(Closed) Can we live off of $2800 per month??

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 2
301 posts
Helper bee

I don’t have an answer for you as my fiance and I work with a bit of a larger budget, however I think this budget work sheet can really help you. I live in Canada and we have a show called Til Debt Do Us Part and the host has this budget worksheet she gives to her couples. You can input all of your values and see what the results are. I hope this helps you:) 


Post # 3
1405 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

It is possible. Read a book called The Tightwad Gazette. It is not how much you make but how much you spend that matters.

Post # 4
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I think it will be hard for anyone to tell you what you can live with per month. It really will depend on how much your monthly expenses are. Food, clothing, essentials, can vary depending on where you live. To the PP – I love this show! I’ll go check out the link : )

Post # 5
176 posts
Blushing bee

Try living on just your husband’s income for a while and socking yours away in a savings account.  See if you can live comfortably that way.  If you can, then I would say you would be fine to support yourselves on his income alone for the forseeable future, ASSUMING that you can get a house with a mortgage payment comparable to your current rent payment and that you don’t have children.  But these are big assumptions.  If you do plan to have children adjust your expectations accordingly. 

Post # 6
5217 posts
Bee Keeper

As a rule of thumb– it is suggested that your housing comprise around 25% of your expenses, leaving the rest for savings, food, gas, etc.


That would mean your mortgage, taxes and any insurance would need to be $700 or less. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a possibility for you to own, but I would do as a PP suggested and live off of one income for 6+ months and save the rest to see if it is feasible to live that way and NOT dip into savings. 

Post # 7
825 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: Local Resort

I have a mortgage calculation sheet that my girlfriend created for me years ago when I went shopping for a home.  It showed me approximately what my monthly payment was but I would have to know what your taxes are [every area is different].

After calculating that is it just you two in the home? how many adults/children? This would have to take into account everything.  Utilities, internet, food, transportation, clothing, repairs etc.

Post # 8
15210 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Anything is possible.  If your mortgae is 100k and you have amazing credit, you can get a mortgage costing under 500 a month if you buy a 110k house.  Assuming 3k yr property tax, that’s 250/month so housing should be just 750/month.  Gas for cars say 200, electric/gas avg 200/month, food say 400 month, phone cable 200/month… then if those numbers are accurate, you basic basic living needs are just 1750 and you have 1k buffer.

ETA: Actually, thinking about this a little more.  We live off only $3500, so just $700 more than your figure, and pay $2500 of that for housing (400k mortgage + taxes) and our checkings account is still usually growing unless we go on a trip and/or have to buy new applicances that set us back a few thousand.  So for 100-150k housing and $2800 to live off of, I would say yes, that should be pretty easy assuming not too many big expenses in the next few years.

Post # 9
375 posts
Helper bee

I would encourage you to spend several months living off of the $2800 to simulate what it would be like. I live on much much less than $2800 and I have never been hurting for money. I would second FutureMrsLeBlanc and say to carefully budget your money. This is how I make it work. If you don’t have a budget and a limited income, it could be easy for things to go awry but if you budget, it’s very possible. That being said, money is one of the most common things couples fight about, so tread lightly. Instead of thinking about how much you can afford, I would budget your money and see how much you spend on different things, and then determine how much money you are comfortable spending a month on housing. Experts typically recommend anywhere from 25%-35% be spent on housing. I determine what sort of loan options you are comfortable with (15, 30-yr), sit down with a banker who can run your credit scores, and determine the cost of a house that would be in your comfort zone…and do not go out of that zone! That’s how the housing market crashed. 

For a sample budget, here’s mine: (It does vary monthly, but this is a good idea of what mine looks like). Also, these probably won’t add up because I averaged a bunch of different budgets together.<br />Total income: ~1512/month<br />Housing: $450/month<br />Utilities: $120/month<br />Food: $160/month<br />Transportation (aka gas): $50/month <br />Personal (toiletries, garbage bags, ziplocs): $165/month<br />Home Goods (decorating my first house, buying housing stuff I need): $150<br />Recreational (eating out, etc): $20<br />Student loans: $325<br />My dog: $80<br /><br />

Post # 10
3031 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

I think it’s possible. You might need to make it your “part time job” to do the budgeting and shop sales and coupons. It’s hard to say for sure based on where you live and your needs. $1,000 morgage with 10k in “up front funds” will buy you a ~$150k house in my area (pittsburgh suburbs) – a 3 bedroom in a safe area. (my house is a split level w/ a finished basement and updated kitchen). Where you want to live will make a major impact on this… what the cost of living is… how far you have drive/spend on gas, etc. 

If it helps… here’s my general monthly expenses. (Based on this past Nov-Dec because I just moved in September)

My morgage is $1,000 – includes PMI, home insurance, taxes. Gas Heat $60/mo. Electric $40/mo. Garbage is $20/mo. Sewage $45/mo. Water $15/mo. Internet $40/mo. (I don’t have cable tv.) Car insurance is $80/mo (1 person, 2 cars). Cell phone $100/mo. (I dont have a home phone.) Groceries $300/mo (This is for 1 and 1/2 people.. my fiance doesn’t live with me but does eat dinners with me often.) I think that covers all the major stuff in ~$2,000? (I left off my cat because i dont know if you have pets. but don’t forget your own. My cat probably costs me $60/mo in food and litter.)

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  amberback.
Post # 11
1503 posts
Bumble bee

We cannot answer your question due to the lack of info and details of your living situation.  Where I currently live, you could live on $2800/month IF you lived in cheap housing, cut out all extraneous expenses (like cable, eating out, shopping, etc), kept a strict grocery bill and were willing to live a little uncomfortably (keeping the house cooler in winter and hotter during summer) to keep the utility bills down, and carpooled.

Post # 12
1754 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

It reeeeeally depends on your area!

$2800 a month is actually roughly what we live off of after taxes. My SO is a teacher and I’m in grad school with a rigorous assistantship that pays a living stipend (and half tuition, but I don’t get that money directly). We can do it living in a two bedroom apartment in a medium-sized city in the south, but I know we couldn’t afford it in other parts of the country. We also don’t have car payments or anything – just rent and the standard bills. 

Post # 13
637 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
sunelake27:  I don’t know why you couldn’t? I live in NYC and clear 2800 a month after student loans. I pay 1050/month in rent and am not married and/or looking to buy a house but I’m certainly not hurting. Finding a house for $100K seems like a dream, I’m sure the mortgagte would be way less than my rent. 

Post # 15
1316 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

with the details you provided, absolutely.


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