Can I live off of 29,000 a year

MsThomas94

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I'll be making 2,500 a month after taxes. I want this apartment that's $1,060 a month all utilities included. My insurance is $150 a month and phone bill is $100 a month. That's the only bills I have. I calculated and I think I can do it but this would be my first place so I wanted an experienced persons input
Thanks
 

OnceAnEMT

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Gas, food, comfort? Short answer is not for long, but surely this is just stepping stone.
 

Fry14MN

Security Officer/Dispatcher/FR
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If that's really all of your bills then sure its possible. Life is full of unexpected things though and it would be smart to save as much money as you can. Set aside money from each paycheck so if something does happen you have some money to fall back on.
 

Qulevrius

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I'll be making 2,500 a month after taxes. I want this apartment that's $1,060 a month all utilities included. My insurance is $150 a month and phone bill is $100 a month. That's the only bills I have. I calculated and I think I can do it but this would be my first place so I wanted an experienced persons input
Thanks
If your monthly expense is $1,310/mo (that's what you've stated at least) and your take-home paycheck is $2,500, then it's a 1st grade arithmetic problem.
 

Run with scissors

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.....$2500 after taxes? Dam. I make $41,000/year and only take home $2,360/month after taxes.

Either way, 29k is way to low for a single man to live on. Impossible to live in for a family.
 

Underoath87

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.....$2500 after taxes? Dam. I make $41,000/year and only take home $2,360/month after taxes.

Either way, 29k is way to low for a single man to live on. Impossible to live in for a family.
None of that is true, if you know how to live within your means. Also, we don't know where he lives, as there are other cost of living factors.
 

Akulahawk

EMT-P/ED RN
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I think whether or not you could live on $29,000 per year really depends upon your additional expenses above and beyond the expenses you have listed here. That's things like gas, car maintenance, food, entertainment expenses, clothing, and the like. Something you have to look at is how much spend per month on everything except rent/utilities now. The best way to do that is to write down everything that you spend money on. Literally everything. From that you can develop a budget that will help you determine how much you need and whether or not it is actually possible for you to live on $29,000 per year, hopefully that is after taxes.
 

STXmedic

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I wouldn't unless that was my only option. Sounds too tight for my liking.
 

Run with scissors

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Exactly, that's expensive. I buy 3 of those a month. Plus creatine and meats and peanut butter lol.

Plus health insurance cost me $580/month through my job.
 

Underoath87

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Exactly, that's expensive. I buy 3 of those a month. Plus creatine and meats and peanut butter lol.

Plus health insurance cost me $580/month through my job.
I'm afraid we're getting a little off track here, but...
You use 30 lbs of whey per month? Why? Eat actual food.
And your health insurance is a rip off. Mine is like $3 through work.
 

Qulevrius

Nationally Certified Wannabe
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You use 30 lbs of whey per month? How is that even possible?
And your health insurance is a rip off. Mine is like $3 through work.
Maybe his diet consists of protein entirely, if he eats a pound of it daily. On the other hand, I didn't realize they had gyms under bridges.
 

Run with scissors

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Lol, yeah, I don't eat it all. I split it with my SO, yeah the insurance is crappy. Its so high because its a group rate. And I work with like 10k fat old bimbo's that get gastric bypass every other year and heart surgeries every 3. I'm thinking I would be better off just getting my own private insurance through some one.

Cost of living heavily influences the pay as well. 2500 a month is doable in outskirts of major cities where I live at. But the bigger cities are way too expensive.
 

Charity

Forum Probie
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It definitely depends on where you live. I know some (single) people in my hometown (Colorado Springs), who live with a roommate or two on 20,000 a year. It's certainly not impossible to live on 29K!
 

Kevinf

Forum Captain
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Definitely look into budgeting software, once you get rolling you'll always know how much you need and for what. Don't forget to contribute towards your retirement, and start early, because you can't catch up later.

I recommend YNAB (you need a budget)
 

46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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I'll be making 2,500 a month after taxes. I want this apartment that's $1,060 a month all utilities included. My insurance is $150 a month and phone bill is $100 a month. That's the only bills I have. I calculated and I think I can do it but this would be my first place so I wanted an experienced persons input
Thanks
Assuming that you get a third taken out in taxes, you're talking about a gross yearly salary of $45,000. You're pretty close to the median USA household income, and you're single. That's about $20.08/hr assuming a 40 hr workweek. I used to live in Queens NY, living on $500/wk net as a Snapple truck driver, and later on $15.62/hr as an EMT-B, which went up to $20.22. When I worked for Charleston County EMS, base was $38k, and it went to about $55k with all of the mandatory OT, but by then I had a wife and daughter, and I was the only one working. You'll be fine.

$2,500/month minus your car insurance and phone bill leaves $1,190/4 weeks = $297.50/wk disposable, with two extra paychecks each year (52 weeks in a year, not 48). You should be able to live on that without a problem. Not have extras, but be able to live on that.The real total may be closer to $325-$350/wk with OT from late jobs or the occasional holdover for a few hours, as well as department mandated training outside of work hours (in-services, for example). Figure out your average weekly food and fuel expenditure, and keep track of it from month to month. Also log how and how much you spend of your disposable income, and see where you're at on a monthly basis. Never assume that you'll get anything back on your tax return. If you do, consider it a windfall, but never count on it. Youa lso need to be putting some of your salary into deferred comp. Your 55 y/o self will thank you greatly. The earlier you start, the better off you'll be later on. Even if you start with 3-5% and bump it up 1-2%/yr depending on pay raises, the payoff is tremendous. I like the percentage approach, because if I do OT, a percentage of that will go to deferred comp. This is what it means to "pay yourself first." If you do deferred comp, you'll never miss the money. Realistically, if you're disciplined with your disposable income (see below), you can easily defer $a few hundred dollars/month. Remember that if you do traditional (not Roth), when you defer $100, you're only shorting your actual paycheck by $67, assuming that a third typically gets withheld for taxes.

You just can't go out boozing that much, you can't have many dinner dates, and forget about taking an expensive vacation. Bring your meals to work religiously, and don't eat out. Skip getting cable, and just get a decent data plan for your phone or tablet. Your goal is to save up 3-6 months of living expenses in case something goes down. You may need to use that just for car repair. See if your employer and/or medical insurance company has a wellness program that gives cash prizes, or discounts for a local gym. See if they give you credit towards your medical premiums for attendance. That's free money in your pocket. Get a Costco membership, and get your fuel there for a discount. Buy meat in bulk (much cheaper), prepare a lot at one time, and freeze it, to allow for easy meal prep down the road. Buy your clothes at outlet stores. Try to never carry any credit card debt. That's the exact opposite of compound interest. If you do carry balances, make sure to always pay down the highest percentage card first, and pay only the minimum on any other cards. That is the quickest/least expensive way to pay down debt.

Make sure that your pay supports your lifestyle, and then use OT or per diem work to have the extras. Never, ever ever ever ever EVER base your lifestyle on OT. The OT can always dry up, the per diem gig may cut your hours, or you may get injured, be on light duty, and not be able to work OT for weeks, months, or even a year.
 

Qulevrius

Nationally Certified Wannabe
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^ The guy knows what he's talking about. Also, as a side note, consider opening an IRA account and putting something in it each month. IRA doesn't count towards your taxes, and it is a very safe and 100% legal way to prevent IRS from robbing you blind.
 

46Young

Level 25 EMS Wizard
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An IRA is good if you've already maxed out your 401k/403b/457 depending on who you work for. I would go for the employer sponsored deferred comp before the IRA if there's an employer match to go along with your contributions. You don't get that free money with an IRA.

In my particular case, I have a pension and also a 457, but no employer match because we already have the pension. A lot of people that have pensions make the mistake of not funding their 457. You will most likely be responsible for medical insurance premiums post-retirement. In my case, we're responsible for 100% whereas the employer covers 75% while you're employed. We have a three year DROP too offset this, but I would prefer to keep those funds and use the passive income from the 457 to offset medical insurance premiums.

Also, when you invest in a 529, the investment options can be quite limited, and if you don't use the funds for education, they can be lost forever. Little Johnny may decide to skip college and become a truck driver for example. Instead, I plan to work OT to cover college costs for my children, and if that isn't enough, I'll borrow against the 457. It's a much better option than doing a 529. Just add what you would put into the 529 into the 457 instead, and borrow it if you need it.

And never, not even once, try multi-level marketing in a misguided attempt to pad your income. Don't even get me started on that one. Read this (safe for work), it gives the simplest explanation of how MLM "works," using a gas station as an example:

http://www.mlmmyth.org/the-mlm-gas-station-and-8-gallon-gas/

This is basically how Amway, Herbalife, VEMMA, Jeunesse, ACN, AdvoCare, etc. etc. work.
 

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