Earlier in the year I found the blog of an amazing lady who feeds herself and her 4 daughters on $800 a year.
Well, the frugality-one-upsmanship just never ends! Recently I stumbled onto Emily’s blog: Under $1,000 A Month. Emily is a 25-year-old woman with a husband and 3 young children. This family of 5 lives on under $1,000 a month in Maine.
Here is her monthly budget breakdown:
Phone: $6.09 (low income reduced)
Auto Insurance: $31.22
Satellite Radio: $12.95
Total Fixed Expenses: $697.25
That leaves us $282.75 for food, gas, any auto repairs, birthdays, and holidays, unforeseen needs, and investments. This is more than enough.
One thing I noticed was that her budget doesn’t include health insurance (although I’m not sure if she is covered by a government program). A major health issue would wipe her out. Even though ERs are required to offer emergency health services to anyone who comes, regular checkups (health, vision, and dental) are critical. I also don’t see disability or life insurance for her husband, who is the main source of the family’s income. Those are two of the biggest “holes” I see in her budget.
Still, I am in awe of Emily’s budget skills - I cannot imagine how she does it. However, I (and I imagine most Americans) would not aspire to her lifestyle.
I want to have a financially comfortable life, with big travel adventures, nice meals out, a dog and a house. I want to go to graduate school down the road. If I have a child, I’d like to pay for part of his/her college education. I like having savings and investments and good health insurance. All of the above takes money.
Emily and I might have made radically different choices and hold different philosophies in our approach to life, but I admire her dose of budgeting discipline and I find her blog very interesting to read (especially because it’s snapshot of a world so different from mine). Ah, the power of the blogosphere!