Archive for the 'frugal' Category

You, Too, Can Live Off Just $480,000 a Year

It is amazing, but it can be done. I know because someone just down the road does the same. You might have to give up a few necessities, but you will survive.

No matter what your expenditures, you can spend less. The proof is the person down the road spending a mere $450,000. This carries all the way down to a family of seven living off of $35,000 a year. I guarantee that there is a family of 8 living off of less, they just don’t manage publicity as well.

When I was going through college(2001-2004), my wife was my sugar mama, bringing home a slick $1050 a month. From this money we paid all our bills, including tithing and saving $100 a month for a rainy day. We thought we were living fairly decently. We had insurance through the school and scholarships to pay for books and tuition. Our apartment wasn’t exactly a palace, but it was warm, dry, and plenty big. Before I had married my wife, I worked 12-14 hours a day 5 days a week and 8 hours on Saturdays all summer to save up money to buy a car, so I wouldn’t have that debt over my head. Our biggest advantage over others is that we knew the difference between a need and a want.

Cell phones are one of my favorite current needs. “What if your car breaks down by the side of the road?” some people ask.  As I recall, 20 years ago, when people’s cars broke down, there was no spontaneous combustion of the stranded. You simply made do. Nowadays you can either use a phone by the side of the road or wave down a driver and ask him if he can call a towing company. A basic cell phone plan runs about $600 a year. Is that really a necessity?

Cable is laughable. I don’t see how people even attempt to justify it as a need, but all over America there are people who get welfare checks every week that can’t live without their boob tube fix.  It costs around $500 a year, depending on your package. There is no way cable is a necessity.

I always am amazed by how much people spend on food.  We now have a family of 4 and we spend $45-$50 a week, and we eat great.  You  just have to base what you eat off of what is on sale , and learn how to cook.

The idea that it takes  $50,000 to support a family of 4 of four is ridiculous.  You can live off much less, you simply have to question your assumptions.  I have no problem with anything that people want to buy.  They should just make sure they buy it because it truly is a necessity (food, shelter, thrift clothing) or because it will provide enough enjoyment to justify the life they used up earning it.