Aussies Living Simply

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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    Depending on your health or.. age and your super account… may very well be forced to live on less…… just as many old age pensioners do!……About $340 @week.Believe it or not 2 yrs ago my income was $60 Hr, I was working a 13 hr day 6 day week, although most of my income went towards improvements on my property, fencing, new roof ,tractor, water tanks…I’m still not finished. During this time I was constantly away from home living in hotels and thought to myself what the hell is this all for I’ve got my dream but I’m never there, and the more money I made the more I spent.Worked hard, played hard.

    My health was deteriorating so I gave it away and went from over $200,000 @ year to under $20.000… I happier…….YES…… living more simply than I intended,but, slowly it’s coming together…..maybe a little too slow…….Ah, but thats life!



    Good on you Peter for making the change and realising it was needed.:tup:


    It takes a real good look at yourself and your life to wake up. Wish you all the best in your new life,

    Yesterday Hubby came home and said I finish up next week at the part time job he had. They said he could stay on if they could Borrow his van. But the way they treat their own vans there is no way he would allow them to walk past it let alone drive it.

    Last week I was told my job might not be around for long as my boss and his wife have split up after 15 years of marriage and she owns half of his business and might want him to sell her share, if he can’t buy her out he will have to sell the intire business.

    Its all sent to try us. :hug:

    Hubby tellls ne I will have to tighten my belt. I do my best with what I have.

    Spoke to DS1 this morning and he said he can help more. But I don’t want it as yet. This might be the time for Hubby to get his knee fixed.


    Whoa – you lot are inspirational. When we bought our 15 acres in 2008, one of our goals was to live off $100 per f/night for groceries (family of 4), and halve our utilities bills. We were hoping to start our little experiment in Jan of this year, but because of limited water we have put it back to Jan2011. We have installed 2 tanks – approx 30,000 liters capacity, but if if doesnt rain to fill them then what can you do. So its back to the drawing board for the vegie department.

    We keep chooks, quail, ducks, a turkey (fox got the others last week sob sob), and we even have a milking goat to make cheese – I am currently looking for a house cow, and a few freezer sheep to help with the costs in meat / dairy. My kids go through 3 litres of milk per day.

    Have looked at solar power, but too expensive for us atm (we are currently trying to survive on 1 wage), but we have installed a quantum HWS and insulation – and we use the wood heater over the winter months as we have plenty of wood on the property. I could sew all of the kids clothes as I have all the equipment and a nice fabric stash , if I had the time (I work FT plus study as well).

    But I am always looking for other ways of saving money – which is why I love this site.

    jeanette kirkJeanie

    Well Im lucky in some ways I live on a age pension $335 a week ,own my own home ,have a couple chooks,trying grow veges,water tank for drinkable water,but its the isolation and lack of transport and decent medical help.

    And price of food in country not cheap+ lack of variety so its a bus trip once a month 100k to pick my gluten free .

    Ive been lucky getting free insulation ,a Quatum solar pump hot water service with the rebate I only paid $600,no stove only portable + in winter wood stove still havent got used to the outdoor loo at night.

    So I think Im better off than young families.


    I recently bought that book claiming to show you how to feed your family on $75 per week. I had to laugh when it suggested that you could feed a family of 4 breakfast on 1 can of baked beans (yes thats right – between 4 people), and 1 piece of toast each. They obviuosly dont have a teenage boy to feed LOL


    maybe they mean one of those big caterers cans?!


    Jaymes wrote:

    maybe they mean one of those big caterers cans?!

    Now there’s a thought LOL.

    No have just checked the shopping list in the book – 420g size is listed


    I also have that book. I find their recipes are fine but their prices are well out date. Baked beans at 45c. not down here more like 99c on special.

    One thing we found when our boys were teenagers PANCAKES fill them up. It might mean up to 12 but it works.


    If you don’t include rent/mortgage, then yes DH and I live on $400 a week or less. I’m hoping to cut that down to half once we have our vegi garden and chickens up and going. I would love some solar panels and rain water tanks too. WE have no choice but to live on that because in the last 3 months I got less than $350 and DH is an IT helpdesk guy. He catches the bus to work as it’s cheaper than paying for parking and I don’t drive at all.

    Out of the bills rates come in higher per year than elec or gas, mobiles we are both prepaid and the home phone is Adam naked, it works out alot cheaper for us as we are not big phone users.

    With beef going up in price so much it is looking cheaper to buy a full side from the farm gate, I’m going to be doing that in the next couple months.

    But we also don’t have a car loan or credit cards. Other than a house if you can not save up and pay cash for it, you can not afford it. So don’t buy it.


    Whilst not being able to match sub $450 per week (taking out mortgage payments), for my family of three (2 year old) plus dogs and ducks, our average weekly spend has been ~$785.

    Given that our extended families live in Adelaide & us in the Hunter Valley, communication and visits contribute a fair chunk to our expenditure. We are also still developing our home (small renos, fences, animal housing, fruit tree planting etc) and this figure still factors those costs into the weekly average figure. (the gap on insulation was a big hit….. $500!)

    We also have both hospial and extras health insurance, and have three cars….. however, the number of vehicles isnt necessarily a bad thing. we have 1 newish vehicle (astra) which is leased. the other two are old holdens which only get driven when my wife has a trip planned. in this way, the mos fuel efficent vehicle is driven the most (and makes the best use of the high rego/insurance costs), with the older two (which are paid for) are driven when required. By only driving such vehicles 1-2 times per week, insurance (with Shannons) is only $5/wk each. I would recommend shopping for insurance which factors in the amount of times you drive the vehicle.

    Whilst affecting cash flow at times, we book all our flights months in advance and try and take advantage of any sales. unlike hotel rooms, there are no cheap ‘last minute’ flights.

    Our electricity costs are average ($90/month) but this includes hot water, and pumping (tank water only).

    We are by no means self sufficent, we currently only have herb garden, but we minimise our food wastage, feed the scraps to the dogs and ducks, and get creative with cheap cuts of meat.

    Granted, if i wasnt working, some things would have to go, but for a young developing family, our budget is still allowing sufficent development of our house (building up our level of self sufficency) whilst still providing that family link, and a high level of health insurance. We are also having fun along the way.


    Not while I have four growing boys under my roof no. It costs me almost $400 a week now to keep food on the table and they are still constantly hungry. I wont even go into bills and the mortgage etc.


    Ok, so I didn’t realise (through my own fault!) that we were talking EXCLUSIVE of mortgage repayments.

    I don’t know whether this counts, but currently, after mortgage repayments (which are huge) and daycare ($200/week but only necessary because I work 3 days per week), our weekly spend is $407. That includes everything from pet care, rates, insurance, car (just 1 basic Corolla), groceries, gas, electricity, phone, internet.

    So there! We’re doing it!


    I am having trouble living on double that amount at the moment and there’s only 2 of us.:jawdrop:


    yeah we would b a bit more , as my kids cant eat the cheap stuff(foods ) 🙁 i have the most gorgeous fruit trees and my kids cant eat em because of the salycilate content :(. but i do barter to my neighbors a fair bit for diff things ( and give them the stuff we cant eat)

    and my veggie patch is trashed( between my dog(malamute),mini pony,and rabbits )

    and hubby *HAS* to have his internet connection Grrrrr

    ahh well theres always next week to start.

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