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What do u think is the min someone can make before you think it is too little to survive on. I don't mean 2 SUVs and a life of luxury. Im just wondering how much it takes a family (of 4) to get by on and be able to have some fun and live reasonably. I can see this question will be subjective since reasonable to one isnt reasonable to another and cost of living varies. I got by on 27,000 (take home) last year but I have no car pmyt and it is only for 2 people. I feel like I really had to manage my money and be responsible to get by. Can people get by on less? How much? Poverty level was set at $11,000 in 2001?! Just wondering how $15,000/yr isnt poverty level. Just seems they set a min. wage at poverty level which doesnt make sense.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:14 PM on Jan. 27, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (11)
  • For our family of 6 I would have to say about 35k a year.

    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 12:16 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • For my family of four, last year we made $22,000 gross between my hubby and I. We made it, but barely. We don't go out at all and we don't have any ammeneties (sp) (ie., cable, internet-I use the net at work :), or even shopping) I buy ALL of our clothes at Goodwill or local thrift stores, I utilize our local programs for supplement food. And I rely on my family to help me as much as they can. We are a closenit (sp) family so it works for us.

    Answer by jenree33 at 12:20 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • We live off of $25,000 a year with a family of 4. We have a carpayment right know and had to rebudget things.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:23 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • The yr before last, I made $15,000 roughly. No car payment. No extras. My parents had to pay my mortgage b/c I couldn't. What I made barely covered the electric bill, gas in the car, car insurance, daycare/childcare costs, and food, since I didn't have health insurance, I also had to pay the kids doctor visits out of that, too. I made it, but only b/c my parents paid my mortgage.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:28 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • We made it on $15,000 last year but then again we do have Medicaid for our daughter, so we didn't make it without help.
    We also live in a super cheap area of the country and I know that makes a huge difference.
    I think the trick is to have no leaks in the budget. We tell our money where to go. We can't afford not to.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:35 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • My fiance made just over $19,000 last year. We don't pay rent (we live with my mom. We could afford our own place, but we want to be out of debt completely before we take that on), we don't have a car payment (we both own our vehicles outright). We pay car insurance for him, (mine's paid for) working on paying off our debt, & buy the kids' stuff (diapers, clothes, school stuff) & we pay child support for his other 3 kids. We get assistance to help with food but pay for what that doesn't cover. We just barely make it, but we do make it. We never go out to dinner or movies, or stuff like that. Our family activities cost little to nothing over what we might pay for gas (but we always have a blast!). We don't do cable, internet or land line (my mom covers those), but we do pay our share of the phone bill.. I hope this info helps...
    Oh, he makes $9.30/hr (and gets great benefits) at one job and $10.50 at another. I make $240/mo

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:39 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • it depends where you live...cost of l iving vaaries greatly

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 12:40 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • it definitely depends on where you live, you can live off of that in almost all areas of missouri besides really popular big cities. i made 20k last year and my bf made 19k. we do just fine bc we don't have a car payment. now i got laid off and i am going to start school and he is going to support me while i am in school, we will have to live off of 11.65 an hour for about ten months until i get out of cosmetology school. we have a strenuous budget and i have one son. he has no children. if it were more than us three we'd get food stamps and all kinds of extras through the state but it's just us so we do it on our own. i'm not into having kids just to get the benefits of them being here past me enjoying their life. i want to finish school first.

    Answer by angevil53 at 12:47 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • It depends on how you and live and where you husband and I used to live in Arizona in a little apt, 2 car payments, eating out all the time, and vacationing a the time he made roughly 38000/yr and I made roughly 20000/yr. We always had money in the bank and always had extra to do what we wanted.
    Now we live in Michigan, have 1 child, 1 car payment, a reasonable house payment, rarely go out/eat out, rarely vacation, and seldom make big purchases....we made 73000 combined last year...and most of the time it feels like we are living paycheck to paycheck...our monthly bills are higher here....but other than that...I have no idea why we live so differently now...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:51 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

  • It really depends on a lot of factors. Can you find an inexpensive living situation (like being a building super and fixing stuff around the apartment for discounted rent or buying a home and rent space to boarders). Can you use public transportation and ditch the car? Can you plant a big garden and grow most of your food? Do you hunt for meat and fish? Do you shop second hand places for clothes? Do you need to pay someone to watch the kids or can you switch off with someone? What may help is to find out what's available in the area you plan to live in, and work from there. I just read the recently reprinted "Possum Living" by Dolly Freed, and though the language and ethics are a bit off at times, she does address "what is enough?" You might try interlibrary loan or do an online search, as it was a free read about a year or so ago.

    Answer by oddfox at 1:19 PM on Jan. 27, 2010

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