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Old 12-16-2008, 11:15 PM   #221
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Considering I only take home $2200/mo I guess I can live on less than $3K/mo. In fact I wouldn't know how to spend that kind of money. My paychecks are ~$1100. Every other one goes into long-term savings so I only live on $1100/mo and that includes a mortgage and "fun money".

Mortgage(includes prop. taxes) - $375
Condo Fee(includes water) -$110
Electric(heat) avg. -$100
Groceries(general household items) -$200
Cell Phone/internet -$ 90
Car insurance,maint.,gas avg. -$150
Discretionary spending/
short-term savings -$ 75

TOTAL $1100/mo

This isn't scrimping too much for me because growing up this would've seemed like living in luxury.
Wow Aaron, I used to live on such a small budget when I was in graduate school in the late 1990's. From memory, my net income back then was only $1100 a month. I think my rent was around $350 a month. And I was spending about $200 a month on groceries (lots of ground beef, rice-a-roni, hamburger helper, frozen pizza, etc...). No cell phone, no internet, no cable, just a local landline and a cheap phone card for long distance and international calls. Pretty much my only entertainment was a couple of beers with buddies on Friday night and perhaps a movie at the $1.50 theater every once in a while. If I remember well I used to save about $400 to $500 a month (short term savings for tuitions, books and a yearly trip home). I still have the checkbook register from that era and I love looking at it some time to time to remind me how cheap one can live. The reason I was able to save so much was because... I used to live on even less for the previous 5 years.
In college, I had no car, no TV (not even a B/W TV with bunny ears), no computer, no internet, no cell phone. Rent was $200 a month including condo fees (150 sq. ft. condo). No heating or cooling. Groceries was less than $100 a month. I ate only one decent meal a day (lunch) and I would probably not recommend it health-wise. Grocery shopping was hard as I had to make tough decisions in order to maintain a nutritious yet appetizing diet. No entertainment except my trusty radio, free student parties, time spent with friends and walks in the park. The funny thing is... I miss those days most!

Off course things have changed a lot since then, married, house, pets, life insurance, disability insurance, cars, etc...
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:40 PM   #222
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aaron,

Where are the veggies!!?

tmm
What are veggies?

Seriously, the only veggies I get are the nuked ones in my campbell's chunky chicken with vegetable soup I have 2-3 times a week.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:59 PM   #223
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A friend of mine said one time that he was having several servings of veggies, pointing out the lettuce and tomato slice in a burger, the french fries (!) AND tomato ketchup, so I guess your chicken with vegetable soup's gotta count (and is probably much better for you than a burger with fries!)

tmm
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:04 AM   #224
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I used to live on such a small budget when I was in graduate school in the late 1990's. From memory, my net income back then was only $1100 a month. I think my rent was around $350 a month. And I was spending about $200 a month on groceries (lots of ground beef, rice-a-roni, hamburger helper, frozen pizza, etc...). No cell phone, no internet, no cable, just a local landline and a cheap phone card for long distance and international calls. Pretty much my only entertainment was a couple of beers with buddies on Friday night and perhaps a movie at the $1.50 theater every once in a while.
That actually sounds like the good ol' days to me. I remember eating ground beef a lot too in my early 20's. Rice-a-roni and hamburger helper too. Getting ice cream at DQ was a treat. My rent was $330/mo in AZ. Roach infested. None of those things bothered me. I cannot imagine a life now with no internet access though.

tmm
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:13 AM   #225
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That actually sounds like the good ol' days to me. I remember eating ground beef a lot too in my early 20's. Rice-a-roni and hamburger helper too. Getting ice cream at DQ was a treat. My rent was $330/mo in AZ. Roach infested. None of those things bothered me. I cannot imagine a life now with no internet access though.

tmm
LOL! My apartment was also infested with bugs! I had internet access at work and, back then, that was enough for me. But now it'd be more difficult to do without internet access at home...
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:28 AM   #226
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On days I work I make a frozen pizza at about 2:30pm. I eat 6 pieces and put the other 2 in my lunch bag for work. At approx. 11pm I have "lunch" at work. I have my other 2 pieces of pizza along with a cup of easy mac. I also have a bag of doritos and a pack of nutty bars both of which I by in bulk at low prices. Sometimes i'll take a short snack break around 3am and have another pack of nutty bars. When I get home at 5:30am I have two packets of instant oatmeal, check my e-mail, then go to bed.
On my days off it varies a little more but I often have pizza then too. I have dinte mores beef stew and campbells chunk chicken with vegtable soup instead of easy mac and doritos. I'll often snack on cookies throughout the day. Sometimes i'll eat peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon as a snack(cheap and high protein).(snip)
What, no Top Ramen?
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:16 AM   #227
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Cheaper if you bought those 20lb bags of beans and rice. Big markup on those frozen pizzas and nutty bars
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:22 AM   #228
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What, no Top Ramen?

That was a staple for me in college! That, along with hot dogs and mac and cheese. I also used to love breaded frozen fish with tater tots that I threw into the toaster oven. Oh, the simple days, when you didn't have to worry about nutrition or calories!

My grocery bill in college was around $100/mo. It's more like $400+ now, for 2.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:10 AM   #229
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Thinking about it to have $36,000 a year without pension or SS you have to have $900,000 in investments . That is a decent amount especially after this year . If you subtract a reasonable SS $1,600 a month you need $672,000 in investments still a decent amount so $36,000 a year is nothing to sneeze at . What I 'm wondering is what do you do if your budget is $36,000 all supported by investments and your investments drop by 30% or more which happened this year ?
That is the issue. It is hard to trust the 4% when it happens to you, and there likely isn't a lot of fluff in the budget.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:34 AM   #230
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That was a staple for me in college! That, along with hot dogs and mac and cheese. I also used to love breaded frozen fish with tater tots that I threw into the toaster oven. Oh, the simple days, when you didn't have to worry about nutrition or calories!

My grocery bill in college was around $100/mo. It's more like $400+ now, for 2.
In law school, my wife and I would clip coupons from the student newspapers. We found a Burger King coupon (buy one Whooper, get one free) with no expiration date -- bingo! I swear we must have hunted down at least 200 copies of that newspaper soon after our discovery and had a meal at the local Burger King at least once a week for the 3 years we lived in Manhattan. I seldom eat Whoopers these days, but when I do, it brings a great big smile across my face. We also had something called the student-faculty tea every Tuesday afternoon, where there was loads of free wine, cheese, pastries and veggies -- that was our evening's dinner. One thing about living in Manhattan and attending school there -- it's a good place to be poor and hungry -- as you can always find free or cheap eats. It's also a great place to be in love with someone!
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:34 AM   #231
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That is the issue. It is hard to trust the 4% when it happens to you, and there likely isn't a lot of fluff in the budget.
Which is why I'll probably only use 4% if there's a fair amount of discretionary spending that can be cut in a terrible market like this one, and closer to 3% if not.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:39 AM   #232
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We survived on frozen chicken pot pies--they had some kind of veggie in them, too, so that counted. I wonder how much they cost today.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:00 AM   #233
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We survived on frozen chicken pot pies--they had some kind of veggie in them, too, so that counted. I wonder how much they cost today.
One marie calenders frozen chicken pot pie is like 650 calories so a couple of those and you're set for the day.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:22 AM   #234
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One marie calenders frozen chicken pot pie is like 650 calories so a couple of those and you're set for the day.
I think they're more than that. IIRC, the nutritional label on those things claim that one pie is TWO servings. (Yeah, right.) So take what's on the label and multiply by two, and you'll feel the big one coming...
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:35 AM   #235
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Marie Callender's would have been much too nice and too expensive if they even existed back then--it was Banquet, baby, all the way, at 370 cals a pot pie!
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:40 AM   #236
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Yep, I remember the calorie count on those Banquet pot pies. Easy and cheap and filling on a cold night. I tried all the varieties, but always went back to chicken.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:39 PM   #237
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When I was around 20-25 and a student I went with the generic mac 'n' cheese as my cheap staple food. It cost 18-21 cents a box at that time. I must not have eaten much of it or anything else because my memories are of feeling as though I was starving all the time. I was skinny as a rail.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:20 PM   #238
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Cheaper if you bought those 20lb bags of beans and rice. Big markup on those frozen pizzas and nutty bars
If I liked beans or rice i'd buy a lot of them but I don't. To the person who mentioned top ramen: I moved up to easy mac. It's 75cents a cup instead of 33cents but well worth it to me.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:22 PM   #239
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If I liked beans or rice i'd buy a lot of them but I don't. To the person who mentioned top ramen: I moved up to easy mac. It's 75cents a cup instead of 33cents but well worth it to me.
You gotta get the brick form of top ramen. It's only 10 cents and you can drain out some of the water before adding the spices which you can barely taste in that cup'o'ramen.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:30 PM   #240
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If I liked beans or rice i'd buy a lot of them but I don't. To the person who mentioned top ramen: I moved up to easy mac. It's 75cents a cup instead of 33cents but well worth it to me.
I could eat very cheaply on beans and rice and recipes using them. The problem is that my wife doesn't like beans. I suppose I could make something for myself, but beans and rice don't freeze all that well -- and if I made something only for myself, it would need to be something I could put into single-serving sized bags and freeze.
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