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SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
8/4/13 12:37 p.m.

I'm jealous.

You obviously have a computer (in order to post here). How do you handle that "off-grid"?

I could go back and re-read, but it is easier to ask.

PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
8/4/13 12:42 p.m.

Right now we just have smart phones. We're not off grid yet but we're finally in a place we can start working towards that ultimate goal.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
8/4/13 12:47 p.m.

I'm gonna re-read this thread again (3rd time).

aussiesmg
aussiesmg UltimaDork
8/4/13 3:14 p.m.

Well done man. Mongo should find this house easier to get to.

drainoil
drainoil Reader
8/4/13 3:26 p.m.

I have thought about going off grid so to speak. As I get older and considering our delicate economy, I'm realizing that throwing tons of money into a house and mortgage payment is not the wisest move, at least for me. So for housing I really think one of the best ways to be mortgage free at a younger age than going the traditional 30 year route, is a mobile or manufactured home. Not renting in a "trailer park", but buying your own chunk of land wherever you want or can, and plop down your place. Depending on your geographical location, you could just put in on blocks, set it on a poured slab, or double your square footage and have a full basement poured. I know of a guy who bought an old late 70s "mobile" home and rebuilt it as he could afford. He is not a skilled trademan, just a DIY'er who learned most of his knowledge from the internet. He re-wired, re-plumbed his place, new (to him) cabinetry and flooring. Most everything in his place is 2nd hand but he payed cash for most of it, including the purchase price of the trailer itself. I think he took a loan for the land and the excavation and basement. A small monthly payment is all he has to pay and its a nice place.

Now getting something of that vintage is somewhat iffy even in my book as the build quality back then was not very good even when new. But as with old cars, they offer a somewhat vintage unique appearance vs newer models. I've found you can buy brand new or newer "manufactured" homes for under 40-50K at least here in the midwest. It all depends on what you want.

Although mobile or manufactured homes typically don't retain nearly as much value as a traditional stick built home, they still allow you in many cases to live decently without the higher costs of "regular" housing. The land on which your home sits likely will be your real investment.

Or you could get lucky and find a neat old farmhouse or login cabin type place out in the woods or country with some land for a great price. That would be cool to. The only think that keeps me from going too far out is commute time to work and unstable gas prices.

Small/downsized house and payments equal a happier life imo. So long mcmansions, hello financial independence.

Some ideas I've been looking at myself:

http://pinterest.com/owlbecrystal/trailer-chic-mobile-home-kitsch/

PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
8/4/13 3:55 p.m.
aussiesmg wrote: Well done man. Mongo should find this house easier to get to.

Mongo could easily chill in the yard now, though getting him out could present some challenges.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Dork
8/4/13 4:13 p.m.

Can't get through the whole thread- invest in the wife's education. $10k will get her or you(!) an RN degree in two years, with generally about $50k/year (40-60k nationwide) in income, which is twice what you're earning together right now. This is the best deal in education right now, I think, and will pay for itself in 3 months. Ridiculous return on investment. Then all this starts to become little problems instead of big. If you were able to get a govt job with pension, another cash cow forever. I'm beginning to really appreciate the idea of my military retirement.

PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
3/9/14 6:14 p.m.

Tomorrow starts my last week of on-site work. Got super lucky in that I have an awesome boss who's going to let me take a bit of the job home so I can still make some scratch and hopefully bring the wife stay at home too.

After this week the true crazy begins.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
3/9/14 7:50 p.m.

this is of interest to me not because of any philosophical difference, just because I really don't like paying bills.

PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
3/20/14 10:51 a.m.

OK, I'm officially stay at home now! So where do we go from here?

First, a fresh batch of hens so we can get our fresh egg on:

 photo DSCF6351.jpg

Aside from the new chicks, we have two hens that are about a year old. Found this earlier this morning:

 photo DSCF6353.jpg

With the addition of the chicks we'll have more chickens than coop space so one of the first orders of business is getting a coop built. Despite my complete and utter lack of handyman skills I'd rather try to build one myself than shell out the $500+ for a nice pre-built coop. Who knows, if I can make something that doesn't fall apart in a light breeze and doesn't look like it was built by drunken orangutangs I may even try building them to sell.

Last year we planted a 40'X60' garden on a whim, threw a bunch of seeds at it, and waited for something to happen. Gardening is another subject that's totally new to me. Despite our noobness, we ended up with several hundred pounds of vegetables. The plan this year is to triple the space and try our hands at selling some of the overage at the local farmers market.

The 1 acre yard:

 photo DSCF6352.jpg

As for reliable money, the wife still works and makes more than enough to support our very modest bills (currently we need about $1200 a month to make ends meet for us and our two kids).

On my end, my employer has been extremely generous and is letting me do outside sales, a new position in our small company. Mostly this means selling product on ebay. You can check out my current inventory of nerd stuff here:

http://stores.ebay.com/dog-star-collectibles

(if shilling my wares is against the rules I can totes delete the link)

It's small now but should only get bigger from here. The ultimate goal is to make enough this way to bring my wife home too.

There's plenty more plans in the works too: Composting, parting out cars, flipping videogames, and generally working to lower our bills. I've just gotta see what works and take it from there.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
3/20/14 11:09 a.m.
spitfirebill wrote:
PubBurgers wrote: Damn credit cards. I paid the first one off completely a few weeks back, to my surprise i get a bill in the mail today for $3.12 for the interest that had accrued before i paid it off.
I recently paid off a credit card and got a bill the next month for less than one dollar for the same. I wonder what is cost them to collect that money?

I did that and they added $4 to the account but never sent me anything about it until collections started calling 2 years later. berkeley Capitol One is all I have to say.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
3/20/14 12:00 p.m.

In reply to PubBurgers:

Congrats!

Your handyman skills will increase out of necessity. I'm pretty sure I've seen chicken coop plans online. After reading one of these threads, I bought a book about homesteading that had some basic plans. It had a lot of good "get you started" info.

yamaha wrote: I did that and they added $4 to the account but never sent me anything about it until collections started calling 2 years later. berkeley Capitol One is all I have to say.

Yeah, it's the accrued interest on the "average daily balance". The way to get around that (or at least minimise it) is to pay off the card as soon as the billing cycle ends, rather than when the bill is due, which is typically 20+ days into the next billing cycle and 20+ days of accrued daily interest. Of course, this easiest if everything is done online.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte Dork
3/20/14 12:24 p.m.

In reply to PubBurgers:Way to go! Truly inspiring. An observation if I may, the chicken coop needs to keep predators out as much as chickens in. Carry on my good man and please keep us updated

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
3/20/14 2:15 p.m.

In reply to PubBurgers:

Can you send contact info to me via a board message when you see this? It appears your old email address is DOA.

crankwalk
crankwalk HalfDork
3/20/14 2:23 p.m.
Ian F wrote: Yeah, it's the accrued interest on the "average daily balance". The way to get around that (or at least minimise it) is to pay off the card as soon as the billing cycle ends, rather than when the bill is due, which is typically 20+ days into the next billing cycle and 20+ days of accrued daily interest. Of course, this easiest if everything is done online.

Let me comment on the credit card bill for $4. It's a GOOD thing from the banks. Rather than charge you interest for the whole month ahead of time they just bill it daily. Would you rather not have a second bill but pay more money? It's very fair and not everything banks di is evil or just benefitting the company.

PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
3/20/14 2:29 p.m.
eastsidemav wrote: In reply to PubBurgers: Can you send contact info to me via a board message when you see this? It appears your old email address is DOA.

Message sent! I've really gotta update that email address.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav Dork
3/20/14 2:40 p.m.
PubBurgers wrote:
eastsidemav wrote: In reply to PubBurgers: Can you send contact info to me via a board message when you see this? It appears your old email address is DOA.
Message sent! I've really gotta update that email address.

Email sent, thanks!

PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
4/8/14 4:47 p.m.

Got our first section of garden tilled up on Sunday. This patch is about 40'X60'. Once I'm done being sore from that we're going to do two more: one for pumpkins and one for wheat. So far we've only planted onions, lettuce, asparagus, rhubarb, and spinach. There will be much more in the coming months.

 photo DSCF6367.jpg

Also got some tomatoes and peppers started inside. The tomatoes definitely have the early lead here.

 photo DSCF6368.jpg

The ebay and amazon stores are coming along nicely, hoping my take home will be about $600 a month by the end of summer. We're also hoping to cut some bills in the near future. I'm thinking I'll drop my $42 a month phone service this month since I'm in wi-fi range 99% of the time and can use a free app for text and voice service instead. I'll be keeping a $10 tracfone in the car just in case though.

A bit harder will be quitting smoking (again). The wife and I both smoke about 1/2 a pack a day and are going to attempt quitting later this month.

The only near future hiccup is that I'm in need of hernia surgery (also again). After how terrible the first one went I can't help but be a little nervous.

dculberson
dculberson UltraDork
4/8/14 6:09 p.m.

How did I miss this thread? Super cool. But yes, QUIT SMOKIN' YA DOPES! :-)

If you have video games in stock let me know. I eventually need an Asteroids cabinet. (Not Deluxe, original only please)

Are you still in Ohio?

PubBurgers
PubBurgers Dork
4/8/14 6:19 p.m.

Still in Ohio, I'm a little farther south in Middletown now. We don't do arcade games but do operate a retail location that deals with everything from NES to current generation games and consoles.

I can definitely do GRM discounts on most of the stuff I carry.

PubBurgers
PubBurgers SuperDork
11/2/14 3:03 p.m.

Back from the dead!

So we got some rabbits a few months back. We've offed three for (super tasty) meat so far. Unfortunately we also lost five to some random predator(s). We've got four young ones left. We'll probably kill three for meat once they're a little bigger and keep a female for breeding purposes.

The other project I'm just getting started is this:

 photo DSCF6701.jpg

I'm going to try some indoor gardening this winter. Hydroponics yo! I'll be trying to get this up and running this week.

Kia_Racer
Kia_Racer Dork
11/2/14 4:34 p.m.

How did the coop come out? I am very jelly!

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
11/2/14 6:10 p.m.

hydroponics...did someone say hydroponics?

skierd
skierd SuperDork
11/2/14 11:41 p.m.

Kick ass progress PubBurgers!

I'm sure you've run across the magazines by now, but Mother Earth News tends to have a lot of good articles on living off or off-ish grid for less with DIY articles and success stories too.

I've been working hard this year to break the old spending habits and get rid of the credit cards we have left. We paid off the easy small cards first (couple store cards with about $500 and my Paypal Buyer credit with about $1500). We each have one last major card, mine has $7k hers $5k. We're hoping to be fully out of CC debt by next summer. I'd like to get to the point where once we have kids one of us could stay home or work a flexible enough schedule that we both get to spend time with the little ones.

PubBurgers
PubBurgers SuperDork
11/3/14 10:47 a.m.

In reply to Kia_Racer:

We never got around to meat birds this year so we just let the hens free range and locked them up at night in the coop we had. So we'll give a new coop a whirl next year instead:

Got the holes cut in the PVC:

 photo DSCF6702.jpg

Gonna have to widen them a bit though:

 photo DSCF6703.jpg

Luckily SWMBO had already collected some supplies a couple of years ago that she never got around to using:

 photo DSCF6704.jpg

Future dinner:

 photo DSCF6705.jpg

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