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Could you live on $400 a week?

Home Forums SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE LIVING Living within your means Could you live on $400 a week?

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    Hi Kooka, Narelleh and Kirsty

    are any of you guys using alternative power? or just conventional bought in elec?

    To answer your question Oneday,

    I have no alternitive energy here but my water is $75 peryear capped and unlimited so that helps with vegie growing and stuff. Saying that I haven’t had a vegie garden this year as Im redoing my garden currently.


    I don’t know, doesn’t it also depend on where you live? Groceries, petrol, rates and power are different prices depending on which state you live in, sometime even which district….


    No mortgage – no worries :tup: 😀


    Col SWMBO:lol::lol:


    $400 per week???

    For what it’s worth, my Niece and I live on just over $400 per week….

    I’m on an allowance and Anglicare pays an amount for my Niece as she was classed as homeless until she came to stay with me…

    My $400pw includes rent (40% of income)

    and there is just my Niece and I plus dog

    the usual bills:

    elec ($10-15pw summer, $30-35pw in winter I have an electric wall heater,electric hot water heater so ONLY the lounge room gets heated in winter, no clothes dryer, no other form of heating in bedrooms etc…)

    gas (n/a)

    phone ($25pw) (includes internet broadband it is our only extravagance)

    insurance (none except for basic third party property on car, no health insurance for either of us, no contents insurance)

    rego ($500pa paid for by delivering junk mail @ $10-15 pw week extra income)

    fuel ($20pw)

    and a bit for maintenance (huh what maintenance???? The car gets serviced twice a year at $100 a pop and as little work as possible goes into it)

    So all our fruit, vegies and other groceries are bought at the moment. And Tasmania isn’t the cheapest place around for food…or electricity in winter for that matter. We try to buy Tassie grown fruit and veggies and as many Australian sourced products as possible. We rent and cannot dig a garden, the landlord does not wish us to.

    We’ve just been given 4 big black tubs full of dirt to start a herb/lettuce/tomato garden. Have a peppermint off-cut in one tub trying to grow. No money to get the other tubs started yet.

    We don’t entertain or go out much, maybe see a movie once a year if that, we buy breakfast at macca’s once a fortnight on payday as our treat. We don’t buy takeaways anywhere else.

    Our main extravagances are our internet, our petrol bill to visit friends out of town, my inkjet cartridge cost and costs to attend church functions and for me to provide activities for my Sunday school class out of my own pocket. It’s a bit hard for me to find work, I don’t meet the criteria for a DSP, as I have Aspergers Sydrome, a fused spine and hearing loss making it hard for me to find work. So having the internet stops me going right round the twist with boredom.

    So yes it can be done on a small income in a rental. we are careful about our purchases and it is hard, but what is more important is not the amount of money needed, but the mindset. If you think positive and make the attempt to ENJOY living on a limited income, it will eventually happen, regardless of where you live and how much self sufficiency you have. That’s my theory anyway…

    Lizzy 😀


    Kirsty wrote:

    Hi Kooka, Narelleh and Kirsty

    are any of you guys using alternative power? or just conventional bought in elec?

    To answer your question Oneday,

    I have no alternitive energy here but my water is $75 peryear capped and unlimited so that helps with vegie growing and stuff. Saying that I haven’t had a vegie garden this year as Im redoing my garden currently.

    :jawdrop: I wanna live where you do!

    Our fees ect are rediculas but i reccon no mortgage we could do it for sure!


    My parents are on a pension, just a little over the $400 mark a week, there rates are quite exe about $3000 or so a year. They manage to run the house, food, elec, car, insurances etc. They do not grow loads of veges but a couple they eat all the time. They actually manage to save quite a bit of money and take holidays once a year, cruises are there thing these days….

    I think its defo do-able if you budget and plan correctly….


    Myself and DH2b are living very similarly to jilumasam at the moment. He is still unemplyed so we are relying on my (casual) income at the moment which averages $400 pw. We pay $250 a week rent and the rest covers food, power and insurance. It is very tight and means things like new clothes and shoes will have to wait a while and my car is sitting in the backyard, not moving for two months because I cant afford to get it fixed…but if we werent paying rent well then darnit I would feel positively rich with $400 a week!


    We have no mortgage or rent, there are 2 of us, we have solar power and a veg patch and there is no way we could live on $400 per week.

    We could probably ‘survive’ on that much but we wouldn’t be really ‘living’. IYKWIM

    I guess it depends on whats important.

    Having spare money for emergencies, holidays and a few luxuries is very important to me.


    I agree that it’s about the mindset.. attitude to the situation. Personally, I’d rather be living on $400 a week and have my DH home with me all day and we can do the vege gardening, reno’s, etc etc (life is never dull!) together. Sure it’s nice to have a bit of extra $ but the downside is that he’s away from home 9 hours a day now, and I miss him terribly! I don’t get as much done without him – it’s been hard to admit that I’m just not as strong at manual labour as he is. 😆 But he felt it was something he had to do to “get ahead” but money isn’t everything. I miss him a lot! :shy:


    We’re hoping to! I’m still working and we are working through the capital expenditure stuff. At the moment we are arranging to replace the solar hot water which is now 25 years old. We are minimising our outgo and maximising our saving, although we still eat out a bit too much:shy:



    Other than the mortgage our family of 2 adults and 2 young children live on about $500 a week.

    We do quite well on that for day to day living expenses but I find the big stuff stressful (ie our 10 yo car is starting to need more doing to it and we are slowly saving for a water tank).

    We live in a little country town which makes it easier as there is not so much to miss out on (no movies or restaurants). A lot of things others consider essentials are out of our reach (like going to the hairdresser or buying softdrink, we also can’t run the heater often in winter and no air con in summer).

    At times it gets me down and I feel like I just want to splurge on something for myself. It helps that I have friends with similar lifestyles so that I can feel proud of what I have rather than try to keep up with others.

    Lotus BlueLotus Blue

    Hi there!

    Due to our current circumstances we are living on less than $400 a week. We are family of 4 and have no mortgage or rent. Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to be able to put 16 solar panels on our shed to feed the grid with the help of the gov rebate, before I had my accident. The panels actually give us a credit on our bill.

    Even though we live in NQ we do not have air cons or a pool.

    I write up a budget at the beginning of each year with a list of all the bills and when they come in. I then write the expected bill into my diary and calender. I add up the bills and add $150 to the total and then divide by 52 (weeks) allocate this figure to a bank account. This is our “Bill paying Account”. I found if it was set up that the money was automatically transferred to this account I always have enough to pay the bills without stress. It does take 12 months for it to work efficiently ( unless you have a bit of spare cash to start with ) but it is definately worth it.

    Our groceries are around $100 a week. I buy only what I need for that week ( a list is vital ). I have 16 chooks so no need to buy eggs atm a lot of our meals are egg based with salad picked from the garden.

    DH brews his own beer and we have a mate who has a pot still so I am able to have my Baileys.

    I utilize the library where I get magazines, dvds, books of course and ours even have computer games for the kids.

    I am a big op shopper. I prefer to support our local charities.

    I love to garden so I am always looking for plants to take cuttings from. I love the art of propagation. I have been known to pull over and take cuttings from plants that are on the footpath or median strip.

    Also at the beginning of the year I write birthdays into my diary and calender so I can have gifts ready instead of making an impulsive buy.

    For gifts I tend to sew, bead, make hampers, pot up plants ect.

    This year for christmas I’m doing a slide show movie of our family to give to rellies that are far away as we do not see them very often. This also saves on postage costs.

    We do pot luck dinners with friends instead of going out for a meal. It is so much nicer to be able to talk to our friends instead of having to yell across a table.

    I’m sorry for prattling on but I love being frugal it gives me such a buzz. I know I’m just a freak!!!!!

    With a little forethought and realizing what you can do without and enjoying what you have it is quite easy to live within $400.

    It just takes a little getting used to.


    lotus, that is amazing. i love the idea of having a separate account for bills. :clap:


    Lotus Blue: I want to be just like you when I grow up!


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