Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How Low Can the Budget Go?

Minimum Budget
Car reg. ($23) and ins. ($352.52):  $31.00
Gas:  $60.00 (only one trip to visit the parents a month)
Electric: $60.00  (As little air conditioning as possible!)
Trash ($15 per trip):  $7.50 (1 dump trip every other month)
Internet:  $45.00
Cell phone:  $30.00 (This could be lower)
Gifts:  $20.00 (Everyone will be getting painted rock paperweights...hahaha)
Mobile home prop. Tax.:  $9.00
Land property tax:  $78.00
Food:  $80.00 (I'd have to get really creative)
AAA:  $4.00 (For when my truck dies because I don't have money for maintenance!)
Health insurance:  $61.00 (Probably $0 if I qualified for Medicaid)
HSA contribution: $20.00 (See above)
Life Insurance:  $11.00 (This isn't really necessary)
Dogs:  $80.00  (This is totally necessary!)
water (2 gallons):  $0.50 (Building a solar distiller would be on my to-do list)
Netflix:  $8.00 
Total:  $605.00
I know, I know, no one can live on this tiny budget but that's not the point here.  The point is that I am trying to lower my expenses enough so that my rental income covers my very basic expenses.  I re-work my budget every few months and I have finally done it.  Well, almost.  My rental income is $604 after management fees, taxes and insurance, HOA fees and $50 for my maintenance fund.  My expenses are $605.  Only $1 over!  I suppose I could save $49 for the maintenance fund and make it come out even.

Anyway, this budget assumes that I am living on my property, notice there is no money for sewer, water (only 50 cents for drinking water), natural gas and trash is "per trip" as in, I am taking it to the dump myself.  There is also no category for emergency fund replenishment which is very important.  No car fund, home maintenance, dental, travel, etc...  All of those things will come from either a part time job or other investments, like, if I pay off the mortgage on my current house and then sell it and invest the money.  My rough estimate consists of selling my house for $150k after taxes and fees (current Zillow estimate is at $151k) and then taking a 6% withdrawal per year which comes to $750 a month.  That would be nice!  $750 plus $604 rental income = $1,354.  I could live on that and save some too.  If housing prices keep rising I might consider selling my rental house too.  Current Zillow estimate for the rental house is $114K.  I bought it for $131K. 

That still leaves the question of what I will live in.  Now that the RV is sold it is out of the picture.  Fix up the mobile home, buy a nicer mobile home, or keep saving until I can build something.  One of the guys who tore down my garage owns a mobile home park.  He said that he often buys cheap park model homes from snowbirds.  I told him to let me know if he finds a nice one that isn't too old.  In the meantime, I will continue to clean out the mobile home and fix it up enough so that it is clean, weather tight, and the bathroom functions.  I will probably only work on it once a month so I won't have time for any big projects.  My next repair involves somehow covering the opening for the water heater closet which opens to the outside.  The wind blew the door off last week and it is supposed to rain on Friday so I'll have to go out there after work tomorrow.  It gets dark by 6pm now so I will only have 30 minutes to nail up some plastic sheeting or paneling, whatever I can find.

That's my current plan.  I'm sure it will change tomorrow.  Oh, and let's not forget my plan to buy a conversion van and drive around the country with my dogs.  That is still an option!


Dave said...

While it is fascinating that you can keep your expenses low, I think you should include the many items you mentioned to make it more realistic. And shouldn't you keep the rental property becasue it is providing a passive income flow, one you rely on should you retire or semi-retire at some point?

Be sure to let us know if Daizy's DoggieMobile is coming to New York one day LOL!

Daizy said...

Ah, yes, I have another budget for the other things. In fact, I have many scenarios. This is the first step and then I will work towards affording the others. I guess the rental house will depend on how much of a headache it is over the next 4 years. This year has been pretty good...well, since May anyway. Ok,I take that back, the last 6 months have been pretty good.