Feb
20
2012

New Series: Living on Less than $28,000 A Year (pt.1)

by Kimberlee Stokes Affiliate Link Disclosure B

{UPDATE Feb. 2013: Welcome! These posts are from a series I started in February of 2012. Our income has since increased a little, but we still use these same principles to live on less so we can spend our money on our true priorities.}

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Living on Less Than $28,000 A Year: Yes, our family of six lives on around $2200 a month and for the next few weeks I’ll be sharing how we can survive, and even thrive on an income that is less than half the national median income, and what the government calls “below the poverty line” (less than $29,990 annually) for our family size.

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Click here to read other posts in this series.

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Before we get started, I’d like to address two issues: (1) WHY I’m sharing the information and (2) WHY we live on such a small income. I’ll address the specifics of HOW we live on a lower income in future posts.

 

WHY AM I SHARING THIS INFORMATION?

I have written about money saving ideas for some time, but I have been hesitant to put an actual number on our annual income for a couple of reasons. Number one: it’s personal. Number two: it’s personal.

Growing up I often heard that there were two things that you never talk about–politics and religion. I would add a third: finances.

These three topics define who we are as individuals and families within our society, and therefore people have firmly held convictions about them. I really don’t want to get into a debate about someone’s firmly held convictions and let’s face it, people don’t just go around announcing their annual income.

I also don’t want to be judged. Looking from the outside, it’s very easy to say that someone should or shouldn’t do something. There are many choices that our family has made that you may not agree with, and I am taking a risk by sharing them. I am risking my “reputation” and I am risking being criticized and looked down on. (After all, when thousands of people read the blog, I have a bit of exposure to public scrutiny.)

So why am I sharing now? My husband and I have considered these factors and decided that the risk is worth it if we can encourage even one family in their financial decisions and struggles.

There are many people who have mortgages larger than our entire monthly income and who may be shocked that we can live on so little. If you are one of those families, I am honestly very excited for you that you make a larger income. Perhaps you would like to be able to save more, though, and maybe reading this series will give you some ideas you hadn’t considered before.

There are also quite a few of you who live on even less than we make and life is a daily struggle for you. Hopefully you can gain some ideas and encouragement from this series as well. Now to the second point.

 

WHY DO WE LIVE ON SUCH A SMALL INCOME?

There are many factors which led us to make the choice to live on one, smaller than average income. The two that come to mind as I write are reducing the stress from over-commitment and prioritizing relationships.

 

Simple is better.

Life with four children is busy for anyone, but throw in the fact that our oldest son has Asperger’s Syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder), our oldest daughter has a severe wheat allergy and our youngest daughter has behavioral issues coupled with me working a full time job, and you have a disaster. My stress level was unbearable and I was very unpleasant person to be around (sometimes I still am ;)).

Simplifying to one job and one school (home school) keeps me sane and our family happier.

 

We love Dad (and I’m sure you do too!).  

I am a former public school teacher and my husband has most of his experience working for a non-profit charitable organization. It would make more financial sense for me to work and dad to stay at home, but my husband is much better in the role of encourager and entertainer of the children than he is as homemaker :).

Having no higher level training, my husband’s only way to make a higher income right now is to work more hours and more jobs. He could do that, but we want to have family time just to relax and hang out.

Time with dad is important at every stage, but it is crucial with three teenagers. Girls need their father’s approval and attention to form their identities at this stage of life. Teenage boys need to see how their fathers interact with others, especially how they treat women. Seeing Dad interact on a regular basis with Mom and watching him treat her with respect makes a lasting impression on a young man. All teenagers need someone to bounce ideas off of. Having more relaxed time at home means we have more time to listen and discuss things.

 

Remember, the judgment I mentioned earlier? Well, at this point you should know that I do not judge anyone who makes different choices than we do. We each have unique circumstances and values, and we each have to do what is best for our families based on those factors.

As a matter of fact, we would like to make more money. We definitely don’t want to stay where we are financially, but if we have to choose between money and relationships (and for now we do), we are going to choose relationships every time. Relationships are eternal. Money is not.

Now that you know WHY we live on less, in the next few weeks I will be sharing HOW we live on such a small income. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment. PLEASE remember to play nicely. I would like everyone to feel welcome here. Thanks! :)

Click here for an index of all posts in this series.

 

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{ 1012 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer May 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Thank you so much for being so transparent. We are a homeschooling family of 5. We made the decision to homeschool 5 years ago and it has been pretty rough. We are pretty sure my husband is at the max of what he can make w/out having degree. It is so easy to get weary on this journey but we feel this is best for our family. I often think about how easy it would be to get a night job to help out but my hubby doesn’t want me to because we would never see eachother. I am hoping to get some new ideas from your blog. It looks like your blog has been a blessing to many. Thank you! :)

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Kimberlee May 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hi Jennifer! That is exactly what our situation was, but God has opened up some opportunities for me to make a little extra money. Maybe that is something that you can explore while you are looking for ways to cut back. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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Kelly May 10, 2013 at 11:51 pm

I am so glad I came upon this blog through Pinterest. I am a single mom (by choice) to a great 6 yr old who also has Asperger’s and I also foster 2-3 kiddos b/w newborn and 4 years old at any given time. I decided last year that my son needed to be homeschooled for Kindergarten and that the foster kids needed more attention then just throwing them into daycare all day (they have enough going on in their short lives so far) so I rearranged my work schedule and only work evenings now, which really cut back my income. But we are all happier and adjusting well now and I can’t wait to learn some tricks to save money so that I can breathe a little easier!

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Kimberlee May 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

Welcome Kelly! It sounds like you have a lot going on. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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Sandra May 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Congratulation on putting being great parents FIRST. We would be living in a much better society if more people would put their family ahead of materialism. I was a stay at home mom until all my children started school, I have no regrets.

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Patrick May 22, 2013 at 6:36 am

You homeschool? That’s so awesome!! I’m 15 now, and I have been homeschooled my whole life! I really love it. There is so much opposition to homeschool so I want to be the person that tells you that you made the RIGHT decision ;)

I also agree one hundred percent with your father figure theory.

I think you have your head on straight and you get the flow of things! Don’t let anyone judge you or tell you differently.

I want to thank you for starting this blog. As a 15 year old making $6 hr, I coul really use some money saving advice!

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Kimberlee May 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

Wow! Thanks Patrick! Good for you for getting your finances in order at such a young age!

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Devon May 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to reading your series!

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Mimi Parker May 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Trusting God will help you do HIS WILL for your family is something we are also going through right now. It really hurts when people do not agree and make fun of homeschooling. We must obey God, not men! Thank you for your series.

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Luz Rosario May 30, 2013 at 10:51 pm

What a breath of fresh air it was to read your post. Same income and 2 kids and maybe 12 weeks into quitting my job for choosing relationships and I was just crying over having to give up my cell phone. Encouraged I am now though. Thank YOU, :-)

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Kimberlee May 31, 2013 at 10:41 am

Hi Luz! Sometimes there are difficult choices to be made, but I like to look at it through the lense of choosing my family over possessions or convenience. Keeping that perspective helps me on hard days. I am so glad that you feel encouraged. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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ashley February 21, 2014 at 4:07 pm

do you get government assistance? food stamps wellfare exc if so than your not doing it on 26000$ a month. If you are doing without help than god bless you. I do agree that money management definatley helps as my husband and sacrifice a lot so much that people often laugh at us and we both work. I also agree that pepeople need to learn how to live within their means.

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Kimberlee February 21, 2014 at 11:43 pm

No, we do not get government assistance, and you are correct if someone were getting government assistance that would count as part of their income. This series was written 2 years ago and I do make some money selling ebooks and advertising on the blog so we are making above $28,000 a year right now.

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Jennifer June 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm

So, I just need reassurance I guess about this amount of amount of others. I just got increased to a salaried position starting at 28,000 a year. Although I would think that for me this probably sufficient. I am single only have one child and typically don’t live outside my means. I admit I do like shopping and tend to by the extras for my son since he’s an only child. But I can say no we can’t afford that. Bills come first, but then again this increase is new to me as I have been living paycheck to paycheck at 760 per two weeks. I stumbled upon your site and kinda felt like maybe I got the wool pulled over. That now I’m in for a struggle? So confused as it may also sound immature but any input or opinion would be greatly appreciated.

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Kimberlee June 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Hi Jennifer! I think that if you are careful to stay out of debt and to budget every paycheck you can make it. We are a family of six and we have lived on less than $28,000 for several years, but we do make sacrfices which you can read about in the rest of this series. Hope that helps. :)

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Nicole Rockensock June 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm

My husband is a public school teacher and I work at State Farm. We have two daughters under five. Medical and school debt, bills, and a car that needs replacing. I am eager to hear your story. I have found that being fruggel and doing deals at cvs and trying to figure out how to get healthy cheaper groceries is super stressful.

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Kimberlee June 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Welcome Nicole! It’s really tough when you have debt, but hopefully you can find some encouragement and ideas here. :)

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Janie June 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Hi. I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth here…. I found you article charming, authentic, articulate and enjoyable. I think that you and your husband made “the hard choice” for all the right reasons. I agree that most people wouldn’t make the same choice to sacrifice the money for the relationship —- mostly becauseoat people think they can have and do it all. I admire your decision and I definitely admire your courage to “go public” with the what’s, why’s and how’s.

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Kimberlee June 20, 2013 at 7:34 am

Thanks so much for your encouragement Janie! :)

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Karen June 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm

When my children were growing up and my husband was in the army, we made some decisions. We would live in a smaller home, drive older vehicles, I would stay home and home school our two children. Basically live within our means and put our family relationships first. Fast forward twenty-five years, the kids are grown, well adjusted adults who contribute to society and serve in our church. We are still a very close family. I think too many people today don’t want to invest the time and energy into actually raising their children and take the easy way instead. You reap what you sow. I can tell you, the payoff defies any words I have to describe it. I have no regrets and you won’t either.

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Kimberlee June 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Thanks so much for that perspective Karen. It’s good to hear from someone who is “down the road”. :)

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Christie July 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Glad I stumbled on to your blog. I have daughters 19 and 14 my old has Down Syndrome so I stayed home for 15 years to provide her care. My husband drove truck to provide our income for that time however, we decided the money was not worth having our family living two different lives. He has found a position he loves with considerably less pay but so worth it. My role has now changed and have gone to work full time I can understand the stress that several have spoken of. When I am at work I worry and miss my girls feel like I have let them down by working even though I have been fortunate to find I job I enjoy going to it is still hard and I have to not let emotions allow me to purchase things for my girls out of guilt.

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Kimberlee July 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Welcome Christie! We have had those years when I had to go back to work and leave the kids, and it is really difficult. All you can do is to make the right decisions for your family and make the best of your situation. Enjoy the time that you do have with them and let the guilt go! :0

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Kari July 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Well I remember the one income, homeschooling days! I loved every minute (well almost) of it! Good for you, and I’m anxious to glean from your budgeting ability and learn how to make the money go further.

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Kimberlee July 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Welcome Kari! I am sure that we can all learn something from you as well, so feel free to comment often. :)

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Gena July 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I’m so excited I found this start page. We are a family of four living on about $90,000 and we are struggling between debt and bills and keeping up with our peers (my husband is military and advanced fast so obviously there’s a gap there). I stay at home which kills me because I should have figured this all out long ago. I came from a traumatic childhood so I have spending “issues” that I’m dealing with in therapy. I think it’s way more shameful to make more money and spend unwisely than to have less money and make it work because you have to. I love that you said simplicity and over-commitment because those are directly related to money. Thank you for posting this and your “number”. Clearly, the “number” has no meaning or value, only what you actually do with it.

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Kimberlee July 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Welcome Gena! I totally inderstand about emotional spending. I am a recovering spendaholic myself. It helps so much to take care of yourself so that you can live a “sober” lifestyle. I hope you can find some encouragement and practical help here. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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Kristen July 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Thank you for this blog! I recently became a SAHM when we had our first baby in February. While we are fortunate to have my husband working in a great job, things are still tight. I am also interested in homeschooling but am trying to convince my husband that its worthwhile. I’m excited to read about your ideas for staying within a reasonable budget for groceries. This is one of the few places I choose to spend more since I am a firm believer in organic foods and clean eating….I’m definitely not willing to purchase packaged foods, processed foods, etc. but the downside is that there aren’t many coupons, if any, for this style of eating. Every coupon I receive is usually for something out of a box, or is highly processed. We have definitely seen our bodies and health improve since switching to clean eating but our wallets…not so much!

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Kimberlee July 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

Welcome Kristen! I don’t really use coupons, and while we don’t eat all organic, I am still able to buy some organic foods and keep our budget under $125 a week for six people including 3 teens and a 12 year old. You may find my Save Money on Groceries Series (here) helpful, and my ebook Save More–Clip Less: Feed Your Family for Less Without Extreme Couponing.

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Shannon July 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Thank you for your desire to help others with your experiences. My husband is a full time student on his third year in college, I work approximately 30 hours a week. Our monthly income is about 1000.00. We are buying a home and have a few pets but no children. Things are extremely tight for us. I am looking forward to reading your blog and learning some more tips to saving more and still have time to spend with each other.

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Kimberlee July 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

Welcome Shannon! Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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Tiffany July 31, 2013 at 9:53 am

Good morning!
I found this blog in Pinterest and was very interested. You have some great tips in money saving and spending that we can all learn something from! I did have a question for you, as I was looking at you blog and money saving tips. $28,000 is you after taxes and “take home pay” correct? I am an RN and make $60,000 a year but my take home pay is $2800 a month. Now I do have $400 a month taken out for health insurance for my family of 3. However, if my paycheck did not have my health insurance taken out I would still only be making $1000 more per month than your family or $12,000 more a year. My husband also makes as much as I do. However, do to student loan debt we are trying to manage our money better to get some debt paid off. Thanks for clarifying! Maybe our state taxes are much higher here in MD, or i am getting too much in taxes taken out per month? I was just curious!

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Kimberlee July 31, 2013 at 10:34 am

Hi Tiffany! I first posted this in February 2012, and at that time we were bringing home about $2100 a month after taxes. We have since increased our income by a few hundred dollars a month. I would check with an accountant about your taxes. It is generally better to have less taken out of each paycheck so that you have the money each month rather than getting a big refund. Hope that helps. :)

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Emily Franz August 1, 2013 at 12:40 am

Your blog is so incredibly inspiring. I’m newly married, and only have myself and my husband to look after; however, as recent college grads with well enough school debt to pay off, I could really use some straight forward advice about saving money and living on less income that I’m used to. Thank you SO much for your dedication to this site and for your help!

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Kimberlee August 1, 2013 at 7:28 am

You are very welcome Emily!

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Lisa August 14, 2013 at 2:27 am

Thank you for sharing!
And I always love hearing when (especially being a mom) other women would rather live with less inorder to have more :-)

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Courtney August 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Relationships are SOOO important and I’m so glad you & your family see that. I have no doubt that your children will be the ones that make a difference in this world with such awesome parents to guide them and be role models to them. From a 23 year old THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart from this post. I can only dream to have a family just like yours. This following paragrapgh you wrote is something I want every family to read. It’s perfect in EVERY way.
“Time with dad is important at every stage, but it is crucial with three teenagers. Girls need their father’s approval and attention to form their identities at this stage of life. Teenage boys need to see how their fathers interact with others, especially how they treat women. Seeing Dad interact on a regular basis with Mom and watching him treat her with respect makes a lasting impression on a young man. All teenagers need someone to bounce ideas off of. Having more relaxed time at home means we have more time to listen and discuss things.”

God Bless you & your family :)

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Kimberlee August 15, 2013 at 8:43 am

Thanks so much Courtney. We are definitely not perfect, but we are trying to live our values and pass them on to our children. Time will tell if we were successful.

I am sure that you will have a wonderful family because you are already thinking about how you will parent. Blessings to you!

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Julie August 30, 2013 at 8:43 am

Hi…I stumbled across this post while on Pinterest. Kimberlee, I think what you are doing here is going to help a lot of people, whether they have their own family or are single and live with their parents. I’m only 19 and well, looking at my family and my parent’s struggle to make ends meet, I sometimes wish I knew more about handling money and saving. So thanks so much for this post!!:)

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Kimberlee August 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

Welcome Julie! Thanks for your encouragement. I am sure that you will do a great job yourself because you are already thinking about it. :)

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Michelle September 4, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I’m excited you decided to share. My income is much like yours but I am just supporting myself. This excites me because I feel like I may be able to save more than I would of thought. When will you be posting the follow up? Very anxious to see!

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Christina @ Youthful Homemaker September 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Thank you for sharing your story and being transparent. I am a single mom who works from home and makes less than $20,000 a year… I know how it can be to have people look down on you because you have made choices that lead to you making less money and living more simply.

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Kimberlee September 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

Thanks for your encouragement Christina! Being a single mom is hard, but I am so glad that you can work from home and be with your children.

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Carrie lim September 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

How is it that $28,000 a year comes out to $2200 a month???

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Kimberlee September 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm

The series is “Less Than $28,000″. At the time that I began the series we had been making about $2200 a month for several years, which is $26,400 a year.

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Kristin September 25, 2013 at 12:03 am

Hi Kimberlee! I found a reference to your blog through the comments on Money Saving Mom and I’m so glad to be here. My husband is a police officer with a take-home pay of about $24k a year with which to support five people on. I homeschool our three kids. I think we might have some things in common in our budgeting and spending habits! :) And we agree – family comes first!

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Kimberlee September 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Hi Kristin! Welcome to The Peaceful Mom. :)

You have a very tough job supporting your family on $2000 a month, so I am sure you have some ideas to share with me too.

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Karen September 30, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I look forward to reading your blogs about how you support your family of six. I too have 4 children. I recently got the opportunity to stay home. Staying home though comes with huge sacrifices. I had to give up all credit cards to my husband who keeps track of all the money. I really want this to work but am having a hard time believing it will especially with Christmas in a few short months. Any advice would be great especially for holiday shopping. My husband’s take home is about $2600/mo after insurance.

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Kimberlee October 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hi Karen! I am glad you are here. :) Yes, there are huge sacrifices involved in choosing to live off one income, and you have to be very careful to make it work. I would definitely sit down with your husband and take a look at the numbers in your budget so that you have a good idea of what is going on. I have found that one of the primary ways we can save money is by me being a good home-economist: saving as much as possible on groceries (making a detailed weekly meal plan and specific grocery list, making food from scratch, etc.); saving on electricity (hanging clothes to dry instead of using the dryer and turning the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer); saving on transportation (making fewer trips, having one car). You get the picture. The really important issue is that you are on the same page about what needs to be spent and on sacrifices that need to made (like cable television, hair appointments, new clothing).

On a side note, we have also increased our income by selling things, my blogging, selling ebooks, etc. You might try to find some ways to make money from home like tutoring, consulting, childcare, etc. I have a list of ways to make extra money here: http://thepeacefulmom.com/2012/04/04/5-easy-ways-to-get-extra-cash/ The comments have some really helpful ideas. I hope that helps. Feel free to ask any other questions you have. :)

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Kimberlee October 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Alison I October 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Thank you for sharing your insight on family budgeting. My husband and I just got married and just bought a home, and we would like to start a family sometime in the next few years. I really look forward to reading this series of articles, and learning all I can, as I would also love to be able to homeschool our future children, and be very family central.

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Kimberlee October 15, 2013 at 7:55 am

Welcome Alison! Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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Cissy October 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm

What a wonderful discovery…You have given me much inspiration as a single mom of 2. Thank you!

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Kimberlee October 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I am so glad Cissy! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

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Amy November 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this as a 24 year old living on my own and having bills I have been torn between work and fun. Growing up I had a single parent raising my sister and I. I loved the fact that she was always there for us and she chose to take a pay cut in work and in hours to make sure she was a part of our lives growing up. We didn’t have the money to spend on brand new things but we knew our mom Loved us and this day I still have friends from sports teams in hs that call her the team mom cause she was able to be at every single one of our meets and games. Its amazing how important that is and I know most of the kids I grew up with were hurt everytime their parents weren’t in the stands to cheer them on like mine was. Thank you for realizing whats truly important. Im glad I know how to bargain shop thanks to my moms tight budget. Your kids are truly blessed to have parents in their lives like you. Keep up the amazing work

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Kimberlee November 16, 2013 at 8:40 am

Thanks so much for your kind words Amy! It’s good to hear the perspective of someone who grew up in a household that made choices similar to what we are choosing, and I’m glad that your mom was able to do that for you even though she was single. That is definitely something to be grateful for!

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Mary November 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I am very grateful to have found your blog through Pinterest. We are a family of five, and have been struggling with our income for quite some time. I’m a stay at home mom, my husband is an elementary school teacher. We both just went back to school in order to better our education and increase our income. We’ve made foolish decisions and are over $150k in debt, plus our daily living expenses, and school. Last night we sat down for the first time, to try to figure out what we are doing to end in hundreds of negative dollars at the end of every paycheck. We are living way over our means! I don’t coupon, simply because I haven’t gotten the hang of it, and end up saving a couple of dollars when using them. So finding your website brought back the hope I needed. Thank you so much for sharing your successful story with us. I am very excited to learn everything I can from you, to free us from this gigantic debt that is putting so much stress on my family.

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Kimberlee November 22, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Hi Mary! I am sorry that you are in a difficult situation, but I am glad you are here. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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domesticallychallengedkate December 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm

This blog is fantastic! I am a recently divorced woman. My income is half of what it used to be and my expenses seem to be twice as much. I look forward to tips and advice from your blog as I am always looking for ways to make my money stretch a little further! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more.

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Kimberlee December 3, 2013 at 6:40 am

Welcome Kate!

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Rosa December 10, 2013 at 11:40 pm

So wish I would have read this awhile ago. I came across this too on pintrest and read the whole series today. It was a wonderful series and I hope to implement most of the ideas…. my husband was laid off last week…. one week after we purchased a new car…. So at the end of the month we will be done having insurance coverage. Also having kids…. so I really appreciate all the time and effort that you put into the series!

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Kimberlee December 11, 2013 at 9:14 am

I am so sorry that your husband lost his job Rosa. I hope that he can find work soon, and I am so glad that I could give you a little bit of encouragement.

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Jill R. Slusser December 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm

These are some great tips. Just instituting one or two of them would likely save someone quite a bit of money. I have been working on not eating out quite as much but it is difficult.

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Kay Cowdin January 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Kimberlee, Thank you for being so candid. I have long thought that if we never discuss finances, how can we learn from each other how to manage our finances? Children (and adults) need to hear this discussion so that they can understand how to budget, how to save, and how to put finances in their proper place when making life decisions. It is very easy to become overwhelmed when you don’t understand how to control it.
I am looking forward to reading your suggestions and putting them in action in my financial life.

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Kimberlee January 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Thanks for your encouragement Kay!

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toni January 19, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Hi I just found your web site, we are soul mates I have been homeschooling for 23 yrs now down to 4 of my 10 kids still home with me I have always stayed home and made it on one income and laugh at a society that says it isn’t possible. Cant wait to read the rest of your posts and learn some new ideas thanks for sharing.

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Kimberlee January 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Welcome Toni! Nice to meet a kindred spirit. :)

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elyse February 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm

people can learn a lot from you. Im very interested in learning some more from you as well as me and my husband are in debt because everything in our house is broken when we moved in. I always like to learn ways to save money thanks so much

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elyse February 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

but their are people who dont make enough to support a family by themself no matter how much they manage their money and sacrifice. my husband and i make 360$ each a week and if 1 of us stayed home w baby the family plan for health insurance would be 130$ a week its cheaper for us to be on seperate plans seperate insurance is 26$ a week. add a spouse and its 95$ a week than add chold it would be 120$ now if its just you and child our company insurance policey is only 56$ a week so if i stayed home i would not be able to have health care so lets not judge everyone who doesnt stay home. my husband and i sacrifice and we both work

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Kimberlee February 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Hi Elyse – I am sorry that you felt judged. It is absolutely not my intent to criticize anyone’s personal choices. I have been a work-outside-the-home mom, a stay-at-home mom with no outside job and a work-from-home mom. I strongly believe that every family has to make the choices that best serve their overall goals. If moms want to stay at home, I want to encourage them that they can live on less with some organization and sacrifice in order to meet their higher objective. Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

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elyse February 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm

i meant 130$ a week not 120$$ a week

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elyse February 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm

so if i stayed home my husband would only be bring home about 260$ a week thats not enough to pay for groceries mortgage which ours is only 575$ a month water phone only 40$ unlimited talk texxt and internet on it electric water and car insurance and 80 $ a month in gas not a week we luckily live very close to our jobs and we would not qualify for goverenment asstistance already went to yhe food stamp office and talked to a social worker about his income alone is to much to get help

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Angela (Blessed Life with Child(ren) February 23, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Honestly, it is sad that you feel you have to justify why you live on less, but I understand why you did. I think it is great you know how to be frugal, and am really looking forward to your future posts. We are not struggling financially, but we once were. Still, it is nice to know how to save even a little cash here and there. Good luck in your venture.

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Kimberlee February 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Welcome Angela! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I guess it is sad to feel that I had to justify our choices, but we have had several people make negative comments about our choices so I wanted to explain them :)

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Margie March 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

I’m so glad I found your site and part one in the series of how to live on less than $28000 a year! My husband and I also have 4 kids living at home yet (2 are married w/babies of their own). This will come in handy and I’m so looking forward to reading up on things! We have been trying to cut back on things around here as well…..an example is: my husband and I were getting frustrated with our electricity bill every month during the extremely cold weather this past winter, so we decided to try something….we went through our entire house and unplugged everything that we just don’t use on a daily basis (sometimes not even for months….). We SAVED $100.00 on our next electric bill, even though it was still cold outside!!!! It’s amazing the things we had plugged in that we just don’t use daily….. We also got rid of our cable. (Even the cable guy, when he got here to disconnect things, told me that anything people want to see, they can watch on-line and stream it through to their computer to the tv set, so we are doing that now too!!! That saved us over $90. a month there!! Thanks for sharing your ideas!! Looking forward to them all!!!

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Kimberlee Stokes March 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Welcome Margie! That is dramatic savings just from unplugging things that use electricity. Good for you for taking control of your money.

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stephanie stewart April 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

My husbands disability is what we live on. Annual about $16.000 a year. Have moved my elderly mother in who cannot be by herself anymore.
She also is drawing disability. Any advice on living on less will be greatly appreciated and taken to heart. Thanks so much for giving us hope!!

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Kimberlee Stokes April 6, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Wow Stephanie – sounds like things are tight for you. Is there any possibility of you working part-time to bring in any extra income? After you have read the Living on Less than $28,000 series here: http://thepeacefulmom.com/living-on-less-than-28000-a-year-series/ you can check out my other money saving ideas here: http://thepeacefulmom.com/category/money-saving-ideas/ and my Save Money on Groceries series here: http://thepeacefulmom.com/save-money-on-groceries/. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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Christine Hannam April 9, 2014 at 11:21 am

I’m so excited to have come across this blog–I recently left my job due to extreme stress and after realizing I was sick of being that “not so pleasant” person you described. We are struggling financially and while I do things to be as frugal as possible so I don’t have to go back to a traditional job, I don’t want to feel so stressed in trying to achieve that. I really look forward to learning from you, thank you for being willing to share!

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Kimberlee Stokes April 11, 2014 at 11:17 am

Hi Christine – welcome! Let me know if you have any specific questions.

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