Author Topic: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?  (Read 3186 times)

reformed spendthrift

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My youngest just bought a small (980 sq ft.)house and is going to be living on a tight budget for the first time. He has several chronic diseases that cause him to be quite tired and the medicine is quite high. He has a full time job with great health insurance but I worry. We don't know how much his utilities will run but with a small house I would think they would be minimal. No car payment or credit card debt. I think his mortgage, property taxes and insurance will run $800 a month. Any advice?

Omy

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 04:42:47 PM »
Mr. Money Mustache lived on that amount with a family of 3 - as do a large number of the forum members here. I assume your son qualified for the house on his own and has decided he is able to manage it all. My advice would be let him do it on his own and see how it goes.

Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2019, 04:54:24 PM »
If he becomes more disabled, would he qualify for SSD? if so, he should be fine. His expenses should be pretty low. As a parent, we all worry about our children but I think you should take a deep breath and let him succeed or fail on his own.

Villanelle

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2019, 05:04:35 PM »
Is that $2000 after the $800 in housing costs?

Also, the climate and COL is going to make a huge difference in the answer here.  Does he own a car?  How much does he drive?  Any debt (you said no CC or car)?

My only other advice is that your son is an adult.  Did he come to you asking this question?  If not, then I'd stay out of it.   

Milizard

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 05:37:28 PM »
It does seem a bit tight,  but a good starting point for a young person if they're frugal.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 06:06:20 PM »
Yes, it's enough to live on almost anywhere, assuming 1) he continues to have great health insurance and 2) it's 2k post tax. Also, 980 sq ft. is a lot of space for one person!

ElleFiji

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2019, 06:40:58 PM »
I do around that for one person with higher rent and chronic illness /disability. He'll be fine. And if he bought a house and money gets tight, he can rent a room out

Zikoris

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 08:04:40 PM »
We spend only slightly more than that for two people and a cat, living in a nice apartment in an expensive city and travelling to six countries a year. He'll be fine if he's got a single frugal bone in his body.

partgypsy

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2019, 08:16:25 AM »
That's what me and my ex lived on together, in the early through mid late ninties. It is true that we rented, which is cheaper than having a house. I would let him do it and see how it goes. The only way to find out.

Cassie

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 03:02:10 PM »
If he is receptive maybe help him with a budget.

FIREstache

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 03:13:56 PM »
As a single person who pays all the bills, I'm living on less than  $1700/mo in a 2500 sq.ft. home if I exclude discretionary spending, and that includes a few hundred $ per month toward long term car replacement and long term home maintenance.  I'm averaging closer to $1350/mo actual money spent on required expenses on average most years while the car/maintenance funds are saved for when needed.  If we add back in optional/discretionary spending, add $50-$100 per month for that.  Home is paid for, but high taxes and insurance.  Anyway, there are just too many variables to say how much will be enough for someone.   Even for myself, I plan to increase discretionary spending from the range I just gave up to ~$2000+/mo when I FIRE when I have the time and freedom to enjoy more entertainment, travel, etc.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 03:20:08 PM by FIREstache »

Raenia

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2019, 12:54:26 PM »
We spend not too much more than that to support two adults, and our mortgage/taxes/insurance is nearly twice his.  He'll be ok.

spartana

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2019, 01:01:00 PM »
He should befine and may even be able to save something each month. If he can keep his non-housing spending in the $700/month or less range (very doable for a single childless person) that will give him $500/month or more to put toward saving. I FIREd with a paid off house, free medical coverage and no debt and easily live on $500 - $700/month to cover my basic expenses. He can also get a roommate or 2 if he has space.

Kay-Ell

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 09:43:10 AM »
I live on about $2300/month in a MCOL area with a child and a large dog.  Here's how my monthly budget looks.

920/mortgage/insurance/taxes
40/internet
10/netflix
$250/car/health/life insurance (this is only for one person, as my child is on different insurance)
$350/utilities (this is high, but has a lot to do with the city and state I'm in)
$200/groceries
$100/pet food (I told you she was large)
$200/spending (includes gas, restaurants)
$200/month set aside toward vacations and holidays (also used as my emergency slush fund as it's easy to cut down on vacation spending if I need a new water heater)
$50/month set aside for misc, non monthly, expenses (car registration, back to school shopping, etc)

From what you've shared, it sounds like your son pays less in mortgage by $120/month, and doesn't have a dog who costs $100/month.  This would bring my monthly budget down to $2100/month (including a $200/month buffer that I have allocated purely to planned luxury spending).  He may not need to spend so much in utilities.  And while he probably spends less in insurance since he is employed, he has prescription costs as well so that may even out or may be a difference one way or another.  In addition, if I wasn't making more than this, the $200/month I am allocating toward holidays and travel would be going to savings instead.

In my opinion $2000/month is a pretty ideal budget for one person.  It's tight if that's *ALL* the person makes, as opposed to being what the person chooses to spend, while amassing savings.  As a parent I'd be a little nervous watching my child leave the nest on a tight budget and a low income, but as a logical person with frugal habits, I'd be damn proud.  I think you should be too.  Your son just bought his first house and has a plan to become independent despite struggling with chronic diseases.

Zikoris

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 10:14:15 AM »
In 2018 we averaged $2,352/month spending, for the two of us, broken down like:

$832 - Housing
$818 - Travel
$280 - Food
$86 - Bills
$337 - Everything else (cat, clothes, entertainment, transportation, dental work, personal care, buying whatever)

mathlete

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2019, 10:43:14 AM »
Mr. Money Mustache lived on that amount with a family of 3

This feat is made considerably easier when you own your home outright and thus, mark your housing costs as zero.

spartana

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 08:13:10 AM »
Mr. Money Mustache lived on that amount with a family of 3

This feat is made considerably easier when you own your home outright and thus, mark your housing costs as zero.
Not zero as you still have property tax, insurance, repairs, etc. The OP includes those things into their $800/month housing expense but he doesn't have a spouse or kid which I imagine increased MMM's expenses compared to a single childless person. That leaves him $1200/month for everything else which I think is doable with covered medical insurance from his job.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2019, 05:38:47 PM »
Wow, way to tell it! 

I'm honestly surprised there are still so many frugal people left on this forum!  I expected to read a bunch of "no way" responses and have to be the voice of reason.  I love you all, you have renewed my hope!  2K a month is absolutely no problem if if housing is only $800, plus a big enough space to get a roommate.

spartana

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2019, 10:46:43 AM »
Some of us frugal FIREd types hang around and try to add out 2 cents worth of advice about living on less but its becoming harder and harder now with so many Tesla driving Vitamix owning big spenders here now ;-).

robartsd

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2019, 11:35:19 AM »
Some of us frugal FIREd types hang around and try to add out 2 cents worth of advice about living on less but its becoming harder and harder now with so many Tesla driving Vitamix owning big spenders here now ;-).
I'll sooner regret buying a 1-2 year old Corolla at CarMax before I regret buying my Vitamix at the fair. Both are still very satisfactory at meeting my intended uses for them many years later. Sure, Sol makes a good point that Vitamix is pretty pricey for what it is, but it is not very expensive as far as luxury items goes when used daily over 10+ years.

mathlete

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2019, 12:23:20 PM »
Not zero as you still have property tax, insurance, repairs, etc. The OP includes those things into their $800/month housing expense but he doesn't have a spouse or kid which I imagine increased MMM's expenses compared to a single childless person. That leaves him $1200/month for everything else which I think is doable with covered medical insurance from his job.

Oh I think it's doable as well. And I've done it myself personally. Though this was in college and I had no medical insurance so I really don't think I was "doing it" as much as getting lucky for never getting hurt or sick. But yeah, if medical is included, $2K seems like enough to make it by.

I just don't think it's ever that useful to make comparisons to MMM when it comes to budgeting.

Fish Sweet

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2019, 12:28:29 PM »
$2000 a month is absolutely doable!  As a late twenty-something living in an ultra HCOL area, I'm managing just fine at about $1600 a month with work covering my health insurance.  Frugality as a habit-- cooking most of my own meals, packing lunch, no cc/car debt, no careless daily $$ spent on starbucks or its ilk, keeping an eye out and only buying sale items when I can-- translates into a lot of savings, and just as many fun and social experiences (eating out with friends, attending concerts, visiting museums, parties and date nights) as any ~experience junkie millenial /s with a full savings account to boot.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2019, 04:55:11 PM »
Some of us frugal FIREd types hang around and try to add out 2 cents worth of advice about living on less but its becoming harder and harder now with so many Tesla driving Vitamix owning big spenders here now ;-).

Agreed.  I've migrated to another, more frugal, forum for my journaling and most of my interactions. I still hang out here, because there is a lot to learn from the much larger population density and the OG's like you.  I'm currently involved in an investment discussion, so I've been spending a lot more time here and get sucked back in, lol.

And I've done it myself personally. Though this was in college and I had no medical insurance so I really don't think I was "doing it" as much as getting lucky for never getting hurt or sick. But yeah, if medical is included, $2K seems like enough to make it by.

I just don't think it's ever that useful to make comparisons to MMM when it comes to budgeting.

I'm 43. My trailing twelve month spend is a hair under 18K.  I dont have a paid off house (I rent) and that includes my nonsubsidized disaster health insurance policy. I even own a car! and have traveled for about 6 weeks of the past twelve months.  I do not have kids though.  I live in an area considered MCOL, downtown in a small college city. 

spartana

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2019, 05:55:00 PM »
Some of us frugal FIREd types hang around and try to add out 2 cents worth of advice about living on less but its becoming harder and harder now with so many Tesla driving Vitamix owning big spenders here now ;-).

Agreed.  I've migrated to another, more frugal, forum for my journaling and most of my interactions. I still hang out here, because there is a lot to learn from the much larger population density and the OG's like you.  I'm currently involved in an investment discussion, so I've been spending a lot more time here and get sucked back in, lol.



Zikoris

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2019, 05:58:18 PM »
Some of us frugal FIREd types hang around and try to add out 2 cents worth of advice about living on less but its becoming harder and harder now with so many Tesla driving Vitamix owning big spenders here now ;-).

Agreed.  I've migrated to another, more frugal, forum for my journaling and most of my interactions. I still hang out here, because there is a lot to learn from the much larger population density and the OG's like you.  I'm currently involved in an investment discussion, so I've been spending a lot more time here and get sucked back in, lol.



Where's the frugal forum? I want to check it out.

spartana

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2019, 06:18:26 PM »
Some of us frugal FIREd types hang around and try to add out 2 cents worth of advice about living on less but its becoming harder and harder now with so many Tesla driving Vitamix owning big spenders here now ;-).

Agreed.  I've migrated to another, more frugal, forum for my journaling and most of my interactions. I still hang out here, because there is a lot to learn from the much larger population density and the OG's like you.  I'm currently involved in an investment discussion, so I've been spending a lot more time here and get sucked back in, lol.



Where's the frugal forum? I want to check it out.
I bet he's talking about ERE. I've seen several MMM frugal forum members over there. Don't have an account there myself but have lurked occasional and follow some of the journals.

clarkfan1979

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2019, 11:50:49 AM »
When I was a graduate student, I lived on 20K/year. I spent $2000 on school related expenses (fees and books), so in reality it was 18K/year. However, that was 10 years ago.


ambimammular

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Re: youngest leaving the nest-is $2000 a month enough to live on?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2019, 10:57:03 AM »
Mr. Money Mustache lived on that amount with a family of 3 - as do a large number of the forum members here.

But wasn't he mortage free at that point?