10 Tips for Living on Less Than $25,000 per Year



These are the EXACT same steps I used to dig my way out of debt, pile up 5 years of living expenses and start my own business (which will earn over $75,000 this year)!

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!
As Seen On
10 Tips for Living on Less than 25000 per Year

It’s not easy to do. But then again, it’s not terribly difficult either. Living on $25,000 per year as a single person is possible, even in a large metro area, even when living on your own without roommates. I’ve done it for two years now. Last year, in 2011, I lived off of around $22,000 and this year, in 2012, it looks like my total living expenses will total just under $25,000. Here are the 10 the biggest impact things I have done and/or continue to do and recommend doing to keep living expenses that low:

10 Tips for Living on Less than 25000 per Year

1. Track your spending

I started tracking my spending with an online program called Quicken Online about 3 years ago in mid-late 2009. My sister had shown me how her and her husband were using the Quicken desktop software. I found the online version and found it pretty neat that it automatically downloaded my account balances and transactions. After signing up, I saw my whole financial picture for the first time. I was in debt and had a negative net worth. It was depressing.

But using Quicken Online, and eventually converting over to Mint, was the start of my financial turnaround. Soon after starting to use this, I saw how ridiculous my spending was. I spent almost everything I made each month. I was in the middle of trying to pay off my $20,000 car while earning a fairly modest wage. It was a struggle. Looking at monthly spending numbers of over $2,500 per month ($30,000/year), I knew I had a problem.

And with tracking, that $2,500 per month spending dropped little by little, eventually hitting bottom at around $1,600/month in 2011 after paying off the last of my debt. I would have never gotten out of debt if it weren’t for tracking my spending. It gave me the insight and knowledge to make the cuts necessary to move the needle. It was my first step and the foundation of my financial progress.

2. Get rid of your debt and stop borrowing money

The first order on my agenda back in 2009 was to pay off my car. Earlier that year, my employer laid off people as the economy hit rock bottom. It was scary and I would have been in big trouble if I had been one of those people laid off. I had no money in the bank and a pile of debt in early 2009. Thankfully, I was able to keep my job and change my ways. I was fully committed to getting out of debt and building an emergency fund so that if something like that happened again and I was a part of it, I would be fine.

So from that scariest point in early 2009 to the day I paid off my last debt, which was my student loans, in December 2010, I was focused and intense. The amount total that I paid off in that year and a half was around $18,000. It doesn’t seem like much to me now but it might as well have been $100,000 back then. The important thing is that I stopped borrowing, I got intense as I could be, and I got myself out of debt, for good. Now I have the extra $400 per month going into investments every month instead of to the bank.

3. Stop going shopping and buying things that aren’t necessary

To fix my financial problems and pay off my debt, I went on a spending freeze. For that year and a half while I was getting out of debt, I decided to stay out of the mall. The habit has stayed with me and I rarely go shopping anymore. I live within 10 minutes of the Mall of America and don’t even remember the last time I was there. I just stopped buying and it has made all the difference.

My tips here are to only go shopping when you have a need and always go with a list. Don’t go shopping for entertainment. Go for a walk instead or for a bike ride, or sit down and read. There are MANY things you can do for entertainment instead of stepping foot inside a shopping mall. Look around your house/apartment. Do you really need to go shopping?

4. Eat at home and eat out very little

When I first moved to the area where I live now, I ate out all the time. I frequented the Taco Bell down the street for their Quesadillas, the Dairy Queen nearby for their yummy Blizzards and I thought nothing of ordering food every time I was out with friends at the local pub. After all, I now had a real job and money was flowing in at a greater level than ever before. I felt like I always had money to spend. So I spent $20 here, $15 there and $5 over there, almost daily. At the same time, I bought all kinds of groceries, that I thought I’d eat, but that ended up going bad instead because I ate out all the time. This was terribly expensive.

As an average spender, if you look at your eating out spending, it’s likely out of control. Mine was quite possibly in the $250-$400 range each month. Ouch. To live on less than $25,000 per year, you’ll need to cut the eating out big time. Here’s a little good news about doing it too. Your food tastes better and is much healthier for you. I’ve lost weight since I stopped eating out so much. What a pleasant side effect.

5. Make a budget each month

A budget is crucial to living on less than $25,000 per year. A budget is a plan on where you will be spending your money each month. This is different from not having a budget in that you tell your money where to go in advance instead of spending it freely and looking back at the month when it’s over and wondering where it all went. Your budget can be done on paper, which is a great way to do it, or it can be done using software like Quicken or Along with a budget, it can be helpful to use cash envelopes as well to get even better control of your variable expenses, those like eating out, shopping, groceries and entertainment. I started using the envelope system just this month and it has worked well for me in helping to keep my expenses under control.

6. Get inspired and motivated by the bigger picture

Motivation and inspiration have been huge to my personal finance progress over the past few years. I didn’t start cutting my lifestyle and living without all life’s luxuries because I just decided to be cheap one day for no reason. I’m on a mission. I see a bigger picture. I see a future full of options, freedom and excitement. I’m saving money for many bigger picture reasons, like:

  • Owning a paid for home someday
  • Being able to comfortably afford having a family
  • Achieving financial independence early in life
  • Being able to work on what I want, where I want, even if it’s not generating appropriate income at the time
  • Having options for where I live, what I spend my time on and where I spend my time

To me it’s all about the freedom to reach my potential. Spending everything I earn will only keep me at the mercy of others. Sure, I like working and my job, but I’d rather not be focused on profit 24/7, but instead on doing something I’m passionate about and something that I believe is helping people in a way that’s consistent with my values. Without a solid financial foundation, that stuff isn’t possible. It’s off to work I go each day, at the mercy of the job. My future isn’t going to be like that for much longer if I can help it.

7. Downgrade the disposable goods you buy

I used to buy all the fancy stuff, like:

  • expensive toothbrushes (which I replaced every 2 months)
  • expensive foaming hand soap (that lasted less than 2 weeks each)
  • expensive body soap (that had a brand name on the package)
  • expensive clothes with name brands on them
  • expensive computer bags, shoes, notebooks, heck even expensive milk

And guess what? It is all almost exactly the same as the generic stuff. So, I’ve downgraded almost every one of them. It’s likely cut the cost of my disposable goods in half. It just takes a mindset shift. Do you really need everything to be top of the line? Does it really matter if your dish soap is name brand or generic? Who cares how it smells or looks sitting by your kitchen sink. Get over it if you want to win financially. Go cheap.

8. Keep your living situation modest

In my opinion, this is where most people miss the boat. They get caught up in the “you have to buy a house” hype. Sure, that mortgage payment may be similar to your rent payment, but the other costs associated with home ownership will likely push your home expenses way up. If you’re serious about getting ahead financially and either getting out of debt or putting some serious money away, I’d encourage you to be careful not to act too quickly on the home ownership bandwagon. Sure, it may be a good idea to buy financially, but just be sure to factor in all the possible costs involved.

9. Learn to say “No” to others

As a natural pushover, I have always found it difficult to say no to other people’s requests to go out and have fun. I have friends who are complete extroverts and can’t spend a waking minute alone and they invite me out pretty often. I’ve learned that I need to be able to say no to this when I’m not in the mood for spending money on “just being out”. Obviously, you can’t just say no all the time or you may risk your friendship, but instead consider suggesting a free or low cost alternative. Expensive friends can cost an arm and a leg. You’ll have to be able to say no if you are to keep control of your discretionary spending.

10. Learn to be content with what you have

I’m a big believer that material things don’t bring happiness. I’m fairly happy and I haven’t purchased hardly any material things over the past few years. When I look around my apartment, I see a pretty basic place, with not a lot of expensive things. I do have some, almost all of which I bought between 5 and 10 years ago. They are all in good working order and I have no need to go and replace them. I even have empty space everywhere that I don’t plan on filling. I just don’t want anything else. I’d rather be able to achieve my dreams. I’d rather be able to pursue my passions than have a 70 inch LED TV sitting in my living room. I could go buy 30 of them today, but I don’t want them. You’ll need this mindset if you are to live on less than $25,000 per year. And remember, we’re not living on this little amount only to torture ourselves. We are doing it for a better future. A future that we are in control of, where we get to live our best life. It’s all on purpose and for a reason.


  1. Jenny says:

    I agree with all of these and think number 10, being content, is the best. It keeps us from spending when we don’t need to, even though we could afford it, we choose not to. Press on!

    1. Jenny,
      Thanks for stopping by today! In my experience, being content is huge in terms of being able to live below your means. If you can’t learn to be content with what you have, then you’re just a ticking time bomb to going out and spending a bunch of money to get some stuff. Over the long term, contentment is necessary, otherwise you will live in misery, feeling like you’re being deprived of the finer things in life. That doesn’t sound fun to me!

  2. 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.

    1. Lance,
      It’s funny but my temptation to eat out has dwindled a lot since I started eating at home and bringing lunches to work more often. It just doesn’t cross my mind as much anymore that I should go pay someone to make food for me and serve it to me. It has just become second nature to make my own food, pack a lunch and go to the grocery store if I need something that I don’t have at home.

  3. Michelle says:

    These are all great tips. We could definitely live on less than $25,000 a year, but right now are working on eliminating all student loans.

    1. Michelle,
      That’s great that you’re chipping away at your student loans. Once you get there, you probably will be able to get by on less than 25k. It’s crazy how much cheaper life gets when you don’t have to send all that money to the bank every month.

    2. Hey Michelle… don’t beat yourself up!

      I wouldn’t count paying off debt as a living expense, especially not student loans anyway.

      Just like I wouldn’t count paying money into an investment or retirement account a living expense either. That goes into another pot called your “savings percentage” – perhaps a more positive way of looking at this?

      Also I cannot believe that people need tips on how to live on under 25K… seriously?! They are all good tips of course but surely we put them to good use to raise (or should that be lower) the bar a bit? 20K… 15K…? 🙂

      1. Rebekah says:

        Both saving money or paying off debt increases your network. I put 70% of my net income towards increasing my networth- most of that is towards my debt- which is okay!

  4. Christian L. says:

    I’ve been living off of very little too in the past year and half. Your successful techniques mimic mine quite a bit. But I’d say the most notable one is No. 8. You’re right, too many people are quick to buy a home when they shouldn’t.

    What’s the rush? Since being out of college I’ve lived alone and also with roommates. I enjoy the latter because it makes my monthly expenses super cheap and gives me the company of some cool people.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

    1. Christian,
      Thanks for stopping by. I have been a little torn throughout the past few years on whether or not to live with roommates. Being an introvert, I really like having my space and quiet time, but I also see the benefits of both saving money and having the company. Not having to go out to be social but instead being able to stay in and hang out with roommates can save a lot of money.

  5. krantcents says:

    Good tips! I live way below our means and save $35K+ annually. I don’t feel the least bit deprived. We take nice vacations, live well and still save a lot. I think it is just realizing what is important and discarding everything else.

    1. It’s funny because as I’ve lived further and further beneath my means, it has become less of an inconvenience to do so. Like I’ve heard it said over at Mr. Money Mustach’s blog, the more you sacrifice, the happier you feel. That has happened to me.

  6. jlcollinsnh says:

    very nicely done.

    I’m working with a friend on her finances and am passing this along.

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by. It’s an honor. I hope you’re having a great time in Ecuador. Thanks for forwarding this to a friend!

  7. The first year I lived on my own, ya, let’s just say I definitely lived on less than 25,000! And it was relatively fine! I never felt like any of my needs went unmet.

    1. Funny, cause I don’t feel like any of my needs are unmet either. Living below your means on purpose is funny that way!

  8. What a great post! I lived in one of the most expensive areas in the country on $24k in income (while saving for retirement and paying off debt) and I employed every one of these strategies! As other commenters have pointed out, that last point is the lynchpin. I would also say you should re-evaluate what you consider needs because you will find that many of them are actually wants.

    1. Oh my, would you be willing to write about your experience here on my site? Your story sounds like an inspiration for all of us who aren’t sure how feasible it is living that modest of a lifestyle.

  9. Peter says:

    Kraig, you’ve accomplished quite a feat by spending as little as you have. I know at our house one of our biggest problem areas is our grocery and eating out budgets. It’s amazing how fast those areans can balloon out of control.

    It really does take a conscious effort if you want to curb spending, but as your example has shown, it CAN be done!

    1. Thanks, Peter. It sure can be done. I actually know that I can live on $22k, because I did it last year. I just need to figure out how to keep things below $25k for next year. Lifestyle inflation is alive and well.

  10. Great post, Kraig. I lived on less than $25K for several years, largely by following most of the same steps that you list here.

    Now I have a “joint income” with my significant other, so I don’t know what I individually spend … I only know what we jointly spend. It would be interesting to seperate out my finances and see how much I, solo, could spend in a year. Hmmm. Might be an interesting 2013 experiment ….

    1. Paula,
      Thanks for coming by and sharing your story. That does sound like an interesting experiment. Since you’re sharing many of the living expenses and meals, I’m guessing it can be fairly cost effective. I know there are a lot of inefficiencies of my living situation since I am single and living alone.

  11. mike crosby says:

    I was linked to you from jlcollinnh.

    Your ten tips should be the 10 Commandments of smart money management for young people. Great stuff. I’ve never tracked my finances because I’m married and I do a lot of things I wouldn’t do if I was single.

    My wife likes to spend money and I do that to keep her happy. Long story, but it works. Fortunately we can afford it and still save quite a bit.

  12. Christine says:

    I’ve been living on $25,000 or less for years now and I support a family of 3 🙂 It’s been a challenge but it’s also been fun. It has taught me to have only what I need, with a minimal of luxury items, and to think outside the box. I’ve raised both of my children this way.
    Your ideas are excellent and are something for consideration no matter what a person’s income is 🙂

    1. Christine,

      That’s right. This stuff works with a small income, an average income and a high income. For the low income, it gets you by without sinking into debt or more debt, for the average income, it helps you get ahead, and for the high income, it will fast forward you into a world you could only dream of.

      Remember that income is only what you’re making today. You can always increase it.

  13. Eric Williams says:

    I am assuming you do not include your investments in the $25,000 mark, correct?

  14. Anna says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, very inspiring, thank you for posting it. I make just under 25K, but still have my car payment and my group coverage health insurance is $340.00 a month out of my take home pay. Hopefully, once the car is paid off and if I get a job with better health coverage I can breathe easier! This article gives me hope…

    1. Anna,

      Glad I could help. Good luck to you!

  15. Jodi says:

    Those are all great ideas and I will share them with my husband. What we have been doing ourselves is trying to get ourselves out of debt. We tend to find ourselves spending too much money. I decided now that my newest saying is “can I make it?” If their is something I need, can I actually make it? If I can’t then I might go out and buy that item. Last year my husband and I spent a lot of money during Christmas time. This year, I’m not going to make that same mistake. So I’m going to start making home-made gifts for people more often. I have started doing this and I’ve saved so much money in the process. I just want my husband and I to live a simple life style in our little condo. When we are ready to rent our condo and get a home we will chose a modest home. We will chose something we can afford in our budget. Thanks for sharing this post!!!

    1. Jodi,

      Your welcome. Great idea to make your own gifts. I should try that this year as well. Thanks for the comments and take care!

  16. Buttercup says:

    I totally agree with number 1: Track your spending. I used Mint for a while, but then switched to Learnvest a couple months ago. It saddens and motivates me every time I see my negative net worth. I’m almost into the -20K’s! This is great considering I have almost 75K in student loan debt left.

  17. Bianca says:

    HI Kraig

    after struggeling with debt after my wedding, which completely spiraled out of control last year (that and the 8 other weddings we had to go to as guests), I find your suggestions really inspiring.
    Some them we already naturally implement (not eating out, bringing lunches to work), others were new ideas to me (cash envelope, I had to google that). I hope to be out of debt around this time next year or before that. As mint and the likes are for US customers only, I cannot sign up for a nifty tool like that, but after reading this I downloaded a free personal budget planner spreadsheet and put it up on my google drive so I can access it from my phone and my computer if I’m on the go and need to update anything.

    1. Hi Bianca,

      Glad you got some value from the post. That’s great that you plan to be out of debt by this time next year. Good luck on your journey out of debt!

      It’s a real bummer that you can’t use Mint. It’s a neat tool. A spreadsheet with work as well. The main thing is to track your finances so you know exactly how much comes in and how much goes out.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you around in the future!

  18. I am so glad I came upon this blog. 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!

  19. Denise says:

    I really enjoy reading your post. Thanks Denise

    1. Denise,

      Thanks so much. This post is actually the most popular post on my entire site. You picked out a good one to read!

  20. Cynthia Morrison says:

    How do you live on $6000,00 a year?

  21. Frankr says:

    I really admire people living on this salary.
    I pay around $50k a year tuition for my 2 sons who are 5 and 3 years old. crazy world

    1. Frankr,

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. Living on an amount like $25,000 isn’t easy (and I’m not quite making the cut now with my new business expenses), but it’s worth it because of the financial progress that can be made.

      Best wishes to you and your family!

  22. Nicole says:

    What is a decent yearly income? Enough for no-hassle and minimal struggling. I just want a straight forward answer because I am getting too many ranges and different answers. It extremely frustrating.

  23. holly says:

    This advice is something that I really needed to hear since I’m trying to get my finances in order but never can seem to catch up. I think the whole “spending freeze” thing is what is most helpful to me. I’ve been working on that a LOT and find that it’s easy to do if you’re truly broke… Takes 21 days to break a habit. Let’s see if i can do it!!

  24. Bookworm says:

    How to save: put your loose change in a large jar regularly. I do it using a cleaned out large peanut butter jar with a lid. Every so often I count the change. Last time it added up to

  25. Bookmagic says:

    Stop paying for manicures, if you get them. Learn to polish your own nails, or better yet, stop the polish. Stop the expensive phone plans. I use a cheap TracFone from Walmart which works just fine. Cook your own food. Buy what’s on sale and then cook that rather than looking up recipes and then buying the ingredients. Keep your place clean and take care of what you’ve got so you don’t keep buying the same things over and over. Keep you extra change in a jar – it adds up. Get organized with your money. Keep a budget sheet, and put required money in envelopes. Each payday save a few dollars, so when a repair or medical bill comes you’ll have money and won’t need to “borrow” by using a credit card. Good luck

  26. Julie says:

    My family is living on that much and we have two kids at home and one more we pay child support for. Here are my tips (they won’t work for all).
    A cheap cell phone data plan and no internet at home (no cable either).
    Take the laptop to a place with free WiFi if needed and get the kids an ice cream while we use it (hardly ever have to do that).
    We do have a nice big TV with an antenna for pbs kids shows and local news.
    Sometimes we buy dvds from the redbox (7.00 to purchase it versus 20.00 or more with the nice case at Walmart). Also, public TV for kids is educational and covers science, math, and vocabulary words. Disney channel doesn’t do that. Plus pbs doesn’t do advertising so my kids want less crap.
    We have a car that is a big money sucker but we need it because we live in a small town for cheap rent and most jobs are a 15 minute drive from here.
    We don’t run the air conditioner much. We live in a house (second floor apartment) so we have a yard, but the man that lives downstairs mows the grass so we save there too.
    We usually eat chicken, fish, or rice and beans for lunch, and peanut butter and jelly for dinner. We buy generic lotions, soaps, and cleaning stuff at the dollar general. We find toys and books used.
    We buy a car used when we need it and we keep our home minimal so we hardly ever need new furniture or electronics because we use them sparingly and take good care of them. We have capsule wardrobes so we don’t spend a lot there either. Envelopes are great for the grocery and gasoline money. We have fun reading, learning, and visiting parks. We enjoy the simple things in life. The savings account is growing and our kids will thank us later when they start working. They are learning early what priorities are and how we don’t get everything we want and patience is key. These are just a few ways we cut costs. My kids have never missed a meal and have a treat almost daily. They adopted a dog and they are learning to care for him and he is good entertainment as well. There’s so much more but I don’t want to bore you. It takes time and a lot of soul searching and giving up things you might not be happy to give up at first. But when we have enough to purchase a house without a loan it will be worth it. Not easy, but very possible. Debt sucks.

  27. Sharon says:

    This is a wonderful and timely read. I’m beginning to learn what is most important for me. I guess cutting back on the not so important things gives you more time and energy on the things that are important…and it is good to know that what is important is different for each person. I really enjoyed reading this post… After a severe budget cut in income, I had to learn the hard way.
    Anyway, thanks for the post!

  28. Diana says:

    I’m so glad to read this article and all the comments. I just lost my job and was netting 50,000 a year. Now I am taking on a new job which will be 25,000 a year. This article and everybody’s replies the hope and confidence that I can do this.I will be happier with the new job, that is for sure. It does seem like if you dO write down all of your spending the money does seem to work out. I know for my Son and I, it is eating out and splurging on the groceries that is where all of our money normally goes. We can definitely curb that. I am going to bookmark this article and read it anytime I start feeling doubt creep in. Thank you again for this great article.

  29. Gail says:

    Are you talking about $25K gross or $25K Net? I make more than $25K but I only get about two-thirds of that to live on.

    1. Hi Gail,

      I’m talking about spending so net.

      Take care,

      1. Gail says:

        Living on 25K net would be a snap. A good portion of people have a lower net than that. To make 25K you would need to earn at least 30K a year. More than half the people in the US make less than 30K. How about living on 18K?

  30. Debbie says:

    There is no way i could do this. After paying bills and rent we barely get by with enough for groceries. We never eat out, we dont drink or smoke. We do not have any extra tv channels like satellite tv, we do not go on vacation every year, and when we do it usually a 2 day trip for our son. I don’t drive, because we cant afford the extra car. We have 1 car that was bought a while ago now used, so that my husband can get to work, as there is no public transport available and no tube. It is quite a rural area, so we don’t have access to a lot of money savers that the city would offer. We only buy bare necessities as far as grocery shopping goes. I even bake my own bread etc., but we really do not have anything left to save. Plus the Nebraska State tax also effects us, taking even less home in wages.

  31. Debbie says:

    Also, what you can live on a year really depends on other factors including the area you live in.
    Many people only earn between 18-21k. Most are just not earning enough just to keep up instead of spiralling into loans and debt.

  32. Justin says:

    1) Research that leads to a budget which just basically gives you a visual of where you can’t spend money for people who can’t do this mentally.

    2) Getting rid of debt … news flash… requires you to pay it off by spending money… not an easy thing to do. Hope the company you work for never moves to another country, or shuts down. Have fun not accumulating any debt when that happens.Even had my credit card cut up, havent owned one for 4 years.

    3) Been to a mall maybe 8 times or so in the past 7 years. One of those trips more recently for a new sweater since I havent owned any that weren’t for work in the past 3 years.

    4) Started living off of chicken, mashed potato’s, vegetables, pork chops when the price was reduced and pasta. Take out once or twice a month from a local chineese shop on a Wednesday when the special was $5. Absolutely zero deviation from this, found about a bagillion different ways to make chicken.. lemme tell ya.. a person can only do this for so many years before it gets tasteless no matter how you make it.

    5) Kind of goes hand in hand with #1

    6)Getting inspired and motivated by the bigger picture for people like me is a lie. I want the same things everyone wants
    A home with either a large garage or a backyard for projects that dont bother people.
    A family
    Financial Stabillity with room to spend on a hobby with maybe things like TV and Internet.
    Reliable vehicle possibly even his and hers because his doing the driving for a say daytime&night jobs really sucks when your sleeps are broken by 4 hours every day.

    It’s been nearly 10 years and my bigger picture is just further away. Own a vehicle? have something break? Oh gee $1800 there goes the last I dunno 6 month’s worth of savings on a $25k annual income.

    7) Downgrade.. Downgrade.. Down some more. Been there, done this. Only purchased no name goods and foods, 90% of the time, the other 10% ish was only when namebrand was in a bargain bin or the sale was less then the regular price of name brand. Even went with TV of any kind for 4 years. Owned a TV sure, was able to pop in a used DvD or BlueRay but that was it. Doing this saved me about $100/month but in the long run was very small and really does not help the bigger picture at all.

    8) Been living in small cheap appartments off and on my whole life. Lemme tell ya the cheap average rent here now is $1,000 / month and more and more of these aren’t even inclusive. With Hydro on top your looking at about $1,100 or more if you want any AC in the summer. I did with AC, also lemme tell ya I lived in the small $700 range for appartments and thse buildings are almost ALL inconvencienced by A)Illness’s B)break in’s C)Noise including “domestic disturbances” D)Infestations like flea’s.. oh yeah that was a fun one.. even when you don;t own a house pet being eaten alive by 5k flea’s was a fun one. E) Mold F)Constant power outs or water shut off’s/no hot water…. the list goes on. Dont cheap out on your appartment people… just dont As for living modest…thats what this whole written article os about and when your toaster dies and you cant afford a new one or your vaccume cleaner dies and your best bet of getting a new one is some one else’s they threw out on junk day that you can repair… well.. this is not my idea of modest.. is it yours?

    9) Saying no to other’s… welp been doing this one my whole life. Ive never been a victim of peer pressure, I do what I want and when I got older and and started saying no because I couldn’t afford to say yes guess what? Those people that used to call, they start calling less and less. Eventually they stop asking at all. RING RING “Hey, you want to come over to my hot sweaty appartment and watch one of the same 30 DvD’s I’ve owned for the past decade?”,”Oh bring your own food because I can’t afford to feed you anything other then no name pop or frozen vegetables”, “Oh whats that your going out, well ok Maybe next time”
    Yep and after a few years of this I have 4 people in my life, 2 of them being my parents and the significant other trapped in this lifestyle of hell with me. Infact I’ve spent so little time around people having fun all I ever see is the worst in people through passing so much that I don;t even like people any more.

    10)Learn to be content with what you have followed by “I’d rather be able to achieve my dreams”.. well… seems a little contradictory but I can’t blame anyone for telling themselves “I’m happy with what I have” and wanting more. I mean I told myself this because I couldnt afford to have more and after 10 years of living cheap and always being in debt and living with mom and dad off an on for a year or more past the age of 30 I have some better advice then this.

    11) Follow steps from 1-10 in the OP for as little time as you possibly can. This may work for people that don’t drive, can affod to live of baby bonus by popping out 2 or 3 kids or live next door to thier job but for the average couple with no kids and average min. wage job more then 20km away if you do these things for as long as I have you eventually become me and you will be miserable. You will learn to hate everyone and have a deep longing for things you cant have like a home and a hobby that requires space. These cheap methods of living OP listed 1-10 are only good for short term a few years at most, if you do not find a way to earn more money you will fall into a depression and have all sorts of other issues I won’t bother getting in to. All I can say is money does buy hapiness, I have true love and we’re both miserable being 1 grade of living just above homeless. In fact if it weren’t for mom and dad we’d be living out of our truck and lemme tell ya living with mom and dad past the age of 30 is all of the things you might imagine it to be. So being said in life goals.. earn more $$, use a skill a trade and invest some debt into something that will return, maybe you drive truck, maybe you are good with metal, maybe you can operate some special machinery. Me, I have none of these skills but its damn time to learn. My job is a dead end, bottom of the barrel $1 above min wage only because of a night time premium. If this is you move up or move the fuck out. Even if you have to look at moving away from everything and anyone you’ve ever knowm, move some place with jobs that pay or matter even if it’s general labor but they pay more because of the miles from nowhere off route 9 location. Maybe you’ll even pick up a skill or two.

    Bottom line, don’t become me.

    1. Lee says:

      Justin, I was homeless with a newborn, no family and no job. Now that newborn is 22 and we have a whole other set of issues. Thank you for telling the harsh truth about poverty and being the working poor. At one point, I had $20 per week for gas and groceries after daycare and rent and that was in reduced housing.
      Not so broke anymore but a lot older and no smarter with money. I needed this blog today, still in a poor mindset and living paycheck to paycheck. Feeling stupid and well, I oughta.
      As far as living with parents well, a lot of cultures do that and it’s not a failure but an excellent way to save up for a downpayment on a home, trailer or camper to live in. Or a way to go to school without taking out huge loans. Lastly, there are tons of people who live in vans (“Vandwellers”) and they never want to live in “bricks and sticks” places. It is good to consider thinking outside the box especially for housing to get ahead. God bless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



These are the EXACT same steps I used to dig my way out of debt, pile up 5 years of living expenses and start my own business (which will earn over $75,000 this year)!

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!