Sunday, October 14, 2018

How I live Well on $1000 a Month - Part 2 - The Financials

In Part 1 of this topic, I talked about why I live like this and what I have and what i had to sacrifice to live on $1000 a month. In this post, I'm going to lay out the financials so you can see where my money goes.

Income


Social Security........................$  789/month
Work ......................................... 250/month
    TOTAL ...............................$1,039 
NOTE: I sometimes make slightly less than $250/month

Bills

Rent ............................................$590/month
Utilities ..........................................100/month (average)
Internet .........................................   51/month

Miscellaneous ................................  30-50/month
(includes toiletries, cleaning supplies, household essentials)

Prescriptions .................................$  7.00/month

     TOTAL.......................................$748 (approximate)

Difference .....................................$291

SAVINGS ...................................... $200

Difference ..................................... $ 91
  (Covers clothes, transportation, health supplements, etc. All extra is rolled over and spent on things such as gifts, household items and special treats for myself)

NOTE: Some months I cannot save $200 and have to spend my savings on emergencies, such as earlier this year when my computer died and I had to buy a new one.

Food

  • SNAP..........................................$156/month (presently - it changes depending on my earnings and expenses) 
  • USDA Food Distribution.............. 50/month (estimated - depends on what they have available)
  • Food Bank .................................. 10/month (estimated, depending on what you get)
I don't always get the USDA food distributions or food bank. If I'm dong o.k. that month, I usually don't get them, because they are mostly canned and processed foods, which I try not to eat. I do get them for stocking up for months when the SNAP runs out before the end of the month.

Food Savings Tips

I'm very frugal with my shopping. I shop at stores like Aldi, WalMart, and even pick up some cheap items from Dollar General and Dollar Tree. I buy some bulk foods, herbs and spices from Earthfare, which is expensive, but cheaper per oz. usually than buying them packaged.
  • I don't shop by a menu. I buy what's cheapest on sale, stock up, and build menus around what I have. I found this much cheaper in the long run.
  • I dehydrate or freeze fruit and veggies in season for later use. I don't have a lot of pantry space, so this helps me store more food.
  • I cook 95% of my own meals and make some of my own snacks (mostly baked goods) so I can use less sugar with no preservatives.
  • I don't eat a lot of meat, but when I do, I measure out servings per meal. For example, one large chicken breast is three normal servings, so a pack of 4 on sale is 12 servings.
  • I stretch my food dollars by making soups and stews. I make a 3 qt pot of vegetable soup, and stretch it several times by adding meat, rice or barley. When the veggies finally get too mushy, I blend it up with some cooked garbanzo beans and spices to make hummus.

By using this method, I can usually come out ahead with SNAP at the end of the month, and don't need the extra food bank food.

I'll be writing more on individual savings ideas for things like meat, etc. with recipes, so subscribe in the upper right sidebar to receive notification emails when they are posted.

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