Get Started Right :) 

I created this page as a page that I would have found useful as a high schooler or as someone starting out in life. Second hand living and just different economics and outlooks on that.

I am working on  compiling a list of the cost to do this stuff. start up cost is under 5 grand. I feel like the car would be fairly high. It's just interesting to think about cost of living economics etc. Because if you just have roommates and you bought the car out right and then you only need to furnish your room. You can probably do that for another $1,500 with the furniture. The electronics, the clothing, all that stuff.

Other useful pages 

Page I setup for where to Donate Things but also could be a good place to get things Free or cheap :)  

Page  for Student Discount

Page for  Low Income  Resources 


The main vehicle can be a Ford Crown Victoria Mercury Grand Marquis or if you're going for the high end a Lincoln Town Car, they are all panther body platforms that have been around since the 70s and continued until about 2011. You could buy them cheap their rear wheel drive. Big old V8's but they're very easy to work on and service in that. It would have been cool in hindsight if I got one and then just use that as my car from high school onward and then was able to fix it and keep it going and all that anyhow they're cheap to buy, maintain and repair and they're just like energizer bunnies that keep going and going. You could buy one for like $1,500 or so back then. That would have been a '90s one in the 2000s and just kept that thing chugging along replacing parts fixing it up keeping it going but then you'd have a free and clear car that's fixable serviceable and sustainable  

More info about that car 

Cost of car break down 

Average cost of minimum-coverage car insurance in Iowa is $58 per month, or $693 per year via 

Iowa driver's license renewal fees $4 a year 

12+ year old car $50 a year for registration 

$750 or so for base cost then add another  upkeep cost keep 1k around just to be safe  so $1,750 + gas 


 It would probably be best to have a roommate or a few so all you have to cover is just one room in a house or apartment vs getting a whole place on your own.  It looks like the cost of a roommate is anywhere from $300 to $500 + a month! the cost of living has really gone up a lot the last few years. But that does include unities etc...  I looked at and to see what was out there. 

Health insurance 

When looking at the options Obamacare or ACA sliver plan with a cost sharing restriction would run $39 a month based on  $28k a year for a net  income based on the age of 30 years old.  Apply at

Here is a calculator with more info 

Education & Career 

Go to a community college and try to learn some sort of skill that will pay you above market wages so that you can be setup for success down the road don't go to college for something that their is no market for or you wont make any money at because then all you have is a paper and dreams of getting a student loan bailout because you got scammed at a young age. For Career and job info I have this page

Clothing household things 

Clothing and other housing household things  like books, electronics for the kitchen, house, lights, furniture, garage sales, salvation army and other second-hand shops would be ideal places to look for these types of items. Half price books for media and books, but they're fairly expensive. Library book sales for other things that are highly reduced price. 

I have more info about it on these pages  Donate Things but also could be a good place to get things Free or cheap

Computers, TVs and other electronics 

Midwest computer brokers is the ideal place to go. You get fairly recent electronics that are operational, nice laptops, etc. At bottom of the barrel prices. Located in Walford you can call them at (319) 845-2075


You can get an unlocked cellphone for around $100 to $300 I like Motorola but many other options are out there. Then get Google Voice with Red pocket wireless  NUU A23 Plus unlocked  on Amazon for $85 

So it's an interesting philosophy and game to play on the economics of second hand living. But on a lot of things you're better off. Just getting it second hand if you can let someone else take the depreciation the risk the big hit with the money.

Cell phone $35 a year

The best deal out there spend $750 get Join the Calyx Institute after the 1st year its $500 each additional year for unlimited 5G internet. On the back end it runs on T-Mobile network

Internet up front $750 yearly $500

One time cost Budget Items 

Car $1,500

Bed $500

Get a good bed and chair you spend a lot of time in both

Cellphone $300

Computer $300 

Household needed stuff $300 

So right around 3K  it could be more like 5k+ but this is a ball park. 

Budget on going cost

Roommate rent $500 a month or $6k a year 

Food $100 a week or $5,200 a year

Car Paid off but  other cost above would be $1,750 + gas

Clothes cleaning etc.  $500 a year 

Health insurance yearly cost $480 

Telecom $535 

Fun social etc. $1k 

So with this very minimalist budget you are at $15,465 a year 

Links and more info

How to Start Out or Over on a Shoestring Book by Annie Jean Brewer