Author Topic: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off  (Read 6930 times)

kristinB

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Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« on: August 11, 2016, 10:35:22 AM »
 
Life Situation: married filing jointly, 2 kids ages 5 and 1, live in Orange county, CA, I'm 33 and husband is 40, we have a personal preference to stay debt-free.

Gross Salary/Wages:Husband earns 80,900 yearly salary, about 57,230 after taxes. I am a stay at home mom.

Other Income (nontaxable) :  Much of our income comes from monthly and yearly distributions from my in-laws family partnership. 
-8000 per year gift money( It's actually 14,000 but we use 6000 of this for property tax and home insurance.)
-36,000 per year (3000 monthly) distn from the family partnership.
-Also, a property owned by the family partnership is on the market, and the cash divvied from the sale will be available to us (not sure how much, but our payout will be about 200,000 to use as we wish for investing, or buying a rental property, or buying our future property in 4-5 years.)

Interest Income: We do not invest yet, husband has a pension that is 25,000 right now.  We have always considered his “old man” retirement  the family partnership (we do not know the exact amount, but estimate it to be 2 million, growing at 5-6% per year.)

Yearly income after taxes: $101,230

Taxes: 5759.00 fed, 707.00 state

Expenses: I just started keeping track on mint.com and my eyeballs popped out of my head.  I consider myself a minimalist and quite prudent (seriously!), but we freaking eat like kings. It's embarrassing to see the numbers glaring at me. 
Also, Mint is only showing 3 months of expenses since I JUST started tracking, so this is only as accurate as it can be right now.  We treated a lot of people to meals and gifts in may/june/july, so it might be a bit skewed.  But maybe not. 


Total   $6497
 
Food & Dining   $2834 (72% is groceries, 12% restaurants, 11% alcohol, 5% other foods)
Shopping   $1031 (85% mostly amazon crap- diapers, wipes, house stuff, randomness, 9% clothing, 5% books and hobbies)
Auto & Transport   $818
Gifts & Donations   $441
Bills & Utilities   $324
Health & Fitness   $241
Home   $219
Travel   $137
Uncategorized   $113
Pets   $113
Business Services   $113
Kids   $71
Misc: $46

Assets: House we live in (valued conservatively at 650,000).  We own our own crappy (well-loved) cars. 

Liabilities:
None

THE PLAN:
Our 4-5-year goal/plan is to buy land and build our own small strawbale home.  It will probably take 1-2 years, and about 400,000.00 (or less)  to accomplish that plan.  During that 1-2 years, husband would take a “sabbatical” from work and focus on building.  After that 2 years, he would find another job in IT (working remotely since we will be in a rural area) or work a hobby job to supplement (lifeguarding, personal training, etc.)

-Our 3000.00 monthly distribution would still be coming in. 
-We could either sell our current home, or rent it out for approx 2500.00 per month. 
We would love to be seeing some dividends or other passive income coming in during that time, too, from smart investments we make starting now.

My questions for you all:
-Do you think this 5 year plan is possible?  Can he semi-retire in 5 years?
-How much do we need to cut spending (aka FOOD!) to make our dream come true?
-How should we invest the money we save from cutting spending?  We are looking to build cash flow so hubs doesn't have to work while we build the house.  We also might need to use some of it to buy our future house in 5 years b/c we want to pay full cash.
-What would you do with 200,000.00 coming in soon from the sale of the trust property? Invest it right now in index fund?  Reits?  Hard money lending?  Save it in a CD to use for our future home?
Would you sell our current home in 5 years, rent it out, or buy rental properties for the passive income?  Admittedly, the rent-to-value ratio in OC is not good.  Not at all.
-Do you believe in out of state Turnkey Property investing?  We like the idea real estate investing, but are not the hands-on types at all.  We want to focus on building our own homes, not on taking care of tenants, but we are open to rental properties if we can find excellent property managers, etc.  Plus, like I said, OC is not the best place to rent out a property. 
-We can withdraw from the “big black box”- aka our family partnership, at any time, but have never done so because we feel like the manager is probably doing a better job making money with it than we could.  Like I said, they aim for 5-6% steady increase.  But we have toyed with the idea of taking some out  to invest with it so it can be something we BOTH own (unlike the trust which is his, and then the kids'.) Should we leave it untouched or invest with a portion of it?  This could possibly cause a little drama with the siblings because but it could be worth it. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for getting this far.  I appreciate any wisdom.  My situation has a lot of moving parts and I feel directionless right now. 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 10:42:12 AM by kristinB »

neo von retorch

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 10:43:32 AM »
The good news...

If you can get your total expenses down to $3500 / month - you can definitely not work. The gifts and family partnership income should cover your expenses, and your taxes should be pretty low at that income level.

Also looks like your house is paid off. So assuming you end up selling your existing house to cover the new one, you'd actually have some liquid assets you could invest.

But for clarity - what's the transition plan? Live where you are, paying insurance/property taxes, while paying to build the new home (or mortgage?) and then sell your existing home?

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 01:48:34 PM »
Thanks for your encouragement!  We plan on either renting a tiny house and living in it on site, or having a small mother in law's quarters built on the property first (while we live in our current home) then move into the m.i.l. quarters and work on the rest of the house. 

little_brown_dog

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 01:51:27 PM »
I understand the desire to buy high quality animal products. We buy grassfed dairy, local if possible, and we have our own hens that provide us with eggs. Costs a pretty penny. My recommendation is to figure out where your food priorities are, and then cut food expenses elsewhere. Even though we splurge on animal products, I buy mostly conventional produce. I am a recovering “all organic” person. Once I really learned more about organic agricultural practices in depth, and not just pro-organic “natural” blogger opinions, I realized I had been duped.  It is just silly to pay 20-50% more for organic food all the time, when the reality is most organic produce does use pesticides, monoculture growing practices, etc. Organic does not necessarily equal healthy, safe, toxin free, or sustainable. Unfortunately, it often just means the farm paid the money and agreed to switch fertilizers/pesticides to meet the organic labeling requirements.
After I became super disillusioned with big organic, I felt immediately better about prioritizing saving money, or supporting local farms, over some silly label. So now my priorities are grassfed/humane/pastured, local, and seasonal - not organic. My grocery bill has dropped substantially.
You are going to have a really hard time saving money if you are married to all organic, all the time. If you are willing to go non-organic on some foods, then you are much more likely to be successful. As a paleo family, I would also recommend really looking at your proteins and going for less expensive, but still highly nutritious animal foods. Eggs, organ meats, and underappreciated fish species come to mind.

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2016, 07:29:57 PM »
Thanks so much @littlebrowndog.  Do you have any favorite articles about the organic food lie?  I will definitely try to incorporate organ meats, canned salmon, cheaper white fish into the meal rotation.  Not every night can be rack of lamb and pastured pork chops!  Let me know if you have any favorite organ meat recipes. 

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 09:53:09 PM »
A great way to cut down costs is to incorporate meatless meals into rotation? You can make a chickpea curry, lentil loaf, stir fry with almonds, etc.

MDM

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 12:44:21 AM »
I am as newbie as it gets.  Please no tomato throwing. 

Gross Salary/Wages:Husband earns 80,900 yearly salary, about 48,846 after taxes. I am a stay at home mom.

Adjusted Gross Income: 86,246

Taxes: 5759.00 fed, 707.00 state

Sorry for the large uncategorized portion- I'm going off of mint and can't get it to give me more detail on that.  It appears to be mostly atm withdrawals that get used for random things across all categories.  Probably more food.  :(

No tomatoes - promise! ;)

Understanding your current situation is pretty much a prerequisite for improving it, so good for you putting this together!

You might want to use the spreadsheet linked in the How To: Write a "Case Study" Topic post to organize your numbers.  E.g., there is a large difference between the $30K taxes implied in one line vs. the $6.5K in another line.  FICA, 401ks, etc. might explain the difference, but it would be good to know for sure.  You can include the $8K/yr gift money as Untaxed Income in row 51.  If the family partnership distribution is taxed as ordinary income it can go in row 25.

Although 6% for Miscellaneous is higher than desired, you are much lower there than many.  Might be better to work on the already-identified opportunities and come back to this later - but if you can do both, great.

neo von retorch

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 07:08:43 AM »
Yes - I'd consider doing dollar amounts rather than % as it's easier for people to process if a category is high and likely needs your attention. (It might help you, too. It's easy to see Housing Is High or Vehicles Are High but whether they are easily reduced is harder to see. $1000 on "general shopping" does seem extraordinarily high, though.)

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 10:31:46 AM »
Hi all!  I recategorized and refined my expenses (turned out they were even huger than I previously thought), as well as edited the income portion (forgot to add back in that big refund we get).

Thanks for your patience.  I am NOT a numbers person (you probably hear that a lot.)  I have such a headache right now from looking at these spreadsheets and trying to make my life make sense.  But I appreciate your help so much.  Thank you!

MDM

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 12:52:21 PM »
... (forgot to add back in that big refund we get).

...I have such a headache right now from looking at these spreadsheets and trying to make my life make sense.

Note that the spreadsheet will calculate what you ought to withhold in taxes each month so you pay/get $0 in April.

Cwadda

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 01:16:43 PM »
Quote
Food & Dining   $2834 (72% is groceries, 12% restaurants, 11% alcohol, 5% other foods)
Shopping   $1031 (85% mostly amazon crap- diapers, wipes, house stuff, randomness, 9% clothing, 5% books and hobbies)
Auto & Transport   $818
Gifts & Donations   $441

This is for 3 months? I hope these aren't monthly, I really do.

mm1970

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2016, 01:35:50 PM »
little brown dog had the good advice on the food. I have friends who easily spend $2k a month on groceries by shopping local/ organic/ farmer's market only.  It's more expensive.

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2016, 01:57:22 PM »
Quote
Food & Dining   $2834 (72% is groceries, 12% restaurants, 11% alcohol, 5% other foods)
Shopping   $1031 (85% mostly amazon crap- diapers, wipes, house stuff, randomness, 9% clothing, 5% books and hobbies)
Auto & Transport   $818
Gifts & Donations   $441

This is for 3 months? I hope these aren't monthly, I really do.

Umm yeah, this is our monthly expenses.  Not for 3 months.  Face in palms.

icemodeled

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2016, 02:39:29 PM »
If you guys can correct the spending, cut in half or close to half, you should be quite set financially. The income you bring in (besides his paycheck) should cover your expenses for the time he is not working. If I were you, we would be very close to full retirement (of course, moving to a LCOL area). Well, for the expenses I think you know where things most need changed. Obviously the food (can we come eat dinner at your place??) needs cut back. My husband and I budget $200 a month for groceries and rarely go over. Eating out is $150(trying to lower this). We do not have kids, but even with 2 kids, that is so high. I would take a hard look and track what groceries you buy. Some things must be rather high end or all organic.. Or a combination. How many times a month do you eat out? I would try to cut back a little at a time. We eat out 2x a week with our $150 budget but eat at less expensive places, never buy drinks or desserts ect. Also, same with shopping.. Randomness is to vague for a budget, need to list that out better and see where you can cut costs. Clothing was a bit high, we budget $10 a month on clothes but again, we don't have kids. If/when we do, we will be buying mostly thrift store deals or clearance ect. I did a buying clothes ban awhile back that helped get me out of the habit. Again, not sure your situation though. Just make sure to really budget things out and be precise. List everything into many categories so you can truely see each spending area. Good luck!

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2016, 03:02:23 PM »
I would take a hard look and track what groceries you buy. Some things must be rather high end or all organic.. Or a combination. How many times a month do you eat out? I would try to cut back a little at a time. We eat out 2x a week with our $150 budget but eat at less expensive places, never buy drinks or desserts ect.

We are paleo, so it's a lot of grassfed meats/wild caught fish, we do a CSA box, we definitely splurge on fresh oysters, cheeses, fancy wines, overpriced lunch meats, etc.  We only eat out 1x per week, but since our kids are paleo, we can't do kids' meals (mac n cheese isn't an option- they also eat almost adult portions!)  We are super gourmet eaters, and that has to change.  Today we shared a can of tuna for lunch.  Yesterday a can of salmon for dinner.  It's a start!  lol
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 03:05:03 PM by kristinB »

little_brown_dog

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2016, 05:36:15 AM »
Here is a link discussing what I believe has been the largest systematic review of the literature on organic vs conventional foods to date.
https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html

Basically, they found that there was a 30% lower chance of pesticide exposure from organics, but that there were no differences in healthfulness of the foods (freshness, vitamin content, etc) or identifiable health effects on people. They also found that both organic and conventional foods were well within the very low limits of allowable levels of pesticides. This shows that most of the organic foods still tested positive for pesticide residues, which makes sense, given that the USDA organic requirements still allow a bunch of natural pesticides and even a few synthetic ones in specific circumstances.

Also, even the extremely fear-mongering EWG, which I believe is funded by big organic to boost organic sales, admits there are plenty of conventionally grown fruits and veggies that routinely exhibit extremely low levels of pesticides. These are their "clean 15" and they update the list every year.
https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

There is more out there, but these 2 links alone prove there are money saving opportunities. If you are still anxious like me, start by buying the "clean 15" conventional and the "dirty dozen" organic. Any veggies that don't fall on either list are fair game for conventional, especially if they cost less, or are local. If you are converned about environmental impact and supporting healthy farms, then try to buy your produce at the farmers market and support small local growers instead of buying food that is USDA organic but shipped in from Mexico.

For organ meats, I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard beef heart is the best way to transition to organs. It is a muscle, and so apparently has a very similar flavor to typical steaks (unlike liver or kidney which have very unique flavors that many people don't like). Look for crockpot recipes or other slow cooking methods.

I would also get your head on straight about food. It seems like your issue isn't necessarily the actual ingredients for meals, but all of the fancy-pants foods that are absolutely unnecessary for health and happiness - pricey wine, frequent oysters, etc. There is 0 reason  anyone needs to eat something as expensive as oysters on a routine basis, and plenty of cheaper wines taste pretty damn good.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 05:42:36 AM by little_brown_dog »

Dee18

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2016, 06:52:25 AM »
Welcome KristinB
The good thing about having outrageous food expenses is that you can immediately cut it by 50% and still be a foodie with great meals.  Most important for me was staying out of Whole Foods, except for rare visits to purchase specific items. Many people on MMM like Costco, but it's inconvenient for me so I shop at a mix of Aldi, Trader Joe's, and my local grocery.  Aldi (which is now expanding in CA so you may or may not have one nearby) is my first choice.  The one near me has great produce and carries organics.  Once every two months I go to Trader Joes, mostly for their nuts and salsa. Once every other week I go to my local grocery for the lactose free organic milk that my daughter drinks and their buy one/get one specials on items I would buy anyhow. After getting into MMM, I looked at my food expenses and realized I could easily make better, cheaper granola and grow some summer veggies, especially tomatoes, basil, and peppers. I used to belong to a CSA, but I threw out about 30% of it (too much of one thing at a time and you of course had to pay even if you were going to be gone a few weeks at a time).  In the summer I can buy items individually from the same farm at their stand, with no waste. At restaurants, unless it's a special celebration meal, no drinks, no appetizers, no desserts saves a ton, while still having the fun of eating out.  My 19 year old orders water at a restaurant to this day, it's so ingrained with her that beverages have a markup of about 20 times the cost.
I'm super curious about the $1000/mo spending on stuff by a minimalist.  :) I bet you can cut that in half without anyone in the family noticing.
One great thing is that your children are young enough that you can raise them to be minimalists/frugal.  It is much harder to make that transition later. My last thought is, how do you envision your life in that straw bale house on rural property?  Picture that life and then go ahead and implement the parts you can where you are now.  I bet it includes a bit of gardening, and not $12,000 worth of Amazon a year.

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2016, 09:24:59 AM »
Welcome KristinB

I'm super curious about the $1000/mo spending on stuff by a minimalist.  :) I bet you can cut that in half without anyone in the family noticing.


Yep, good question! The amazon category was shocking to me!  I suppose I'm of a certain yuppy brand of minimalism.  My house doesn't actually have clutter or much stuff, but I tend to choose the "fancy" option.  for example, my kids each have one water bottle that they use every day, every meal.  But it happens to be a spendy stainless steel leak-proof bottle.  Or another example, they have less toys than anyone I know, but they tend to be high-end wooden hand-painted toys ethically made.  We have just a few pots and pans, but they are le creuset.  you get the drift.  I guess I figured I would be saving money by doing it this way- less stuff, but nice stuff.  Turns out, I'm just a different brand of materialistic.  Of course, this is all relative, too.  I'm minimalistic compard to my friends and neighbors in LA/OC, but that's not really saying much is it?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2016, 09:42:26 AM »
Frankly, the quickest way to make a dent in the food budget would be to eat a sandwich, or a pizza, or some rice and beans once in a while. Sure, eating only meat and fruit and nuts all the time may be delicious, but these are also the most expensive foods by far. Double down on that by going all organic all the time and you get to your current situation (though I will say that your grocery bill is probably the highest I've seen in any case study on this forum so far).

You say "we are a paleo family" as though it were some sort of incontrovertible fact of life, but it was a choice you made at some point. You could choose to change your diet again if reducing your workload is a large enough priority. Think about it.

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2016, 09:47:25 AM »
Frankly, the quickest way to make a dent in the food budget would be to eat a sandwich, or a pizza, or some rice and beans once in a while. Sure, eating only meat and fruit and nuts all the time may be delicious, but these are also the most expensive foods by far. Double down on that by going all organic all the time and you get to your current situation (though I will say that your grocery bill is probably the highest I've seen in any case study on this forum so far).


I totally get what you're saying.  I don't choose this diet because it's delicious (I'd choose pizza or a sandwich any day!), but the paleo part isn't an option for us at this point.  I strongly believe it's one of the reasons we are so healthy and don't have the picky food issues most other kids I know have.  It's an investment toward health in the long run.  I will definitely admit we need to cut it in half, but perhaps portions and buying more in bulk and no premade convenience stuff will be the way we get there. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2016, 11:36:53 AM »
How secure is this family partnership? What risk level do you and your husband have in relation to it - and what level of control? Presumably it needs cash inputs sometimes - do those come from you in any way? Will they start?

I'm not sure your kids aren't picky; it seems more like the adults are just picky too...

Cwadda

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2016, 12:58:25 PM »
Quote
Food & Dining   $2834 (72% is groceries, 12% restaurants, 11% alcohol, 5% other foods)
Shopping   $1031 (85% mostly amazon crap- diapers, wipes, house stuff, randomness, 9% clothing, 5% books and hobbies)
Auto & Transport   $818
Gifts & Donations   $441

This is for 3 months? I hope these aren't monthly, I really do.

Umm yeah, this is our monthly expenses.  Not for 3 months.  Face in palms.

You need this then.


In groceries alone, that boils down to $650/week. That's $9 per meal per person. Basically as much as it costs to eat out.


Car expenses $819/month and you own the cars with no car payments?


The shopping category is more understandable; baby supplies are expensive. Gifts and donations aren't bad either.





Making Cookies

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2016, 11:12:55 PM »
I'm interested in this house project. I have never seen a haybail house in person.

I would be curious about the value of this in a hot place. Is there a benefit to it.

And what is the long term durability of this type construction? Is it a 100 year solution like conventional construction or is it something shorter term?

I'd be worried about the ability to sell it. Desirability. Codes. Insurance. Durability.

All questions I would not have any answers to yet.

House as an investment and all that. Do you build so you can sell later?

mm1970

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2016, 10:06:37 AM »
Frankly, the quickest way to make a dent in the food budget would be to eat a sandwich, or a pizza, or some rice and beans once in a while. Sure, eating only meat and fruit and nuts all the time may be delicious, but these are also the most expensive foods by far. Double down on that by going all organic all the time and you get to your current situation (though I will say that your grocery bill is probably the highest I've seen in any case study on this forum so far).


I totally get what you're saying.  I don't choose this diet because it's delicious (I'd choose pizza or a sandwich any day!), but the paleo part isn't an option for us at this point.  I strongly believe it's one of the reasons we are so healthy and don't have the picky food issues most other kids I know have.  It's an investment toward health in the long run.  I will definitely admit we need to cut it in half, but perhaps portions and buying more in bulk and no premade convenience stuff will be the way we get there.
Do you not eat beans at all?

I ask because my family has been drifting towards paleo. I'll probably never go there 100%, but in my mid-to-late 40's now, and I simply cannot have as many carbs as I could when I was younger.

I keep our costs down by using a CSA for our produce (can get local/ organics/ fresh for less) and by eating less meat.  Instead of my old days of filling in the meat absence with beans and rice or bread, I eat more fat.

So I still eat beans (generally no more than 1/2 cup a day), but am pretty generous with nuts, olive oil, cheese, avocados, full fat yogurt.  About half the salmon I eat is canned.  I make liberal use of eggs.

I also eat rice or other grains (again, about 1/2 cup or so a day, tops).

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2016, 02:05:10 PM »
I'm interested in this house project. I have never seen a haybail house in person.

I would be curious about the value of this in a hot place. Is there a benefit to it.

And what is the long term durability of this type construction? Is it a 100 year solution like conventional construction or is it something shorter term?

I'd be worried about the ability to sell it. Desirability. Codes. Insurance. Durability.

All questions I would not have any answers to yet.

House as an investment and all that. Do you build so you can sell later?


Hi!  Straw bale houses are very durable (more than wood in many climates.)  Great insulation in heat and cold.  They can look very much like typical houses, but with thicker walls and more character (imo.) Here's a good resource if you're curious about straw bale! All the questions you ask are addressed here... http://www.strawbuilding.org/faqs
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 02:07:17 PM by kristinB »

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2016, 02:09:57 PM »

[/quote]
Do you not eat beans at all?

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I incorporate lentils from time to time. Unfortunately, other beans do not agree with most of us digestion-wise.   I will think about adding more lentils and white rice.  And maybe doing more all-veggie stir frys with nuts and extra e.v.o.o. drizzled on for calories.  Thanks for your suggestions!

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2016, 02:14:07 PM »

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Car expenses $819/month and you own the cars with no car payments?

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Yeah, hubs car broke down and needed repairs.  This also includes our recent car insurance payment.  Like I mentioned above, this is an average over the last 3 months, and it happened to be a rough car month for us.  But our cars are kind of shitty, and we'll probably have more rough car months to come. 

kristinB

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Re: Reader Case Study – Can my husband take 2 years off
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2016, 02:24:31 PM »
How secure is this family partnership? What risk level do you and your husband have in relation to it - and what level of control? Presumably it needs cash inputs sometimes - do those come from you in any way? Will they start?

I'm not sure your kids aren't picky; it seems more like the adults are just picky too...

Unfortunately, I don't know much about the family partnership except what rate it's typically getting (5-6%), that we can withdraw from it at any time, that it is a lot.  We do not need to input anything into this partnership.  I will try to get more info, for some reason all this goes unspoken in my family. 

And I'd say that kids who eat octopus, sardines and liverwurst aren't picky by anyone's definition!  Yeah, we adults are picky about what goes itno our kids, but I will for sure admit we're quite extreme about it.  Working on it!