Starting Point

OK, this is my current level of economic self-sufficiency: basically zero. The details are:


$8.50/hr, avg. 25 hours per week at a coffee shop/bakery is my primary income.

Consulting: I was a computer repair and networking instructor and counsultant prior to losing my job in 2008. I still get occasional consulting jobs, but I treat it as extra pocket money. It averaged about $45/month in 2012.

Currency trading: I made about 20% of my income from trading years ago. I never risked much capital on it and so never made much. I am exploring this as an option again, but I obviously can't count on that. It earns nothing right now.


I am on the hook for about $800,000 in debt due to an ill-considered decision to help my sister with her business in Alaska which ultimately failed, necesitating a move back to San Diego. Too cold to live in an RV in AK. My sister is currently renting the property and covering the payments. She is working to get to a point where she can buy the property from me or assume the loan. This has proven very difficult since the crash of 2008.

I owe my uncle $6000 he loaned me to buy the RV and to help me get back on my feet.

I owe one friend, Stuart, $350 out of the $2200 he loaned me when I first got back to San Diego. He has agree to let me do computer and networking consulting work, my profession before I lost my job in 2008, to work the debt off.

Home: Living in my RV. My insurance cost is about 360 per year. Gas is around 70 per week. It was very well maintained and runs very well.

Living expenses:

Food: $120/month. My employee discount keeps this low.

Clothes: average $5.00 per month. I own very few clothes, haven't the space for them, and have kept my old ones.

Gym: $10/month

Phone: $20/month no-contract plan.

That's where I'm starting. This is the inventory of what I have. The first step is to see where or if I can reduce living expenses a bit more. There is not a lot to cut here, but we'll see. The next step is to try to get a few more hours at work. I have been sending out applications and resumes for years now with very little response. I have been told I have a shelf life problem, which may necessitate figuring out how to get to school to update skills and credentials. Not possible right now, but I'll look into that.