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The Frugal Life News – 07/11/05


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The Frugal Life News
July 11, 2005 Edition

A Note From Randal

Hello Everyone,


Welcome new subscribers and thanks to all of you who have been sharing The Frugal Life News with others!

We came back from a 12 day trip and found many of our plants had really suffered from a long dry spell we have been experiencing.

We look forward to hearing from you. As always, we appreciate you sharing this newsletter and the website.

Frugally yours,


Frugal Finances

Combining Debt-Freedom and Tax Advantaged Investing

My wife and I have an agreement. If she’ll pay for today, I’ll pay for tomorrow.

Before we were debt-free, we were both wage-earning employees. Elizabeth, my wife, was a schoolteacher and I was an engineering manager.

After we were debt-free, we discovered we could live comfortably on Elizabeth’s salary – the smaller of our two salaries. When my last engineering assignment imploded, a casualty of the Internet bust, I knew I didn’t have the blood pressure reserves to continue that line of work.

What good is debt-freedom if you’re paralyzed by a stroke?

I did, however, want to expand DebtIntoWealth, sharing our experience with you and others like you.

That’s when we made our agreement. She would continue earning wages, enough money to take care of our daily living, and I would create assets – a business – to fund our retirement.

A “Retirement Business” is not the same as a second wage-earning job. Expenses and taxes

often decimate second incomes. Think of a Retirement Business as a low-overhead Home Business whose net income is used to fully fund as many tax advantaged investment vehicles, with before-tax money, as possible for future retirement.

In the U.S., business owners with no employees other than a spouse can create a SOLO 401K.

The employee/owner is able to contribute up to $14,000 for 2005 but may not exceed 100% of pay.

This means if your Retirement Business has a net income of $14,000, you may contribute the entire $14,000 and reduce your business net income to $0.00.

If your business has net income up to $28,000 and you employed your spouse, who did not otherwise participate in an employer sponsored retirement plan, she could also create a SOLO 401K.

Your business could pay her up to $14,000 — an expense for your business and tax-deductible income for your spouse. So far, you have increased your family retirement fund by $28,000 and no income tax is due.

Your business continues to thrive and has net income up to $36,000. If your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)

is $70K or less, you and your spouse are eligible for traditional IRAs.

In 2005, IRA limits are $4,000 per wage earner. Create an IRA for yourself and deduct $4K. Your spouse does likewise and deducts $4K, totaling $8K in deductions and increasing your tax-deductible retirement contributions to $36,000.

Get the idea? Let’s do one more…

Health Savings Accounts

are available for any individual with a High Deductible Health Plan. You may contribute and deduct up to the lesser of your plan deductible or $2,650.

This brings your tax-deductible net income total to $38,650 and your retirement portfolio to $38,650 for 2005.

To summarize:

Pay off all debts first and reduce expenses to a level where they are payable by one wage earner’s income.

Create a Retirement Business and use all net income to fund tax-advantaged retirement accounts using before-tax money, eliminating or dramatically reducing current tax liability on business income.

In 10 years, contributing $38,650/yr. and earning 7% compounded annually, your retirement accounts will grow to $571,386.11. In 15 years they will grow to $1,039,223.27.

Debt-freedom combined with tax-advantaged investing is a powerful formula for a financially free future.

As always, consult your tax advisor for implementation details.


Greg Moore is the Architect of the Debt Freedom System, ‘DebtIntoWealth — Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom.’

Free Lesson #1 – Debt Freedom Course

Pay off all of your debt in 5-7 years using the money you already make. Find out why financial guru and best-selling author, Suze Orman, is advising her millions of followers to “Pay Everything Off as Fast As Possible!”

Frugal Gardening

If your screwdriver has a broken tip, don’t throw it away; just give it a new job description. An old screwdriver is great for levering out deep-rooted weeds such as dandelions. Phillips screwdrivers and flat-headed screwdrivers work equally well.

This idea comes from The Frugal Gardener by Catriona Tudor Erler.

Frugal How-To

Hard Surfaced Floor First Aid – Grease And Oil

Remove as much as possible with newspaper, paper towels, or a plastic spatula. On resilient tile, rub with a cloth dampened in hand dishwashing liquid and Warm water (or an all- purpose cleaner). On wood and cork, place a cloth saturated with cleaning fluid on the stain for no more than 5 minutes. Then piece the area dry and wash with detergent and water.

This information is found in How to Clean Practically Anything by Consumer Reports pg. 28-29.

Make Your Own Home, Bath and Beauty Products

Essential oil kits allow you to make your own safe non-chemical home and beauty products. Making your home less toxic for yourself, children and pets.
Make Your Own Home and Beauty Products

Frugal Pets

Herbal Heartworm Program and Prevention

Robin Sockness works with pet owners with an individualized program and has currently worked with over 700 dogs. Herbs are safer and less expensive so it’s a win-win situation for all. Prevention programs available.
Herbal Heartworm Program & Prevention

Pet Information, Links and Natural Foods

Healthy Pet Corner provides lots of information and links for dogs, cats, birds, horses, rabbits, and reptiles.
Healthy Pet Corner

What’s Going On In The Forum

Maybe you can help these folks out with a few suggestions? Or post some of your own questions. Log-in to Post Here’s the link:

Questions Needing Answers At The Forum

Critters Forum

1. Armadillo War! – Hi,  I’m new here and hope to find some new ideas to try. We have been battling armadillos for 2 years now, and I fear they are winning.  I’ll briefly go into what we have tried.  Spraying the yard for the grubs they are after, that has slowed them a little in the immediate area around the house.  We can’t afford to treat the entire property.  We have set live traps using over ripe banana and caught 3 last year, but none this year.  The three I caught last year were caught at the entrance to their den (or whatever they call the tunnel they dig to live in).   We have searched for the dens this year and haven’t had one bit of luck when we have set the traps there.  If anyone has had any success with other methods or bait, I would really appreciate any info you care to share.  I am about at my wits end.  Thanks in advance.  

2. Ants/Pet food bowl – I have place my pets dry food bowl in another bowl of water so the ants will find a mote of water to them from the food.  I have been widening the mote over time & i now have a swimming breed of ant after 5 or 6 years of this method.  any suggestions of how to have the dry food out without the ants?

Decorating Forum

1. Any tips for hanging pictures on walls that are concrete block-based? I live in a very old cottage, and the outer walls, which are concrete, bend any nail that’s longer than 1/2 inch. It’s been suggested that I use a drill with a masonry bit to drill holes in the walls, and then use concrete screws to hang the pictures (all of which are too heavy for adhesive hangers). However, I’ve never used a drill before, and I’m afraid of what it will do to the paint layer on the walls. Any ideas? Laurel

Home Based Business Ideas

Nature’s Sunshine Products – Herbs and Supplements

Earn an income selling over 500 natural health products, beverages, essential oils, skin care systems, water filters, and more. Websites for $11.95/month.
Nature’s Sunshine Products

Home Spa Party Plan – Make Bath and Body Products

Have you noticed how popular bath and pampering products have become? The HomeSpa Party Plan taps into that craze. Guests at HomeSpa parties learn how to make bath salts, personalized perfumes, body spritzers and more using essential oils, while you make a nice income.
Home Spa Party

Flint River Ranch – Oven Baked Pet Foods

Make additional income providing healthy pet foods and bones to friends, neighbors and family. Pets keep eating, so customers keep buying. If you love animals, this is a very rewarding home-based business. With only $100.00 volume a month you earn 19% on all sales.
Flint River Ranch

Life’s Abundance Foods and Supplements

Formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks and Dr. Barry Sears who developed the Zone Diet for Overweight Dogs. Besides dog, cat and horse products, they have a non-toxic line of cleaning products – safe for pets and children. Websites available for $8.50/month.
Healthy Pet Net


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Copyright, Legal Disclaimer and Reprint Information

© 2005 Randal J. Watkins

Information in The Frugal Life News (TFL) has been derived from sources believed accurate and reliable. In no event shall *The Frugal Life,* Randal Watkins, or the TFL staff be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of information herein.

TFL does not knowingly accept ads from advertisers deemed detrimental to TFL’s readers, however, publication of an ad in TFL does not constitute an endorsement for such product or service.

There is no remuneration for suggestions, tips, or ideas submitted by readers. All suggestions, tips, and ideas, submitted for publication in The Frugal Life, become the property of The Frugal Life, notwithstanding similar rights of the reader submitting such suggestions, tips, or ideas. TFL publishes readers’ names with their suggestions, tips, and ideas unless a reader requests otherwise at the time of the submission.

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You may forward or use this copyrighted newsletter on a website if you include the following credit:

Editor, Randal J. Watkins, of, provides this free
newsletter to subscribers. The Frugal Life is sponsored by
which provides quality Nature’s Sunshine Products at wholesale prices. Visit
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