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An Actual $2000 Per Month Budget

How do people live on a small amount? This is an example budget showing exactly how TWO people get by while only spending $2000 each month. There are great lessons here on how to manage your money. I currently spend way more than this and there are a lot of opportunities for me to save. Check it out -

I wrote about this McDonald’s budget versus our post-college budget in mid-2013.  Based on the specific feedback, I’ve updated this post to include a general $2000 budget for those with a higher rent too.  I broke the budgeted amounts down to show how it is possible as well. McDonald’s Budget – Seems to Have Some Holes Have you seen that McDonald’s and Visa came up with a budget for “their average worker” that brings in $2000 a month?  It’s freaking hilarious.  Here’s a quick summary: Two Actual $2000 Budgets! Okay, so that is obviously not a realistic budget for most people.  It just seems to assume you don’t pay for stuff like health insurance and can roll things like food into a daily amount of leftover money and be just fine. And, yes, $2000 a month is obviously very little to live on.  BUT, Mr. BFS and I actually lived on that during college and the year after (2004-2006).  So, here it goes, a realistic $2000 budget for two people that has actually worked for two real people… A Real $2000 Per Month Budget for Two People (and Scroll Down for a Higher Rent Option that is Also $2000 Per Month) That $2000 after taxes is about … Read more

Why Budget if We Aren’t Broke?

Mr. BFS and I have good business months and bad business months.  But overall, we are well off.  We’re not financially independent, but we’re far from living paycheck-to-paycheck.  So if we aren’t struggling, why spend time worrying about budgeting? Why We Budget In short, the budget keeps us on the track we decide to be on.  We have clear priorities, even if they change as life goes on, and we agree that the way we spend and save should reflect those priorities.  Plus, when those priorities change, having a clear history of where our money is going is priceless.  We know exactly what expenses are set in stone and which ones can go up to the chopping block in the name of our new goal. Budgeting and Side Money for the Win For example, we wanted to build back up the emergency fund super quickly since we zeroed it out for the dental stuff.  So we looked at the budget, and as usual, we were overspending on food and entertainment.  So for the last 2 months, we stuck to the $500 a month or less plan on all food.  We also avoided most entertainment expenses other than his Halloween costume for … Read more

Dee’s $2000 a Month Budget Update – First Month’s Results

The following is another update post from Some Art Teacher (aka Dee) from Losing Stuff Gaining Freedom.  You can check out the original post about creating the $2000/month budget.  It’s $2000 in expenses along with $1000 for savings and $200 savings for her car fund.  She’s aiming to save $1000 per month as a public school teacher so she can afford to buy her own trailer in cash and have an emergency fund by August 2014. Quick Backstory Good morning, everyone! This is Dee again reporting for your one month check in, budget paper in hand. If you remember, Crystal helped me create a budget.  If I stick to it, I should be able to live off about $2000 a month and save the rest. I have been tracking, and I even sent in an update about half way through the last 30 days in hope of letting her know how great it was going, and as a thank you for helping me set all the numbers in place to reach my goals. Well, here’s how the month turned out: Budget Breakdown for the Month I spent over what I budgeted in two areas – my miscellaneous account and my car insurance account.  … Read more

Dee’s $2000 a Month Budget Update – 2 Weeks In…

Good day, folks!  Someartteacher here (aka Dee) from Losing Stuff Gaining Freedom, checking in with my wonderful budget that Crystal helped me make created for me two weeks ago. I have pretty good news on all accounts. Pun intended! (Crystal’s note:  You can check out the original post about creating the $2000/month budget that you see below by clicking here.  It’s $2000 in expenses, $1000 for savings for her goal, and $200 savings for her car fund.  She’s aiming to save $1000 per month as a public school teacher so she can afford to buy her own trailer in cash and have an emergency fund to boot by August 2014.)   Results 2 Weeks In I went over on car insurance due to the fact that I could save more by paying 6 months at once.  And my electric is over a bit, but I am making up for that with my below-expected restaurant spending.  Turns out, when I have to put the numbers in the computer screen, I eat out less.  It’s hard to justify all of the restaurant food when I have nummy stuff just sitting in the fridge. I only felt tight on my budget when I wanted to … Read more

Living on $2000 a Month – My Friend’s New Budget

This lady Dee lives off of $2000 per month from her salary and she has a budget to show what it's like to manage your money effectively this way. Checking out personal budgets always gives me tips for my own money.

I’ve mentioned my friend, Dee, before.  She is the kind of person that will pelt you with perkiness when you are having a bad day.  She just ignores most grumpy moments and waits for you to be normal again.  She also pouts in the cutest way I’ve ever seen, and her soul animal would be a kitten (she already pounces on people when she thinks you are being too lazy or when she is bored).  Overall, she is a hoot to be around and even though we’ve only become friends this year, I hope I still know her when I am old and gray.  I think any nursing home would be lucky to have us two in it at the same time… Dee’s Goal Anyway, Dee has a new financial goal.  She would like to buy a good-sized travel trailer and rent some land so that she can own her own place as soon as possible.  And yes, a travel trailer is way more compact and cheaper than an actual house, and that is exactly what she wants.  She is more of a minimalist than me, but it has taken her a while to break some semi-hoarding tendencies that annoyed her.  In … Read more

The Art of Choosing Between An Experience And A Possession

The following is a guest post from Taynia (rhymes with pain-ya), a debt whip-cracker and financial peacemaker (also CPA – yawn!).  She blogs at The Fiscal Flamingo, a site dedicated to navigate your journey from big spendah to dynamite saver.   Sign up for her free financial resource, The Light.  You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.  It’s the end of the month and you’ve got some extra dough.  You sweet budgeter, you. You’ve been waiting for this to happen.  Now that it has, you’re ready to spend.  For the sake of this argument, let’s look past saving and investing your riches.  Although both smart options, sometimes you’ve just gotta spend, in order to save.  Non-stop tightwad frugality leads to grumpiness. So, where was I?  Ah yes, you’ve got two choices: One:  Buy Stuff (aka possession) Two:  Buy An Experience So let’s chat a little about both…. Possession Oh, the sweet allure of stuff.  Sparkly, magical and make-your-heart-swell stuff.  You lust for it.  You covet it.  You must have it.  You think, “If only I had this, then I would be that.” And it’s a quick win.  It fulfills the instant gratification that has become the minimum standard.  It’s also … Read more

Our Budget – Then and Now

I was entering all of our expenses into our budget last month, and then decided to see how far back my Excel budgets actually went on my little flash drive.  I’ve been on a budget since I first started college in late 2001, but I only started saving them on my flash drive in April 2007, right before we bought our first home.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at our budget – then and now. Our Monthly Budget – April 2007 Rent – $730 Car Payment – $300 Car Insurance – $150 Gasoline – $200 Electricity – $100 Water – $25 Restaurants – $400 Groceries – $100 Cell Phones – $110 Home Phone – $30 Medicines – $30 Cable – $120 Entertainment – $250 Cash – $300 Total = $2845 And we were making about $4250 per month after taxes and benefits from our day jobs (401k, health insurance, etc.).  We basically saved the extra $1400 a month so we could buy our first home. Our Monthly Budget – April 2013 Home Mortgage – $990 Home Insurance/Property Taxes/HOA – $750 Rent House Home Insurance/Property Taxes – $275 Health Insurance – $275 Car Insurance – $55 … Read more