For those of you that use shreded paper - do you spread it on fields with the poo like shavings? How does it degrade/ compost?
I'm on small acreage so I have neither the room nor the equipment to spread manure over fields. But I have the most beautiful compost heap ever! The paper composts in what seems almost no time flat, probably less then half the time of shavings. Maybe 2 months at most? Plus the soil is almost black with millions of little worms and bugs in it. This is with really doing nothing special to it. I just plop it in a pile and leave it alone. I've never had that with shavings.
Selling a car to pay off a loan and only driving my truck. Trying to pay off debt as the interest we are paying on debt is easily more than the gas for the truck!
Sold my more expensive saddles and bought a used Bates dressage saddle and will be getting a Bates jumping saddle used so I only have 1 set of saddles for my 2 horses. 2nd horse is not ridden so much that I can't change the gullet plates out when I want to ride him. The 2 Bates saddles will cost less than I am selling one of my Albions for.
Saving all my errands for 1 day a week.
Picking up as much overtime as I can right now to pay for x-mas.
The biggest change I've made directly regarding my horse is adjusting when I go to the barn. I work fairly close to the area my barn is in, and I live two towns over. Instead of driving a solid half hour (about 1 hr in traffic) to the barn, and BACK, I limit my daytime barn going to about once a week and other times I go out at night after work. It's late (I don't work a regular 9-5), and quiet and peaceful. But a bit lonely at times. My 6 yr old is out of commission right now anyway, so I'm just out there for bonding and grooming time, as well as leg wrap changing.
This saves considerably on gas, as I'm driving an SUV and my gas rates were skyrocketing.
Also thinking about not blanketing this year as he's out of commission anyway, and the blanketing is really for my own peace of mind. Doubt he needs it, healthy 6 yr old, he'll get fuzzy. While I have several blankets, they all need to be washed (professionally, I don't have a washer that can handle them) and re-water proofed, as well as some minor repairs to be made on the sheets. So we'll see about that.
I'm just being very careful about WHERE I spend my money.
I rarely eat out (not too difficult b/c I'm in a new place with not a lot of friends near by) and I don't go to the movies or anything like that.
I've recently taken some old riding clothes and stuff to a store to be sold, but they take 40%!! so I think I'm giong to put the rest of my stuff on craiglist. I'm also not buying clothing for myself and the only thing I'm purchasing this winter for my horse is a t/o blanket (and he actually doesn't have one at all)
I'm not horse showing right now (just the one unrecognized HT I've already signed up for) and I'm trying to find a barn manager/riding job (when I leave my temp. job that I have until december) at a barn where I can keep my horse very inexpensively.
I've volunteered for some extra things, like riding some horses at a sale show (yes, I know this edges the ammy/pro line) and property sitting for somebody who lives closer than I do to work, so I'm making a little extra on the side.
The only things I'm spending money on are plane tickets, as I'm visiting two sets of friend this fall (but this is keeping my sanity until I move back to the northeast).
I'm also not cutting back on supps. yet...I want my horse to stay on his cosequin, horseshoers secret and strongid. I feel they are important. Luckily I clip and pull manes and clean sheaths myself, so I never have to pay someone to do it for me, and my barn doesn't charge for blanketing.
I just remind myself to question everything I want to purchase..."do I really NEED that?" and I try not to keep too much cash on hand, b/c when I have it, I spend it.
I am going to have to continue spending like crazy to make up for all of your frugality! Someone has to keep the economy afloat!
Actually, it worries me a bit that everyone is tightening up their pocketbooks out of fear. It is in reaction to the media scare tactics, that I understand. However, when you stop spending, your local business and suppliers feel the pinch and they either have to raise prices to survive or go out of business etc. Just one example. A strong economy is when money is flowing. If you are in a safe job and continue to put into your retirement savings (great time to buy stocks!) you should not have to tighten your spending that much.
Many of us are not being frugal out of fear but out of necessity.
My area has led the country in inflation for costs of food and gas. Coupled with no more bonuses and minimal raise this year (I work in an industry hit by the land development bust), my discretionary income has taken a big hit. There's just less $ for unnecessary items , riding and showing included.
In Florida, we had a long way to fall because of the overvalued home prices and the overspending and so many folks living beyond their means. In some ways, it's a good thing that they are now listening to Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey. If people had not used their homes as ATMs to fulfill Bush's post-911 order to support the country by spending, and the banks and government had not been complicit, we would be better off! I agree some spending is necessary to help the economy, but it is going to have to grow in other areas that consumer retail because we can't maintain the level of consumer excess that was going on earlier this decade.
I have tried to be very good about my spending and have actually sat down and planned out the majority of my paychecks and where each dollar is going.
I'va always paid more than the required amount on bills, so its starting to pay ooff that they will be paid off sooner. I have a lot..well not as much as some people do.. in credit card debt from when I was younger and careless, medical bills, car repair bills, and school. The only loans I have are car and credit card.
I pack my lunch most days, but sometimes I get so busy I dont eat lunch. I dont drink coffee anymore, I've settled for tea, which actually helps my focus and relax at work.
I havent been taking lessons for a year but wanted to get back into it so I can better my skills and maybe pick up some riding jobs. I found a barn 1 mile from my house where I will do chores 4 evenings of the week in exchange for lessons twice a week. I board my 2 year old at a friends house where she haws excellant turnout so I am cutting back on her grain. Hay wont go out until the kill frost, and we are putting round bales out. I have traded in shavings for pellets, saves on mucking time and my pockets. I cut back on supplements, she doesnt need them yet. I stretch the farrier visits out to 7 or 8 weeks. I'm breaking down and finally get the vet out to do her strangles and rabies before she goes to training in the late winter. I dont feed treats, if I do I use cereal or carrots. I only go to the barn 2 days out of the week to do stalls and feed and we all take turns doing them, so it saves on gas because she is boarded 10 miles one way from me.
skipping the blanketing this year. I dont clip, and I dont have to worry about sheaths because I have a mare who just gets her butt wiped at every grooming I think she enjoys it too much now...
I see tons of empty fields around where I live so I've been posting ads looking for a field to winter my horse to cut down on costs.
I barn-sit for friends and neighbors to make extra cash, and I'm having a huge yard sale this weekend to get rid of things I havent used in a long time..everything from books to clothes.
Instead of making a christmas wish list for family this year, because I dont need anything, I have clipped pictures and coupons for things that I need for my horse, like a blanket... coupons to the feed store, etc.
I used to be a Jeweler so I have a lot of jewelry....I wont ever pawn things because its a rip off, but I've sold some things on ebay and craigslist.
Its amazaing when you sit down and define for yourself what wants and needs are.
I'm cutting it everywhere I can... but I still spend.
Crayola Posse~Aquamarine Love vs Money...for the love of my horse, I have no money!
Actually, it worries me a bit that everyone is tightening up their pocketbooks out of fear. It is in reaction to the media scare tactics, that I understand.
Normally I would agree with you but my husband, the bigger breadwinner, is in the financial markets division of a big company where they do the trading and although he is not a trader his job is closely tied into it. The company lost a lot of money needless to say. Soooo yes, I am a bit on the nervous side without any help from the media! We need the extra $$$ normally spent on consumer goods for our animals, mortgage, cars etc just in case. Maybe later we can loosen up a bit but for now I am hanging tight.
I've got family stuff blowing up around me, so the horse is taking a back seat. I'm also bound and determined to make this time of little riding, a time for him to be sent off to FT training once and for all.
My economizing consists of him being moved to a farm in Mass, as opposed to one in SWNY. Half the price, twice the training, and better facility. Yeah, he's 2 hours away now, but everything's cheaper. Hopefully once I have time for him, the economy will have settled a bit and I'll be able to afford to keep him closer to home. If not, I can drive 2hours one way to see my horse once or twice a week...
I am not doing TOO much differently right now. The main thing is that I try to make myself wait a couple of days after all purchases before I use anything so that I can convince myself to return it, if possible! *lol* And cutting back on the unnecessary driving (although the drop in gas prices has sure been nice, it makes it harder to convince myself not to use my car because I like driving).
Horse-wise I don't show, and I don't take lessons right now. OH, I have taken over my barefoot retired horse's feet and hope to eventually take over my other horse's feet if she can someday manage barefoot, so that will cut my farrier bill back/out (sorry mr. farrier! it's nothing personal).
Realistically I'm in pretty ideal shape - I have no credit card debt (because I have no credit card! I knew that was the only way go guarantee I wouldn't mess that one up), no car payment (my car was given to me as a graduation present after college and *knock on wood* it's still holding up), no student loans (my dad is the absolute greatest dad in the world and wanted me to be debt-free post college), and a very small rent payment to my mother because I live with her right now (helps her out with expenses, helps me out as I can't live alone and pay board on two horses - it's as much as paying rent for myself!). Even my cell phone is covered by my dad's job (family plan, and his company reimburses him for most of his phone bills). Gas, the horses, and car insurance are about it for the moment.
I am very lucky, and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop any day now.
I've stopped using the dryer. Now it's clotheslines on nice days and drying racks on not nice days. Yeah, laundry days look like a trailer park now, but the savings are worth it. The only compromise is towels, but I've found that drying them and then just throwing them in the drier for 5 minutes fluffs them up nicely.
I'm curious about the shredded paper for bedding -- it must take a commercial sized shredder to get enough. If you're just using a standard, home shredder, how long does it take you per week?
Selling off stuff I don't need on ebay/craigslist.
I have picked up some really nice stuff b/c of other people clearing out- I figure now is the time to get some good deals.
Luckily I have no rent and rarely any food expenses, but my only income currently is from ebaying/craigslisting. (New verbs ) And it all goes toward paying down CCs/show bills/etc.
Job market sucks right now. I am generally highly qualified but I'm having to pick school over high paying jobs. Luckily we are having a retail boom here (our first statewide Tar-jay opened yesterday!) so those jobs are in abundance. Maximize the store discount.
I am also going to suck it up and try to find some holiday job to pay for a few training things that will supplement my income. And maybe some terrible holiday job. Blech!
My horse expenses now are only retroactive stuff- not currently riding (looking though!)
I passed on taking any foals to an inspection this year. Over 500 miles to haul each direction, plus all the other expenses. I have been less generous with the bedding lately. We use locally grown oat straw. I am seriously interested in this shredded paper thing. Do you find that the horses try to eat it? Foals eating it? We have a local non-profit organization that employs developmentally disabled persons to shred business documents (as so many businesses are required to do these days), and I'll bet other areas have similar programs. I'll be calling them as soon as I press "send" here.
I've had to say no to my friends. Most of my friends are still living at home, maybe working a part time job, going to school (parents paying education), and they go out 4 or 5 nights a week whether its a movie or to the club or whatever. I finally had to tell them that enough was enough and I couldn't afford it. Now our nights together are Greys Anatomy with popcorn and chocolate.
I have a cooking day, cooking large meals and freezing them. This way all I have to do is take meals out of the freezer and heat. Otherwise I end up eating KD (almost $2 a box!!!) or some other prepackaged food that is too expensive (and not healthy), or ordering in which is just insane.
I haven't taken a lesson or shown in 2 years. I'm training horses for friends and in return getting in all the riding I want. I also make a nice tidy commission off the sales. Its not too much, but every little bit helps.
In the spring I foalwatch. It means I'm not home, I'm in the apartment and I don't sleepmuch, but the clinic is usually quiet then anyways and I just schedual around it. I also farmsit on the weekends when she goes away, again staying in the apartment there. She has offered me a great deal on boarding if I find somethign I want to buy, but right now its not looking like its going to happen soon.
I still have cable and internet at home, as well as VOIP phone. I keep bouncing back and forth about letting the cable go, but I use maxtrax in the clinic. And its all a write off, still not sure about it though. I also could decrease my cellphone but with how much I use it it would cost me a fortune to try to change my plan.
I need to look at a new car. My car still runs ok, but I've replaced 3 mufflers so far this year, and the brake system needs an entire overhaul every winter. In its defence its an '85. I'm looking for something new, and plan to decal it for the busines, even though its a business expense I am still looking for something very reasonable.
People are still coming in to the clinic so long as their coverage doesn't change. I'm glad that health coverage is what it is.
It's pretty easy for me. I'm a freshman attending state college 15 minutes from my house, living at home for free, writing scholarship essays, working on campus, and in general doing my best to minimize student loans. I support my horse; my mom supports her horse. My horse is actually a project horse, more for the experience than the sales money; once she sells, I plan on paying rent to my parents, or paying the grocery bills, or something.
My family does our best and, since buying our own horse property is unlikely for the next several years, the idea is that we will sell our house and move to a smaller house further into town. Not a huge sacrifice -- our house is more house than 3 people need, and closer to town means a longer drive out to the barn but a much shorter drive everywhere else.
We don't really eat out except for treats, we don't have cable. Things don't seem dire to me but I'm not the one with the bills.
Horse spending is still a pretty big expense, especially when you have two horses of very different body types whose saddles don't fit each other. But we do our best, and we sell our fair share of stuff on Craigslist or Ebay.
When we 'show,' it's at local schooling shows. I just joined Pony Club, so I will get a discounted rate on a bunch of lessons and clinics should I choose to attend.
Boarding at a barn that is $175/month for partial care, hay included -- don't think I will ever find a boarding situation this amazing again, and I feel very lucky that we found it. The mares get a 2:1 Ultium:Alfalfa pellet mixture and a complete vitamin.
Hope everyone is still hangin' in there. It will get better