I recently revised my monthly budget, in November, and it came in at $5,450 a month. So, when I pulled my final Quickbooks year-end report, my budget wasn’t accurately reflected in the total monthly expenses for the entire year. In 2009, I was spending about $6,705 a month. Part of this higher monthly total was due to business expenses. My husband has recently simplified his business and has cut down his employee’s hours so we can save a little money on outsourcing. We’ve also reduced our extraneous expenses by as much as we comfortably can (we could do more, but we’re not willing to go this far yet.) I’m curious to see how close I can get to our new, revised budget by the end of January. It will give me a peek into this year’s total expenses.

Examining where our money is going, the three top categories in highest to lowest order are 1.) rent, 2.) business expenses, and 3.) utilities. My husband and I have a drastic plan to reduce items 1 and 3 if need be: move out of our rental house and move into an RV or tent! Of course, this will only happen if we feel that we’ve not saved enough toward our down payment for a house by this summer. Then, drastic times call for drastic measures! As long as we are able to have internet access and running water, I think we could make it work. Note how I listed internet access before water. Water may be more important and vital to survival, but we still need to make a living and must have internet access in order to do so.

I know this sounds crazy, but we live in temperate Southern California where our temperatures hover around the mid-70’s all year. We also feel that living in such an expensive area calls for some unusual moves. I posted a while back about a neighbor who is rebuilding his house and living in a tent in the corner of his lot. The structure is now up, but it’s no where near finished. He’s been “roughing” it for the past 7 months. If he can do it, surely my husband and I (who are quite a bit younger than him) can do it too.

Best case scenario, if I can stick to our monthly budget and even reduce it by a few hundred dollars, we may be able to get away with staying in our rental house until we buy a house of our own. As long as our income remains consistent, this should be doable.

What items have you sacrificed to save money? Have you been known to do some drastic things in order to reach a goal? How many of you have lived in an RV for a while or alternative form of housing?