Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm a host for parasites.

We've been tracking every shekel we've spent for the past few months. It's shown us where our money is going, but unfortunately hasn't shown us many areas where we can cut back. It's also illustrated how much of my adult life has been devoted to making money for other people. As a host for parasites. I'm developing a strange desire to stop "feeding the beast", to become one of society's parasites myself. (In my daydreams, I canoe back to civilization only occasionally, to collect my welfare checks and to see if there's anything good in the dumpsters.)

These are our biggest expenses, in descending order:

mortgage (which is entirely refinanced divorce debt)
child support
vehicle maintenance and fuel

Like I said, not a lot of places to cut back, at least not without going to jail. 

Obama's curious plan to spend our way out of debt means taxes sure aren't going down, at least not for productive citizens.

There are 8 years left on the mortgage.

At least three more years of child support.

Our vehicles are old and should be replaced. That would reduce maintenance costs, but of course the savings would be more than offset by the purchase prices and higher registration taxes. 

That leaves food. Fortunately I had the sense (okay, dumb luck) to throw in with a supermodel who has a genius for frugal shopping and performing miracles in the kitchen. So life could be worse. We already enjoy foraging as a family, and I'm planning an exceptionally large garden for the coming season. And I swear I won't neglect our fruit trees this year. 

And organic, free-range fish grow in our front yard.


Cheesebeast said...

One budget item I didn't see you list is your daily ration of demon rum.

To whit: have you considered making your own wine?

I had made beer in the past but never tried my hand at wine until recently. The cost savings (you must amortize the cost of equipment in to the end cost) is attractive. You can get started out in good fashion for less than $200.00. This includes your first batch of wine.

This sounds like a lot of bread for what could be lousy wine, but consider that you get (in theory- your yield will vary depending upon your batch/level of incompetence) approximately 6 gallons of wine. This equates to about 30 bottles or so.

The next batch will cost you less than $100.00 for supplies, and the end product will surprise you. You will not rival an expensive wine in quality, but you can produce a very drinkable table wine. For less than $3.00 a bottle!

This is comparable to the cost of table wines that are available in Europe. In one place in Italy I recall filling up plastic bottles with bulk wine at an enoteca. Cheap and easy- just like me.

You appear not to shy away at the concept of a bit of labor. If you can live with dish pan hands from scrubbing bottles (your house will appear to resemble a recycling center at some stages in the process) then you will be rewarded with some level of monetary savings.

You can get a kit to get started via online sources or from a local shop.

Best part of all is the government doesn't get to share in the end product. No taxes for them!

Thanks for the knife post,

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on to your blog looking through some of Bison's ramblings.. I went back through your archives and found Satan's Piss... LMFAOROTF!!
Im still laughing about that as Im writing this.. You got yourself a new follower!

Oblio13 said...

I've discovered something far better than homemade wine: A friend who makes wine. He comes over and harvests a few buckets of my grapes, and in return presents me with a few bottles of wine. It's not bad either.

I had another friend who used to make beer, but he got a divorce and moved out of his five-bedroom house on the lake to live in a cheap dingy apartment with cardboard over the broken windows. You know how it goes. I think I was more broken up over the divorce than he was, though, for obvious reasons.

If I do bottle my own wine, rest assured that it will be labeled "Satan's Piss".