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Living on $12,000 a year

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 17,413 Forumite
    First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    When in the U.S. on holiday in April our petrol was around £1.50. per gallon and we could eat very well ,even from the supermarkets .but as the other poster says its all relative really .I think there probaly is as much poverty even in the richest country in the world as there is in most western countries .But go to the third world and there an awful lot of people exist on a dollar a day:eek: .Thats not living its just existing.
    Many pensioners live on not much more than this, and are expected to be grateful for what they get. I don't complain as I can manage fairly well on my money,but there again I have no rent to pay as I own my own home .But any major repairs have to be paid for out of what I have .I have always been fairly frugal having grown up during the 1940s and 50s when there was very little money about for anyone .It all depends on your priorities I suppose .As long as I have food on the table and a roof over my head I think I am jolly lucky compared to some poor devils in this world .We live in a very wealthy western society and yet people complain of extreme poverty if they can't have the latest gadget or luxury .My late mum brought three children up without the benfit of a washing machine , fridge/freezer, microwave or dishwasher and we all survived. I live within my means and have never luckily got into debt ,it would frighten me too much and I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I owed someone money .I remember the days of the tally-man at the door and folk pawning their stuff just to get through the week until payday.Debt was considered quite shameful when I was little .Today folk seem to take on debts as though it was of no consequence then blame the credit card companies and the banks for lending it to them .I can see how folk can get into debt though as various things happen with illness and marriage breakdowns so I just think I was one of the lucky ones in that respect.
  • Lillibet_2
    Lillibet_2 Posts: 3,364 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    This is interesting, in that the lack of UK sites touches on something I have been thinking about a lot lately : setting up my own frugal living type blog. I am hesitiang due to 2 things though : firstly I am not at all internet savvy & have no idea how to set up my own web page, although I belive I can set up a page through another site who will manage it for me & I just update? And secondly, my standard of frugal living is probably much higher than many peoples, I am more talking about living within our income, maxamising our income & not wasting money than actual frugal living.

    Back to the original point, even if we say £12K is the equlivant of $12K then I know I still couldn't do it, we have just spent 2 years living on a bare bones budget & the lowest I could get it down to was £19K although I was below £12k (actually below £11K) if I subtracted mortgage & council tax costs, but that would defeat the object.:rolleyes:
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  • rosieben
    rosieben Posts: 5,010 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Lillibet wrote: »
    ... setting up my own frugal living type blog. ...

    I think this would be hugely popular (and you have a ready-made reader group here at MSE!!). There are so many american sites, and whilst some of them are very good, some of the information is less than helpful to uk'ers

    I think if you open a blogger acount you just choose a template and its all done for you. When you become more savvy you can customise it as you like. there are other blog sites, but not sure how beginner friendly they are. you could maybe try the techie board?
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  • Ms_Piggy_2
    Ms_Piggy_2 Posts: 357 Forumite
    Plum_Pie wrote: »
    No prob. I wasn't very clear! ;)

    The minimum wage has been the same in the US for over a decade, it's just gone up by $2, perhaps this is why there are more openly frugal types in the states?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6690253.stm

    Also - the welfare state is far more meager than here in the UK. Unemployment benefit for example is on available for a certain length of time etc.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 17,413 Forumite
    First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Ms_Piggy wrote: »
    Also - the welfare state is far more meager than here in the UK. Unemployment benefit for example is on available for a certain length of time etc.

    Plus of course they give food stamps instead of cash to the needy
  • my ex's mum was(before she died) married to a us airman and lived in texas for most her life even though some of their living costs were alot lower than here their wages were lower than our average and their medical insurance was through the roof. she had(and died of cancer) and every time they visited the dr they had to pay.if the visit wasn't pre arranged with innsurance co. very often the innsurance wouldn't pay out.(not always poss if you are very ill. even extra blood tests whilst she was in hospital had to be autherised)on average it doesn't seem overall that they have a better standard of living than we do.their welfare state is alot tougher(not sure if thats good or bad?????) i know we moan about nhs at least if you do get rushed into hospital you don't have to worry about asking is this covered etc.and by what she told us the standard of care was no better than in our hospitals
    Lead us not into temptation...

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  • Mics_chick
    Mics_chick Posts: 12,014 Forumite
    Good information - thanks :T Lots more reading to do... :rolleyes:
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  • anniebooklover
    anniebooklover Posts: 1,211 Forumite
    Some really good tips here and I've only read one of the links so far. Thanks!
    "Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
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  • Hardup_Hester
    Hardup_Hester Posts: 4,800 Forumite
    I earn £12,324 a year & we have lived on it, though it means only having £20 a week for food & no leeway at all for emergencies. I know I couldn't do it this year as all my utility bills went up by about £5 each a month & my council tax went up by £47 pcm. My wages went up by £4.16 pcm.

    Never let success go to your head, never let failure go to your heart.
  • larmy16
    larmy16 Posts: 4,324 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I earn £12,324 a year & we have lived on it, though it means only having £20 a week for food & no leeway at all for emergencies. I know I couldn't do it this year as all my utility bills went up by about £5 each a month & my council tax went up by £47 pcm. My wages went up by £4.16 pcm.

    Hester glad you posted this. I earned after tax about £10,400 last year. My rent which is currently £86 is being put up to £94 pw. My council tax is about £25 per week. This is before any other utility costs, running a car (old banger) etc. I am truly struggling and money or lack of it occupies my mind a lot!!!

    I know people on here seem to be able to survive on v. little but despite eating the cheapest food, I still find it difficult.

    I rarely go out, never have holidays, don't buy new clothes bar pants from Primark. I do have internet (obviously) and sky tv (basic) and buy the occasional book off Amazon. Just lately, even a takeaway seems a terrible extravagance. Meals out - forget it! That folks is my social life!!!!

    I hate to use my credit card, but honestly just lately with car repairs, mot, and other expenses which seem to outweigh my incomings, I am finding I have to use it.

    Dont know what the answer is but I am definitely not working more hours!!!
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