Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fixed Income Living: A Week In A Frugal LIfe?

Just as an aside, you gotta love the little guy..........Butler messed up my ever lovin brackets, but yea for them!!!!!!!!

Whether I fit the true definition of a retiree or not, I live on what many would consider an extreme fixed income. Basically, I live on a maximum $2500 dollars per month (1500 from my husband's social security, $800 from his pension and a few minor income streams here and there)  Out of this money, I make a house payment, pay bills, socialize,pay college tuition for a 22 year old, and eat well. feed myself and a twenty year old college student and occasionally subsidize his business and schooling in a small way.

While I don't live in the most expensive part of the country, Texas has its own cost of living issues and even in Texas what I live on is considered extreme, when you consider that I have a house and a  dependent (as in living with me) college student.

Nevertheless, for the most part my life is fulfilling. I socialize, we eat very well, occasionally we dine out. I have a nice house (although it will need some work). I go to concerts, festivals and museums. I travel-I do road trips on a regular basis (because I have given up flying unless it is over an ocean, not necessarily because it was cheaper). I am a quilter, which by definition is no longer a "cheap" hobby, and my son loves the occasional golf game.

Although my blog gets only a few comments per week, statistics show that I have quite a few readers and followers.  In addition to this blog, I am on many forums (frugal and otherwise),  write articles that appear online and elsewhere, and occasional teach classes on frugality and living beneath ones means.  I also occasionally speak on how I got here and how not to become me.

Whether it be here, or in my email box, or in person, I get comments.  Many comments and emails are filled with ideas, support and generally positive.  However, I also get a fair amount of emails wondering how I can possibly survive and be happy, if I'm being honest and realistic, or telling me that whatever I do (be it coupon, pantry shopping, cutting expenses, making Christmas gifts) they could not possibly do the same.

I've been wanting to do this awhile, and frankly, I'm still not sure how tomorrow's post will look.  That said, I think in addition to talking the talk, it's only fair of me to show what my frugal life is like, how I manage, and how I find joy in living beneath my means.  Some of what I share will be relevant to all, and some will not. Not every retiree who reads my blog watches pennies.  Not every person living on a fixed or lowered income is a retiree.  Many of the things I do I did when we were a family with children and were simply "adjusted for size", and can be used by everyone.

I'm still not sure whether I will simply add a daily update at the end of regular posts, or a weekly synopses sharing my frugal life. Either way, I hope that can share even more openly how to live beneath ones means and still have a full and happy life.

Coming next: Eating Well On A Budget For One Or Two, The Week In Review


  1. I'm rather confused how $3500 a month is considered "extreme". $3500 a month (and I'm assuming you mean before taxes) is $42,000 a year. The national median in 2010 was $44,389. Over half our population makes house payments, pays bills, socializes, feeds their families, etc. on that amount or less.

    I'm from Texas - from one of the most expensive cities in Texas in fact, and $42,000 a year is not "extreme" in any sense of the word. Is it the low end of average? Sure. Is it "extreme". Not in the least.

  2. Please don't worry about lack of comments....I am one of the shadow readers who rarely if ever comment but benefit greatly from your posts. Please, keep it up for all of us. Thank you!

  3. Kh-thank you for visiting my blog. although I am not sure that 3500 is not extreme in many parts of the country, I live on 2500, not 3500. Specifically, I live on 1500 from my late husbands social security and about an eight hundred dollar pension. I will actually probably live on less at 62. Again, thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. I am retiring on 3,500.00 a month with free medical (up to some low deductibles) starting July 1 in Texas. I am retiring at 62 due to stress and a near nervous breakdown. Very much unable to think or plan at the moment so I will be checking back.


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