How To Live On $2,000 A Month (Or Less!) | The Frugal Farm Wife (2022)

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There are usually two kinds of people who want to live on $2,000 a month or less.

  1. The kind who only have $2,000 to spend, and
  2. The kind who want to live on two grand in order to put the rest in savings.

I’ve been on both sides of that fence. In fact, I was waaaaay south of the wrong side for a while.

How To Live On $2,000 A Month (Or Less!) | The Frugal Farm Wife (1)

$2,000? Psssh. Such luxury!

Here’s my breakdown of how to spend two thousand dollars in a month:

Total: $2,000

Car payments are notably absent here. If you only have two thousand coming in every month and you have a car payment, you need to sell your car and pay cash for something cheaper. Period. You don’t have to have a spiffy car. That’s not a need.

I’ll admit that as my car turned 12 this year, and it’s approaching 200,000 miles on the odometer, I’m beginning to think about replacing it before it starts showing it’s age (but it’s really been such a good car! *knocks on wood*).

But the truth is, we don’t need showroom quality cars to get us where we’re going. If new cars are something you really love, use that as incentive to find a way to make more money. But until you make that money, drive an old car.

What about home insurance?

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There are a lot of things not included on this budget. Like homeowner’s insurance, school supplies, etc.

On a two-thousand dollar budget, you can’t have everything. For instance, you may have to decide between cell phones + entertainment, and insurance. You may have to move into a less than ideal house to stay out of debt (an $800/month house is likely already pretty small or in a non-ideal area).

In other words, you have to get creative for your needs.

Now on to part two:

What if you only have $2,000 (or less) take home pay every month, and you’re uncomfortable spending every dime?

I personally believe in living below your means 100% percent of the time.

You are the person who, as a family friend used to say, sets your poverty line. You decide whether the money you make is enough. You get to tell your money where to go every month, no matter how much money that may be.

You can:

Find cheaper rent

You’ll likely end up in a smaller house, and it may not be in the ideal location, but it’s possible, and if it allows you to get a savings account going, and ultimately, make more money with a side hustle, it’s worth it.

Our own situation is such that we are within a month or two of not having to pay rent anymore at all, because we compromised location and ideal housing, in order to live rent and debt free on the farm. (I. am. so. excited. I can hardly stand it!) I joked to Gabriel just yesterday that we’ll have so much money after we quit paying rent, we won’t know what to do about it! (something tells me that’s not going to be a problem though…)

Spend less on food

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Check out the $20 grocery budget for some ideas, and get creative about how you can get your own budget lower. Through our Grocery Budget Solution eCourse, you can learn to keep your grocery expenses super low, while eating high quality food.

We personally try to keep our weekly budget under $40 (which totals at about $160 a month), and eat really well, including meat at every meal.

Cut Cell phone Expenses

A pet peeve of mine is talking to someone holding an iPhone in their hand, while they tell me how broke they are. I mean, I love you a lot lady, but if you’re so broke, how do you have so many extras in your life?

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You can decide for yourself whether a smartphone is a priority for you, and if it is, maybe the wise thing for you is to do everything you can to minimize your bill. I switched to Ting Wireless a little over a year ago when I decided I couldn’t live the dumb-phone life anymore, pay an average of $24 a month, and haven’t looked back!

Find The Lowest Car insurance Rates

If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, I’m guessing you already don’t have full coverage. We’ve carried minimum insurance ever since I can remember. I mean, we drive cheap cars. All I need is the other guy to be covered if we have an accident. I don’t want to pay premium insurance on my sub-two-thousand dollar car!

We pay our insurance yearly, and it averages out to $41.67 per month on our aforementioned car, and pickup truck.

Spend Less On Fuel And Maintenance

It goes without saying that fuel and car maintenance are cheaper when you drive less, which is important to keep in mind when you’re trying to save money.

Save On Electricity

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There are a number of ways to save on electricity if you really want to, such as turning off your a/c, and figuring out how to keep cool without air conditioning, turning off lights, insulating around your doors and window, and line drying your clothes instead of running the tumble dryer.

Health care, I’ll admit, is a killer

There’s not a lot you can do to get around it, other than pay a yearly fine for not being insured when you just don’t have the funds to pay for it.

We personally love Samaritan Ministries, because we know exactly where are money is going every month, and feel like it’s the closest thing we can get to really helping our “neighbors” out with needs.

Clothing is a bit of a controversial topic

Some people love thrift shops, other not so much. Some love having a minimalist wardrobe, others don’t, but the big thing is, if you want or need to save money, you gotta do what you gotta do. Learn to distinguish between wants and needs, and learn how to get the best price in your area.

My favorite Goodwill store has a ninety-nine cent day twice a week, where a clothing with a certain tag color is all ninety-nine cents. I once made a pact with myself that I would only go to Goodwill on those days, and only by the ninety-nine cent clothing. I didn’t buy very many clothes that year, but I survived, and I think my wardrobe was better for it – I know my wallet was!

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Entertainment cost can be flexible

But honestly except for in extreme circumstances, I don’t recommend cutting it out. Not having the ability to buy or do something fun every once in a while is the road to burnout. From my perspective, if I worked hard to earn money, and we’re doing okay financially, that money should be adding some sort of value to our lives.

Whether it’s a new book, going somewhere fun with the kids, going out for a family froyo date, or whatever else. I don’t work solely to fill my bank account. Yes, I save like a crazy person, because I have plans for that savings down the road, but no, I don’t think it’s a good idea to hoard money just for the sake of having it.

That’s why I took the kids to see Wonder Woman a few weeks ago. I felt like showing appreciation for their hard work on a project that week was in order, and we all enjoyed it very much (spoiler alert: I ended up covering the kids eyes during part of it).

That’s why we travel when we can; because we feel like it’s an experience that will enrich all of our lives.

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What about other wants?

So much depends on whether you have the actual money, or how dedicated you are to saving. Do you want an insulated thermos to keep your drinks cold? Take it out of your entertainment/blow money category.

Or just say no to yourself. Because really, that’s what saving money, and living on a $2,000 budget comes down to: the self-discipline to say no, I don’t need that.

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So now I’m curious, what are your best strategies for lowering your budget?

Get Your Garden Cheat Sheets!

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Want to know exactly when, where, and how to plant your vegetables? Sign up to get our FREE companion planting guide, and garden planting cheat sheet printable.

FAQs

How do I survive with low income? ›

Here are a few other tips and tricks for surviving on a low income:
  1. Look for free activities. ...
  2. Ask for a raise. ...
  3. Start a side hustle. ...
  4. Replace costly habits with inexpensive ones. ...
  5. Plan sequenced reward opportunities. ...
  6. Create accountability. ...
  7. Seek out low-cost alternatives to your hobbies.

How much money does someone need to live on their own? ›

You Have Enough Income To Pay Rent

This is a useful rule of thumb to gauge your own ability to afford a rental of your own. If the rental you have your eye on costs $1,000 per month, you should have at least $3,000 in monthly income to comfortably pay that rent without overstretching your finances.

Can't afford to live on my own? ›

I Hate Having Roommates: 7 Ways to Afford Living Alone
  1. Create a Personal Budget. First, you must have a personal budget. ...
  2. Consolidate Debt. Debt is a common reason many people can't afford to live on their own. ...
  3. Open a High-Yield Savings Account. ...
  4. Save Money. ...
  5. Increase Your Income. ...
  6. Check Your Credit Score. ...
  7. Build Your Credit.
Jun 16, 2020

How do you live next to nothing? ›

How to Live Cheaply on Next to Nothing Summary
  1. Stay calm.
  2. Assess your spending.
  3. Reduce your food expenses.
  4. Save money by reducing your rent.
  5. Travel and commute for less.
  6. Make the most of your leisure time.
Aug 8, 2022

How can I survive a month with no money? ›

8 Tips For Doing A No-Spend Month
  1. Time It Right. A financial fast is a terrible idea around the holiday season, of course. ...
  2. Establish Rules. ...
  3. Plan Your Meals. ...
  4. Go Public With Your Goals. ...
  5. Set Up Obstacles To Spending. ...
  6. Start Having Fun (Yes, Really) ...
  7. Focus On The Future. ...
  8. Be Kind To Yourself.

What is the least amount of money you can live on? ›

A good rule of thumb is to live on at least 15% less than the amount you earn.

How do you live on the bare minimum? ›

What a Bare-Bones Budget Includes
  1. Housing.
  2. Utilities.
  3. Gas: Only enough to get you to work and other necessary locations.
  4. Debt repayments: No more than the required minimums.
  5. Food: Essential grocery items only.
  6. Phone: A basic landline.
  7. Insurance payments: Health, auto, life, and disability premiums.

What is considered high income for a single person? ›

For its purposes, the Pew Research Center considers a household to be upper class if its income is double the U.S. median household income. This means that, on average, a single person living alone needs to make just $78,281 to be considered upper class.

What do you need to live alone? ›

First Time Living Alone Checklist
  1. Mattress, bedding and pillows. The first thing worth your investment or time to get is a bed. ...
  2. First Aid Kit. ...
  3. Tool Kit. ...
  4. Toilet Paper. ...
  5. Cleaning Supplies. ...
  6. Kitchen Utensils. ...
  7. Clothing Hangers. ...
  8. Batteries and extension Cords.

How do you live by yourself? ›

10 Seriously Useful Tips for Living Alone for the First Time
  1. Make a budget. ...
  2. Keep a list of emergency numbers handy. ...
  3. Be nice to your neighbors. ...
  4. Decorate with things that make you happy. ...
  5. Keep things clean. ...
  6. Be safe. ...
  7. Stock up on essentials. ...
  8. Master the art of cooking for one.
Aug 25, 2020

Is it worth living alone? ›

Living alone not only gives you an unparalleled level of freedom, but it also gives you the time to focus on what you really want to do. What's great about living alone is that it gives you confidence that you can do it.

How can I save money on a low income fast? ›

Tips to save money on a low income
  1. Save what you can. Saving as a practice is not dependent on how much you earn. ...
  2. Save first. Save first, spend later. ...
  3. Open a savings account. ...
  4. Start a budget. ...
  5. Settle debt. ...
  6. Lower housing expenses. ...
  7. Lower car expenses. ...
  8. Spend less on food.

What are the 4 steps in preparing a budget? ›

The four phases of a budget cycle for small businesses are preparation, approval, execution and evaluation. A budget cycle is the life of a budget from creation or preparation, to evaluation.

What's the 50 30 20 budget rule? ›

What is the 50/30/20 rule? The 50/30/20 rule is an easy budgeting method that can help you to manage your money effectively, simply and sustainably. The basic rule of thumb is to divide your monthly after-tax income into three spending categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants and 20% for savings or paying off debt.

How do I live without working? ›

Here's How I Make a Good Living Without Working Full Time
  1. Control Your Expenses. If you want to avoid jobs, it helps to be a bit frugal. ...
  2. Diversify Your Income. ...
  3. Always Have Money in the Bank. ...
  4. Keep Looking for New Sources of Income. ...
  5. Consider “Employment Projects” ...
  6. Have Only Good Debt. ...
  7. Plan for Changes.
Dec 2, 2021

How can I live cheap on the road? ›

How to Live on the Road the Cheap Way, SUV Camping Life ... - YouTube

What do I do if I have no money at all? ›

This is what to do when you have no money:
  1. Ensure you have food for three-four weeks.
  2. Negotiate all payments you have to make and ask for a 'payment holiday'.
  3. Apply to all emergency money schemes for which you are eligible.
  4. Keep yourself clean, tidy, and presentable.
  5. Start earning money; fast.
May 18, 2022

Can a person retire with no money? ›

If you need to retire with no money saved, then consider delaying your Social Security. Your benefits amount increases the longer you wait. Waiting until you are age 67 or even 70 - this will give you more years to contribute to Social Security and a larger monthly payment.

Where can I live comfortably on 2000 a month? ›

The Best Cities To Retire on $2,000 a Month
  • Cincinnati.
  • Columbus, Ohio. ...
  • Indianapolis. ...
  • Corpus Christi, Texas. ...
  • Oklahoma City. Monthly expenditures: $1,725.63. ...
  • Greensboro, North Carolina. Monthly expenditures: $1,779.02. ...
  • Des Moines, Iowa. Monthly expenditures: $1,820.63. ...
  • Lincoln, Nebraska. Monthly expenditures: $1,878.24. ...

Where can I live for cheap? ›

10 best and cheapest countries to live in
  • Vietnam.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Bulgaria.
  • Mexico.
  • South Africa.
  • China.
  • South Korea.
  • Thailand.
Mar 15, 2022

Can you live off 500 a month? ›

If you want to be successful at living on 500 a month after bills, you need to make more money. This can be done by getting a better-paying job, starting a side hustle, or investing in real estate. You can also try to make more money by taking on extra work or working overtime.

Can you live off 2000 a month? ›

Living on $2,000 a month is possible, and we were not the only ones to ever do it! Our budget isn't nearly as tight now, but living with less taught us so much about how to live frugally and make the most of what we had.

How can I live off 1000 a month? ›

How to Live on $1,000 per month
  1. Get your personal finances straight. ...
  2. Rethink your living situation. ...
  3. Slash your food budget. ...
  4. Lower your healthcare costs. ...
  5. Control your debt. ...
  6. Cut your entertainment budget. ...
  7. Reduce your communications expenses. ...
  8. Spend less money on car payments.
May 20, 2022

What is the low class income? ›

“Lower-income” adults have household incomes less than $52,000 and “upper-income” adults have household incomes greater than $156,000.

What is considered poor in America? ›

The family's 2020 poverty threshold (below) is $31,661.

What salary is upper class? ›

A family earning between $32,048 and $53,413 was considered lower-middle class. For high earners, a three-person family needed an income between $106,827 and $373,894 to be considered upper-middle class, Rose says. Those who earn more than $373,894 are rich.

How can I live alone without anyone? ›

Here are some pointers to help you embrace your newfound solitude and find fulfillment in living solo.
  1. Get to know yourself better. ...
  2. Strengthen your relationships. ...
  3. Identify when you feel most lonely. ...
  4. Consider a pet. ...
  5. Connect with your community. ...
  6. Add some structure. ...
  7. Try new things. ...
  8. Create your ideal space.
Jun 30, 2020

How do you protect yourself as a woman alone? ›

Safety tips for living alone as a female in an apartment
  1. Look for apartments in safe neighborhoods. ...
  2. Check your apartments' security before signing the lease. ...
  3. Communicate with your landlord or property manager. ...
  4. Invest in a security system. ...
  5. Always lock your doors and windows. ...
  6. Buy strong locks. ...
  7. Make friends with your neighbors.
May 2, 2022

How do you live your life when you have no friends? ›

Here are 22 things I learned about how to be happy without friends.
  1. 1) Own your life. ...
  2. 2) Find your purpose and pursue it. ...
  3. 3) Be a bit less social on social media. ...
  4. 4) Put down your phone. ...
  5. 5) Explore spirituality and religion. ...
  6. 6) Let your imagination run wild. ...
  7. 7) Spend some quality time on a date … with yourself. ...
  8. 8) Move it.
Nov 29, 2020

Can you live a life without love? ›

“Love is a biological necessity. We cannot live without it,” she says. “And that's hard to say for someone who lost their best friend, their soul mate, and the love of their life.

How much money is enough for life? ›

That number will be different for everyone, depending on your circumstances and values, but science can give us some sense of how much money might be "enough." Research shows that up to a certain threshold (studies consistently put it at about $75,000 dollars a year, give or take a bit depending on cost of living) ...

How much money do you need a month to live comfortably? ›

It helps to use what's called the 50-30-20 rule. In general, you'll want your monthly necessities (housing, transportation, etc) to be around 50% of your monthly net income. This means it should be under $2,000 based on a $60,000 income. That is where the 50 in the 50-20-30 rule comes from.

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