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Why I Live on $16.67 a Day


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psychovilleAs a stay at home single mother things can get pretty scary. Unlike with married folks or those in relationships, I’m all alone when it comes to paying the bills and supporting my daughter.

I take this responsibility very seriously; I watch my income and expenses like a hawk and get busy if I even suspect that there is going to be a dip in my income.

One of the most important things I do to ensure my success is to keep my bills as low as possible. I rent a small house on the cheap side of a small town, own an older paid-for van and make things do double or triple duty whenever I can.

To make things simple I have set a hard limit on my expenses of $500 a month. This breaks down to $16.67 a day.

While it doesn’t seem like a lot, $16.67 a day is enough to pay all of my bills and give me money to spare. Of course, any money I earn over this amount is saved or used to provide us with the little extras that make life more comfortable, but that’s another story!

It isn’t hard to earn $16.67 a day in a pinch. One can mow lawns, clean houses, do odd jobs or pick up cans alongside the road to make this small amount of cash.

Even better, you can go online and make that much easy enough too!

For instance, when I realized that my book royalties were not going to be enough to suit my comfort zone for this winter’s increased expenses (I’ve some repairs to do on my van, among other things), I took to Bubbling again to pick up the slack. To my delight, I’ve not only managed to supplement my income there, I’m on my way to being able to cover the full amount!

I wouldn’t be able to live this life if I had a lot of expenses so keeping the bills as low as they can go gives me the freedom to live life on MY terms. Instead of slaving away at some boring job or selling my soul to a man I don’t love I can hold my head up high and keep walking – I get to make my OWN path in this crazy world!

How much money do you need to make every day to survive? Please share your stories in the comments below.



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5 Comments

  1. AngelWings wrote:

    I enjoy reading your blog. My story is very different from yours but also the same in ways. We are both close in age, forties, and I am single, with no kids. I did earn a BA degree but now I’m considered underemployed. I was laid off by my company and I want to go back to college when I can. I work on projects for my company when I can, but the work has become less. (I am finding creative odd jobs to do for now). I live on roughly the same amount of money that you are describing, but in a house in suburbia of a major city. I live alone and take care of a house, so the basic utilities and homeowner expenses are paid for. My medical and food stamps are covered. I go to a church monthly for the church food box. I enjoy reading the frugal living websites. I believe that many Americans are raised to spend way too much money and not become savers like in foreign countries. My entertainment is very cheap, mainly going to my spiritual groups, reading, computer, and working on big craft projects like crochet/knit and X-stitch. I try to avoid watching too much TV or becoming an internet addict. I take long walks around my neighborhood to keep fit. I wish that I could go out more but it’s hard due to the gas money. Yes, I have dropped a few girlfriends due to them being a bit too materialistic and wanting to spend money shopping and “let’s do lunch!” Above all I am grateful for what I do have like my good health, an older car(paid for), my computer, books, crafts and household goods. I do not have roommates, nor difficult family members living with me. Since I am female with no kid, non-smoker, college grad, I could easily find a place to rent but I like where I am now.

    I believe that our country is getting harder to earn a living. In the future, I plan to buy camping equipment and stock up on food. I don’t know but I think that there is a point to the doomsday preppers–don’t want to think like that but it’s good to be safe.

    I also don’t have a lot of clutter in my house. It’s easy for me to pack and move if I really had to. My house is uncluttered and very clean–except for books! Stay strong! Keep writing!

    Friday, November 1, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
  2. Annie wrote:

    Nice to meet you AngelWings! Honestly, if it weren’t for giving Katie a somewhat “normal” upbringing I would probably save up and live in an RV or go camp on some of my family’s land and live even cheaper so I completely understand!

    I am around a lot of people who consider themselves very poor but who make a lot more money than I do, so it gets lonely sometimes but being able to write and interact with wonderful folk like yourself helps immensely! Like you, I believe Americans are brainwashed into being these consuming machines – all of the lessons of our ancestors are being tossed out the window :(

    Friday, November 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  3. Bio filo wrote:

    I agree , and glad that You are doing well, but I expect You too, as You work at it like one should.

    Friday, November 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  4. Jana wrote:

    I am in somewhat similar situation and working it out over the last few years. Worrying about medical insurance, working only part time and wanting to get started on some online projects and maybe ways to make money come next Spring so lots of prep work. I have enjoyed your blog and books and appreciate all you share.

    Monday, November 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink
  5. Hey Annie and thanks for sharing your insights with us all :)

    As a single male with no children, I actually live on less than you each day. And there are a bunch of days where I actually spend no money at all.

    That being said, there are other days where I might splurge on a brunch (every Sunday with friends) or take in a movie in a theater. It all balances out in the end.

    When it comes right down it, ironically, the less money one has, the more freedom one has…at least for some.

    Take care and all the best. Hope all is well.

    Lyle

    Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

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