Missy I don't think we can right now, I think you have to wait for open enrollment
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Living on Less Than $25,000 Per Year - Is it possible? Advice? - Page 4
There's really no way to make the insurance any cheaper since we have the family plan, I am going to look into both the other options though
I qualify for assistance but only took the state medical insurance, not the food assistance. My kids do get free school lunches but usually take a lunch from home (they are picky).
I am currently living on about $17,000 per year. That is my child support and money from random odd jobs like babysitting and cleaning homes.
I am only able to do it because I own my home. An older single-wide trailer on an acre of property. I also own my car.
It is just me and my two girls, ages 11 and 5, and we live a very low-maintenance lifestyle.
My monthly bills:
Property tax: $80 (cheap because I live in a trailer)
Car insurance: $100 (cheapest I can find and I have a good driving record)
Homeowner's ins: $60
Electric/water: $100-130 (I air dry my clothes 90% of the time)
Natural gas (heat/cooking): $15-summer $100-winter (it ran about $80 last winter, it was mild)
Garbage pickup: $25
Netflix streaming: $10 (we don't have cable or satellite)
Cell phone: $80 (could lower this but prefer not to switch unless necessary)
Internet: $10 (a local program I qualify for due to low income)
Groceries: $300-$400 (includes food and everything for home...toilet paper, toiletries, light bulbs, etc)
Misc: $50-100 (car and home maintenance and repair)
Gas for car: $100-$150 (more during the school year with extra-curriculars. This is high as I have to travel to my ex's house 30 minutes away on a bi-weekly basis)
Entertainment: $50 (eating out, movies, skating, bowling, etc. We use coupons and find deals for everything)
I cook mostly from scratch, with the occasional box of Mac and cheese or frozen pizza for hurried meals.
We frequent the beach (we live just 3 miles from Lake Michigan), parks, library, free town festivals, and take bike rides. I got a scholarship to the local gym so we go there for family times as well. Most of our entertainment is free. Our local movie theater is reasonable at $5.50 per person with $1 popcorn and soda. We generally go if there is a good family movie playing. We do not have cable or satellite and have not had it for the last 2 years now. We do have Netflix streaming that we use if needed, and there is a local DVD rental store that we use on occasion. We play a lot of board games, read aloud a lot and do a lot of puzzles. We enjoy our backyard daily.
We shop yard sales and clearance racks. We aren't lacking for anything, we just really watch our spending.
This is just temporary. It didn't make sense to work the summer while my girls were out of school. Daycare costs are not worth it for the money I would be making at a part-time job. I will be subbing in the lunch room at the local schools when the new school year starts, and hopefully that will lead to a permanent position. It would be 4 hours per day during school hours. That is exactly what I need.
While we are making it ok, I am not saving any money right now. The part-time job would allow me to throw a little into savings. The school job would mean school breaks and summers off, so I would like a little cushion for those times.
It is totally worth it to be home with my girls right now.
I know that other people have said that you can't live on $25,000 a year in their area and I agree with that. Not in our area, if you want to live in a safe place. Where we live, a 2 bedroom apartment in a safe neighborhood will set you back $1,500 to $1,800 (or even more) per month. I would not consider sharing a house safe for my young children so I don't think that is a good option. At least not unless you are sharing with extended family.
We know a young family that was trying to live on $25,000 a year while the husband finished grad school and even though she was very frugal and got help with hand me down, they still ended up borrowing from her family. They couldn't find an apartment that was in a clean and safe neighborhood for what they were able to budget. If it had just been the two of them they could have made it work by sharing a home or renting a room in a group situation but once you have young children, life is very different. They had one car which they shared so they needed to live where he had access to public transportation to get to school and she needed the car because she brought in extra money by teaching music lessons after school. I would think that it would be super hard to live in near a large city on less than $25,000 and not get government assistance. Even food is more expensive around here than in many other place. Around here if you go to the farmers market, you pay more for your produce not less because it is natural/organic produce.
We have 2 adults and 4 kids in our family and my husband brings home around 1900/month.
Things take out before we get our paycheck:
Insurance- ~400/ month
stock plan- 3%
401k- not sure at the moment- small amount though.
We hardly have any taxes taken out except Medicare/ SS, so take home he is left with 1900
We do qualify for medical aid for the kids, but only are allowed to have that if we have my husbands insurance on them as well... which is fine.
We get a small amount of assistance for food ~200
Mortgage- $627 (has taxes and insurance factored in) (it is a decent sized house as well...over 1800 sq. ft)
Electric- $80 (less some months and more in the summer when AC is running)
Gas in cars- $200 (Hubby carpools so he only drives 2 weeks/month)
Water/Sewer- $100 (they just raised rates...UGH!)
Car Insurance- $ 35 (Cars are paid off so it's super cheap!)
Groceries- $200 in addition to the assistance. This also includes toiletries/non-food items. I coupon ALOT so that helps.
Christmas Club- $100
Husband's cell phone- $27
Cable/ home phone/ Internet- $143
Leaves a little under $100 for extras like birthdays, haircuts, garage sales (where we buy most of our clothes), and the occasional fun thing
Because of our lower income (and 4 kids) we do get a pretty large income tax refund. We use this to replenish the savings from things that had drained it (car repairs, home repairs, etc). We also budget for a vacation from that, a small "shopping spree" for the things that are hard to find used, buying homeschool books, and other things we plan throughout the year.
I cook from scratch a lot, use coupons, we have no debt except our house and of course, there are things we could eliminate if we had to: cell phone, cable, internet. I feel that we live pretty comfortably in that we have all of our basic needs met and are not starving or homeless. Some months my husband will bring in a little more due to a small bonus or overtime and we use that extra to get ahead...save, do something fun we normally wouldn't get to do...movie, pizza, bowling, etc, or plan for extra expenses we know are coming up in future months (birthday parties, anniversaries, etc). I know if worse came to worse my husband would get a second job or I could too but then we'd be paying childcare for 4 kids and it would almost be pointless. I'm not saying it's easy to live on that much, or should I say little, but it can be done. There are times when I see others and wish i could spend like they do or have things they have, but at what cost? How much debt do they have? I am blessed to be able to be at home with our kids so this is a trade I would gladly take.
Holy moly! Where do you live? That total housing number is insane.
I don't go to church, so this is probably just total ignorance on my part and I don't mean to be offensive, but if money is tight and you are getting assistance why would you "give away" so much of your monthly income?
We live in NW Ohio. Thankfully housing costs are low in this area. We even bought before the market went downhill. So we're blessed in that aspect.
About the church giving: I am aware that everyone does not believe the same we do and that is fine. Not going to judge others. We just believe that we should give a tenth of our income (tithe) since the Bible talks about it. It's hard to explain without going into a lot of detail. I know some think that is "irresponsible" to give that much away, but it's just what we believe. :) We have in the past not given when money was extremely tight, but we didn't feel right about that. Regardless of if we give to the church or not we get the same amount in assistance. For me, there are other things I would rather give up first.
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