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Living on $12,000 a year

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  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Edit to my last entry re free e-book. Checked my own link and it didnt work - but typed in full "page address" I gave on an Internet search - and it did work.
  • Hardup_Hester
    Hardup_Hester Posts: 4,800 Forumite
    I did apply for Tax Credits, but was told we were ineligible, maybe because hubby gets £17 a week disability, which I haven't added in to my calculations above

    Never let success go to your head, never let failure go to your heart.
  • larmy16
    larmy16 Posts: 4,324 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    savingmum wrote: »
    This has been a very interesting thread as I visit US frugal sites and yes they seem to be able to live a lot cheaper than here in the UK.

    I have a question though - are people not able to claim tax credits if they earn under £14000/yr as I thought even couples were able to claim?

    Well I am entitled to nothing and that is on just over £10,000 (no dependent children).

    I could apply for a teensy amount of housing benefit but I wont. Experience has taught me that this will cause me so much financial hassle and I will end up being sent threatening letters of eviction. Being self employed I would be down the council nearly every week to tell them I had earned tuppence more or less this week.

    No, I maintain that the tax threshold should be higher (I have earned the money after all) so that I do not need to go cap in hand to the council for a few bob!!! (sorry its a personal rant of mine).:)
    Grocery Challenge £139/240 until 31/01
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  • Mics_chick
    Mics_chick Posts: 12,014 Forumite
    Here is how mine works out per month
    Mortgage £314.86
    Council Tax £120
    Home phone Mobile x 2 & Broadband £40
    Gas £31
    Electric £38
    Water £42
    Car Ins £70
    Car Tax £15
    Petrol £4
    TV Licence £9
    Monthly that works out at £742.16 & Yearly at £8905.92
    When I said I earn £12k I meant gross, my takehome pay is £9996pa.
    After all the above are paid we're left with £90 to feed & clothe the 2 of us for a month.

    Your car insurance seems really expensive to me Hester - have you changed your provider recently coz it might be worth checking out?

    Also how many installments do you pay your council tax and water rates over.
    I was asked to pay CT over 10 months and WR over 8 - I wrote them both a letter and said that I couldn't afford to pay it this way because of my low income and that I would pay them monthly even working out what I would pay them. They both wrote back and agreed to this but gave me their own monthly payment amount which was within pennies of my calculations anyway. :D
    This does make a difference my CT went from £104 to £87 and my WR from £39 to £26 so effectively freeing up £30 per month.
    Despite being a member of MSE for about 9 months I have only recently really faced up to my dire financial straits :rolleyes: so the fact that I wasn't paying council tax and water rates for a few months didn't make much difference to my overspending :o:o:o It was like a spit in the ocean. :eek:
    I would rather pay the same amount every month for 12 months then my monthly budget stays the same as well :D
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
    "anorak" about something whether it's trains, computers, football, shoes or celebs :p :rotfl:
  • Mics_chick
    Mics_chick Posts: 12,014 Forumite
    I did apply for Tax Credits, but was told we were ineligible, maybe because hubby gets £17 a week disability, which I haven't added in to my calculations above

    Your hubby's disability seems low to me too :confused: do you mind giving some more info about this (PM me if you don't wanna post it :D) like what sort of disability payment is it, when did he start getting it and when did he last work?

    I hope you don't think I'm too nosey just I'm in a similar situation and wondered if I could help a bit :D MC
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
    "anorak" about something whether it's trains, computers, football, shoes or celebs :p :rotfl:
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    WASTE NOT/WANT NOT

    http://www.celsias.com/blog/2007/06/28/living-the-recycled-life-freeganism/

    a "page extract" from a website I really like look of (Iwish I had the space):

    www.pathtofreedom.com

    so - if link doesnt work (it should) go in via that way.

    The extract features freeganism (aka dumpster diving). Guess thats how many Americans get by on their minimum wage - dumpster diving being "retrieving" perfectly good food thrown out by supermarkets. Watch the 1st and 3rd video clip (the 3rd one is a British guy freeganing from British supermarkets) - I was astonished by what he sometimes gleans from the trash - ie 27 cans of beer (he had a party with it) and eating sushi onetime (as in food he/I cant afford normally). Its interesting viewing - whether one is planning to do it for "political reasons" (as in video 1 - ie not having food wasted) or out of necessity (as in video 3).

    Only wish I had the nerve!

    (NB: Dont know if link will work the way it came out - it was correct up to "06/" - the rest of the link isnt as site prints it , it is:

    28/living-the-recycled-life-freeganism/

    so you might need to type the link into search engine.
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Ah - abbreviated link does work - well, one learns summat everyday about computers.
  • Pandora123_2
    Pandora123_2 Posts: 517 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    ceridwen wrote: »
    a "page extract" from a website I really like look of (Iwish I had the space):

    www.pathtofreedom.com

    That's a great site, thanks. It's not just about frugal living, but self-sufficiency and sustainability as well. I've been slowly increasing my collection of books on self-sufficiency, and hope to soon start a blog on frugal living / self-sufficiency as well.

    :A
    I want to move to theory. Everything works in theory.
  • sammy_kaye18
    sammy_kaye18 Posts: 3,656 Forumite
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    Hi allwe earn about £1000 a month after tax between us (me working part time and bf working 40 hrs a week) we have 2 dependents - a son we have together and he has another son from a previous relationship, then we have a rented flat and pets.We just about scrape by and we payrent £205 a month (council flat)council tax £78 a monthwater £30.40 a monthtv license £11 a monthgas - £25 a month direct debitelectric - £25 a month direct debitntl - tv,comp and phone - £100 at highesttrain ticket - £40 a month (for bfs work - he cycles to station then from other station to work)food £90 a month pets food (1 dog, 3 terrapins) £7.50 a monthpet (dog) insurance - £7.80 a monthmaintenance for other son - £80debts - £200so we basically have £100 a month left over for anything else that we need so if anythign goes wrong we are in trouble! adn hopefully there are too many birthdays in that month!! So if we borrow mother in laws car etc we always put £20 of petrol in it as we tend to borrow it and do alot in one day as apposed to one little errand adn lately we've had to borrow the car alot for boyfriend as he has had eye surgery and we have to keep going back and forth to the hospital which is an hours drive away for all his follow up treatments and appointmentsIm not sure i could manage on £6,000 a year - unless i was a single parent and sold the pets! that way housing and council tax would be taken care of - the ntl wouldnt be so high and neither would the gas/electric and food - plus i have no debts so id have a nice cash amount in me back pocket!!
    Making Changes To Save My Life
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  • I just wanted to weigh in on the cost of living in the UK versus the US thing. Being American but having lived here for 8 years, I would say that as a rough rule, a dollar buys you as much in the US as a pound does here. Some things are a lot cheaper there, and some are cheaper here, but overall it seems to work out pretty evenly. I know loads of people in Ohio that live pretty well off the minimum wage, which obviously wouldn't be possible in other, more expensive, areas. They also don't have children. Also, with food costs, I think that fruit, veg, and most meat is pretty cheap in the States but packets and ready meals are pretty expensive. Although I haven't been home in about three years, last time I was there I remembered that things like ketchup, pasta sauces, and spice or sauce mixes weren't any cheaper than here (that is, ketcup would costs $2 there and £1 here, so about the same). I'm going back next week, though, so I'll try to keep my eye out.
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