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The $1 A Day Plan

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    The $1 A Day Plan

    By Bill Hirst

    In most of America people a trained and pre programmed to act and work in common ways, known and predictable. This creates order. Everyone goes down the highway on the right side of the road. What if you went down on the left? Would you be wrong? Not if you were in England. I am from Kansas. Another world and and in another time. I don't play by the rules for I don't see them. I abide by our common laws and moral values but I am wired differently. I don't follow your roads. To get out of your ruts, get of the road.

    The best things in life are free is dead wrong. The best things in life are things that you get paid to collect. For many years I would advertise to pay for broken mowers. Many people saved my adds and would call me months after the adds expired. One day someone called me and asked if I would still pickup mowers, I said I had so many I didn't need any more. They then asked how much would I charge to pick one up. Bingo, I realised that I should be charging not paying.

    Immediately I reran the adds and announced that would pick them up for a fee. I actually got more mowers. I don't know why but people even treated me better when I went to their homes. I guess they thought I wasn't under paying them for the mowers or something like that. This was a turning point in my life. I realised that I could collect things I wanted and get paid for it. Like working and enjoying it. I decided that from now on I would make sure that I turn the table on all my problems. I would make the problem a solution. I would make any thing I like to do part of my work. I liked to grow trees and plants. So of course I raise them for profit and here is how it came about....

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    Of course you have heard that, "Money grows on trees", or, "Buy land because they're not making any more of it". How many times? I first heard about it when I was 5 from my great uncle, Uncle Bill.

    Uncle Bill was wealthy, retired and living the good life in Sarasota Florida. I was impressed with his big house, boat, and all his toys that successful people collect. He was a forestry graduate of Penn State and had made a ton of money.

    As I grew up he would visit us once a year. I always listened to his stories and was convinced that he could never be wrong. He had made his fortune selling traffic signals (red lights). High tech for his day. I can remember him telling my father that if he was starting all over he would buy land in Maine and grow Christmas trees on it.

    Listening in and hearing this I thought it was secret market information that is only repeated to close friends and family. I thought I would never tell anyone for if I did, well, it would lose its value and everyone would be doing it. Sort of like the pig market cycle. One minute trees would be scarce and bingo, the next minute there would be surpluses and the market value would crash.

    As I grew up, some say I never have, I wanted to do just that. Grow trees and buy land, lots and lots of land, and of course plant lots and lots of trees. In 1973 I graduated from Juniata College in Huntingdon Pa with a BS in Chemistry. It was at Juniata that I met my future wife. I proceeded to go out and get a job with in Lahaska, Pa.

    I really wanted to start growing trees. So I bought 160 acres of land in the mountains of Virginia in Allegehany County. The purchase price for this mountain land was $150 per acre. I was working in Bucks County Pa. and felt that if I worked day and night I could pay for this property in a few years. The older lady who sold me this property sold it to me for 1/2 down and the balance in one year with no interest. Making about $6.00 per hour and borrowing $12000 for the initial payment, I proceeded to go into debt.

    During this year I proceeded to start to pay down on the property. I did get married later in the year and my wife and I started our real estate purchases. Within 2 years we had paid off this property. We bought our first house and started saving money for a Bucks County Farm.

    We both had our day jobs and at night and on weekends we mowed lawns. After 5 years we had enough down money to buy a 38 acre farm in Doylestown Pa. Keeping our first house as a rental, we moved to our farm. This farm had a purchase price of $210,000, and a payment of $1493 a month. We named this property, Highland Hill Farm. It was at this point that we came up with the plan that we followed that helped us to fund the purchases of all our farms and properties.

    I called this plan," My dollar a day plan". We reasoned that each day we should work on projects that will in the future pay off with an income stream of $1 per day or save me $1 per day from my current costs. Each day would be considered successful if that goal was met. All costs and all projects and work was measured in that manner. If we could set up a low cost plan that could reap the benefit of $1 a day we would work on it.

    The goal of the dollar per day was not important, just the attempt. We would work on the idea until it would be completed or given up on. We reasoned that one could spend hundreds of dollars on each idea, because when it would work out, the pay back would be hundreds of dollars per year. After many days my income would be increasing and it would help fund the plan.

    Our mortgage payment was greater than our combined take home pay. This meant we had to bust xxx. So we had to work every night mowing lawns and doing extra work. We started to plant Norway Spruce and White Pine Trees. We started with the smallest and the cheapest trees we could afford. We started with 2-4" seedlings.

    Since we felt it would be years before these trees would be saleable we kept up our lawn route. As our children arrived they went with us on our lawn route and we back packed them as we mowed lawns. Within 2 years the first batch of trees were marketable! We sold 2-3' pines and spruces for $8.00 each delivered and planted. These trees sold like hot cakes!

    Thus a few pennies for seedlings could be converted to many dollars within a few years. This would add many dollars per day to our plan. We also rented out barn space. Within one month of ownership we had almost $1500 in rent per month from barn spaces.

    We purchased Scottish Highland cows. I like to eat and I loved having cows on the farm when I grew up so I figured get paid to raise what you like and eat the rest. These cows would save us from buying meat. We had a garden for vegetables and fruit trees in our pasture. When I cleaned up the dead branches I found a place to sell them for smoking meats. The garden saved on buying vegetables.

    Being asked to do lawn cleanups and remove items from customer properties, we began to do small hauling jobs. We found that a lot of good stuff is thrown out so we started collecting used lumber, plumbing supplies, and anything we thought we could reuse or salvage. Everything we did was directed towards being self sufficient, cost saving, and income production. (I know if I told you all the ways we saved you would not believe me so I will save the words.)

    We heated our house with a wood burning stove. The wood burner saved on fuel for winter heating. We would turn the burner on only for hot water for showers. Since our house was old and large, a lot of fuel would be saved in this manner.

    Within a few months we realized that this plan was working. We saw that in acquiring rental properties and placing them in service, we could buy properties with positive cash flows. A positive cash flow of $100 per month brought in about $3 per day. It does not sound like a lot but when you calculate in expected appreciation of the property and possible rent increases, this plan looked even better.

    We thus started to look for more properties. We found another farm in Bedminster Township. The cost was $195,000 for 8+ acres, 2 houses, 2 barns and machinery storage sheds. I estimated that there would be $3500 per month in rents that would support this price. After buying this property our first months rent was $3450 !!! With taxes and insurances, we made at least $1000 per month on this farm.

    We also planted trees and shrubs on this property and put in a few cows. In seeing that this method was working, I went to the public library. We got books on how to buy and manage real estate. I read everything I could. The book,"Nothing Down" by Robert Allen was an eye opener. It confirmed many of our strategies. Almost every deal on real estate that we did was with nothing down or creative financing. Every property had to make a positive cash flow. We never bought a property to flip.

    We became a buy and hold persons. We did buy a few single family homes, but concentrated on farms and land. Gradually our gross income and net income allowed me to quit my day job. That took almost ten years. As we had more and more spendable income, we would invest it in more types and kinds of trees. During the early years, we wanted to plant trees that we could market through newspaper ads. Newspaper ads allowed me to have a store without hours. People would call in for information instead of visiting my location. This saves a lot of time. A phone answering machine acted as my secretary. We would take orders over the phone and deliver and plant nursery stock directly to the homeowner.

    Our adds targeted customers who wanted screens and privacy fences. They tended to buy large numbers of small pines, spruces, and arborvitae shrubs and trees. One could deliver 20 2- 3' white pines on a pickup truck and plant them in an evening. At $8 ea we would gross $160 Our tree cost was 20 cents ea. or about $2.00 per order. We all gained valuable lessons in planting trees in a wide range of conditions.

    Without a doubt I can conclusively say that I now have found that money does grow on trees. My uncle Bill was right. His secret market information was exactly as I had thought when I was 5 years old. Only after enjoying the trees and nurturing them over the years did I realise that it wasn't for money that he wanted to raise trees, it was for satisfaction in the way of life and quality time that I have been blessed with in following my dream.

    Bill Hirst

    P.S. 30 acres being cleared

    A 30 acre field in Doylestown Has to be cleared this month. We still have about 150 flowering pear trees to be dug. The field next to this plot is the next to be bull dozed. We have app. 60 acres of stock there.

    Year 2006 Free Stuff:

    We will be giving away free bibles that we got out of the trash as supply lasts. We also want to get rid of some surplus stock. I will determine how much free stock is given away by the size of your order. The more you buy the more you will be given. I want your trucks to go home full so you don't waste gas.

    ****************
    Bill Hirst has a passion.....save, recycle, buy in volume, go without, and invest in long range pay out ideas. These ideas really work as he has demonstrated. His web sites detail many of my ideas. The sites include www.seedlingsrus.com www.zone5trees.com www.highlandhillfarm.com and www.huntingrelics.com

    #2
    Re: The $1 A Day Plan

    Hi! Enjoyed your article very much. Do tell more about some of those things you think we wouldn't be interested in. I am!

    ~LuxLivingFrugalis

    Comment


      #3
      Re: The $1 A Day Plan

      Me too, but I also think I am lazy...cause I don't know how to get a garden to grow with kids, much less get a whole farm running and kids....

      Comment


        #4
        Re: The $1 A Day Plan

        Gosh it sounds like you and your family worked so hard. Night and day.. and I bet it was nice to have some farm experience. To be paying a mortgage more than your take home pay is awesome.... You must have been very confident about yourself to do something like that..
        Their is a thin line between genius and madness...........

        Congrats on working so hard and making a wonderful life for yourself and your family. I wish you all the happiness in the world.. and hope one day my husband and myself can be as bold and vibrant.

        Kind regards

        Comment


          #5
          Re: The $1 A Day Plan

          I have a similar theory for my website. I could either ...
          1. Promote one link and hope to make $1000 per month from this single link
          2. Promote 30 links and hope each one makes $1.11 per day
          3. Promote 100 links and hope each one makes 33.33 cents per day.

          All make $1000 in the end, but which one seems more realistic?

          I have only made $1000 or more 2 times in 25 months, but do average almost $700/month! Now my goal is to create 5-6 more websites (different topics) with similar results hopefully.

          Comment

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