubbish straight in, no cleaning up after the job is done.
    Weigh the cost of repair against cost of new including any future repairs/downtime.
    Consider the tax benefits of new vs repaired.
    Rent one off tools or machines, don't buy.
    Don't fall in love with objects, once the machine is past it's use by date or the job is done, move it along. They only deprecate sitting there.
    Consider your relationship with suppliers, look at the big picture and the long term, they quite possibly can help you. Is it good sense to burn them off for a few bucks now?
    Don't take on big jobs for the sake of big jobs. Ensure they are profitable first.
    Do not hoard "stuff", moving collected things to get to things you need to do your job and storing "stuff" is not an efficient use of very limited time and space.
    Buy equipment that will make your job faster, like a larger excavator to do more work that the small one.
    Simplify everything, ie. buy the same brand of machine so parts are common, wire all your three phase equipment the same way with the same plugs so it will work on every power point.
    Take the time and spend the money installing services, water, power and air all over your place of work so you never need to run cables or hoses to a job. etc.
     
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  16. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    "Reducing Expenses - Tips"

    *Don't get your Wisdom Teeth pulled unless they are bothersome; they are there for a reason.
    *Only have one firearm (A person with one firearm generally knows how to use it).
    *Buy boots you can work, hunt, walk and go out in. (They don't have to be expensive either, BATA make a huge range of excellent, cheap boots)
    *Study one or two nomenclatures of coins, so that you instantly know a bargain.
    *Grow food that doesn't need care. (Raddichio)
    *Plan 20 years ahead. As you get older the years pass quickly; your dream home now, may be unsuitable when you are old. Move before you are old. (No steps or steep driveways)
    *Don't skimp on fresh food, it's better to fuel your body with good food than spending money on pills and medical bills later-on.
    *Set time aside for fun and exercise. Even though you love your work, productivity starts with a happy healthy mind and body.
    *You don't have to get pissed to have fun and enjoy life. Save a few dollars by cutting back.
    *If you haven't used it in 5 years, sell it!
    *Avoid sugar!
     
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  17. lex further

    lex further New Member

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    I did have a "non-spending" January this year. We just paid all our bills and food expenses. No clothes, no electronics etc.
     
  18. GF

    GF Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    “I do not believe in buying on Amazon or eBay, regardless of price. I prefer to support my local suppliers where possible“

    Amazon / EBay and platforms like these are built around a race to the bottom. What I mean is that they are relying on vendors selling with lower and lower margins in order to compete. In the end it’s the cheapest possible that wins every time…think made in China, where 10 years ago there were still local suppliers listing.

    Business like these are responsible for the destruction of whole local economies, think towns with for sale or rent on 50% of the shop windows. Those “failed” business were feeding their families from the till, sending little kids to ballet, footy whatever…but spending in the town/surburb. The small business that has survived maybe still sponsors the local hockey team…but probably can’t afford it.

    The conversation is about saving money and reducing expenses. I agree with stop buying crap etc. But when you do need something, new tools, clothes, fun stuff, whatever….please consider buying from bricks and mortar. The money will circulate in your economy and help save the community money.
     
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  19. MLP

    MLP Member Silver Stacker

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    You are so right.

    So many industries have been destroyed by the "race to the bottom" and ultimately it will affect us all.

    One shining example is the transport industry. People always complain about freight, but the biggest problem with freight is its too cheap. It is difficult for an owner operator to make a living out of a truck now. Compare freight prices from the 1980s or 1990s to today. Then compare fuel prices, truck prices, tyres, registration, insurance, work cover, GST, wages, increased admin and reduced productivity due to ever increasing litigation/compliance/regulation etc and you can see the costs to the transport operator have increased way out of proportion to their rate increase.

    This is due to dumb people cutting rates to get work and large companies coming in who only need to make a small amount off every truck because they have so many.
     
  20. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Administrator Staff Member Silver Stacker

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    The flip side is that if individuals can buy the same quality goods/services online or out-of-town from a source that is cheaper then they have more spare cash to spend (or save and invest) on other goods/services eg local cafes, shops etc. This is how wealth is created ie from the added benefit a consumer derives consuming extra products or services.

    Theory of Diminishing Marginal Utility. :)

    Edit to add: I'm using this definition of "wealth":

    https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Wealth

    And of course, human desires are infinite.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022

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