How I Live Off $1000 a Month And Why
What's The Point in Living Cheap if You Can't Enjoy it?
So why did I choose the magical number $1000 a month? I did so because it frees up the rest of your money. You should be able to find a roommate, or single apartment for $500-600 a month. Rent is of course going to be your biggest expense.
If you're a materialist and having stuff makes you happy, then stop reading here but this isn't the article for you. However, if you want to retire sooner, and have a nice padded savings account or take nice trips then keep reading.
Food And Drinks
In the modern economy you should be able to live off a $50 a week food budget. If you can't then you're eating out too much. If you cook at home not only will you save money, but you'll likely lose weight and gain more energy.
You can go to the bar sometimes, but you're really paying for atmosphere not alcohol. Wouldn't you rather enjoy a long term atmosphere of freedom rather than a meet market?
So now we're at $700-$800 total.
Cooking is Cheaper
Phone, Cable, And Utilities
You can't avoid utilities but you can minimize them. There's no reason to have a cell phone contract. Get a prepaid phone and you're off to the races. Why? Because you're free to do as you wish, and it requires no credit.
Sure Iphones are cool, but Android does nearly the same thing cheaper. The Iphone has a better camera and looks cooler; maybe. I prefer cash in my pocket over cool looks thank you very much.
Ditch cable. You can simply use the internet and Netflix, or go cheaper and use Primewire free. If you use primewire just make sure you run spyware scans on your computer. There is a price for everything even when it's free.
Now we're at $800-900.
Cut The Cord
Debit or Credit?
Like many others I never believed in using a credit card, but my eyes have since been opened and my own stupidity has humbled me.
If you use a rewards credit card instead of your debit card you can wrack up cash back or points. You must pay it off immediately using that lovely debit card. This avoids you paying any interest. You can use your points for cash back, hotels flights, or anything the card makes available to you.
Rewards are nice
If you can live without your car then you should. Financial whizzes have done the math and found car sharing companies will save you money in the long run on your commute. Skip the gas bill, the over priced insurance, and constant repair shop scams.
Try out Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar if you live in the city. It could save you a fortune if you rarely drive.
We Came In Under $1000
I know the idea of doing this sounds horrible and impractical. Some months you are going to go over the budget because sacrificing is really hard to do. This isn't meant to be a concrete and strict idea, it's just a concept to reduce your materialism.
Having things is nice, but they can easily become a burden. Think about what you really need, and what makes you happy and adjust this as needed. I can't go into more detail here because everyone has different needs and lifestyles. Good luck, and happy savings.