Author Topic: Monthly nut question??  (Read 1367 times)

Shuman4413

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Monthly nut question??
« on: October 02, 2018, 07:48:25 AM »
Is it possible to live on 2057 dollars a month with no debt wife and 2 kids.

If so where would you do it and what would a monthly breakdown look like?

Freedomin5

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 06:07:17 AM »
I think you need to provide a bit more context.

For example, you could live in China very comfortably on about USD$500/month but youíd be in a small city in the middle of nowhere. So the answer to your question is ďYesĒ if there are no specific parameters.

Monthly breakdown:
Rent $200
Food $100
Transportation $30
Phone $5
Internet $40
Health Insurance $100

Iím guessing you donít want to move to the middle of nowhere in China though.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 06:50:49 AM by Freedomin5 »

marty998

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 06:10:46 AM »
Your previous posts indicate you have $38,000 of car debt?

Do you have debt or not?

Also you have combined family income of $97k... are you assuming you only have the disability income going forward?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/need-advice-out-how-to-play-out-my-financial-life!!!/msg2148845/#msg2148845

Shuman4413

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 08:17:27 AM »
car is in the process of being sold and yes living off va disability only

Watchmaker

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 09:01:58 AM »
A couple with two kids manifestly can live on $2057 a month. Much of the world does. Some people in the small town in the Midwest that I live in do.

That doesn't mean it is easy to do, or that you won't have to give things up.

I mentioned I live in a small town in the Midwest--I think that is a great choice of location if you are trying to live as cheaply as possible while maintaining a western middle class lifestyle. The biggest problems small towns in the Midwest have is a lack of jobs, but if you aren't looking for a job that isn't a problem.

Look at places that have sub-optimal weather. If you are willing to put up with long cold winters, for example, you'll find much cheaper rent that in places where it is 70 degrees year round.

An example budget might look something like this:
Rent for three bedroom apartment - $700
Food - $400
Healthcare - $200
Entertainment - $150
Utilities - $125
cell phones + internet - $125
Misc - $100
Savings - $200

That's the actual rent for a place near me. The healthcare is a W.A.G. but at that income healthcare should come pretty low cost (ACA, Medicaid). It's a really tight budget, one I wouldn't personally want to live on or to subject two children to. If either spouse could work at least part time, and extra $500-$1000 a month would go a long way.




Shuman4413

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 09:18:34 AM »
can you recommend any mid west towns. We have lived all over US just not in the Midwest would be interested

Shuman4413

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2018, 10:21:14 AM »
I have Tricare prime or standard actually medically retired

Watchmaker

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2018, 10:54:52 AM »
can you recommend any mid west towns. We have lived all over US just not in the Midwest would be interested

There are a lot of different kinds of small towns, so it kind of depends on what you like.

What was your favorite place you ever lived? How about least favorite?

But to throw out a few suggestions you could look at:

Decorah, IA
Faribault, MN
Iron Mountain, MI
LaSalle, IL
Tomah, WI

Note: I don't know anything about the military healthcare system, so I picked towns not too far from VA facilities...


Shuman4413

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2018, 11:49:04 AM »
I want to be away from everyone and able to do whatever I want lol

Watchmaker

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2018, 02:42:58 PM »
I want to be away from everyone and able to do whatever I want lol

Well, small town rural Midwest could be a great option for you. I've never heard anyone say the problem with Iron Mountain is it's too close to everything!

Levity aside, I think the key for optimizing cost of living is to find a place that is somewhat remote, but still close enough to a bigger city so you don't suffer from the high costs of goods and services that you can get in truly remote places.

A lot of the Midwest meets the criteria I just mentioned.

Peachtea

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Re: Monthly nut question??
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2018, 07:35:58 AM »
I think the ideas above to pick a place near a VA is great since thatís what you plan on using for health care. If you go on each medical centers website you can also see where they have clinics, which gives you even more options of potential towns.

I grew up near LaCrosse, WI which is about an hour from the Tomah VA and has one of the VA clinics affiliated with that medical center. LaCrosse is pretty, has a nice downtown, and is a university town. In the summer, you can go fishing, kayaking, boating on the river and there is a nice riverfront Park. Anywhere around Tomah or LaCrosse you will probably need one car, although if you live in town you could do more walking/biking and have a beater car for the few driving trips. I donít know much about the Tomah VA but FYI they did have a ďcandylandĒ scandal a few years ago; overprescribing opioids. You could find a fixer upper in city center for under 100k, but average for a small 3bed is probably closer to 150k.

I visited St. Cloud, MN for a couple days for work and I thought it was a very nice small, university town next to a river. I was surprised that it actually had a downtown area. (Too many small Midwest towns donít.) It also has a VA Medical Center and is only an hour from Minneapolis/St. Paul (where there is a larger VA Healthcare System). A quick search shows St. Cloud has many houses in the city center for 100k.

Not sure how far away from people you want to be. If youíre in a big city now, I suspect the city center of these small university or any city in the 20-50k population range will still feel like you have way more space and no crowds. But also for most of the smaller cities in Midwestyou can be out in the country within a 10-15 drive of a city if thatís the direction your looking at.

I think a family of four living off your military disability alone would be doable in these towns and the ones suggested below, but uncomfortably tight. If you saved enough to outright buy a house 100-150k house in one of these towns, then not having a mortgage gives you the breathing room to make living on 24k comfortable. Check out the MMMís 2015/2016 spending for ideas. (He has more like these for prior years that are lower.) https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2017/05/19/2016-spending/

You can mimic a 24k lifestyle now to see how you like it. Pick a potential place for FIRE and calculate your housing (Mortgage, Interest, Property Taxes, Insurance, heat, electric, water, sewage, garbage, and 1% of house price maintenance fund) and transport costs (car loan if any, insurance, registration, fuel, maintenance, replacement fund). Subtract that from your 24k. Then use that amount to set your current non-housing/transport budget. Evaluate how easy/difficult it is for your family. Bonus: if this is less than what you spend now, then more savings goes towards your FIRE funds in the meanwhile.