Living on $21K a year

I thought I was living simply before, but I am living far more simply now! Here is my updated budget as a single momma:

  • Rent: $450 (all bills paid; I rent a bedroom in a big house with another family – a great deal!)
  • Car payment: $360 (I have a 2011 Toyota Camry)
  • Groceries: $250
  • Child care: $250 ($50 a week for 25 hours a week of home care)
  • Auto Gas: $100 (I commute a long way to school)
  • Phone: $100
  • Medical Insurance: $105 (I get this cheaply through school)
  • Car Insurance: $80
  • Life insurance: $30 ($500k term life for my baby boy)

So, my basic expenses to live total about $1,725 a month, or net $20,700 a year. I should include about $200 a month for incidentals/unexpected stuff, so it is probably more like $1,925 a month or closer to $23k net a year.

Some lucky breaks I have:

I am very fortunate to have many siblings who have already had kids, so continue to get completely free hand-me-downs for all of my baby stuff. Also, my sister is CFO for a women’s clothing line, so was able to get nice work clothes for $12 an item!

I also learned I can qualify for food stamps on my income! Isn’t that crazy? I was told that I could get $370 in food stamps every month, but I haven’t applied.

An additional expense that I still have is subsidizing my rental home in Austin. I was able to get a 4% refinance, so my payment is $1,960. Currently leased for $1,650, they are going to re-let it for $1,800 in July. That is sort of my savings/investment plan at this point as it should be paying for itself in a few years.

I don’t think anyone is checking my blog anymore, but I feel like blogging!

If you are out there, I hope you are well!

Take care,


Silas Watters 8 months

What's an RV momma?

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