Page 1 of 10 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 94

Thread: Living on $30k or Less

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,245

    Living on $30k or Less

    For a while I've been thinking of starting a thread focused on living on $30k or less per year. I'm posting on the Enough forum because I'm pretty sure that $30k (and less even) is enough for Dh and I to live very comfortably. I want to focus on the positive aspects of having a goal and finding creative ways of reaching it.

    I would love to have company from others with similar goals. And I hope that you guys won't mind if I post in a diary format - both the successes and failures, and the everyday mundane stuff too - as a way to keep myself accountable and to think out loud, and hopefully learn along the way. I had thought of starting this thread on Jan 1st, but have been busy, so rather than trying to backdate and such, I will just start with today and go forward.

    Not sure yet what format I'll end up with, I'll just post what comes up and see how it goes.

    Day 1
    Spent: $25.
    I bought some reed fencing at Home Depot to cover up some unsightly areas of the fence between us and the neighbors. Each section is 6'Hx16'L for $24.99 and was easily attached by stapling to the existing fence. It looks fantastic! Provides excellent privacy and looks very pretty, it gives the fence a charming Asian look. We have several Japanese maple trees and camellias along that fence so it is perfect. We will probably need 2-3 sections total.

    Saved: $20.
    I returned a garden ornament I bought earlier in the week. Don't need it. It was an impulse buy. I was relieved when I returned it.

    Saving by Doing
    Used homemade bone broth and some spices to braise a big pork shoulder in the oven. It will provide quite a few meals and a good portion for freezing for later. Having home-cooked food makes it easy to pack lunches and eat in, as our homemade food is often better than restaurant stuff.

    I'll be making a big salad and boiling some eggs for light dinners and snacking.

    Resisted the urge to buy some succulent plants. I have plants at home to start cuttings with.

    Today I'm grateful for: Rain.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Offshore
    Posts
    7,743
    How much do you end up having to budget for healthcare/insurance? That's pretty much my #1 bill these days.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    How much do you end up having to budget for healthcare/insurance? That's pretty much my #1 bill these days.
    DH has excellent health coverage with his job and our portion of the premiums come out of his pay pre-tax. He also has the flexible spending account which is pre-tax for medical expenses. I haven't added it all up, that's why I'm keeping the figure at $30k. Our expenses without healthcare are in the $24-26k area, and I would give a rough guess of $2k per year for health care - but again, I haven't really added everything up yet.

    About 5 years ago we both had some dental work done which was costly, but the past 5 years has been uneventful.

    I'll do an update when I have the healthcare costs to see where that puts us budget-wise.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Gimlet Island
    Posts
    1,154
    Are you paying for housing?
    We have an old house, live in a small town on and island in the PNW.
    We only pay $150 for the two of us a month for health (Canadian)
    We are vegetarian and vegan and cook 98% of our food from scratch.
    Semi-retired and very much hoping to live on about $35 000 a year (That would be the equivalent of about ??? US)

    Here's hoping, planning and a little bit of praying.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    997
    watergoddess
    It is just me and I am living well on about $25,000.00
    I own my home but part of my income is rental for part of the house (Dd and one grandson)
    I do have a small mortgage against the house for renovations that I am paying $500.00 a month on it will be paid off this Dec.
    so life will get much easier. I have the savings to pay it but, I know myself well enough to know if I used the savings I would not put that
    much back a month.....lol
    Sharing some of our expenses like internet, t.v. and lot of small appliances. Also, this way I am not paying for help with yard work/snow removal.
    We also, buy groceries and cook together so more savings. Dd coupons and shops the sales and I garden and do up food she gets on sale.
    Lots of cooking from scratch and very little eating out.
    I do some sewing and crafts mostly for gifts or to donate. I buy very little in the way of clothes now that I am not working.
    Most of my fun comes from volunteering and groups I belong to. Cheap fun with good people.
    For the first time in my life I have joined a gym (2 blocks from my house) cost is $40.00 a month and I am certainly getting my monies worth.
    I don't seem to feel the need for big trips, I am happy with having company and making several trips to visit family/friends in this province .
    Being in Canadian I have health care but, that leaves a co-pay of about $150.00 a year on drugs, glasses and dental.
    I realize it is much harder for a couple but, so many things are the same cost for one.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kestra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    904
    For myself I can live on $18,000 CAN or so (not including taxes) and have a good life. That includes some travel and luxuries.
    However I find that I underestimate what I spend. When I was single I thought I was spending about $1300/month, but looking at my spreadsheet it ended up closer to $1500-1600. There are always occasional expenses cropping up - mostly travel, then moving. Right now I spend about $1500 a month, and that is with housing very cheap (heavily subsized by SO's employer) and food very expensive (the frozen north).

    I'm not particularly frugal or careful with my spending; I just don't want much.

    As a couple I'm not sure exactly what we spend as I don't know/care what SO spends on personal things. Once we move to a more typical housing situation I estimate $4000/month when we have a mortgage, less when that is paid off. Again, that is with a lot of unnecessary spending. $3000 would be doable if we needed to.

    I aim for about a 50% savings rate, though that will likely be down to 30% for the next few years. I'll be happy when I can get back up to that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    863
    Many years ago we adjusted our household budget to $30,000 (although income is much larger since hubby is still working fulltime) as a way to get ready for retirement. We also happen to live where the cost of living is low, have no debt, so all that helps. My sister lives on roughly $10,000 a year, but gets free healthcare through the VA, and a little financial help from her daughter and us. Her daughter pays for her cell phone, and we help with utilities in the summer.

    My best suggestion is to use Zero Budgeting. Every dollar has a name....and you can find a free budgeting tool at Dave Ramsey's web site: http://www.daveramsey.com/everydollar Even our "walking around" money is in the budget. I would also suggest practicing something I've been doing for several years now. I only "shop" every other month (other than groceries, which I get once a week). I've done it for so long I now only shop the first week and the last week of shopping months. I just have to "plan" my purchases ahead of time.

    Our food budget is $125/month (for two adults - and that's for FOOD ONLY), and that includes home food storage with enough food for at least a year, which makes that $125/month budget doable, along with a small garden. I'm also getting a home freeze-dryer (https://harvestright.com/) now that I've saved enough to purchase one. Being able to freeze-dry food will eliminate the need for an extra stand-alone freezer (although we eliminated our stand-alone freezer 10-years ago because it was a money-hog). Freeze-dried food stores at room temperature. So now instead of buying freeze-dried foods, I'll make them myself.

    We will need to move down in house when we retire in order to save on property taxes, and probably go to one vehicle, and those are the things we'll do in the next 2-3 years after hubby retires.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,449
    I so admire hose who live on these low amounts! I guess our hobbies are too expensive, oh, and the wine bill.

  9. #9
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    9,417
    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I so admire hose who live on these low amounts! I guess our hobbies are too expensive, oh, and the wine bill.
    I would just love to sit and have a glass of wine with you, IL!

    And I'm enjoying being a voyeur here, seeing how you guys are pulling off living on 30k. I'm with bae, I'm just doing my taxes and I paid 30k on health premiums and medical expenses alone.

    So keep inspiring me here, folks. I'll be 64 at the end of this month, and I hate to wish my life away, but next year I'll be Medicare-eligible. What does life come to when what you are looking forward to is free senior care? :/
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,715
    Since I just retired, I was feeling a little uneasy about expenses so I tallied all expenses for one month. Our total came to $3200 which inncluded $750 to savings. Once we move and get rid of the mortgage and high property tax, I reckon we can easily live on $30-35K a year. I will need to add DH to my insurance plan when he leaves his current job and that will run around $300 a month. As for the wine, we have found Trader Joe's to greatly reduce that line item amount when we do buy it.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •