Can you make it on $1,000/month??

Monday, October 03, 2011 AnnMarie Brown 5 Comments

This is just a simple question can you and your family survive on $1,000/month???

I guess I should answer this question...
Yes my family can definitely survive on this amount and how do I know that, well that is what we lived on for a year. Yep still standing and smiling to talk about it. How can this be done... well it takes some creativity and some really keen shopping skills.

My children didn't live without during this year either. They were dressed lovely, fed well and all their needs were met. Of course there was no room for wants that year and really still isn't any room for wants needs only in this house.

I cook from scratch only for my family and I don't buy processed foods unless they are free which really never happens so it saves my family in sodium content and other yucky stuff and also saves my pocket book. I find cooking from scratch really saves my family. At one time we were feeding our family of 6 at the time on $60/week which worked out to $240/month. And the family of six is 4 adults and 1 teen and 1 child.

Things we do to save money:
  • no cable (we stream our tv over the internet via boxee box)
  • no monthly home phone (magic jack works great over the net and saves us a ton)
  • switching to an unlimited internet provider that is half the price we were paying
  • make my own laundry detergent (trying Soap Nuts right now though)
  • make my own hand soap
  • make our own Christmas gifts (most anyway)
  • I do enter contests to win various things (Been pretty lucky too)
  • drop the over all temperature in our house down a two degrees lower & put on a sweater
  • we stay away from using hydro during peak times of the day (ugh, smart meter)
  • when running our vehicle we try to do all our errands at one time conserving gas not to mention saving the environment
  • haircuts at home
  • eating in or bringing our food if we are heading out of town
  • Do it yourself for mostly everything (grateful my husband is very handy around the house)
  • price matching and coupons (truly have saved the day for us)
  • priceline & hotwire for booking hotels (saved us tons with our daughter living in Toronto & one looking for a university to attend next year)
I have also found that not having all the hassle with money and cable that we all tend to connect more as a family. We do a ton of things as a family. We put the things that matter front and center. Our family and friends are important to us. We cultivate these relationships and truly develop friendships taking it up a notch from being just an acquittance.

In this time of limited funds we have enjoyed many activities and lots of people that have come into our life. We are so truly grateful for each day we are here to help make a difference in this world. You don't have to have money to make a difference. Do so with your actions in how you treat others send someone a encouraging text, message or leave them a note letting them no what they mean to you. Invite them for potluck dinner so everyone contributes something easing the burden of the cost from you.

There is so much more but honestly I am tired and it is time for me to call it a night.


  1. Back in the early 1980's when I was about 12, my parents faced a real financial crisis. Their money came from a pension in Holland and the value of the Dutch guilder kept dropping and their monthly dollar amount did too. Then the mortgage rates skyrocketed, just as their mortgage was coming up for renewal. My dad was too sick to work (hence the pension) so my mom had to work two jobs. My parents cut out every thrill, luxury and want. "Do you want it or do you need it?", my mother would ask! She also claimed she turned every dime over twice before spending it. No more magazines, no more film for the camera, no new clothes, no cookies, etc. etc. A few years after the crisis had passed, my mom mentioned the cuts we had made and I hadn't even noticed! Oh, and in the end my mother paid off the mortgage in nine years!

    It makes me think about what we think of necessities today - call waiting, cable, cell phones, lawn care, dinner out, movies (rental or theatre). Very few people recognize these luxuries as wants!

    You continue to be an inspiration, Annie!

  2. Great post, My mom always tell us " If you buy what you don't need one day you will have to sell what you need" Living frugal is important no matter how much you make. All about quality over quantity. More than half of the thing we have to day are not need. A minimalist life makes everything simpler, you really don't have to be the slave of your lifestyle :)

  3. How are you liking the soap nuts? I tried them for awhile, but found they didn't get my clothes as clean. Any suggestions?

  4. will you be sharing later how you make your own hand soap? TIA

  5. @scrapbookingoasis

    I should be putting that post up this week some time. Thanks for reminding me.