dh and I made a bit over 13,000 last year. We live in a small apartment that is paid for though, have low bills, no debt (besides very manageable student loans), and drive cars that are also paid for. I really enjoy living this way... we are often cash poor, but our life is very rich. I am grateful for the opportunity to live this way, because I know how hard it is with debts and high bills always looming. I dunno how one would do this with a mortgage higher than say $250 a month. Some friends had a mortgage on another apt. in our complex and I think they were only paying like $158 or so. We downsized last year, and bought this place outright for $78,000. In the past, I lived out in a shack in the woods cuz it was $300
I made it beautiful, though, and adored living there.
I think it's important to remember that it is simply easier to live in certain areas of the country than others. I share an office space and get half of every week for $125 a month.. and it is really a very fresh, beautiful, trendy space. I know some would spit their drink out hearing that
they are used to office spaces being like $600 and up for something comparable.
A few other things that make this lifestyle work for us:
We have a lot of family around us and a strong community. I trade a lot, and I use coupons to get so much of what we need for free. I maximise everything. I ask for what I need. I keep my eyes open and find what I need around me .. And we get spoiled. Farming friends give us food sometimes, or my sister has us over for a meal, or dd's grandma buys her clothes pretty frequently. dd gets enough of the things she needs from special occasions that we just don't consume stuff. We reuse a lot of others folks clothes. For Solstice, for example, we filled a stocking for dd (reused one of ours from our childhood).. I put in a few things she needed and a few things from craft trades. For her birthday, I put away most of her gifts for later... she just doesn't need so much constant stuff. I have like 5 new things waiting in the wings for her right now
I take care of the people around me and do what I can for them, and I am always cared for too.
I wonder where you live and if you could maybe make some drastic changes in order to funnel the $ you do have towards getting completely free of debt? Are there resources that maybe you haven't thought of yet?
Good Luck and Deep Peace to you~