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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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    Yes, aside from my rent it costs me about $150 a week to live, for all the other expenses. Two people could do it quite easily. Even buying food it doesn’t cost $200 or $300 per week to feed both. More like $150 for two because you are sharing the cost of some expensive items like salad dressings and condiments.

    Most people chew through their money with mobile phone plans, buying the latest gadgets and eating on the run instead of real meals. If you don’t do those things you’ll have more $$$ than you can poke a stick at. I earn only a modest salary but I save about 30% of my after tax salary a year without breaking a sweat. My coworkers however all complain they are constantly broke. :whistle:


    this is an interesting thread! Im new around here and just wondered whether oneday made the plunge to live on $400 a week???



    I don’t think any of us did the 400 p/w thing. But some did a ‘no spend’ month from memory?.

    I’d like to do a no spend month soon, anyone else want to?


    The thing I find is that no matter how hard we try to be frugal and develop greater self sufficiency there still seems to be a very long list of expenses that we can’t easily reduce or get out of.

    Stuff like council rates, emergency services levy, home and contents insurance, 3rd party car insurance, rego and petrol and car maintenance/tyres etc (to drive to work/town in a rural area), gas, electricity (working on getting solar), phone…it seems never ending sometimes. πŸ™


    Add medical expenses my out of pocket ones for the family this financial year are up at around $7000 I haven’t tallied them up yet so that’s a guesstimate.


    It’s getting harder for us to keep it under $400 a week now too, rates, insurance (car, house, us)keeps going up, tafe fees, bus tickets and now our new rates for elec and gas came in the mail today. Just the elec will go up $120 a year.

    I don’t want to think about how much medical would have cost in the last year.


    I live by myself and will try to work out how much I spend. Maybe it is easier to work that out by adding up what I save.I just paid $6000 to paint my house outside, bought a new car and paid for minor surgery when I got tired waiting on the waiting list so I think I can live well on the pension.Some of my saving tips would not suit everybody, clothes from op shops, cut my own hair, don’t smoke, drink or gamble, grow your own fruit and veggies like previous posters etc. The main thing is that I don’t feel deprived, I enjoy doing these things!


    You are not alone in buying clothes from Opshops. I got my Granddaughter a pair of brand name jeans brand new for 50c from our opshop and a pair of Addidos shes for $1 had no wear marks on the sole stillhad the little bits on the soles you get when you buy new.

    Hubby wanted a jacket that zipped up the front and Rivers had them out for $15 but were geared up for kids so he didn’t bother buying one found one in the opshop for $1

    I buy extra when there is a good special Hubby and Grandkids love Cream cheese on toast but its normally over $4 a small jar. This week Woolies has it out for $1.84 a jar so we bought a box of 24.

    Son brought me down 4 Pizza Hut Pizzas last week as they were family size for $5 each down here if you buy take away you are looking at $24 each. I froze them in halves for days when we are out or too busy and lost track of time.

    All you need to do is look at what comes in to waht goes out and look to see if you really need to have it. Is it Need or want??? and do you really want it. :shrug:


    I committed 2012 to be a NO SPEND YEAR and I am still plugging away at it although I have bought 2 things which were Rhonda’s Down To Earth Book for $23 and an app for my phone. If you are interested, all my expenditure is on my blog.


    I just did my pre EOFY figures and the total for essentials worked out at about $210 per week – just under $10900 for the year. This covered: car (rego, insurance, tyres, petrol and services); council rates; farm/house insurance; food for 1 1/2(allowing for daughter at home 6 months), phone/internet.

    Total clear income was $26500 and the remaining $15600 ($7500 went into savings), so the balance of $8000 odd went on: fence materials for new chook pen/orchard $1500, bee hive set up $500, fruit trees/plants/chook manure $500 (must stop now), new fridge $700, kindle + books $200, clothing/boots $300, bee course/barista course $200, gifts/entertainment $1500, pet food/chook food $950, thermomix $1000, $250 repairs and the rest frittered.

    Next year I will be working the same and extra income will be what is left on solar credit (currently $1100) and sale of 1 steer. I’m going to keep grocery money to $20 per week and cut back on my plant buying addiction.

    Can you live on $400 (no housing costs) per week mid 2012? – easy peasy if you are healthy and have invested in cost effective infrastructure.


    $8,700 or $167 a week is stuff I cant reduce easily,rates,insurance,electricity, car, phone.

    Then food,alcohol,clothes, maintenance,infrastructure,shiny stuff.

    Being two happy hermits, who can cook and fix things in the subtropics helps,no need for too many clothes, no heating or cooling,no need to be expensively entertained and good climate for fruit and veg growing.

    Judi B

    DH and I have lived on the pension for 20+yrs have always had enough… but for the life of me I can’t figure how we are managing to save money :S in the past 5 or so years, I haven’t changed much shopping wise… we paid off a car in half of the contract time, we spent money going to hospitals and having to stay in motels, we saved to buy new pipes for the driveway, currently saving for the earthmoving, and we’ve bought things that we’ve needed for a long time DH needed a brushcutter….. when all the other stuff is paid for we’ll start saving again for a water tank.

    What is going to happen with this dreaded “Carbon Tax” I don’t see that it will help any of us, will just cost more for everything so we’ll all need more to live on.


    Re; carbon tax most will be better off

    With solar hot water and solar panels and after government compensation I will be better off.

    The scare campaign is relentless.

    Here’s a calculator do your own calculations.

    You are a pensioner who lives sustainably you will be probably be better off after compensation too.

    Long term if polluting costs more than not polluting it should drive green infrastructure so your grand kids will be better off too.

    The Liberals/National alternative will see you upto $1300 a year worse off.


    I live in a liberal heartland. If someone mentions carbon tax and I say I support it I get abused! :ohmy:


    WE are doing that now. 2 adults. 2 boys 10 and 13. Our biggest expense is fuel for the car. Just waiting on the solar to be connected. We grow fruit and veg. Have chickens, ducks. Dam stocked with fish. Without the mortage life would be a breeze.

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