How much money do you really need?

So, if you started with a clean slate, with no car payments, no credit card debt and no house payments. How much money, at this point in time, do you need to live?

I’m not talking vacations in mexico. Just, how much do you tend to spend on utillities, food and general supplies including “reasonable” entertainment? (like cable, going to a club on the weekends etc).

I figure without any debt I only “need” a surprisingly low amount of money. Even with 3 nice meals (actually, I only eat 2 normally) and my weekend spending in mind I’m figuring $15 a day for food and $50 for both weekdays. My monthly utillities are only a cell phone and cable including internet ($35 and $120) so my total monthly requirements is about $705 CAN (or about $450-ish USD).

If I could work from home (so I didn’t need my car and gas money) I only need about 1/3 of the money I make after tax!

So dopers, how do you guys (and gals) add up?

No car or house payment? $600.

A little more than whatever I’m currently making…

Cable? Inernet?

Last time I checked you generally need power to use these, and unless you take a crap and produce flowers, you might want plumbing and working water. What about maintenaince on your shelter? What happens when cups break?

What about toiletries? Toothbrushes? Toothpaste?

Laundry? Soap? Detergent?

I figure the absolute minimum for me to get by every week is $50!
That doesn’t include rent, utilities, or any type of entertainment.

Sorry, I should have said, I live in an apartment. I don’t pay for general utilities.

But really, how much is water and power these days? $100 a month?

And I believe $85 a week for 1 person is pretty decent for everything one would need (food, toothbrushes etc). I’m not exactly buying frozen dinners ya know.

How much are you willing to give me? :slight_smile:

Seriously, while in college a couple of years ago, I was living on about 7500 dollars per year. I saved all of my bills and receipts over the course of a semester, added them up, and extrapolated the figure for a full year.
By far the largest chunk of this was rent, followed by food.

This doesn’t include college tuition, textbooks, and school supplies, which I don’t consider living expenses.

I don’t know- without rent? I try to spend about $40 a week on food for me and my husband, and with phone bill and shopping at thrift stores and transportation and power and water…

Hmm. If we didn’t have to buy clothes occasionally, and the cat doesn’t get sick, about $400 for two people. This assumes no emergencies, no really silly spending, and no rent.

I was comfortable – that is, able to pay my rent, electric bill, phone bill, ISP, buy my prescriptions, car expenses, put myself through college night classes and eat without any financial stress – on 35K/year.

I don’t have that job anymore and now I have to make do with considerably less (20K/year). I’m hanging in (minus school) but struggling and more than a little stressed over money issues. One good emergency will do me in. (So I hope if I have one, it’s fatal so I don’t have to even try to pick up the pieces!)

Forget about vacations to Mexico, etc. I live in a 1-bedroom apt in a lousy neighborhood. It’s being in the NYC metro area, even though I’m in NJ, which makes it so expensive to live here, especially rent-wise. I’ve been driving the same car since 1991 – and to live in this shitty area I needed that 35K/year just to be comfortable. Never mind luxuries and vacations!

I’ve always figured if I could ever make $30,000/year again, I’d be fairly comfortable. Although if I’d ever like to buy a house, I’d need about twice that around here.

This income level would sustain me while I’m able to work, with little or nothing for retirement. As it stands now, I need to die shortly after I retire, as soon as my supply of Ramen runs out.

I’m beginning to look at issues of taking care of parents as they enter their golden years. It’s not pretty. I’ve told them both they better plan on being on their own.

That depends. How many pairs of shoes do you need to be happy? The more shoes you need, the more money you need. I wear sandals :slight_smile: