i have a wife and two kids and a mortgage that is a lot more than your rent. I’d estimate we could live off $3300/month, that would cover the mortgage, power bills, water bills, gas bills, rates, food, and fuel for the car.
As a single person (I’m not, I’m married with a mortgage, but let’s just say), I could manage on about $500 easily. But now this would be living in east Texas, working as a waitress and staying in a travel trailer with a paid off car. Not the greatest accomodations or employment, but I was happy whenever I did it before.
My last job paid £700 ($1100) per month after taxes. About half went to rent, council tax and utilities. The remainder was for everything else. It was certainly liveable, but I did have to plan very carefully if I wanted a couple of nights out, a trip or two to the pub or to treat myself to anything. I could get by £450 per month but it would be pretty miserable; I’d have to quit smoking and boozing.
Without moving or getting rid of a car we need $2000 per month for our family of three.
If I were single and childless I could manage pretty well here in Baltimore for $1000 a month, and that includes Netflix and an occasional dinner out. I could pare it down to $900 if it meant I’d have a job that fed my soul.
I have told my son repeatedly that as soon as he graduates from high school we’re moving a mile south where the apartments cost half as much, but the schools are not so well rated.
Depends on how you live and what you are willing to give up. I have given a lot of thought to this issue (yeah, I’m cool like that).
If you are willing to share an apartment and only use public transit, you can get by pretty cheap.
Back in my college town the bus system was only $30/month and you could share an apartment (with your own bedroom) for $250/month since 2 bedrooms started at $500. So transportation (bicycle and the bus), rent and utilities would come to about $330/month.
Then food, catastrophic health insurance and minor misc expenses like clothes, medicines, household would probably add $300/month.
So a total of $600-700 for a basic lifestyle. Throw in a paid off car and abandon the bus and it’ll add about $80/month in insurance and fuel costs.
My thing is I like buying electronics and gadgets (medical gadgets, electronic gadgets, etc). I usually go through $200/month on those. I’d have to give those up.
Then again, it depends how you define ‘live on’. A person can live in a tent, live off a very basic diet cooked on a propane stove and only use a bicycle to get anywhere. In that lifestyle you can get by on $100-200/month. But most people aren’t willing or able to live like that (myself included).
It is unrelated, but Elizabeth Warren said that is what is mostly driving the increases in housing costs, parents are trying to get their kids into good schools and viewing where they live as a tool to do it. She supported a school voucher system to deal with the problem.
I’d be really careful about that, if that is what you’re planning to do. Do you own a vehicle and do you need it to get to work or for other things? What if it breaks? What if an existing cost goes up? What if you get sick or have some other unexpected cost. Your minimum livable wage should account for some contingencies. This is a big mistake that many people make when they set out a budget for themselves, and a reason why a lot of people get into bad debt situations.
If you are thinking about that, you should perhaps taking another secondary job as supplemental (if possible) that would allow you to put aside something for an emergency and possibly live a little bit better.
It depends on what you mean by “live” - we live in a house that is paid for, so no mortgage. Cars paid for and pretty functional, so cars are down to needing gas. So only food, heat, electricity, etc NEED to be paid to sustain life. But health insurance would be a big deal if it were not supplied (at least partially) by our employers.
I figured, when playing “what if the economy collapses” games that we could live off around $1000 a month - that assumes that we’d be eligible for property tax credits for having a “low” income and wouldn’t pay any income tax. But that would be day to day living - with extra blankets on the bed and multiple layers, not any sort of situation that I’d want to sustain.
Trust me, I don’t plan to live on that little. I fully intend to have a second and even third source of income. But I needed to know a drop dead number of what I needed to survive a given month barring anything else.
My goal is to have an income stream of at least $2,000 net which I think is doable given certain parameters in my life.