Do you live / could you live on $14,000 a year? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does your family presently live or do you thing your family could live on an annual income of $14,000 a year? I'm interested in hearing how you manage with a very low income and a mortgage payment, food, bills , kids etc... I'm trying to make it work.

Peace,

MoonMama
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#2 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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I would be surprised if anyone with a family could manage to pay a mortgage and other expenses on 14K/year. No mortgage, no property taxes - maybe. But with a mortgage, too?

But maybe others can enlighten me!
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#3 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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I think we could possibly live off $14K a year if we had no mortgage or rent (i.e. a paid off mortgage), turned every single spot of our yard into food-growing garden space to eek out as much food from it as we can (and possibly neighbor's yards as well), never saved for retirement, and my kids didn't turn into the bottomless pits I hear teenagers become (I'm a bit afraid of how much food we'll be going through in 10 years, yikes).
But as it is now with things like the mortgage and life insurance and all that? Doubtful, without going into debt.

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#4 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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You should check out a blog called "Under 1000 Per Month". I just found it and the young girl who writes it is great. Good luck in your endeavor!
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#5 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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I couldn't do it with a mortgage. We live rent-free on a small house on my mil's property.

I'll come back with numbers for the rest.

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#6 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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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~

Grace Comes.

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#7 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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If we were in our exact situation, but w/out any debt, even a mortgage AND (and this is a biggie) our house remodeled to an exent that it was somewhat more energy effcient, then, yes, I think we could. AND if we had DH's benefit package as well, so another huge if.

Utilities (all on budget plans): $265 ($90 H20, trash, $100 elec., $75 nat. gas)

Escrow: $350 (property taxes, homeowner's insurance, heating pellets, car insurance, perpetually being refunded EF)

Gasoline: $160

Food: $200

Household: $100

Communication/Entertainment: $40

That totals $13,380 per year. So just squeaking in under $14K.

However, if we made this little, we'd get food stamps, so our food expenses would be drastically lowered, maybe eliminated. That's a consideration.

We are a family of five, although DSS is only here part time. FWIW.

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#8 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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Its very possible to live on under $14k a year, check the low income thread as most of us make that or less. If I had an older mortgage like what my parents had then yes I could make a payment as it was cheaper then what I pay in rent. As it is, after I pay rent and I have very cheap rent for my area, I have exactly $100 to pay for everything else and now that I no longer have a car payment thats not a problem. Granted we have no extras and I freak every time the kids need new clothes or shoes and I feel like I hit the jackpot since I've got fin aid money for school for the first time in about 3 years and everyone will have warm clothes for winter and we will be able to turn the heat up a bit more. I just can't grasp the fact that people are making even twice what we do and they say they can't pay there bills. I look at where there spending there money and there is just so much waste they consider a "NEED" when its really a want.

Seriously?
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#9 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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i've been living on ~800/month since april, but in september i'm going to start living on ~1000/month. :

granted, rent is cheap (525$, utilities included), i have a cheapcheap cell plan, no cable, no car, and get most of my food either from the food bank or the csa farm where i volunteer. plus i'm in canada so healthcare is free. living on my income is a mathematical impossibility in most places, but i live fairly comfortably on what i have. (it's a good thing i like rice & beans)
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#10 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
If we were in our exact situation, but w/out any debt, even a mortgage AND (and this is a biggie) our house remodeled to an extent that it was somewhat more energy effcient, then, yes, I think we could. AND if we had DH's benefit package as well, so another huge if.
...
That totals $13,380 per year. So just squeaking in under $14K.
Leta, the income limit for the MI weatherization income program is about $44,000 a year for a family of four. It is not clear to me (from the above) exactly were your income is, but You may want to apply!

http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7...211---,00.html
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#11 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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I made less than 14000 last yr, and this yr will be less. I live with my dad and he watches my son. My Dad retired this yr and he has SS I get $400/month toward bills. $700 rent, 60 elec, 10 gas(summer, this will go up when the heat goes on),80 DTV(this isn't nessecery, but my dad wants it), inernet and phone cost $50, $160 gas for the car. 1060 total per month
my dad and I are saving for a house with what is left every month.
Food isn't listed because I get foodstamps and that more than covers those expenses.
Pollyanna
I forgot to add I was paying a SL 106/month
That makes the total 1166
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#12 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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Right now I am living on around $6-700 per month, so I qualify for section 8 housing (free rent currently), and food stamps (around $325 per month), so I definitely come in under $14K per year. If I made $14,000, I would feel rich. How sad is it, and how telling about our consumer culture that before I became a single mama, I made around $30,000 per year and considered myself "poor". I never had any savings, I didn't pay down any of my student loan debt, and I was always complaining that I couldn't go out and do the things that my friends were doing. Now I want to go back in time and whack my stupid fiscally irresponsible self over the head....

ETA: I also receive childcare subsidy, so preschool for DS is free as well. If I had to pay for rent, food, and childcare, we would definitely be living in our car.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#13 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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What size family? If you are talking two, probably. If you are talking like my family of 5 with a child with special needs, hell no.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#14 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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$14,000 doesn't even cover two months worth of our bills/expenses

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#15 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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No, not with a mortgage. But more than that, not with having to heat the house in winter. We cut our own wood, but oil is very pricey. Also, if we didn't have children the picture might look different.
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#16 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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I live in Mexico, and I probably could do it here with a big change in lifestyle. My MIL lives here in a nice, large two bedroom apartment for $350/mo, and all five of us have lived in a 2 bdroom before. We'd have to give up a lot of what we're accustomed to - internet access, american cell phones and sattelite tv, shop exclusively in Mexico for our food rather than across the border, etc. People live on a lot less than that, here.
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#17 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
$14,000 doesn't even cover two months worth of our bills/expenses

what? :

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#18 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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I do.

Highest I have made in a year is $13,000, lowest $9,000

I am single, no kids (plenty of pets though). I make between $900 and $1100 per month. If I wanted more money, I'd have to give up my weekends.

I pay $325 for rent on a small small studio apartment. All utilities paid. Cell Phone is on a friend's plan, the friend I rent from. It is also included in rent.

Gas is usually $100ish per month. Working on trying to take the bus more often.

Just got a used car (my paid off car was smashed up by a truck), payments are $180 per month. It'll be paid off in 18 months.

Paying down CC at $25 per month. Only $300 balance, so I almost have no debt.

I cook from scratch alot, and don't eat out much. My dogs and cats eat the best I can provide.

I have a little in savings, and am not usually strapped for cash.

I don't feel poor. I feel comfortable. And happy. Pretty stress free.

My best friend has 2 houses, 2 cars, a much better paying job, and is far poorer than I am. She smokes, and drinks, and eats crap food. She is always broke, and stressed to the max.

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#19 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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I know, crazy right! Our monthly bills/food equal about $7000/month. Now keep in mind that this includes some of my husband's business expenses, gas for his trucks, insurances, we have to pay $700/month for our health insurance, etc. Our mortgage and taxes are only $1250, and our house is tiny, but yea, its a lot.

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#20 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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We make $1000 a month, basically. So yes it is doable. I'm hoping to get food stamps next week togive us some breathing room. Ou rent is cheapish-650, and we don't have cable or a high priced Internet. We also don't have car payments or insurance.

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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#21 of 182 Old 08-31-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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Hey, thanks SM! I will apply. If we could get our attic insulated, that would be the cat's pjs. If we could get our walls and attic insulated, that would put me over the moon.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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#22 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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Not us. Our rent is over $17,000/year.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#23 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 02:17 AM
 
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Well, when I wasn't pregnant and was not living with my dp, I lived on $10,000 per year. I made double that, but had A LOT of debt, so I put as much of my income into my debt. I rented the cheapest room I could find, held two jobs, and just kept paying the debt.

So, technically, it is possible to live on very little.

Could I do it now? No. I'm pregnant, and live in a small condo with my dp. The rent, utilities, food expenses, etc., are much higher now. We also live in an expensive area.

I'm sure $14,000 per year would be doable assuming you didn't live in an insanely expensive state, and had no debt.

First special delivery - April 2010 :
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#24 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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I do, and it is tough. Sometimes (often, to tell you the truth), I don't have the things that I need personally. My kids don't suffer, but I do. Sometimes my kids need something that I can hold off the purchase of because they are okay, but will need it soon. I try to keep a list of things they will need, so I can look at second hand stores ect. When it comes to shoes, I buy new shoes. This past winter hit a little earlier than I was expecting (and will again this year) and I didn't have enough blankets for my kids beds, and ended up taking off my blankets and putting them on my kids blankets. I slept with sheets, 1 blanket and a heating pad, till I could afford more blankets.

If you plan to live like this for a while, you may want to consider house sharing with another mom. I have a 1600 sqft house, with vaulted ceilings, and the amount I pay is low because of a good friend. It's her mothers house, who is deceased, and I just got a very good deal. Unfortunately the college boys who lived in here before tore up the house, so we have been dealing with that, repairing things, sprucing up the place to make it livable.

My van was paid off at my divorce. These are the things that make living like this bearable.

Good luck!

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#25 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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There'd be no way. Our rent alone is $2400 a month.
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#26 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 03:25 AM
 
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Nope, rent for 1 bedroom apartments around here starts at around $800/mth and we are a 4 person family. I suppose we could move somewhere much cheaper....but oh please no!!! I love it here... (southern florida)
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#27 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 09:33 AM
 
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Nope, that would barely cover our mortgage. We don't live in a particularly high cost of living area, but a half way decent tiny apartment in a safe neighborhood would be $750 minimum/month.
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#28 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 09:36 AM
 
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I'm sure DH and I have lived on $14,000 or less at some point early on in our relationship. Between schooling, layoffs, job search... we had some pretty tight years back in the day. The only problem with that is whenever something came up like car repairs, we had to put it on credit cards. Our rent was around $450 back then in a low COL city.

Blogging about renovations in our first home
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#29 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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No, not the way we live now. In my fantasy where we live cooperatively in a yurt with a few other families on shared land -- well, maybe I could do it then, but now.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#30 of 182 Old 09-01-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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No, not the way we live now. In my fantasy where we live cooperatively in a yurt with a few other families on shared land -- well, maybe I could do it then, but now.
That's my fantasy too!

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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