Living on Less Than $28,000 A Year: How our family of six survives (and even thrives) 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. [Read other posts in this series here.]
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I have had an overwhelming response to the Living on Less Than $28,000 A Year Series, but many of you have asked for specific help in getting started on a plan to spend less and save more.
To help, I will be sharing videos over the next few weeks with a specific step by step plan to get your money on track. If you’d like to join us, just jump in and take the weekly challenge!
[Click here to see last week’s video.]
My husband suggested that this would be more interesting if my hair caught on fire at the end or we exploded the plants. Sorry, this is a low budget production. While this may not be the most fun you have ever had, it will help you if you want to get your finances straightened out. 🙂
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No, I guess it would not be very “peaceful” being the Peaceful Mom if you had videos with your hair on fire or exploding plants (but I like your husband’s sense of humor). Gotta laugh, right? 😉
Might you have any tips on having a “bare bones budget”? Our budget felt like that already before my husband got laid off, and now, while we have no income or unemployment benefits yet, it’s even more challenging.
Hope you have a nice weekend, Kimberlee and thanks for the tips. 🙂
First of all, I am so sorry that you are in this position. I pray that you will be able to find work quickly. As far as a bare bones budget, when times were more extreme we prioritized as follows:
1. Rent/Mortgage–Pay this first because being without a home causes even more stress.
2. Gas money to get to work (we avoided any unnecessary driving by combining errands and avoiding Sunday afternoon leisure drives).
3. Food- We bought the minimum food we needed to survive–lots of cheap meals like eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, tacos and quesadillas, beans and rice, mac n cheese with frozen veggies, etc. for dinner. In extreme times we NEVER ate out or bought fast food (except the occasional $.89 ice cream cone for the kids) and tried not to buy any convenience foods.
4. Utilities- We turned the thermostat to the maximum setting we could stand in the summer and the minimum in the winter. We hung our clothes to dry rather than using the dryer and only used lights at night.
5. Everything else- We eliminated anything we could (cable tv, expensive cell phone plan, land line phone, entertainment money, dry cleaning, etc.); sold anything we could (including a second car, or a car with a payment to get a cheaper car).
When you have an extreme situation like yours, if you are in debt, pay the credit cards last. When you are in survival mode items 1-4 have to be your priority. You can clean up the credit card mess when you are stable again [and just don’t answer the phone when creditors call. ;)].
You can also check for local ministries that have food pantries to help with groceries.
Kimberlee, thank you for the excellent ideas. Thankfully we have no debt, but deciding whether to have expensive Cobra insurance or go without insurance is a difficult choice we have to make soon (other options I’ve found so far are not so great). Without insurance we know of course that anything can happen to put us into debt.
Just trying to focus on the things I can do and trying not to focus on the things I have no control over. 🙂
I really enjoy this series and the many other features of your site. I have read Mary Hunt before, but having a real person to walk me through makes it much more meaningful. Thank you!
You are very welcome Anne. I am so glad that you are finding the site helpful. 🙂
I’m really loving these videos, Kimberlee! Nice to see your happy face each week AND get useful tips on managing money! 🙂
Thanks Rachael. 🙂