Can you live on $30,000 a year?

how to live on $30,000 a year

Can you live on $30,000 a year- the basics

Living frugal isn’t just the trend these days, but something that many people need to do simply because they are on a fixed income. If you are one of those people, you may be wondering how you can survive on a salary of $30,000 a year and what you can do to make the most of our life on that salary. It is possible! The basics of living are just the beginning.


Housing is the number one factor of living on any budget, but it can be particularly difficult on a small budget. There are several options, depending on your needs. You can rent an apartment or a house that will fall within your budget, or you can look into buying a home. There are many homes that will allow you to pay a mortgage for about the same as you would rent a space, and you can even buy a foreclosed home to get more for your money. If you can’t find a foreclosed home, check into a modular or mobile home. They offer great amenities and space at often half the cost of a brick home for their same size.


Once you have a place to live, you will need to pay utilities. These include water, electricity, and sometimes natural gas bills. Sometimes trash pickup is included in utilities, as well. If you rent an apartment or home, often times one or more of these will be included in the rent, so that can save you money, but if you buy a home you can still look for ways to cut the costs of utilities. For instance, you can buy energy efficient appliances, turn lights off when you’re not home, and get smart about your water usage.


Public transportation or car-pooling is the best way to save money, but for some people that isn’t an option. If it’s not an option for you, check out buying a used vehicle. The cost of insurance will be lower and your monthly payment will be, as well. If you need a larger vehicle or a newer one for reliability or family size, check out rebates and shop around for lower interest rates. When it comes to fueling up, the best bet is a hybrid vehicle, but if you don’t have one of those you can save money by limiting trips made and shopping around for the lowest gas prices.


You need a phone. It doesn’t matter if it is a cell-phone or not, but you need some way for people to get in touch with you. You can find home phones for as low as $10 a month, but if you are like most people you will need a cell phone because of work, personal reasons, and even for your kids to get in touch with you. You can purchase pre-paid phones or pay as you go phones for roughly $25 a month, or get unlimited talk and text with smaller carriers for as low as $35 a month. When you choose an option that allows you Internet access, you won’t have a need or that at your home, which saves you more money in the long run.


Make a meal plan and place yourself on a budget. You don’t have to buy name brand, and you can use coupons to save even more. Buy in bulk and freeze food. Shop smaller stores and days where sales happen. Make sure you don’t go off of your list.


You can shop second-hand for clothing, or even sales. There are many options for buying clothing, but one thing is for sure- always plan ahead. Before you buy clothing, set a budget and make sure you don’t spend off of that budget. Make sure you have a list before going shopping if you need clothing, and if it is just something that you want be sure to check your clothing budget before purchasing, Impulse buys will deplete your funds and clothing is one of the fastest ways to do that.

These are just a few of the ways to cut your bills and maximize your resources. This is the first in a 3 part series on living on $30,000. So check back for the next segment next week! Do you think you can live on $30000 a year?

35 Replies to “Can you live on $30,000 a year?”

  1. we have been working on this for a long time. It is hard but doable and sometimes having a list like this to follow can really help. Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.

  2. I’m not sure but it’s definitely a challenge worth taking. There will be lots of stuff cut out of my life but it would be for the better.

  3. No. We definitely couldn’t. It might be possible in some areas, but not where we live. Very interesting post.. 🙂

  4. I don’t know if we could live on that. I let my Hubs take care of the finances so… My life is pretty much stress free.

  5. These are great tips! Yes, from personal experience – you can live on $30,000 a year (and I did as a single mom with 3 kids)!

  6. I totally do…If we didn’t live where we do. In our area, it’s normal to pay $2000-$3000 just for a small condo. Cutting back o utilities is easy enough though.

  7. We would have to make a huge cut in many areas of our lives, but I do think it is doable. We did it once before. If forced, I am sure we could do it again.

  8. Living on $30k a year is definitely doable, if you budget right. I know we have done it before.

  9. Great tips…you must live within your means, It is so important to think out of the box – there are so many ways to save money that we do not utilize

  10. I know its true because the last as a student and working the husband and I have been living on that, and less. We saved a lot buy shutting off the cable and using Netflix and Hulu Plus.

  11. I think that I could live on $30,000 a year. There are so many things that are not needed that can be cut out. Great tips and suggestions!

  12. We’ve been there before. It wasn’t something simple (or enjoyable for that matter), but it’s definitely possible.

  13. I’ve done it before so I’m sure I could do it again if it came down to it! Actually, I think our emergency fund for bare necessities in case of an emergency is quite a bit less than that. Sacrifices can be made if there’s a big enough reward for doing so – saving or just to get by. It’s not easy but it can be done.

  14. I’m sure I could do it if I totally scaled back on lots of things. It would be a change though.

  15. I’ve done it in the past, as an individual… I can’t say I’d want to do it as an adult (post-school) any longer than I had to, but as long as you are in the right location, it is achievable.

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