Rent or a Mortgage
We can't get out of this one unless we have a family member willing to let us stay for free. Since that doesn't happen very often, we're forced to either pay rent or a mortgage. This is a fixed expense. However, we can limit how much we spend on our housing.
I try not to spend more than one week's salary on housing. If the salary is too low to allow for that, I choose the cheapest apartment I can find in a safe area. Typically, that's no more than $550.
We need it for running our computers, phones, lights, stoves, coffee makers and a whole host of other appliances. This is also a fixed expense, but the monthly amount often varies. To keep electricity costs at a minimum, open the windows, keep the lights off during the day.
If you work, turn the A/C or heat to a higher or lower setting while you are gone. Typically, I turn my A/C to 80 in the summer and my heat to 65 in the winter. It doesn't matter how cold or hot it is in my apartment if I'm not there.
We need a phone to take and receive calls and communicate with friends, family, coworkers, and potential employers. Most of us own cell phones that never leave our sides. In 2005, I moved into my first apartment. I had a cell phone. I never activated a land line. It was an expense I couldn't afford and couldn't justify. The only reason I'd ever need a land line is if I had to do a lot of faxes at home.
We need the internet for a lot of the same reasons we need the phone; to apply for jobs, to communicate with friends and family, to research, and to keep up on current events and happenings in the world. I also use mine to watch TV and movies. I purchased the minimum plan from my internet provider.
The United States doesn't have a good mass transit system in place outside of most major metropolitan areas. This means that we need cars. Cars come with semi-hidden expenses such as gas, insurance and maintenance costs. I purchased a used car in 2001 for $1000.
For the past 10 years I haven't had a car payment and my maintenance and gas per month doesn't equal a car payment. I spend on average a thousand dollars a year in oil changes and car repairs. About every three years that increases to $2000, but it's still not a car payment. Over the last 10 years, I've saved a minimum of $20,000 by not having a car payment.
I try to keep my living expenses at a minimum. I try not to pay more than $550 for an apartment. I try to make sure that my electricity is no more than $100 a month. I don't have a car payment. I don't have a landline phone. I purchase minimum speed internet connections, and I don't change regardless of how much my job pays.
If I'm making more money than I need, I save more or I get more massages and facials, but if I'm at a low paying job, I'm not worried about where my next meal is coming from. The trick is to always be prepared for the worst and to always keep living expenses at an affordable minimum.
Stacey Carroll is the author of the thriller series - Avia. She also authors the paranormal erotica series - The Blooddoll Factory. Stacey grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. she went to college at Indiana State University (ISU) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in aerospace in the professional pilot program. She has flown Cessna 152s, Cessna 172s, the Pipe Seneca and the King Air. She also graduated with a minor in computer science that specialized in web design.
She has always been interested in reading and writing, and the first book she was ever read was the Grimms Brother's Fairy tales. From the ages of 6 to 11, she read the Nancy Drew series. By the age of 11, she had graduated to Stephen King novels. A few of her favorites include Carrie, Tommyknockers, The Dark Tower Series up to book 3 (That's where it stopped in the late 80s/ early 90s), Pet Semetary, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand, It, Cujo, Christine, The Eyes of the Dragon and Thinner (Richard Bachman). In her teen years, she moved on to Anne Rice and got through about four of those books before they degraded. If you've ever read Anne Rice, you know book 5 isn't readable. Stacey has read a couple Harry Potter books as she was introduced to them in the early 2000s, and she's never read or watched anything Twilight or 50 Shades. Sorry. I'm a vampire purist, and nothing needs to be said about the latter. You already know.
She is currently an author and freelance writer. She received an honorable mention in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in 2008 for a short story entitled The Field. In 2014, she was published in 13 Stories by Us by MacKenzie Publishing.
Other books by Stacey