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Author Topic: $1,000 a month  (Read 4644 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2010, 02:39:42 PM »
For those people who have said that they can or are living on $1000 a month - are you taking into account the second adult and three children?  That's what this woman is claiming to be able to support.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2010, 03:23:52 PM »
I don't call what I do scraping by I consider it living modestly so I can live a Christian example and give away the extra money to help those in real need.

But I do feel this is fine for me if I had a child I would obviously want to make sure they are properly if modestly provided for so would then need to earn more money.

Offline satindesire

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2010, 12:37:10 PM »
My parents were dirt poor, literally we lived below the poverty line when I was a child and we 'lived' off of much less than a grand a month. My mother, being the shining example of caring motherhood, refused to work, leaving my not-even-high-school-educated but very hardworking father to earn whatever he could. Usually it was minimum wage, due to his lack of GED or equivalent. He worked upwards of 90+ hours a week just to make the bills (and often didn't, due to my mother's terrible habits with money), so he was never home, and I developed a whole host of relationship problems in my teen years due to the fact that I had 'daddy issues'. There were some days I remember going hungry. During school days, sometimes the only meals I would get would be at school. We were evicted from our trailers so many times I couldn't count. For some reason my parents NEVER got WIC or EBT, or asked for help from the Salvation Army or any other charity places. I'm not sure if it was from pride, but if I had been able, I would have gone just to assure I had a full belly on a regular basis. Plus, I was sick of constantly moving. We often had no working vehicle because we couldn't afford repairs or even basic maintenance, and we certainly never had health insurance or a savings account. Because of my family not being able to afford nice clothes and expensive haircuts, I was outcast in school for not fitting into the popular crowds and was painfully shy. I didn't break triple digits in my weight until I was -17- and had been working for nearly a year, making my OWN money for food and clothes.

Nowadays, I am a stay at home mother (only by request of my husband, since I've held my own regular job since I was 16) of a seven-month-old and live in the middle-to-upper-middle class income bracket. My husband is well educated and has a very good job, and I refuse to allow my daughter to live in the same conditions I was forced to live in. If something ever happened to his income, you're damn right I'd ask for charity and government assistance. My little girl will not go hungry, and she will not be teased and bullied at school because she didn't have the right clothes to fit in. As soon as she is old enough to go to school, I am going back to college to get my Masters' so that I have the opportunity to join in the income earning, and we will provide her the opportunities that my parents never could.

Now, my parents live with my husband and I, due to their advanced age, various disabilities and my mother's refusal to care for my father now that he can no longer walk. I watched my dad work himself into early disability while my mother sat by with a perfectly healthy body, and it made me realize as I grew up that one day, I would care for him the way he cared for me so that he wouldn't have to be forced to live in neglect because of my mother.

Our monthly expenses:

625.55 Mortgage
200+ electric (I work to reduce this daily, but with two TVs, two computers, video game systems and appliances running all hours of the day...well, that's not going to happen.)
35 water/trash
115 Cable internet
90 for 3 cell phones (prepaid, to save money)
500 groceries (four adults and a baby, it's one of our biggest but one of the most necessary expenses.)
250+ entertainment (This includes XBOX Live subscriptions, going to the theater, shopping, dining out, haircuts, salon trips, etc.)
200+ for the baby (formula, diapers, juice, and baby food, clothes, baby wipes, and toys.)
40+ for the cats (food, litter, snacks and toys.)
135 car/home insurance
100 gasoline
150+ misc. expenses (toiletry items, birth control, household goods, etc.)



That adds up to well over 2400 a month. But for four grown adults and a baby, with a mortgage and two vehicles, I think that's pretty damn reasonable.

I could not imagine living in a trailer that will not accrue value, unlike a home, living without insurance, or having no extra money for vanity's sake and other miscellaneous purchases.  I feel deeply sorry for her children.

Offline Red Tressed Imp

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2010, 10:44:44 PM »
Phone: $6.09 (low income reduced)

They are probably getting some sort of government assistance. Phone companies usually only offer low income reductions when a household is on food stamps, etc.

My budget includes:
Rent (3 bdrm/2 ba): $400
Electric: $300
Water: $60
Internet: $60
Food & household goods: around $200

I don't have a car. I use the computer in place of a phone. We don't have cable (we watch most shows online). I think a lot of people can live on a lot less than what they do; it's just a matter of realizing that you -can- live without the cell phone, the second car, the luxuries that require monthly payments. Of course, if it were up to me, I wouldn't be making ends meet with just a bit over $1000 a month either.

Offline Ket

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2010, 10:51:48 PM »
You also have to factor in where someone lives. Where I live, finding a decent apartment under $600 is pretty much impossible. When one is only making $1000 a month, spending 60% of that on rent leaves little room for much of anything else.

Offline Torch

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2010, 10:59:34 PM »
it's just a matter of realizing that you -can- live without the cell phone, the second car, the luxuries that require monthly payments.

Well, certainly anyone can live without those things (although one person's luxury is another person's necessity, but I digress).

Why anyone would voluntarily choose to do so unless absolutely necessary because of circumstance is beyond me.

Offline Red Tressed Imp

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2010, 11:02:02 PM »
Yes, exactly. I was going to write this and forgot: The cost of living here is low, so it's possible to find a decent home for a low price.

Offline Trieste

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2010, 07:58:40 AM »
For reals. I want to be able to rent a 3br/2ba for 400 a month! My little 1br costs 480, and that's after hunting for months and months to find a place in a decent neighborhood that's cheap!

Offline RubySlippers

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2010, 08:23:11 AM »
Well, certainly anyone can live without those things (although one person's luxury is another person's necessity, but I digress).

Why anyone would voluntarily choose to do so unless absolutely necessary because of circumstance is beyond me.

I can some people just prefer to work less and have more recreation and free time. In return we may live more modestly but its a legitimate choice. On the other hand being gay with another woman and not having children I can live on far less than other people. And note for Health Care I use the free clinic and if the hospital is needed the state says they can't bill me so just have to worry about doctors, my income is to low and I keep my assets at under the limit. Under state law they can't include retirement accounts so what doesn't go into my savings say when it hits $500 goes into my Roth IRA. Its not doing anything illegal and I have no trouble doing this it is obeying the law. I'm looking forward to the new Health Care Law kicking in it would be better than doing what I'm doing.

Offline Red Tressed Imp

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2010, 10:42:00 AM »
Trieste, you could always move to Central Texas :P

Offline Torch

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2010, 11:09:15 AM »
And note for Health Care I use the free clinic and if the hospital is needed the state says they can't bill me so just have to worry about doctors

The "free clinic" isn't free. It's subsidized by those of us (myself included) who pay tens of thousands of dollars of state and federal income taxes, along with sales and property taxes.

So in effect, I'm paying for your choice to live "more modestly".


Offline RubySlippers

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2010, 11:31:47 AM »
I work, I pay taxes my rent goes to the property taxes my parents pay and the free clinic does charge $5 per visit. Anyway I'm not able to work full time I can likely earn an extra $2000 a year that still would not cover health care insurance. The only chance I have for full coverage is the upcoming Medicaid expansion and then your still going to be paying.  If the extra money won't make a difference why should I work more hours? I'm getting by and living modestly. Using the carbon footprint as a model I'm well under someone earning more using a car and the like so in a way I'm helping society.

And I don't claim all my benefits I could get food stamps but choose not to since I don't need them.

Like I said I'm not breaking any laws and just working within the system when more labor won't make a difference on my end.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 11:34:51 AM by RubySlippers »

Offline Trieste

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2010, 11:47:23 AM »
Pssst, the point of becoming an adult and paying rent is to move out of your parents' place.  ::)

Could never comfortably live on less than $1000, let alone want to. Not in my area, not even if it was just me with no dependents. The fact that I do have three cats (who, yes, figure into the bill with food and litter and shots and also I have a vague obsession with buying new cat toys to play with that I let them use sometimes) and I do have an SO with whom I live adds to the bills. We choose to have a car, which easily puts the bill up and over as well between gas and whatever repairs might come up. When I stopped taking the bus and put my old car back on the road, my pocketbook was lighter but my day was fuller; it added a solid three or four hours to my day between bus rides and waiting for buses. That's an extra 28 hours a week that I can spend doing something other than waiting for the bus. My commute went from an hour and a half to 15 minutes! Not to mention the innumerable benefits of not rushing through my classes, worried about missing the last bus. Walking from school to home with a heavy backpack after a long day? Not my cup of tea, thanks.

Like Torch, I could probably scrape by on less than $1k a month if I had to. Hell, I spent a year scraping by on about $500 a month, with friends sending me grocery money every month (so $700, including that). Every time an unexpected expense came up, I had a cold twist in my stomach and my first thought was "How in the world am I going to pay for that?" Yeah, sure, I could live like that for the rest of my life.

Would I want to? No, thank you very much.

Trieste, you could always move to Central Texas :P

I ... have determined that the high rent is an appropriate trade-off for continuing to enjoy the culture that I do. :P

Offline Scott

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2010, 11:52:32 AM »
I couldn't do it.

Offline Torch

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Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2010, 12:00:45 PM »
I work, I pay taxes

If someone at your income level is paying taxes, then you are doing something wrong when you file your 1040. Technically, you shouldn't be paying anything. Over 1/3 of households have a zero or negative income tax liability, and I'm willing to bet you are in that 1/3. Yes, if you work then you are responsible for SS and Medicare contributions, but ANYONE who works is responsible for those. 

Quote
my rent goes to the property taxes my parents pay

Your parents are paying the property taxes. Not you. Whether you rent from them or not, they would still have the obligation.  Whether you pay or not, they still have the obligation. They could charge you nothing for rent, and they still have to pay the property tax. The fact that you pay rent is irrelevant.

 
Quote
and the free clinic does charge $5 per visit.

*sighs*

Okay, that $5 clinic visit is still subsidized by the taxes I pay.

Quote
Anyway I'm not able to work full time I can likely earn an extra $2000 a year that still would not cover health care insurance. The only chance I have for full coverage is the upcoming Medicaid expansion and then your still going to be paying.  If the extra money won't make a difference why should I work more hours? I'm getting by and living modestly. Using the carbon footprint as a model I'm well under someone earning more using a car and the like so in a way I'm helping society.

As this is veering way off-topic, I'm going to defer and not respond point by point, except to say that the choices you make are not made in a vacuum. There is a cost to those services you take advantage of, and someone has to pay. As a member of a high income bracket household, I have no problem with my tax dollars being spent taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves. The elderly, the disabled, children of low-income families. No problem with that whatsoever. But when others choose to simply live off the system because "it's not illegal", I take issue with that choice.

Offline Red Tressed Imp

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2010, 12:25:37 PM »
I ... have determined that the high rent is an appropriate trade-off for continuing to enjoy the culture that I do. :P

We have culture! The play Greater Tuna is performed here every so often :P

All kidding aside, and I'm really not trying to convince you to move here... but what I love about living here in that it's rural, cost of living is low, and I can have my pets without someone telling me I have too many. Yet, Austin is an hour drive from me, with plenty of distractions, diversions, and yet.. even culture.

And back on topic. I think it's entirely possible to live under $1000 a month, even with a hubby and three kids, without taking charity. But it would be a lot of work, pretty inconvenient and just not possible for the majority of people.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2010, 12:42:16 PM »
I'm considered an independant contractor as in self-employed I must pay all my social security taxes and state business income taxes plus Federal taxes, although fairly low.

Not really I chose to rent with them and they said to us we would have to, I could have rented with anyone and have afforded it with the two of us.

There is issues here most workers in retail and food service earn around what I do, Target is a great example. They place hours based on their income each week and the month. In say the Christmas season my lover gets 30 hours a week, off that she works as little as 8 hours if the week is bad like she is schedules this week. Her income is pretty much matching mine. I don't work much during the summer due to the local situation simply doesn't offer me work through my uncles food service business - carts. I mostly earn my money over Saturdays from September through the end of May, save July 4th where I work alot of hours downtown. My other job is a freelance bathroom attendant and I'm not ashamed of the job its honest work but only on Friday nights at a small club in my area for tips and selling things like condoms for a tiny profit.

Did you ever think this family is in the same situation maybe that is all they can earn if the wife worked she would have to get childcare and that would eat up her earnings or have to be subsidized by the state. The same case Torch is making.

I'm of the mind you are wealthy off the backs of the poor here or overseas, you should pay more to provide for everyone if that means I get some help fine. Its better than being on state assistance for everything isn't it?


Offline Serephino

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2010, 08:42:44 PM »
I'm bad with money, I admit it.  Still, even if I was capable of making a budget and sticking to it, I still wouldn't want to be poor.  I don't enjoy getting an ulcer when the car breaks down or something in the house needs fixed.  Every fall I wonder if we're going to have heat in the winter. 

I just got a hospital bill for $1100.  Of course that's not too bad considering the total bill was $11,270....  But anyway, emergencies and unexpected things happen.  I'm actually in the process of declaring bankruptcy because I'm so fucked from emergencies it isn't funny.  I didn't want to because it isn't going to help the economy, but I can't live like this anymore. 

Offline Jude

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2010, 10:17:32 PM »
I'm bad with money, I admit it.  Still, even if I was capable of making a budget and sticking to it, I still wouldn't want to be poor.  I don't enjoy getting an ulcer when the car breaks down or something in the house needs fixed.  Every fall I wonder if we're going to have heat in the winter. 

I just got a hospital bill for $1100.  Of course that's not too bad considering the total bill was $11,270....  But anyway, emergencies and unexpected things happen.  I'm actually in the process of declaring bankruptcy because I'm so fucked from emergencies it isn't funny.  I didn't want to because it isn't going to help the economy, but I can't live like this anymore. 

Gotta do what you gotta do.  Don't feel bad.  You're backed in a corner and if it's your only choice because of circumstance, it's hardly your fault.  There's a definite difference between declaring bankruptcy because of emergencies and because you maxed out your credit card at JC Penney.  At any rate, my sympathies.

Offline AmandaBear1776

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2010, 01:15:20 AM »
It that was me I would be doing every possible thing in my power to make sure my keeps were healthy safe and comfortable granted not spoiled. But just so I know they don't have to live on the streets in a natural disaster or something happening I would have to have financial back up just for their sake.

Offline Doomsday

Re: $1,000 a month
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2010, 03:04:30 AM »
I'm moving out on my own soon. 1000 a month would be a godsend, and it still wouldn't be enough.