Hi, I'm author Kay Iscah. Occasionally, you'll also be hearing from my cowriter P.J. Lockabey on this blog.
This blog is intended to both provide supplemental information to our book, Living Single on Minimum Wage and offer useful advice for creating and staying on budget to those in the lower income group. We are working on a second edition in 2015.
So you know, I'm U.S. based, therefore all references to social programs or things being legal or illegal are based on laws in the continental U.S. Some concepts are universal and may be useful to international readers, but be aware that the blog is giving U.S. specific advice.
Early in 2007, we started working on a budgeting book for singles on a low income, using full-time minimum wage as our example.
When we started writing the book, I had moved back home with my parents, mainly because I like my family. Phillip was living at home with his parents too, but not enjoying it so much. Then my grandparents moved in with my family as well, making things rather crowded.
We decided that while finishing up the book, we would spent a year "real world" (or without family help) testing the ideas while sharing an apartment along with my brother. The plan was to be very open and honest with you about our financial situations, and see if all our ideas that worked well on paper also worked well in action. In general the experiment was successful. Enough so, that I'm satisfied with the real world application of what we preach in the book.
However, real life is rarely text book perfect. About midway through, we ended up taking in a 19 year old with some crazy issues. They were too personal for me to post about fully on the blog but too important for me to ignore for the sake of our experiment. As her issues began to resolve, I got the business bug. In the process, the blog may have lost it's way a bit as an account of our experiment.
I've since moved back home and started a home business (which began as a small daycare). I learned a lot and attempted to pass on what I've learned as I feel it's relevant for learning and applying good finacial habits. Unfortunately I'm currently in a state of do as I say and not as I do, because I would NOT advise most people to try to go into business for themselves even when the economy is strong. (Most people doesn't mean all. If you have a great business idea, go for it.)
In 2011, I've shifted the focus of my business away from childcare and towards Print on Demand items. I think Print on Demand is an enviromentally friendly business model and allowed me to keep the price of my book at an affordable level. I also have Cafe Press and Zazzle shops, where designs by me and other artists are available on a variety of products from T-shirts to iPad covers.
In 2012, the online magazine www.thriftyandgreen.com asked us to become an Expert Blogger for their website. This demanded more continuity for our posts. A need for visuals inspired the creation of "The Minimum Wager" comic, to help illustrate financial concepts. Our feed is now visible through their site, along with many other instructive blogs and articles, promoting a financially and enviromentally green way of living.
Early in 2013, I retired from actively and regularly updating the blog, and now only post when inspired. We are still visible on thriftyandgreen.com, but as we no longer make an effort to follow their formatting, they don't show all of our entries.
And now it's 2015 and hopefully, I'm now back to regular weekly blogging. We're revising our book to adjust for inflation and important new changes like the AFA. If you are a low income single, we want to hear from you, struggles, triumphs, concerns...we love getting your feedback.
We do not ask for gifts. However, since one kind person brought us something at our fourth book talk, I thought it would be wise to post some sort of gift policy. Yes, you may give gifts either to writer(s)/artist(s) individually or to the Amoeba Ink company. Gifts are not tax deductible (we recommend giving to the Red Cross or Goodwill if you want a tax deduction), nor do they involve any sort of trade (that would be bartering...which is a valid form of commerce but also taxable). The company or individuals who receive the gift will not be under any obligations due to said gift, and may use or redistribute them as they see fit. Again, we are neither asking for or dissuading gifts, just trying to avoid issues in the future.
Do NOT contact us directly to ask for ad placement. If you wish to directly sponsor our blog contact the people over at www.thriftyandgreen.com.
Companies or products mentioned in our blog posts are done solely for information and transparency purposes. They may reflect the writer's tastes but do not qualify as an endorsement by Amoeba Ink. We are never paid for mentioning something in a blog post.
Recommended Reading: (books we recommend for their inspirational, perspective, or practical value...I've been meaning to do list like this for a while, hopefully it will grow soon...)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge by Ted Klontz Ph.D., Rick Kahler CFP, and Brad Kontz Psy. D.