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Do you live / could you live on $14,000 a year? - Page 5

post #81 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
Depending on the size of your mortgage it is possible!

When I was 19 I bought a house and was making around $1000/mo. It was just me and x-dh...So, it's do-able, but it depends.
But again, this was just two adults, not a family and related expenses, as the OP was asking about.

OP, I'm curious. Is this something you actually need to do?
post #82 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

OP, I'm curious. Is this something you actually need to do?

wondering here, too.


and just how much is your mortgage payment?
post #83 of 182
If I knew thats what our budget was, we would have made different choices, but could do it. When we first moved here our mortgage was under $500 for a 3 level 5 bedroom house. Its more now, but only because we rolled our truck payment in and used some for home improvements. Those things would have not happened given a different budget, we would have made different choices. While I couldn't do it with my current bills, if I knew that was my budget, I could have made it work. Yes, with a family of 5 and one special needs child.
post #84 of 182
Where I live, it wouldn't even cover rent on a decent but very small apartment.
post #85 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
But again, this was just two adults, not a family and related expenses, as the OP was asking about.

OP, I'm curious. Is this something you actually need to do?
Well, technically, we did stay in that house until DD was 8 months old. I have no doubt in my mind that we COULD HAVE made it work - but we opted to sell in order to build a house (on a larger, more private lot) instead...which never happened, seeing as how he's my Xdh...but you know.

So, as I was saying...yes, really, it could work. It just totally depends on COL where you live and how you chose to live. Plain and simple.

And honestly...In my opinion, and experience...kids don't add THAT much expense. Especially when toddlers/babies. They don't require much more than food, love, clothes, attention. Food can be cheap, clothes can be free...as is love and attention
post #86 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
And honestly...In my opinion, and experience...kids don't add THAT much expense. Especially when toddlers/babies. They don't require much more than food, love, clothes, attention. Food can be cheap, clothes can be free...as is love and attention
I am guessing your babies are still pretty young? Because as the mother of a 4 yo girl and a 17 yo boy, they definitely get costlier the older they get and that is just the grocery bill. My son is finishing HS at his papa's yet when he is home with me like he was all summer, my grocery bill went up by well over a $100 a month. I have other friends with teenagers especially boys and there was some concensus that teens do cost more. My kid eats the 3 meals I cook and is still up at 2 am making more food because he is hungry. LOL Also the cheap and super free clothing is harder to access with older kids (teens) I know because all summer we had the worse luck finding stuff at the thrift store. My little one I can get a ton of stuff for $5-10 at Goodwill, the big one nada.

So it may be possible to live on little with babies and smaller kids but it definitely can be a challenge with older kids.
post #87 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I am guessing your babies are still pretty young? Because as the mother of a 4 yo girl and a 17 yo boy, they definitely get costlier the older they get and that is just the grocery bill. My son is finishing HS at his papa's yet when he is home with me like he was all summer, my grocery bill went up by well over a $100 a month. I have other friends with teenagers especially boys and there was some concensus that teens do cost more. My kid eats the 3 meals I cook and is still up at 2 am making more food because he is hungry. LOL Also the cheap and super free clothing is harder to access with older kids (teens) I know because all summer we had the worse luck finding stuff at the thrift store. My little one I can get a ton of stuff for $5-10 at Goodwill, the big one nada.

So it may be possible to live on little with babies and smaller kids but it definitely can be a challenge with older kids.
DD is 5 and starting school next week...DS is only 6 weeks. Yes, I'd imagine teens would eat more...Other than that though, if, when my kids are teens, they want unnecessary things to fit in - or a car, gas $, etc...they can get a part-time job. I'm not going to be footing that bill.

On another note - Ross and forever21 are great for new/cheap clothes. We also have a cool resale shop here that i love (those are the stores i shop at)
post #88 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
DD is 5 and starting school next week...DS is only 6 weeks. Yes, I'd imagine teens would eat more...Other than that though, if, when my kids are teens, they want unnecessary things to fit in - or a car, gas $, etc...they can get a part-time job. I'm not going to be footing that bill.
I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that beyond food, anything else older kids want is "unnecessary" and only "to fit in." Medical expenses, dentist visits, good shoes that don't wear out in a few months the way cheap ones do, (same with clothes), books, backpacks, field trip money, school supplies, an instrument or art supplies if they have a talent or interest in that direction, college application fees...all this stuff really adds up.

I agree that when it comes to a cell phone or a car, sure my boys will have to earn the money themselves. But the notion that older kids don't cost far more than babies and toddlers is mistaken.
post #89 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that beyond food, anything else older kids want is "unnecessary" and only "to fit in." Medical expenses, dentist visits, good shoes that don't wear out in a few months the way cheap ones do, (same with clothes), books, backpacks, field trip money, school supplies, an instrument or art supplies if they have a talent or interest in that direction, college application fees...all this stuff really adds up.

I agree that when it comes to a cell phone or a car, sure my boys will have to earn the money themselves. But the notion that older kids don't cost far more than babies and toddlers is mistaken.
I agree with this post completely. and have to be honest, I didn't really believe it to be true when i only had littles. the shoes, clothes, and food are the really big things. It is hard to find boys jeans over a size 8 at the thrift store. They just wear out. and shoes are also really impossible to find in certain sizes.
post #90 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that beyond food, anything else older kids want is "unnecessary" and only "to fit in." Medical expenses, dentist visits, good shoes that don't wear out in a few months the way cheap ones do, (same with clothes), books, backpacks, field trip money, school supplies, an instrument or art supplies if they have a talent or interest in that direction, college application fees...all this stuff really adds up.

I agree that when it comes to a cell phone or a car, sure my boys will have to earn the money themselves. But the notion that older kids don't cost far more than babies and toddlers is mistaken.
: Speaking from the standpoint of someone who is living it with a older kid, my son works when he can (he is now a senior and involved in a ton of extracirriculars and last year we learned between play rehearsals and homework, there was no time to work during the school year and this happens a lot) but there are still lots of things that are needed that do add up. Right now we are dealing with college applications, and let me tell you they do add up.

Bringing this back to the OP at this stage in life there is no way we could live on 14K a year...its not even that we are living a lavish lifestyle. We live in a old house, drive a 12 yo car, primarily shop thrift stores...you get the picture. The thing is the kids are my primary budget killers, i love em but they make it hard to be uber frugal. I am not even thinking about my debt because if I had that little for income paying off the creditors wouldn't be an option.
post #91 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I am not even thinking about my debt because if I had that little for income paying off the creditors wouldn't be an option.
I agree-- an income dropping to that low, that's a completely valid reason for declaring bankruptcy IMO.
post #92 of 182
Quote:
DD is 5 and starting school next week...DS is only 6 weeks. Yes, I'd imagine teens would eat more...Other than that though, if, when my kids are teens, they want unnecessary things to fit in - or a car, gas $, etc...they can get a part-time job. I'm not going to be footing that bill.
I'm not making my 9 year old get a job to afford her orthodontic work and her piano lessons. Babies can be very cheap. Providing a certain lifestyle one may want for their kids that includes music and dancing and athletics, you sometimes get lucky and find a fantastic deal, but not usually.
post #93 of 182
I think another element of this discussion is whether the income is planned for or not. Rapid changes are what get ya...

To go from $60K + -> $14K in a year would be very hard, mainly because investments have already made, be they student/consumer debt, cost/type of house purchased, number of children, area lived in, job/career choices, etc. Frankly, because of choices made up to now, we could not live on $14K a year without resorting to bankruptcy, because even rapid downsizing costs money. Heck, even moving to a cheaper rental costs money - gas for the car, boxes, security deposit, etc..

In our case, as I mentioned before, when I was a single student living in London, I lived on $14K a year. While London is a very HIGH COL location, it is also a great place to be a starving student - lots of cheap digs, cheap student union pubs for cheap beer, and everyone is poor so there is no pressure to spend lots.

The other thing too is that the *choice* to live on $14K a year is a privilege. My ex-boyfriend right after college was all proud of himself for living on under $8K a year by living in a squat. My mom (who grew up dirt poor) ripped into him one day for comparing himself to the poor families he lived next to because as she said "did you ever ask those families if THEY have chosen to live like this? Because, Mr. Ivy League educated, white upper middle class man, you can leave whenever you get tired of it. And they can't."
post #94 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
The other thing too is that the *choice* to live on $14K a year is a privilege. My ex-boyfriend right after college was all proud of himself for living on under $8K a year by living in a squat. My mom (who grew up dirt poor) ripped into him one day for comparing himself to the poor families he lived next to because as she said "did you ever ask those families if THEY have chosen to live like this? Because, Mr. Ivy League educated, white upper middle class man, you can leave whenever you get tired of it. And they can't."
post #95 of 182
I'm a student with no income living on gov't assistance. But I have lived comfortably, when DH and I were together on around $17-18K a year (no assistance). With a toddler. We paid of $6K worth of debt with that income. Planning and knowing what you can and can't afford makes all the difference. To live on that income, we did have to move to very low cost living area. Our rent at the time was $350 for a very large 1 bedroom. Another thing that helped a lot was DH's employer paid benefits.
post #96 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
I think another element of this discussion is whether the income is planned for or not. Rapid changes are what get ya...
That's a really good point. If I had some time to plan it out and make some major changes over time, I could live on $14k/yr. If I found out tomorrow or next week that all of a sudden our income was dropping we'd be in serious trouble.

As for whether it's possible in general, I agree with all the pp's that have said it totally depends on the individual situation. COL, family size, and a variety of other factors. Like, for example, I could probaly live on $14k because I live in a place that is very walkable, with even more stuff within an easy bike ride's distance, so I could do without cars and public transit if I had to. I have a friend with a son a couple years older than ds, and she gives us tons of clothes, so I could probably get away with not buying anything other than some socks and underwear now and then. I have family that could and would move in with me if I needed help making the mortgage (people I would actually enjoy living with). But not everyone has these options open to them.
post #97 of 182
We could although it would be nicer if we didn't have the student loan payments. There would be no room for things like medical/dental insurance for the adults but the kids would qualify for medicaid. We would also qualify for WIC and food stamps and that would make things easier.

Yearly

Student loans $3600
Mortgage $3264 (taxes and insurance is included)
Utilites $850
car insurance $480
cable/internest $840
cell phones $960
Total $9994

We also get around $6000 a year in taxes so if you add that into the income of 14k it's very doable.


Quote:
cheap mortgages generally belong to fixer uppers.
We put down 13K on our house and got a 39k loan at 4.875% The house has great insulation and newer windows which is why are utility bills are so low. All we did to the place was lay new vinyl in the kitchen and buy a new stove and fridge. The house is otherwise in fantastic condition (it would have to for an FHA loan although we didn't end up going FHA)

Quote:
At 14K a year the adults would most likely qualify for Medicaid, with a share of cost. The coverage is pretty terrible, but would cover most serious things.
Not here, they cut out medicaid for adults 4 years ago. Only PG women and children get it unless you make $342 or less a month for a family of 4.

http://www.dss.mo.gov/fsd/maf.htm
post #98 of 182
Even if we had no mortgage and no consumer/student debt i don't think we could pull 14000k off in a year:

Health insurance: 400$
home insurance/taxes: 250$
car insurance/life: 200$
property taxes on cars: 300$ a/year
food: 300$
phone/internet: 100$
water/trash: 65$
gas/electric 200 average
gas for car: 100
clothes/misc/gifts : misc: 100

so at minimum we would need about 21000 net income a year and this doesn't include any contributions to 401k or savings...
post #99 of 182
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm picking up an odd vibe on this thread that, if only folks could do it, it would be an admirable thing to sustain a family on 14K/year. It would mean cutting down to the bone, not confusing actual needs with selfish wants, etc.

And while I understand that there are families out there with no choice but to live off 14K - an income that's $8,050 below the federal poverty level for a family of four - I'm not seeing why anyone would want or strive to do this.
post #100 of 182
There are a few vibes I'm getting. Some that it's admirable or desirable, as you say you're getting; others that it's flat-out impossible; and others that it's desirable to have the ability to survive on that little, even if you don't have to and thus choose not to, so as to maximize flexibility and savings in case of the unexpected.
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