Live on $10,000 a Year–The Sequel

By far, the most popular book I’ve ever written has been “How to Live on $10,000 a Year, Or Less…” Issued first back in 2005

Thing is, I haven’t updated the book since 2013.  That was the 4th edition.  I reckon it’s time to update it  again.  Thinking – and facts on the ground have changed.  But as we’ll see as this latest edition unrolls, good ideas have a kind of permanence about them.

As a thank you for Peoplenomics subscribers, you’ll get to read the new edition as it flies off the fingers. When complete, the entire document will be in the subscriber library at the top of each master index page. Along with other books I’ve written.

When completed, even if you don’t subscribe, it will be available on the UrbanSurvival and Peoplenomics websites for the outrageous sum of  $5-bucks.

The 5th edition will be adding more “time-based perspectives.” Since many of the concepts laid out in the book have been “lived-out” here in the pine forest of East Texas.

Something to Think About:

When I was in high school, I’d bike ride down to the local burger joint with my buddy The Major for a 19-cent cheeseburger. “Dag’s” has long-since disappeared into the culinary sunset.

Today, the inflation-adjusted price of  a 19-cent burger from 1966 is?  $1.57.

If you hit the right big national burger joint on just the right day, you can still find the equivalent of the 19-cent burger today.

But something else peeks out of our thinking here.

It’s not that the basic meat patty has gone through the roof.  It’s that our expectations of a hamburger have. Foolishly most Americans are wedded to the idea that progress is the same as size and other enhancements.

Network television first seen by Ure’s truly on a 13″ black and white Magnavox TV still sucks when viewed on a UHD 65″ in the media room here.  Seeing the problems of progress, yet?

Magnavox was acquired by Philips out of Holland in 1974 after launching the first game console in 1972. (Magnavox Odyssey).  Nintendo?  X-Box?  Johnny-come-lately types.  Still simply adding complexity to another 40-year old cheeseburger.

At the Arches?  What was once a bun, patty, slice of cheese, squirt of mustard and pickle (and still can be at the lower end) is now a “customizable treat.”  Which has piled on not only condiments but expectations.

Second patty is not uncommon.  Here in Texas WhatABurger will do 3 patties and even four if you’re up for it!. You can also add damn near anything.  And to prove it, I ordered a burger with four pieces of bacon on it!

Considered in isolation, this evolving “burger complexity issue” explains a lot about living and expenses.  Yes, we can get three slices of ‘maters, two helpings of onion, jalapeno peppers and BBQ sauce, too, sliding uncontrollably between three patties!  More pickles!

But – like so many areas of Life – is there a real pay-off in terms of quality of Life between the 19-center and today’s ultra-super-Mondo-gonzo-mega burgers?

We have been hypnotized by repetitive marketing campaigns all based on “reach and frequency” to drive the message “needing this kind of super-burger.”  Yet, who questions the simplicity and joy of simple “burgerness?”

This drives a massive  revenue-compensated marketing machine. The cost is between the patties, lol.)  But, does it make us any happier?

Out here isn’t exactly Walden Pond, but we have stepped back far enough from regimented consumption to ask the questions that led to our recent (subscriber) book The 100-year Toaster. I’ll get that out on the public side, one of these days, too.

Updates, observations and lots of additional details in answer to the question “Can I live under $10,000 per year, per person in today’s world?”

The answer is yes…but there’s a book’s worth of caveats and inflation adjustments since 2005 which we will dig into after a few headlines and the ChartPack.  Which continues it’s haunting a haunting question, as well:

Is the Top In?

(An Inflation-adjusted book.  Who’d have believed it?)

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George Ure
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48 thoughts on “Live on $10,000 a Year–The Sequel”

  1. George

    From a few day ago: “Do I put in a single Flex 80 controller (series paralleling the panels to run 80 Volts on the wiring),”

    That statement and a hot $600 stimulus check burning a hole in my hand led me to buy a new OutBack Flex 80 charge controller from Amazon at $461 plus tax and free shipping.

    That gives me three units one of which is showing signs of failing after 10 years of use. I can rebuild it if it’s a faulty transistor.

    That’s how you get by on $10,000 a years by looking at critical items in your personal environment and spotting good deals. My original Flex 80’s were over $800 each.

    Thanks for that push and don’t overload your controllers as you could get 10 years out of them.

    • “a hot $600 stimulus check burning a hole in my hand led me to buy a”

      I got ya there same thing lol.. except for me. It was this…
      I was given the opportunity to get one at half cost.. and couldn’t stop myself lol…
      Now to face the wife… my logic is I retort can.. I will retort can hamburger ,chicken , pickles, vegetables etc. I freeze dry the same things to for long term meals. Then open the box to the hamburger helper drop the hamburger in then reseal. Anyway my vacuum sealer puts a nice seal on the package but when you go to can it in the pressure canner the bags expand and every once in a while a seam will break so the package has to either be re done or used..
      Good justification huh.. lol
      Anyway that’s my debate stance for the wife on why I was compelled to buy it..

  2. George,
    You hit this nail right on the head today. Better presentations, more hype, fluffier claims and prettier packaging don’t change the basic contents very much. Amazing to learn how things I thought were, “needs,” just slipped into the background as “simple wants” once the virus shut off so much of the “service and hospitality” leg of business. So much “hot air.” Plain old burgers are still delicious and we make ’em without all the pretty packaging.
    It no longer seems worth all the mark-up for more $pace filler on both the figurative and literal plates while businesses cut down the basic reason for going there in the first place.
    As a nation, when we go out and make purchases, we forget the basic reasons and go for the rituals!!! Where’s The Beef???

  3. “Live on $10,000 a Year–The Sequel
    Thing is, I haven’t updated the book since 2013. That was the 4th edition. I reckon it’s time to update it again. Thinking – and facts on the ground have changed.”

    all that needs to be changed is the title ….. with the economy heading the way it is…
    LIVE ON 100,000.00 a year would be closer to the truth.. LOL LOL LOL
    we are screwed….and its only going to get worse… o wait.. they went option 2 it already is worse…

  4. “19-cent burger from 1966 is? $1.57”

    I was watching an old broadcast of “Price is Right”. They were slinging a 1962 Chevy station wagon. Two of the selling points were “fresh air vents” and “antifreeze”.

    While the ICE tech today is still 1940, in 1962 antifreeze was a game changer.

    Not to mention people cant let go of the past. GM went bankrupt, but it didn’t.

  5. My head is spinning. First I go running around buying expensive upgrades for my house before inflation really kicks in. Now I need to live on 10k a year. :0

    Between the new furnace, new oven, and new gas fireplace insert, well over 10k. I still need a new water heater and bathroom makeover!

    Mostly kidding here. Have you ever run the numbers in your local area if you could live on minimum wage? In OR it’s a little more than $11/hr. In Portland, impossible to pay rent without roommates, but in rural/small town Oregon? You could flip burgers and have 30-40 bucks a day to spend on food and entertainment after paying rent. A couple could even buy a damn car on payments. This is evidence that the “homeless” have more problems than paying rent.

    Craigslist always has “entry level” “min. wage” jobs in every town.

    • “Have you ever run the numbers in your local area if you could live on minimum wage?”

      I have Phil.. and you maybe could if you have a camper van or the dumpster behind a local merchant..but we with the average rent on an appartment at just shy a grand a month not counting on any of the other expenses. We spend almost sixty percent of gross income on insurance.. I budet 4.00 a meal and 1.50 per snack per person. Then daycare..your going to spend roughly five grand per child just daycare.
      I think that’s why one in two wage earners are on social programs.

      • You know there’s this long history, call it a tradition, of American Migration? You see, when people don’t have work, they go find it. When people don’t have affordable housing, they go find it. When a dust bowl forms, they leave. When Beverly Hills became too expensive, the people who couldn’t afford it left. See a pattern here?

        I would further suggest that if you can’t afford 1k a month rent on two incomes, and have kids, etc. you might be better off moving to a place you can afford. It’s not like rents are going to change, and apparently your income is not projected to rise accordingly.

        What people should ask themselves, LOL like anyone is honest with their own reflection these days… “Are you just going to ride this into the ground like Slim Pickens on that bomb in Dr. Strangelove? Or are you going to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome?”

        Depends on what you expect out of life/yourself. A cardboard box to look out of is not enough to keep me around a low wage job in a high rent area. But that’s just me. The low rent areas are just a few miles away in reality, but lightyears away in people’s imaginations. I say to those who cannot deal with it, “it must suck to be you.”

      • “don’t have affordable housing, they go find it. ”

        That is so true Phil..
        That is why there are so many moving to our neck of the woods..

  6. Obama came to town and the national debt was about 10 trillion. After eight years he left us with a debt of about 20 trillion.

    Trump came to town and the national debt was about 20 trillion. After four years he left us with a debt of about 27.8 trillion.

    Biden comes to town and the debt is 27.8 trillion. In four years the debt will be about 41 trillion. Biden has to spend 13.2 trillion over the next four years. UBI for sure.

    • “Obama came to town and the national debt was about 10 trillion. After eight years he left us with a debt of about 20 trillion.”

      It’s going to rise exponentially no matter who is in office. The USA has been living on the credit card for decades borrowing money to give away to other countries.
      At some point..the country has to pull back and focus on the country and the citizens rather than pay another country to be our friends..
      Seriously I doubt that They have our interests as a priority..they are the what can you give me friend..

      • LOB,

        That goes without saying.

        If we can figure out where Biden will put the 13.2 trillion, that’s where we should invest our dough.

        Biden may fully fund the Space Force or…. legalize all the walkers which will inflate building materials for newcomer housing or…. from Wikipedia:

        “He (African-American lawyer and activist Randall Robinson) estimates a fair reparation value anywhere between $1.4 to $4.7 trillion, or roughly $142,000 (equivalent to $153,000 in 2019) for every black American living today. Other estimates range from $5.7 to $14.2 and $17.1 trillion.”

        Spin the wheel, the money is going somewhere.

        • Is Danish and Scottish indentures don’t get the deal too…sounds, oh, you know…like discrimination.
          No one alive lived under it and it’s more woke bullshit we warned you would be coming with the camunists.

      • LOOB; there is not going to be a pull back for the country until the country is BROKE(N). And you know what happens when a ship is mortally wounded and is sinking. Rats.

        It is called fleecing the country, taking money out of the country under the guise of ‘helping’ other countries. Think of it this way, how many trillions have we spent making the middle east safe for Israel? We also give away the most money to them every single year, in the billions. (Please do not accuse me of being anti-semetic.) And we are not done yet; I do believe the neocons listed seven countries in their cross hairs, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Just a few to go. So, right now, our leaders, their corporations, and banksters via the blessings of the non-federal reserve and non-government IRS, and non-government CDC, as well as many others, are in the process of getting their share of the fleecing of America; and it has been going on mercilessly for many decades. After all, shipping of the factories overseas – turning the country into a service economy (LOOB, those cuties letting rich old fools BUY their “sweet-me-hots”), flooding the country with lower-wage labor and letting the American taxpayer pay for them, bringing in the HIBVisa holders to take the better paying jobs (allowing American citizens to train their replacements) and carve out the hiring pool eliminating American citizens from contention, the multi-culturalism mantra and education quotas, which discriminates against the once majority white race, the takeover of education ensuring only the rich kids get one, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, the TPP, NAFTA, all of them AND more were all designed to bring down America to a third world nation state under the new world order. Yes, I have missed too much to type and most we don’t even know about, we just see the results like open borders, highest welfare states of being, and the big billion dollar bum rush to take over the healthcare industry dollars.

        Biden will continue this downward spiral under the guise of arresting (hahaha) global warming, regulating equality resulting in equal equity (cough cough), pursuit of non-racial discrimination unless you are white (white ain’t right – please do not accuse me of being anti-white, black, brown, red, yellow and magenta).

        “Ah, the script, doctor, follow the script.” “Oh, XYQ&Zed,” said; “do you mean the agenda?” Snicker, snicker. “Just like clockwork, XYQ&Zed said.” “Right on Time, Ain’t Rife Fine.”

      • We’d all be better off without the Republican Voodoo Hoax:

        Trump’s debt also sunk the GDP, while Obama’s did not, 25% of our mandatory spending is for Social Security & 25% is for Healthcare (Too bad we let the old and sick get fed and seen by a doctor, Socialism stinks! lol)

        Truman’s quotes on Socialism:

      • “Danish and Scottish indentures ”

        You justified the National DNA database. “DNA must be presented in order to participate in reparations.”

        That’s it.

      • “LOOB; there is not going to be a pull back for the country until the country is BROKE(N). ”

        I know Rats.. and that is what scares the hell out of me.. We already seen where they sent the vast majority of the 850 billion relief funds. while the country sits in dire need of some real politicians to govern for the people and help ourselves rather than someone elses wants.. it went everywhere but the country they love so much and the economy of the people they work for that sits in dire shape…..
        It isn’t the president that makes those decisions and we keep voting in the same old people that seem to work for everyone else but the people of the USA..
        Scary times ahead.. I am trying to not pay attention to any of it..

      • “Danish and Scottish indentures ”

        How about the Native Americans, the Germans, Hispanic, Japanese,Irish,italian,Greek and the chinese… to just go reparations for african american is just another good example of racial …discrimination.. that doesn’t even consider… how about tall people.. short people and fat people.. you can’t forget the skinny people either. What about religious faith.. The KKK use to target Catholics…what about them.. how about the Mormons.. they were murdered and chased across the nation.. we can’t forget the muslims and the greek orthodox.. protestant’s . how many times have you seen fat people jokes or negative comments about them.. or disgusting comments on television magazines or advertisements….. You never see a television show showing someone living in the ghetto in their real life setting.. so we totally are discriminating against poor people living in the ghetto…. every television show has people living in a million dollar home with all the luxuries.. oh my god.. they are forgetting all the good decent people that have been discriminated against most of their lives…
        How about smart people.. or dumb people they to are being discriminated against.. lets get them some reparations as well..
        the list is so long.. so instead of going that route.. why not just put the past in the past and we all move on forward.. you can’t change the past.. accept the past for what it is… quit teaching your children to hate and quit hating your neighbors.. forgive.. forget and move on along to a happy life..

  7. Been to Walden Lately?
    Good luck finding a place to park :lol:.
    Our local 19 cent burgers circa 1968 were finally determined to be made out of stray cats with a dash of beef.

    • – dont knock it, until U try it.

      Great way to stretch a dollar (under10k/yr) – Cats can usually be had for Free, if in you hang around a farm long enough – someone will stop by unannounced to drop off some kittens.

      – Meow Mix, its whats for dinner.

    • You know. I once took a girl out to a fancy chinese restaurant.. they hada pen with puppies in it.she said oh iwant that one. (To take home) and we ordered the thought was to pick the dog up on our way out..she ordered her meal and when we went to leave and pick up the pup.. discovered she already had the pup..needless to say i didn’t get lucky that night. Years later I would eat lunch at a restaurant great food served you a lot.. then they closed.. years later we were sitting around discussing great food restaurants that closed only to discover that they were used down because the served cat from the pound.. another had his secret ingredient in his chili dogs was dog food lol..

  8. A little OT:The Universe may be using horses to send us a message.

    Last night at Northfield Park in Ohio,a horse named Wikileaks won,paying $25 for a deuce.Today,just after Biden managed to finish his speech,Trump That won the first race at The Meadows near Pittsburgh,returning $10 for $2.

    It’s not the first thing something such as this happened.In 2011,preachers were claiming that Jesus would return to Earth at about 6 PM on a Saturday in May just about the time of the Preakness Race in Maryland.Well,there was a nice return of $26 for $2,as a jockey named Jesus Cartonon was aboard the winner.

  9. “Naturally, when I asked to see some of their clothing, which was “Half Off…” They didn’t think it was as funny as I did. ”

    I knew a guy that did that..out of every ten ladies he asked he got lucky.. lol lol
    Now if I would have asked that the ladies would slap me..

  10. *Don’t compare yourself to others. This one can be the most transformative of your life.
    *Find joy in the simple things like nature, being outside, hobbies and the comfort of others.
    *Lead a simple life
    *Don’t want more than you need
    *Don’t chase trends, fads, fashion and technology.
    *Be wise when taking on debt.
    *Be mindful of going out to eat, getting takeout and especially ordering alcohol when eating out
    *Buy used when possible
    *Share instead of selling
    *Barter when you can
    *Maintain your stuff
    *Don’t buy or rent a place that is larger than you need
    *Research purchases

      • Nope. Just my own. Closest to Shintoism. My overriding philosophy is “act like you live on a small island.” Think about it. Think some more about it.

        You won’t lie because everyone will tag you as a liar. You won’t pollute the place because you’re ALL dependent on keeping it pristine as possible. You won’t rip people off. You’ll be as helpful to your other inhabitants as possible. You won’t practice “sharp elbowed” business. You won’t make greedy decisions and than claim ‘it’s just business’. Trust that every thing and everyone has a purpose. For if you do bad things the other islanders will tag you as someone not to be friends with.

  11. It’s been awhile since I read your $10,000 book, but there might be some boundary conditions which need to be explored for the contemporary version. First, every book I have ever read on this or related subjects starts with the assumption that the reader has something other than the clothes on their back, and maybe a smartphone to read the book with. Maybe you need a chapter for those who are in reset mode, and who are literally starting from scratch. Start at the bus station with a modest amount of money in pocket, and no usable credit rating. That doesn’t seem too far-fetched in the current operating environment.

  12. Bought it 2006
    Great affirmation of what I had been doing. Look forward to finding time to read update.

  13. Hi George — I don’t know the context of your “100 year old toaster” but I thought I’d let you know that mine is 72 years old and being using every day. It even has a wonderful woven cord that stores so much more easily than the present day standard black cord . . .

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