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Living on 30,000 a year - could your family do it? - Page 2

post #11 of 29
Yes, I am living on about that now. I can't do it long term, but we are making it work for the time being. We are a family with one adult and 2 little girls, rather than a family of 7.

I own my property, and my car. Utilities and property taxes are not outrageous and we are pretty low maintenance (no cable or dish tv...just Netflix and cheap Internet). I cook from scratch most of the time. I shop sales. Clothes are bought on clearance or at the thrift store. I line dry my clothes (not sure it saves much electric, but keeps the place from heating up in the summer). We do a lot of free activities for fun (library, beach, park, etc).

My one splurge I could drop is my smart phone. Netflix and Internet could also go if needed.

Ortho, dental, and vision are tough, even with ex paying his part. We are blessed that the girls are covered under his medical insurance.

I usually pay all of dance costs (tuition, costumes, shoes, etc) as ex doesn't pay extra-curriculars. I just look over my budget and tell them how many classes i can afford each year. This year, my parents are helping with dance, so the girls are in more classes than usual. They only do dance (no sports) during the school year. They do swimming in the summer.
post #12 of 29

What an interesting thread!  


My husband and I have nine children with our oldest being 18 and our youngest is 1 and my oldest two are taking college classes.  We live off of $31,500 a year.  This is BEFORE taxes, ss and medi-care are taken out.  Then the state of AZ requires that 11% be taken out to go into the state retirement system.  So, doing the math would bring us to $1000.00 every two weeks.  


We own a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1800 sq ft home with a 14 year mortgage.  We own two cars.  We don't have cable.  We don't have cell phones.  We have one land-line.  We do have internet.  Our grocery budget is $125 a week.  We do have eye coverage through my husband's work. We save up for dental appointments.  This bill has been kept low due to my children being blessed with great teeth.


After paying bills and allotting money to different places, tithes, gas, etc....we end up with $75 to wiggle with. What has helped us tremendously is not going into debt.  The only debt we have is our home.  If we had credit card bills, there would be NO way we could live off what my husband makes.


It is definitely a struggle some times, but living off of $30,000 is doable.  I am sure a lot of you ladies would be resourceful in cutting out costs!


We definitely live below the US poverty line, yet we live comfortably.


Blessings from AZ

post #13 of 29
If the house was paid off and if we didn't have our health insurance bill, we could. We would have some major cutbacks, cut out the gym, no personal trainer, go down to one car, get rid of our smart phones, but yes we could do it.
post #14 of 29



Our house, land on the mountain and all of our cars are paid off.


The only bills we have are:


light bill

direct Tv

cable, internet

health insurance

property taxes (yearly)

car and home insurance (yearly)

propane gas (pre-paid yearly)

my cell phone (pay-as-you-go)

car tags (yearly)


So yes we could. If we had to we could get rid of the land line, internet and cable, because both E and I have cell phones. His is paid by the company. We could also cut back on groceries and sell the land on the mountain. We could also sell some of the classic cars if we really had to. That would also cut down on car tags and insurance

post #15 of 29
We can short term as house and vehicles are paid for, but since there is no way we could save to replace things, it wouldn't be doable long term.
post #16 of 29

We could do it and in past years have when my husband was sick and off work frequently we did.


We though have always owned our cars so that helps.

Our rent now is only $375 un heard of around here (thanks to church owning the home we rent)

utilites are not as bad at this home since we don't have air(we do run a window air unit and kids camp out in living room to stay cool)

We don't have cable tv

we could get rid of smart phones if we had to

We have no other debt a few medical bills but those get paid off as they come in.

post #17 of 29

If it was net income, we could live off of that just fine.  If it was gross income, we'd have to become mortgage-free.  We'd either have to bite the bullet and dip into savings to pay the house off, or sell the house and use the money we make off of it to pay cash for either a small house or a mobile home with land.

post #18 of 29

Let's be specific about what $30,000 means for a married couple with two children.


The Social Security tax rate is 6.2% and Medicare is 1.45%.

$30,000 gross less SS/Medicare taxes of 7.65% (- $2295) leaves you with $27,705.


Income taxes: let's assume you live in a state that doesn't have an income tax. You also have a very simple tax situation, i.e.: no mortgage deduction or anything else. You take the standard deduction of $11,900 plus the deduction for dependents $3,800 x 4 or $15,200. That leaves you with a taxable income of $2900. The tax on that amount is $289. HOWEVER, you also qualify for the EITC - Earned Income Tax Credit of $3600. That means you're getting a refund of $3311.


So during the year, you're living on $2308.75 a month and once you file your taxes, you get a little influx of money.


Let's look at a monthly budget:

Property taxes (if you rent you don't have to worry about this, however if you do rent then you have to pay rent which will be higher. It is better to have a house that is paid off): $100

Homeowner's insurance (let's assume you have a really great deal of $780 annually): $65

Life insurance for your spouse since the worker is covered through the employer: $10

Auto insurance on one car: $75

Gasoline: $100

Auto maintenance: $20 - you use the tax refund for big stuff like tires and brakes

Electricity: $100

Alternate fuel (propane, natural gas for heating): $25 or you decide to install a wood burning stove.

Telephone (land line plus one pay-as-you-go cellphone): $45

Water / sewer / garbage: $68.75

Groceries - food: $730

Groceries - non-food: $70


This leaves $1600 a month for everything else: clothing, gifts / Christmas / birthdays, entertainment, internet, school supplies, extra-curricular activities for the kids, charity / tithe, home maintenance, medical care, dental care, retirement, savings and every other little thing that comes up. Note, I didn't calculate health care premiums which very soon could easily be $1600 a month for a family of 4.


Yeah, it is do-able but it is tight - very tight. There is no denying how tight it is. As soon as you have an emergency, a car break down, a major - or even a minor - medical problem (having a kid with food allergies could suddenly throw the whole budget out of whack), or if you want to do something like travel or even eat out, you are putting everything else at risk.

post #19 of 29

Cookie, your mind must hurt at the end of the day, with all of the data that you store in it!!


I barely can remember my social security number!!biggrin.gif

post #20 of 29

I'm a numbers person. I really missed the boat by not becoming an accountant.

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