Posted in Musing & Stories

Moving! Pt 3- Hypothetical Homesteading

How can we plan for retirement with very little savings; and get our homestead sooner?

SO HERE’S THE GRAND PLAN {HA! as if those ever worked out…}

Also! “How we saved the Down Payment in two years”

  • Vibrant Rose
    Almost time to plant!

    $75k Budget for HOMESTEAD over 18-24 months.

  1. Spring 2019
  2. $5-6k- Used truck
  3. $27-33k- Raw Land- (+/- 2 acres)
  4. July/August
  5. $8k- Used Travel Trailer
  6. MOVE onto land
  7. $500/mo. Savings!!
  8. Autumn ’19
  9. $2-3k- DIY Shed, Generator, Wood stove, Livestock/Garden prep.
  10. Spring/Summer 2020
  11. $10k- Well/septic/block foundation/electric hook up/permits etc.
  12. Autumn 2020
  13. $12-18k- Used Single wide MH 3bd/2bth {actually bigger than what I have now!}

After extensive research: we nixed the notion of a Pre-fab cabin, yurt

viewfromthetruck falltrees-jsm

or modular kit as a year-round residence. A tiny house under 400sf would suck long term. We lived 2 yrs on the truck… just ask me anything about teeeeny living... O.o

Prefab Kit builds over 600sf: Adding any electrical, plumbing, etc. is pricey. Though we’re still considering a tiny ‘something’ as a guest room or AirBnB, but not for a couple years.

Manufactured Homes: Why yes! I have spent weeks researching every tidbit. Craigslist. LandWatch. AutoTrader and RVTrader. Finally, we found one used MH dealer Homenation.com (by state). ALSO Factory Direct.

 

A pot of turkey hash feeds a big family.

Land Loans {and/or rolled into a  ‘Land/Home’ next year}: Most require 20% down payment. Pre-Approved is not the same as Pre-Qualified. 

  • HOW WE SAVED THE MONEY:
  • Baseline figures: 20% x $33,000=$6,600.
  • Down payment:
    • [1 year: $132.00 x 50 weeks]
    • [2 years: $66.00 x 100 weeks]
  • OUR 2 year method: $50 weekly; [Feb. 2017-2019]
    • then added: bonuses, overtime, tax returns.
  • Top money saving tips:
    • Write out a budget. Say “no more stuff.” Repeat often.
    • Secondhand only, DIY or do without.
    • Plan less trips to the store. Plan meals around sales.
    • Get a side gig. Use your skills.
      • Upwork, Thumbtack or Taskrabbit
      • Or find free courses to learn new skills.
      • [I walk dogs and Mturk in between writing & merch]

OUR #1 prerequisite for all of this — It all must be paid for in 8 years. Hubby retires in 10. Thus why we’re doing this in increments, and saving additional money by holding over this winter [and budgeted for] a travel trailer.

Other considerations: Grid-tied for health reasons. Yet enough land to sustain a simple, back-to-basics lifestyle. Close to our jobs. Close to daughter’s family AND close to my Dad. Must have trees and a good stretch between neighbors. 😀

Frugal now; peace of mind later, Friends and Confidantes – Grandma Auburn

#homesteading #retirement #budget #truckerswife
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Posted in Musing & Stories

Saving Money to Move (with totals) and More Nostalgia

wooden house on a forest
Photo by Mateas Petru on Pexels.com

Moving & Saving: Part 2 – In the 70’s there was a gas shortage in the U.S.  “The line is around the corner.” Mom said to Dad as we three sisters sat quiet, unbelted in the back seat of forest green Dodge Dart. (Back then, if you needed belted, Dad would do it. HA!)

Though the folks both worked, we also stood in line for butter and  cheese in the early 80’s. Mom was creative in many ways, but not so in the kitchen. The staples were boiled potatoes, gravy made from the grease of the meat she fried well every time, and fresh or canned veggies. (depending on the season) As far as spices, we were true Hoosiers; salt, pepper and ketchup. 😉 We camped and fished. Wandered the woods. Dad taught us to till the ground and care for plants. Taught me to drive at 14… an old blue Chevy half ton, with a load of fresh cut firewood in the bed. 

—Some time later, my husband and I taught our daughter to appreciate country life, too. But we’ve missed it for over a decade. Now, after clawing through 5 rough years, we have a sense of direction and a time frame. 

business-money-pink-coins-e1552981107487.jpg
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

-> Finally, a homestead!! 10 months to a year away hopefully.   (and 10ish years until retirement.) As the budget gets tighter, I’m researching economical Prefab home kits under $35K here.

Money Saving Totals:  These are some examples of consistently cutting back, in the past 80 days–

  • $24/mo. Husband found a shorter route to work.
  • $12/mo. I’m making all DIY household cleaners.
  • $78/mo. Groceries/Eating out: Cut our trips in half. Found closer places. Continue to use coupons & sales ads. Used GoodRx app at Kroger.
  • $20/mo. Stock Up: on frozen veggies- which we seem to eat more and waste less than fresh or canned.
  • $40/mo. Fewer Gifts- giving & receiving: With extended family, we are pitching in to give gifts that are longer-lasting, durable and functional. We’ve asked for restaurant gift cards in return. (b/c we don’t need more ‘stuff’)
  • $40/mo. General Purchases: Secondhand store first. (clothes, office chair) Spending freeze on Amazon & home improvement stores.
  • $12/mo. Utility bills: We light & heat the room, not the house. Smaller lamps.  Shorter showers. Unplugged cords not in use. Lightweight laundry dries flat or in front of the heater.
  • TOTAL $226.00/mo. additional savings so far this year. Not too shabby!
  • Mindset & Replacing Old Habits: Enjoying free or cheap activities together-  Crafts, games, books and movies we already bought. Take walks around the neighborhood.  We hold planks together on the living room floor.  We’re also trying new cooking styles & spices. He helps wash dishes and cooks on Sundays.
  • Things we decided NOT to do… to save money: Didn’t pick up gym memberships in January. Didn’t buy state park passes. No bikes, appliances or fancy boots. Decided not to get cable TV or buy a new recliner. No vehicle loans, but maintained the 2 that we own.

It’s encouraging to see that incremental numbers DO add up over time. Saving 3 bucks a week doesn’t seem like much by itself. But get a little momentum going and it becomes $2500+ a year toward debt, retirement, or a replacement transmission sometime down the road.  (HA!)  –Have patience and be thrifty, Friends and Confidantes -Gma Auburn

Posted in Musing & Stories

Moving: Housing Hunt on a Budget

Moving Part 1 – Is a prefab home kit an option?

What have I been up to? Planning a MOVE! My husband and I have decided to move further out into the country. {but still near family.} We are tightening our 2019 budget even further. {some saving examples here} It all started with a campfire… or lack thereof. And what we thought we wanted, we didn’t. 

We thought we wanted to travel. Buy an RV. Have a campsite as homebase while he still drove day routes part-time through a temp service. Live a bit nomadic before we got too many ailments. However, I believe this was a passing phase due to living on the truck for 2 years; then renting a place with no yard but a ream full of rules.  Now that the wanderlust has abated-  What replaced it was the simple, silly {yet pervasive} notion that we need to have a campfire out our back door… and land to forage and garden as we had in the past. So we started to research  -30-

pexels-photo-145685.jpeg
Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

Affordable housing options under $35K and up to 600 sq ft. 

On our quick price guide and list of Prefab Home Kit Companies: Cabins, Containers, Cottages, and YURTS- DIY Oh my!  

SQUARE FOOTAGE & PRICE RANGES by Kit Type

  • $24K-$35K   Tiny home on wheels, partially finished +/- 192 sq ft
  • $11K-$22K   Cabin Kits- 4 season, various sizes: 320, 420, 560, and 600 sq ft
  • $10K-$18K   Yurts- including some upgrades:  Larger sizes $25K-$29K
    •  Yurts –  Sizes include: 16/20/24/26/30/39 ft diameter, 7+ ft tall
  • $7K-$27K    Container homes: 1/2/3 br., 20, 30 and 40 ft. (160-600 sq ft)
    •  Containers – Studio or Expandable, Easy set-up, MANY features included.
  • $5K-$15K     Cottage/Cabin- “shell only” Kits  250-600 sq. ft
  • $Free-$3K  +/- shipping and DIY assembly help (If needed) Shipping area, price per mile and down payment can vary for each company. Building/zoning codes can vary also. 
  • Weeks to Complete: Differs greatly by kit style, etc +/-  2 to 10 weeks
  • Upgrades can include: Customized floor plans,
  • Insulation/moisture barriers and roof material.
  • Windows/doors, plumbing, electrical, solar.
  • Finished/pre-installed: cabinets, light fixtures, sinks, wood stain.
  • Optional features for handicapped and elderly.
  • Other possibilities: wood stove, compost toilet, porch and loft. {or turn-key!}

8 companies making prefab and a alternative house kits across the US. Most offer upgrades, have clearance sales, online price lists and finance options.

These kits are both durable and adorable!  Choose your own build, order online. My husband likes the containers, while I’m fond of the 4 season cabins. What’s your preference and why? Thanks for stopping by today. Be well. Be frugal.  – Gma Auburn

Posted in Musing & Stories

Quick Recipe: Cherry Muffins

muffin ingredients

Warm Cherry Muffins – Makes 2 Dozen

Quick Recipe: Total time: 30 min.

  • Ingredients: Boxed cake mix: 16.25 oz. + Canned cherry pie filling: 21 oz. + 2 Eggs.
  • Preheat oven: 350F
  • Generously grease muffin tins.
  • In a large mixing bowl: Combine Cake mix and Pie filling.
  • Whisk until pink batter forms 🙂
  • Add Eggs:  2 lightly beaten.
  • Mix well until eggs are fully incorporated.
  • Spoon into muffin tins: 1/3 full (Roughly 1 heaping Tablespoon.)
  • Bake middle rack 10-12 minutes.
  • Insert toothpick to test for done. Remove from oven.
  • Allow muffins rest in the tins for 5 minutes before…
  • transferring to wax paper, rack or plate.
  • Let them cool 5 more minutes before serving.
  • Moist! Not crumbly. Travels well in lunches.
  • I hope your family enjoys these colorful, tasty bites!#kidfriendlyrecipe #simplerecipe #frugalrecipes

     

Posted in Musing & Stories

Writing, Baking and Free Shipping

2 days only- Free Shipping Code Below!– Storewide (Save on early  Holiday gifts, too!U.S. only Ends Friday [10/19/18]

Sizes up to 3XL -flowy women’s style.

Free Shipping CODE: SPOOKY18   **Please allow additional 9 – 16 business days for standard shipping. Expedited or Rush shipping may be available depending upon the product(s) selected and the destination. 

Ends soon! – US only. Free Shipping- Click or enter CODE: SPOOKY18 – Tapestries, Phone Cases. Gifts for Teens & Grandparents!

Thank you so much for browsing Grandma Auburn’s Emporium. #earlychristmasshopping

WRITING NEWS: We lost internet 2 weeks ago Monday, for 5 days at the SAME time hubby’s work car broke down. So he’s been taking my van. OMG no wifi 😦 –  no wheels…. So There’s 15 blog post drafts to upload here.  The creativity has been growing and flowing steadily.

AND I WROTE A COOKBOOK!!   In 5 day’s time, I cranked out the first draft and typeset some of the 2nd. [Writer’s confession: this has been 30 years in the making. But that’s a story saved for another time.]

Spectrum fixed the wifi (mostly)! YAY! The draft-writing continues. 

Updates here as the  Oven-based, Winter Cookbook progresses. I’m starting to upload Free recipes here a few times weekly- for the cook in your house! My daughter helping in several ways, including baking, research and designing the COVER.

Thanks for reading this far  Find a Free Recipe HERE! Roast Acorn Squash- with variations.

If you’re looking to spend less time shopping, lower grocery bills this winter, and serve picky kids more wholesome, home-baked meals–  I’d like to help make your busy life a little easier  – Grandma Auburn