Average daily cost of living. How do you measure up? Part one.

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Annissa Walking on Our Beach

What is the average daily cost of living?

How does your daily cost of living look? Why does it matter anyway?

The main reason to know what the daily cost of living is to beat it or hack it. Cost of living is a reference point for establishing a standard of living. The standard of living is a reference point for our quality of life. Let’s take a look.

First we need a frame of reference.

For our reference, we will use the good ole USA first let’s establish that this is a median cost of living for 2015. Source is The Economic Policy Institute Burea of Labor Statistics, American Community Survey and United States Department of Labor. To further break this down let’s profile three households. Single,couple and family of four.

The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a single adult with no children is $2,371. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $28,458. That breaks down to $79.96 per day.

The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a married couple with no children is $3,304. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $39,649.That breaks down to $108.62 per day and $54.31 per person per day.

The average monthly cost of living in the United States for a married couple with two children is $5,466. This adds up to an average annual cost of living of $65,597.This is $179.71 per day or $44.92 per person.

So what are the median cost?

Let’s break it down a little farther. Here are the categories. Child care, food, healthcare, housing, other necessities, taxes and transportation. So what are the median monthly costs in these categories for each household?

Single person: Childcare $0 Food $271 healthcare $273 housing $560 other necessities $401 taxes $372 and transportation $493.

Couple: Childcare $0 food $496 healthcare $546 housing $643 other necessities $550 taxes $434 and transportation $633.

Family of four: Childcare $1025 food $781 healthcare $832 housing $817 other necessities $772 taxes $600 and transportation $638.


How does the median wage fit into the overall income scale?

Upper Middle Class

Approximately 25.2% of the United States’ population lives in a upper middle class household or a household with an annual income between $75,000 and $150,000.

Right here median is 17.8% of Americans living in a household earning between $50,000 and $74.999

Lower Middle Class

The second most common household income level is lower middle class with approximately 23.7% of Americans living in a household earning an annual income between $25,000 and $50,000.

Whew! Ok still with me?

This is where it gets really interesting. How we all perceive this information. First off Median is the middle. That means about half of people are above this index and half are below it. Here is where perception comes in. We have cost of living and standard of living. But what about Quality of life?

Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies outlining negative and positive features of life. It observes life satisfaction including everything from physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, religious beliefs, free time, finance and the environment. QOL has a wide range of contexts including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. It is important not to mix up the concept of QOL with a more recent growing area of health-related QOL (HRQOL). An assessment of HRQOL is effectively an evaluation of QOL and its relationship with health.

Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income.

So here is where the hack comes in.

If you want to beat the average cost of living the way to do it is to find the crossover point between cost of living and quality of living. Find where your lowest cost of living is in relation to your quality of life. Generally speaking we can look at it as daily cost of living. We can compare finances to a point but only you can determine if you are happy with your life and what it costs to maintain it.
To determine your Cost Of Quality Of Life or (coqol) examine each of the levels of satisfaction in these categories physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, religious beliefs, free time, finance and the environment you live in. You can lower your cost in each area until you are at the crossover point where spending more will not increase the quality of your experience.

Remember this is very individual. This process is a journey. Enjoy it.

To be continued…


How to double your money overnight.





If you want to beat the system you have to play hardball. Our culture is one of consumption and material acquisition. We consume faster than we earn. Things are not making us happy. Things are causing us to constantly be in debt. Debt is making us miserable. Yet we continue to spend and live a life of debt and misery. The solution is simple. Saving not spending. Here is the rub. Making that your habit. Just as spending is a habit, one that is hard to break so is saving. One that takes an effort to start.

So let me give you some incentive. Would you like to double your money? Well here it is…for every dollar you stop spending on things and save you have saved two. So if you cut your expenses by $100. Cable bill for instance and put that $100 in savings you are $200 ahead. The $100 you are no longer spending and the $100 you are now saving.

Now that is some great incentive to change a habit in my opinion. How much money can you effectively save and double in your daily, weekly or monthly finances starting today? Saving is powerful. Saving is a way to get ahead in this system. If you stop spending  $4 a day 5 days a week on coffee for instance and save it instead you have not spent $20 and $20 saved you have $40 savings opportunity. That’s $160 a month and $2080. a year! In twenty years you have saved over $40k. Now that is not even counting investing and earning interest or dividends.

If you invest that same money you could easily double that money again! This is how people get wealthy. If you apply this principle to a payment that bears interest your savings is even bigger and more profound. A credit card balance is calculated to be paid back over 15 years. You will more than double your money if you pay that off and stop carrying a balance.

So you see just how easily spending or saving can exponentially swing your financial future from a life of debt and misery to one of freedom and choice.

Spend wisely my friends.

We cut our housing cost 1200% !





I know unbelievable!

We didn’t believe it either. We checked the numbers and it’s true.

After deciding to sell our home of almost 20 years in 2014 it finally sold in May of 2015 and in an instant we were mortgage free for life! We chose to never have a mortgage again. So we decided to build a new much smaller home for cash.

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2014-08-29 15:59:36Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com
Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2014-08-29 15:59:36Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

Building a home one 5th the size of our former home has some other benefits as well.

One we decided to move to the other side of the state from where we were. The climate is much different here. We don’t need air conditioning because this climate is much milder in the summer. It is also much milder in the winter which means less heating as well. So our utilities are a fraction of what we used to pay. As a bonus, we will be heating with wood, driftwood to be precise that we collect from the beach just down the path.

Currently we pay about one 10th of the utilities we were paying before because of the size of the house and the cold winters we had. Our property taxes are only a 4th of what we used to pay and the cost of insurance is one-third.

We are really enjoying our new lifestyle and the extremely low new cost of living that comes with it. As a result, we work less and have much more free time to explore our new beach community. As a side note we drive a lot less and our fuel cost and vehicles maintenance are greatly reduced. We even get a lower rate on our car insurance from where we used to live.

Our new home is much closer proximity to shopping than before so we save time and money usually going twice a month to Costco and Cash n Carry. They are much less expensive for groceries than regular retail grocery stores.

As we go along we continue to find more ways to cut cost like discontinuing our cable T.V. in favor of Netflix $70.00 savings peer month. Another thing is we cut our entertainment cost way back. We eat out less and have only been to a movie theater twice ($50 a pop ) in a year and a half.

We spent more time outside.

Instead of going to the mall (we don’t have one near us) We walk one the beach and hike the park trails. We did invest in some fishing and clamming licenses they give us double benefits. One we get more exercise walking out to the beach. Two we get to eat fresh fish and shellfish (clams and crabs) and freeze the extras for later.

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Our house is so small we don’t have room to just buy things so retail therapy is a thing of the past.

Our food waste is way down. We used to have a 25 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer. Food would get lost in it and spoil only to be thrown out. Now our much smaller unit only holds a fraction as much so we tend to buy less and eat more efficiently.

All in all we are really enjoying our new life of less.

Less cost.

Less waste.

Less upkeep.
What areas in your life have you been able to reduce?


Rat race refugees. What happened after we quit our jobs and retired early.

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Its been 6 years since we left the 9 to 5 rat race. It seems like a lifetime ago. But I remember what it was like when we first decided to stop the insanity.

NO more commute. It felt strange to get up and not have to leave the house each morning. Our fuel bill went way down. It was quiet and calm each morning at home.
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No alarm clock jolting us out of bed and dragging myself to the shower to get me going.

I felt like I was doing something wrong. For so many years I had to go to work. I wondered if I was making a mistake or felt guilty not going to work each day.

I think it took about two years to decompress from the daily grind. I slept a lot. I didn’t realize how sleep deprived I was until I didn’t have to get up everyday.
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I had a lot of anxiety. It did not feel right getting to stay home. I wondered if the bubble would burst and I would have to go back to the grind. I felt guilty if I pursued my interest and hobbies like I should be doing more productive things with my time. I think it was kind of a ptsd.

I had to retrain myself to relax and enjoy life without work. It was a blessing to get out at 48 years old. My goal was 50. About two years in I finally got that this was real and it was okay to get up and do whatever I wanted to including doing nothing.

I have been living in an R.V. by the beach now for over a year. We are slowly developing a new lot a five minute walk to the beach and building a small home (576 square feet) debt free.
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So what the heck do we do for money?!

Well it is a combination of online income from blogging, DIY products we sell on our other sites, ad revenue, affiliate commissions and coaching/consulting others.

Our cost of living is greatly diminished and dropping more and more. We have no car payments, credit cards or mortgage. Our current expenses are about 2k per month. That will drop by 45% in the next 18 months.
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We stay very busy. I don’t know how I had time to work 😉 We are very busy and the days fly by with our projects around the property and online ventures.

We live in paradise. We moved to the coast where the climate is Mediterranean Oceanic. It is a mild climate here cool summers don’t need an air conditioner and warmer winters. More like fall all winter with a few dips to the freezing point. You can listen to the sounds of the surf from the patio and out the window.

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The area is a vacation hotspot during the summer with lots of events and fun things to do. The is an outdoor lovers dream. Right out our front door is hiking, biking, camping, hunting, fishing, boating and more.images-17

We really are blessed to live here and be able to have the free time to enjoy it. The whole dream came true when we decided to get out of the rat race.images-18



Stop! You came here looking for something.I think you found it. ;)





Hey you just found what your looking for. Tiny houses,Right? No house payments.No mortgage. Cozy simple living, minimalism. Debt freedom,A way out of the rat race.Me to.Thats why I created this blog,To show you a way to get there. We did it! It works,Really 😉
IMG_1043Now were financially independent and building a small (576 square foot) cozy house by the pacific ocean.We found a nice 3/4 acre or so lot a 5 min walk down a private path to the beach.

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You probably think it was expensive but you’d be wrong 😉 lots around here start at around $8k.We paid more for ours but we wanted specific things.We can walk to town or ride a bike.

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We have privacy.A secret garden in effect.Well water was important as was a gravity septic.The big desire was private beach access.We are close enough to hear the surf in the yard or out the window at night.Enough space to create a food garden landscape on a lot about the size of a football field. This is an area that is quiet,safe and has a great climate year around.

Another great thing is the area is a vacation getaway
. There is always something to do. Events, festivals farmers markets and lots of outdoor activities.
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We have been here over a year now and really like it.There is lots to do Finnish the house,get the garden going,landscape the yard and enjoy the process.Getting up every day and getting to do what you are passionate about is a blessing.Some time I go for a walk on the beach or go fishing.Then I work on the house and in the yard.
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I usually make myself a cup of coffee first thing then let Rocky our chihuahua out while I check the hen house for eggs.I’ll come back in the R.V. for breakfast.images-14

After that we decide what to do for the day.Well thats all for now I am installing plumbing in the house today so I better get at it ;).



Welcome to the new site. Live the life you want to live.

beach cottage



Well I finally did it! I pulled the blog out of the free WordPress site and it is now a free standing blog!

I started this blog in 2010 to talk about tiny houses. A lot has happened in the last 6 years.

First off my wife and I have quit our jobs and become financially independent in our 40’s. We also sold our 3000 square foot house of 20 years and moved to the other side of the state to live on the beach. We downsized to a 300 square foot RV for the last year.

We are currently building a house the size of a two car garage.

We are mortgage free!

But enough about us.

I want to talk about you.

I created this blog for you.

This blog is to help you get where you want to be. Debt free and able to live the life you want to live. I will help you get there.

This blog is about debt freedom and financial freedom. Down sizing and living within your means. I will talk about how to get there. What to do to make the income to get there, how to save money and if you want to get there fast then extreme measures to make it happen fast. This is all about freedom and choice.

So I pulled this blog out so I can have the tools to help you get there fast.

I’m excited to be with you on this journey. I can’t wait to see your results .

What will you do when you are free to do what ever you want?

Let me know in the comments and be sure to subscribe so we can stay in touch.

Kevin

Live below your means.





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This pretty much sums it up. If you live like your broke you can and will become rich. If you make material acquisition /wealth your aim your life will only be funded by debt. If you stop spending now you will be able to have whatever you want later.