It is never easy telling people how much you make and owe, especially when you do not make much to begin with. I have many readers who are curious about my income, and rightfully so. I am, after all, trying to help people to live a frugal life. Some of you will make less than me, some more.
Keep in mind that I had surgery in 2010. I did not make much money that year due to extreme medical issues, and was out of work (mostly) for six months last year. So, I am working to pay off debt, as well as to live.
My circumstances are as such:
I rent a room, sharing a bathroom with a neighbor. $480.00 per month.
I have no phone hookup, using a StraightTalk cell phone instead. Just under $50.00 per month.
I receive no financial aid.
I have a few thousand dollars in debt to pay off.
If my landlord does not hook up wireless, I will likely purchase mifi for the writing business. I am hoping for the wireless. He is considering it.
If my landlord decides to open up the kitchen to all of us, I will be able to save money on food.
I have two jobs:
I work at an inn, where I perform a variety of housekeeping duties. The hours are not as good this time of year as they are during the summer and autumn months. I do receive tips, sometimes. There is no guarantee of tips, and we often receive none. It is the luck of the draw. At this job, I earn $8.49 and hour… not enough to live on considering the hours this time of year. I go without a lot. The tips are usually used for food. So far this year my tips have totaled $103.69, a bag of chips and some war heads. Yup.
I do get to bring home items left in rooms, most of which is held for at least 30 days in the lost and found in case the owner wants to claim them. Food items I bring home.
LOL… I am not earning a great deal at this right now due to the lack of wireless. But I will begin earning more when I have access here at home. I work most days the library is open, and am usually too tired when I get home to walk all the way to the library, work there for only a couple of hours, then walk all the way home again. I am usually at the library all day on my days off.
Do I ever treat myself? Yes. Tuesdays are free bread stick days at Pat’s pizza. I spend about $12.00 to eat there when I go, including the tip. And OHOP has the best steak and cheese subs ever. $10.00 including tip. I am also checking out the surroundings here in Orono, as I just moved here a few months ago. I have gone to a couple of other restaurants. One I took my daughter to. She will be treating me to lunch at some point here, at one of the two cafes that she wants me to try. It is nice to have a treat sometimes.
As far as purchases, I have treated myself to some Avon products. Gales granddaughter, a high school student, has begun selling this line. I try to get things that are discounted. We all need a little pampering sometimes, especially when we work such physically demanding jobs. I do not go overboard on what I purchase. I also purchased 4 binder sets from LTD. These binders are holding my DVD’s (all purchased at discount prices or given to me). My room is too small for all those cases.
If I must purchase something, I try to look for deals.
I will be better set up for next winter, money wise. I will also have a good stock of the needed (basic) personal hygiene supplies and what little I need for cleaning supplies. I began working at the inn in late August, so didn’t have the chance to stock up on necessities before the slow months at work. Working from January on this year will provide me with a good full season at work to prepare for the leaner winter months next year.
It will also provide me the opportunity to make a good dent in paying off the debt that I acquired the last couple of years… I am actually impressed that I didn’t acquire the debt until I was in my late 30′s :-). I have no intention of keeping it.
So, there you have it. I don;t make much. I owe less than most people I know. I am getting back on track. And, I am happy where I am for now. How about you? Have you assessed your income and expenses lately? Are you on track with your goals?