Sunday, July 1, 2007

Lowering Expenses Quickens Financial Freedom

Today I was reading about quitting a job you hate in one of the personal finance blogs on the web Simple Dollar-Can't Quit Syndrome. The article did a good job of covering the basics, paying off debt, investing savings and striving for that point when the interest from the money in savings covers your expenses. This gives you the freedom to quit your job or get a lower paying job that you like.

I don’t want to wait until my savings covers my current expenses. I think it will take too long at my existing standard of living so I am trying to lower my standards. I am doing this many ways by shopping at thrift stores for clothes and furnishings, trying not to buy expensive pre-packaged food, eating out as little as possible, the list goes on.

Housing is a huge chunk of my budget which I am working on lowering by selling my home and buying a small used mobile home which I will put on land that I own as an investment. That way I will only have to pay for property taxes and utilities. Utilities can be kept to a minimum by using solar hot water, collecting rainwater for my garden, using fans instead of the air conditioner for as long as possible and taking my trash to the dump after I make use of the free recycling opportunities. My town has a recycle collection point at the library which will cut down on the trips to the dump at $10 per trip. I intend to switch to a pay-as-you-go cell phone plan soon. I think it will be cheaper.

Of course, Health Insurance will be the next biggest chink of my budget. I hope to start a Health Savings Account after I quit my job. That will cost about $140 per month. I have only liability insurance on my 9 year old car. I pay $38 per month for it. I need to save enough to replace it in case something happens. I can get 6 free local television channels with an antenna. That is good enough for now. I shouldn’t be watching that much TV anyway. My biggest luxury will be high speed internet but if I re-sell some garage sale items on ebay I think the internet might pay for itself.

I would really like to get started on my plan but I am still waiting for my house to sell. But even if it doesn’t sell for another 2 years when the market is better, that isn’t very long to wait. I will only be 37 years old when I can semi-retire. That’s not bad at all.

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