Living comfortably is defined differently by everyone.. The amount of income one has will make a when it comes to what they need to live comfortably. As a general rule the more you make the more you spend which leads those with a higher income to spend more in order live comfortably.
The main goal of those with a low income is to live comfortably without spending a lot of money on their living expenses. There are things that most of us enjoy without considering the cost such as the Internet and Cable television. Then there are nights spent out, and our basic needs of course. So how much does it take to live comfortably?
Let’s take a look at the minimum it takes to live comfortably now. Expenses (estimates for areas with low costs of living). Actually amounts will vary depending on where you live and how much you make.
Rent- $450.00 a month/ two bedroom one bath apartment. Advantage of renting is maintenance, and appliances furnished. Usually basic cable is included that would otherwise cost a whole $10 a month for limited basic. Need renters insurance in order to protect yourself from loss if something happens to the apartment. (Optional)
Mortgage-$700 a month for three bedroom two bath in a nice neighborhood with the proper credit. Additional costs homeowners insurance required because of the mortgage. (Required) You have to cover the repairs yourself. (Hopefully the house is paid for and you don’t have the mortgage payment.)
Car payment -$0 Not needed if you live in an area with adequate public transportation, or if you save the money and pay cash to reduce the monthly bills. Most with lower incomes try to avoid a monthly car payment so the $0 figure is the one we’ll go with. Auto Insurance- $350 a year or $174 every six months. Liability only, which is required by law in most states and will vary depending on the vehicle and driving record of the insured driver.
Cable television- $60 a month. Most people don’t want to go without cable so they’ll squeeze it into the budget. It’s nice to have a choice of what to watch even at times when there isn’t anything on.
Internet- $30 a month, minimum for a broadband connection. While Internet access is a luxury and not a necessity there are some people that have to have because they work from home. When you work from home the chances are that you have to have an Internet connect to get work done and turned in on time. If not having Internet means that you don’t have a job then you’ll make sure that you keep your Internet on.
Utilities-$200 month average for family of three with rising costs of electricity. Actual bill can be reduced if enough attention is paid to the bill and the habits associated with electricity usage.
So far we only have the living expenses included in how to live comfortably and we aren’t done yet. We still haven’t figured in how much we pay for food, clothing, household items and entertainment outside of the home. There are things that we need and things we enjoy that all figure into the thought of living comfortably for most of us whether we actually need them or not.
Groceries- $250.00 to $400 a month for a family of three. Budget will vary depending on health and dietary needs. The grocery budget can be adjusted and reduced by clipping coupons, buying generic or store brands, watching for sales and comparing prices. The grocery budget includes meats, vegetables, sugar, condiments, snacks, drinks and other items commonly used for baking.
Household Items-$150 a month if you are careful. The usual household items are bath tissue, diapers or pull-ups if you have small children, cleaning products, etc.
We haven’t even touched things such as movies, going out to eat or kids things. Toys, school clothes and supplies. All of these things add up. The amount that is spent to live comfortably isn’t the same for everyone since some people manage to live on a lower income than others. There are those that can’t live without the extras and those that would be just as happy living in tents. So the amount required to live comfortably can’t actually be determined by anyone except the individual attempting to live comfortably.