Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Live on $12000 a Year ??

This posting was inspired from another blog www.milliondollarjourney.com. A lady claims to have lived on $12000 a year.I lived on a relatively small income last year also- so I can definitely relate. I want to say that the lady is clearly resourceful and can stretch her resources and a dollar. I myself think that I am very good at stretching a dollar. Last year my bills were app. $1000 a month, which equals to app. $12000 a year. My girlfriend and I combined only made app. $21000(my worst year ever) and we still had to buy food and gas for our cars. I didnt keep a budget but I had a pretty good handle on our money. I kept all of our receipts-for the most part- from shopping at Walmart and added them up recently. We spent about $100 a week on food and necessities like toiletries--we have a two year old son that we had to buy diapers, pull ups, and wipes also. We also have dogs that need dog food.In all, we spent app $5200 last year on these things. I didnt keep a gas total, but trust me the way gas prices were last year, this ate up most of the rest of our money.
How did we save money? Well we cut out things--which in retrospect probably strained our relationship some. We dont have to pay rent or a house payment. She has a 1999 Chevy Blazer and I have a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee- both of these are paid for. I used part of our tax refund last February to finish paying off my car--this was great--my first time in a long time without a car payment(part of my no debt plan). We basically cut out fast food-only had it once in a blue moon-- and cooked our meals at home.This was also part of my lose weight and get back into shape plan-lol! We didnt have to worry about child care- my girlfriends family live next door and they helped out with watching him.Also the gym I go to- The Rush- offers free childcare. My son loves to go there by the way. We very rarely went out on dates. When we did, my girlfriend has an aunt who has a connection for free tickets at the Greensboro Coliseum(ie-circus). She would give us tickets from time to time. We didnt go to the movies as much either. But if we did, we would go to the dollar theatre or would occasionally rent from Red Box-which is only a dollar a night. The Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team offers a good value for a family night out as well-we even got free tickets given to us outside the gate once. The parks around here are nice and offer fun and a night or day out for free. We didn't take a vacation--I rarely have in my life. We wanted to take my son two years ago to the beach and we did. However, this past summer we decided to buy passes at a local water park-Wet & Wild in Greensboro- that is only 15 minutes from our house. Only app $80 a piece for a total of $160--son was free because of his age. It was great and almost like being at the beach and my son loved it. I would go to the library and borrow books and for the first time ever took advantage of the free DVD rentals. Also Barnes and Noble was a good place to read books and magazines, and they have a good area for kids. My son enjoys the books and stuffed animals and the train set there as well. We did have ongoing bills like electricity, cell phone and Internet, gym membership,and car insurance that pretty much used up the rest of our income. Of course, I hope that we can get our level of income up this year. In conclusion, Living on less can be done if you take advantage of the resources and learn to stretch a dollar!

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