How to budget living on $30,000 a year!


how to live on $30,000 a year


How to budget living on $30,000 a year 

You’ve covered the basics and the extras, but now what do you do with your salary of $30,000 a year? You plan for the future, of course, and you can definitely do that and still take care of bills on a smaller salary. You can still save for emergency funds, retirement, and even yearly vacations if you do some planning and saving. 

The best way to save money on any budget is to create a zero-balance budget. To do this you simply write out every single thing you need to budget for. An example of a zero-balance budget would look like the following:

Rent $600

Utilities $200

Groceries $350

Car insurance $100

Car payment $350

Gas Money $150

Spending $150

Cell Phone $75

Cable/Internet $125

Total: $2,100

You too can budget living on $30,000 a year

If you bring home $2,500 a month, though, you have $400 left over. What do you do with that? You stick it in savings and pretend you don’t have it! That’s how you make your expenses and your income equal zero and create an effective zero-balanced budget. By doing this, you don’t allow yourself to blow through your money and have nothing left to show for it. 

One of the best ways to save money for the future aside for the zero-balance budget is to divide the remaining amounts into sections. For instance, if you have $400 left over, and you want to save money for a vacation, put some in an emergency fund, and put some toward a savings account, you divide it up. 

20 percent of your remaining funds go to the emergency fund- $80.
20 percent goes to the vacation- $80.
The rest goes to the savings plan- $260.

This uses up all of your remaining $400 so that you have it all allotted to something. 

Now you can save for multiple things at once and stick to a zero-balance budget. It really doesn’t matter how much you save, as long as you save any extra that you have so that it doesn’t just go to frivolous things and then you have nothing to show for your hard work. A smaller budget doesn’t have to hinder you from saving and being responsible with your future and your money. You can live on $30000 a year!  

Do you write out a budget every month?

 Check out my other budgeting articles. Can you live on $30,000,  Painless Ways to Trim your Budget, 52 weeks of saving  money, How to clothe your family on a budget

How to budget and live on $30000 a year
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How to budget and live on $30000 a year
are you wondering if you can budget and get by on $30000 a year. Here's how!
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My UnEntitled Life
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are you wondering if you can live on $30000 a year. It's not easy but it can be done!

53 Replies to “How to budget living on $30,000 a year!”

  1. Great tips. It’s so easy to just blow through our money when we know we have a little extra. What we tend to forget about is retirement, and what we’ll need down the line.

  2. I forgot to mention that the average retirement age keeps getting older and older, because we DON’T budget well, which leaves us forced to work longer and longer.

    1. that is so true Ben! Sadly, most people do not prepare for retirement. At this stage we could still live another 30 years past retirement too.

  3. We used to budget monthly, but we’ve been slack the past several months. Since my husband and I get paid only once a month, it’s a bit easier to see where money has to go every month. I may have to sit down with him tonight and do a budget for August.

  4. My husband is possibly getting a small raise here shortly and we’re already planning that instead of just using that as “go wild money” we’re going to save it. We’re already planning to open a savings account when he gets it.

  5. LOVE this post and I am bookmarking this to show my hubby!! Love how you break it all down, that is nice to see.

  6. I love this, but I know I could never do it. I like my little luxuries like cable and getting my nails done 🙂

  7. Instead of a budget I made my hubby get a night job!
    Just kidding, we do not budget, but thankfully are finally able to save some money!

  8. We definitely budget. Between regular expenses and medical bills, we have to make the most of our money.

  9. I don’t write an actual budget out, but I know what our expenses are and what our intake is. We always try to take a little out and put it in savings. We automatically have money taken out each month for the kids college funds/529.

  10. My husband and I just started writing a budget out tonight, actually. This is my first time ever hearing of a zero-balance budget.

  11. I’d love to get to the point where we can implement a system like this. Right now, we’ve had some unexpected costs and are trying to get back on track.

  12. Everyone should have a budget. Unfortunately we have been in survival mode since we got married. Boo!!

  13. I just took a class on budgeting and learned a lot. You tips helped me too so now to put all that knowledge together and start saving!

  14. For the last few years we have not been very good about a budget because we were both in school and once we paid bills we did not have any extra money. Now that we have both graduated and are in need of paying off some debt again along with those school loans we’ll have to set up a budget so that money isn’t being wasted.

  15. We do write out a budget every month. Your rent is super cheap! I don’t live in an expensive area, but it’s near impossible to find anything that cheap!

  16. If something ever happened to my husband or I and we couldn’t work, this is where we would be with a family of 6. Thanks for sharing this!

  17. These are great tips. I’ve only just started writing a budget every single month when I realized that I wasn’t saving as much as I liked. Since starting a budget, I have been able to save more consistently.

  18. I do not write out a budget each month. But I do keep track of my expenditures and try to stay within my means.

  19. No, I do not write out a budget but I really should, I spend way too much on groceries and take out.

  20. These are some really great tips! I think no matter how much money you make, you should always be able to survive on the minimal amount each year in case of an emergency or a laid off job!

  21. I always put my money into savings first so then I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I’ve built up a pretty cozy nest egg that way.

  22. Great tips but our rent and utilities are a LOT more so it’s harder to get a budget going in our situation.

  23. This is something we are striving to do. My husband had to take a new job (making less) and I am scaling back to part time. Thank you!

  24. This is a great post. I’m sure this can help a lot of people. I live outside of the DC area and it’s very expensive. While this wouldn’t work for us, it’s a good start at a budget.

  25. A budget does make a difference. If you’ve never done it, you eyes will be opened. You will be amazed at where your money has been going.

  26. That’s a great budget. I wish our rent was $600 a month. In California, it’s closer to $1300.

  27. I use a spreadsheet that has become my holy grail! It not only allow me to set a budget, but allows me to track my daily spending to see where there are areas of opportunity.

  28. you need to mention single people only without children and where would one find 600 a month for rent??? and 200 a month for utilities??? Is this gross wages of 30K a year or take home?

    1. I’m a property manager of 15 homes/apartments in my area. I have one rented right now at 590. The utilities there are right at 200. I’m sure it’s not like that in california. We are in Tn lower cost of living I guess.

  29. wow its fascinating seeing budgets from overseas, $600 a Month for rent!!! In some places of Australia you’d pay that a week…. We live in a cheaper area of Australia, and we pay $350 a week ><

  30. Eeeek. My budget scares me. I’m in my early 30s and work with a woman who is at retirement age; however, she is going to keep working for financial reasons. She’s been giving me advice on what she and her husband have not done and what I should be doing. So, here I am finding articles on budgeting better. Thanks for sharing this. Great tips here.

  31. We’ve never budget, but have been frugal for 30+ years. We are retired and our pension is $37,000 a year for the two of us. Using Craigslist, knowing when/where to penny pinch, and NOT “keeping up with the Jones” (or our very wealthy relatives) we do very well. Purging and downsizing helps too. Paying off the house before retirement was the biggest relief. Know everyone has a different situation, but living simple has it’s perks.

    1. You are so right! It’s all about lifestyle & priorities. Paying off our home is our number 1 goal!

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