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Author Topic: $1,000 a month  (Read 4637 times)

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Offline somdgirlTopic starter

$1,000 a month
« on: February 11, 2010, 01:48:47 PM »
I recently stumbled on a blog called under $1,000 a month. This family of five lives on $1,000 a month and only has little to no debt.
Link: http://under1000permonth.blogspot.com
Do you think you could live on that amount of money? What would you have to give up? What are the pros and cons. The little house post made me think of this. This is her budget:
"Rent: $600.00
Phone: $6.09 (low income reduced)
Internet: $19.99
Auto Insurance: $31.22
Electric: $27.00
Satellite Radio: $12.95
.
Total Fixed Expenses: $697.25
.
That leaves us $282.75 for food, gas, any auto repairs, birthdays and holidays, unforeseen needs, and investments. This is more than enough."

Offline Torch

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 02:37:52 PM »
That leaves us $282.75 for food, gas, any auto repairs, birthdays and holidays, unforeseen needs, and investments. This is more than enough."

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry at the bolded statement.

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 03:01:44 PM »
They are cramming five people into a 'portable home' - I'm translating that as a trailer - and they are part of the same movement that has brought us the Duggars.  They have no health insurance.  Any major auto repair costs far more than 300$. 

Um... No.

Offline somdgirlTopic starter

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 03:16:59 PM »
I think a single person might be able to do it but a family of five is a stretch. Some of her posts make me question the safety of her children but I wonder if anyone would/has tried to live on that little bit of money.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 04:57:08 PM »
I do think the woman is being a bit dense by making that final statement.  To say that such a small amount of money is more than enough for so many is kind of an exaggeration there.  People learn to do without when they need to and certainly living on 1000 dollars a month is possible.  There are plenty of people on fixed income disability or Social Security that live on that much.  Yet to say “thriving” or “more than enough” is misrepresentation in my opinion.  According to the blog her oldest sleeps in the bed with them while their youngest sleeps on a mattress kept under the baby’s crib.  A situation suitable for a must event but definitely not ideal or thriving.

Also I find it interesting she doesn’t include food as part of her “fixed” budget.  Food is certainly part of a fixed income because you can’t simply say, “I don’t feel like buying food this month.”  Part of me thinks she is getting food stamps or perhaps WIC (not sure if that’s the title or not).  This would mean she is living on more than 1000 dollars a month.  More than likely she also qualifies for government insurance on that small amount of income. 

With government assistance, I’m sure it can be done but to say thriving is a misrepresentation of her living conditions.  A mother making the worst of a bad situation is fine, but to say that everything is peachy is more than likely putting on a happy face.  Though I admire her ingenuity in some of these activities and hope for the best for her.  As the children get older their expenses will increase and so it will be interesting to see that budget in a couple of years.

Offline consortium11

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 05:25:32 PM »
I do think the woman is being a bit dense by making that final statement.  To say that such a small amount of money is more than enough for so many is kind of an exaggeration there.  People learn to do without when they need to and certainly living on 1000 dollars a month is possible.  There are plenty of people on fixed income disability or Social Security that live on that much.  Yet to say “thriving” or “more than enough” is misrepresentation in my opinion.  According to the blog her oldest sleeps in the bed with them while their youngest sleeps on a mattress kept under the baby’s crib.  A situation suitable for a must event but definitely not ideal or thriving.

Also I find it interesting she doesn’t include food as part of her “fixed” budget.  Food is certainly part of a fixed income because you can’t simply say, “I don’t feel like buying food this month.”  Part of me thinks she is getting food stamps or perhaps WIC (not sure if that’s the title or not).  This would mean she is living on more than 1000 dollars a month.  More than likely she also qualifies for government insurance on that small amount of income. 

With government assistance, I’m sure it can be done but to say thriving is a misrepresentation of her living conditions.  A mother making the worst of a bad situation is fine, but to say that everything is peachy is more than likely putting on a happy face.  Though I admire her ingenuity in some of these activities and hope for the best for her.  As the children get older their expenses will increase and so it will be interesting to see that budget in a couple of years.

I browsed the site a little and it appears she doesn't have food as a "fixed" cost because the amount she spends varies month to month... from around $73 to $200... and she's not on any of the government support options (or the Church ones) through choice... and she still pays tithe.

While I'm not a fan she does have some sensible ideas on there about back up jobs, shopping around and raiding reduced to clear counters for food... all of which I do/have done and I'm in a lot better financial position then her family is. Reduced to clear + freezer means you can eat far above your income brand with relative ease. My most recent success was a huge pork leg reduced from £16.65 to £3.50 and there have been better ones then that.

Offline Torch

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 05:40:39 PM »
I browsed the site a little and it appears she doesn't have food as a "fixed" cost because the amount she spends varies month to month... from around $73 to $200... and she's not on any of the government support options (or the Church ones) through choice... and she still pays tithe.

While I'm not a fan she does have some sensible ideas on there about back up jobs, shopping around and raiding reduced to clear counters for food... all of which I do/have done and I'm in a lot better financial position then her family is. Reduced to clear + freezer means you can eat far above your income brand with relative ease. My most recent success was a huge pork leg reduced from £16.65 to £3.50 and there have been better ones then that.

That's all well and good, those are saving options any family can put to use. Doesn't excuse the fact that by living so close to the financial edge, she and her family are basically one crisis from homelessness.

And the fact that she doesn't take advantage of a federal program like WIC, which they would certainly be eligible for, tells me it's more a matter of pride for her than caring about her children's welfare. If I was in her shoes, you better believe I'd sign up for WIC, for the free milk alone, since milk costs more than gas nowadays.

Offline somdgirlTopic starter

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 06:29:13 PM »
That's all well and good, those are saving options any family can put to use. Doesn't excuse the fact that by living so close to the financial edge, she and her family are basically one crisis from homelessness.

And the fact that she doesn't take advantage of a federal program like WIC, which they would certainly be eligible for, tells me it's more a matter of pride for her than caring about her children's welfare. If I was in her shoes, you better believe I'd sign up for WIC, for the free milk alone, since milk costs more than gas nowadays.
I read back and I do worry about her kids. One was in intensive care and the doctors said it was from being dehydrated but she refuses to accept that. I am sorry if a doctor told me something his years of study tend to make me believe him.

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 06:53:47 PM »
I read back and I do worry about her kids. One was in intensive care and the doctors said it was from being dehydrated but she refuses to accept that. I am sorry if a doctor told me something his years of study tend to make me believe him.

It's not all God's will?

Offline somdgirlTopic starter

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 07:00:05 PM »
It's not all God's will?
LOL. She must in someway know some of the things she does isn't right because she is constantly defending herself. The pictures of her sons room makes me so nervous. I would never have shelves full of toys over my sons crib. He could reach them or god forbid if something goes wrong and they fall at night. But I guess its gods will they don't get hurt.  O:)

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 08:12:02 PM »
If I was in her shoes, you better believe I'd sign up for WIC, for the free milk alone, since milk costs more than gas nowadays.

Milk normally costs more than gas.  Last year, I was a little concerned when gas seemed to be making a run at passing milk.

I browsed the site a little and it appears she doesn't have food as a "fixed" cost because the amount she spends varies month to month... from around $73 to $200...

Then that means that the 285 and change can really be anything from $212 down to $85 to cover 'gas, any auto repairs, birthdays and holidays, unforeseen needs, and investments.'
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 08:13:49 PM by Oniya »

Offline Serephino

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 08:49:06 PM »
I get about 1k a month from Social Security.  For two of us that would just barely cover the basics; rent, food, and utilities.  My boyfriend works at McDonalds and his salary plus my check just barely covers everything when you add in credit card and loan payments. 

My mom has to buy our heating oil in the winter, and she owns the car and pays insurance and repairs.  I don't like it, but there's not much we can do.  Maybe once we get out of debt things will be better.  The only luxury thing we have is high speed internet.  I can only imagine how that family lives and it scares me.

Offline The Golden Touch

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2010, 12:01:33 PM »
I haven't taken a look at her blog yet, and I might not.  I do not really want to see a child in danger from the possibility of falling objects.  A family can live off of $1,000 but it takes the scrimping and good bookkeeping to make sure you do not over spend one month or the next.  Though I am not sure about a family of five... The budget for Sin, myself and baby is roughly that.

Rent: $475
Electric: $70
Cell: $72
Loan payment: $189
Car gas: $60 [Keep in mind that $20 fills our tank from 1/4, so we never let it get past that]
Internet: $39.99
Misc: $108

Total: $1013.99

This is considering that I've taken advantage of EBT, WIC, Childcare (Or will when I go back to work), and Health Care.  It is possible, but maybe not safely if you cut out the things you need most.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2010, 12:28:28 PM »
I lived on around that a year but am gay with a life partner not a family. There are lots of ways to cut corners and they likely could get food stampls but it would be hard. The big concern most people like them and myself is health care for all family members Medicaid in Florida is stringent on requirements.

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2010, 01:56:48 PM »
Total: $1013.99

This is considering that I've taken advantage of EBT, WIC, Childcare (Or will when I go back to work), and Health Care.  It is possible, but maybe not safely if you cut out the things you need most.

From what I've read, she has not taken advantage of any of those government programs - and as you said, it's a family of five, not three.  I've also avoided browsing the pictures on that blog - I recall a case where a child was suffocated by pulling down a bucket of toys that ended up pinning him against the crib rail.

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2010, 01:59:51 PM »
And they don't actually make use of birth control, being of the full quiver persuasion. Yay for them. :)

Offline The Golden Touch

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2010, 02:55:54 PM »
I imagine her pride has something to do with why she has not taken advantage of any government funding.  Or perhaps a God-fearing nature?  I cannot say for sure obviously... But I do know that a budget like that is incredibly unsafe for five people.  There may be things she isn't posting in her blog... Donations from churches, family, friends, etc that keep them from using that $200 ish extra per month.

Online Doomsday

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2010, 08:38:41 AM »
282 dollars a month for every other expense?

For five people?

That's crazy. Are they boiling rice and cutting up hot dogs for each meal? My family of four (me, my sister, my parents) scrape by at a little under 4k a month... But we eat well and are provided for. 282 dollars for food and other supplies? I don't want to sound calloused to under-developed countries and needy families abroad, but that's inhumane.

Offline CaptainErotica

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2010, 06:02:46 AM »
 I don't know about the States, but here in Japan? no frakking way in hell. I have been trying to support my family of 5 on the equivelent of $2000 / month and there are times when I have no idea how we're going to make it to my next payday.

Monthly Expenditures:
House rent $700
Work Transportation $75
School Lunch Fees (mine) $10
School Lunch (Kids) $120
Parking Space for the car $150
Gas money -Varies, but usually over $100
Work Supplies- varies, but on average $25
Electicity $75
Gas  $50
Water $50
Cable/Internet $40
House phone $30
Cell Phone(Me) $100
Cell Phone (Wife) $100
Credit Card -As much as we can afford (We owe about $7000 on it.)
Food Varies between $200-$400

Total = Between $1800- $2000 (or more /month)


Offline The Dark Raven

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2010, 06:54:26 PM »
And they don't actually make use of birth control, being of the full quiver persuasion. Yay for them. :)

Apparently my genetics are of the full quiver persuasion...my grammy's mom had 9 kids, papaw's mom had 6, gramma's mom had 4, grampa's mom had 4, grammy had 4, and gramma had 5...

Genetics makes me a firm believer in birth control *shudder*

Offline Tachi

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2010, 08:01:19 PM »
If I could get a lower rent price I'd be happy enough. The lower the rent the more we can save for a house. My financee and I are living off of under $1000 but if there was another person living with us? No way.

Offline Sasha

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2010, 12:45:34 AM »

 I briefly looked over the blog ...I am not sure what the standards are for a family of 5 ...but do know in my state that making over 450 dollars a month kicks you out of healthcare  financial assistance and foodstamps when you have a family of 2.  Though that may have raised a bit it is doubtful by how much.

Regardless ...WIC should be available to her though it is not only low income that qualifies for that program but a health issue must be present such as anemic or borderline. There is a list of others it has been a long time since I was on the program as my children have grown.

Most communities have a food pantry ...the Methodist church makes that a mission of theirs along with organizations like the Salvation Army, WSOS and several others I could list and name that step in and help at various times of the year. I don't see why one can not swallow their pride to use these institutions and attempt to make life a bit easier especially if you have children. I have used them on and off and also donated back money and that when I was on my feet .

I have made it through earning 1,000 dollars a month ...I am fortunate that my utilities - gas , electric , water , sewer , trash removal are included in my rent and have a landlord that works with me so my budget there to put a roof over my family only cost me $ 450.00 a month. Though no way shape or form would I be able to put 5 people in the apartment and not loose my mind as it only has 2 bedrooms.

Phone is through magic jack so that costs 19.99 for the year .
Cable/Internet - $ 80.00  <probably should get a lower package ...but I love my DVR and high speed internet >

Food and other household necessities ...most likely spend about 300 a month.

The rest of my money goes to help my daughter with gas and catch up the shortages she runs into with her minimum wage job ....cigarettes and the maybe once a week lunch or dinner out . Buying small gifts for birthdays , medcine and the like .

I got bills I can not pay ..lost my car through it all as I tried to rotate payments ..a very humbling experience when at one point I most likely brought home over 3,000 dollars a month. Yes to me ..one can enjoy life on a low income and I am sure you can get to the point where you can make saving , cutting corners an artform in itself . Is it something one would wish to do ..I would think not . Having struggled on and off all my life you just do what it is you need to do and make family and the time you spend with each other the most important thing.

So the comment ...This is more than enough ?  ....is just not in my mind true. I miss getting my nails done , getting my hair done , going shopping for clothes ..buying flowers just because I can ...going on vacations ...actually walking out and getting in my own car and going anywhere I want to go instead of asking for a ride ....being able to help a neighbor out instead of receiving the help . My list goes on ...trust me .

So yea you can live on that amount of money but who wants to . Honestly .





Offline Dizzi

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2010, 11:30:03 AM »
I'm living at 1000$ dollars a month right now actually haha

essentially it's: 600$ for rent
400$ for everything else.  somemonths I budget, some months I don't.  The life of a student.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2010, 02:10:14 PM »
Let me try.

Rent (split so my half, covers utilities and phone) $250
Monthly Bus Pass (reduced fare being disabled) $35
Dial-Up Internet $10.95
Basic Basic Cable (split with companion)  $7.50
IRA $100
Savings $50
Entertainment (assuming getting things from the library and using $1 movie kiosk rentals) $50
Food (shared with some eating out) $100
Health Care $50
Clothes (I go to thrift places mostly) $25

Total $678.45

Money Left Over $321.55

I could do it easily enough alone even without my lover chipping in and I could get food stamps and other aid most likely. That is my current budget BTW with some extra leeway since I earn less than the $12k.

Offline Torch

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2010, 02:36:56 PM »
Can someone live on $1000 a month? Sure, it's possible.

But as Sasha said, who would want to? Who really wants to live their life merely scraping by and one crisis from homelessness? I can understand living this way if there was no other option, but by choice? Hell no.