Living Advice for $1000 a Month Budget?

For all of you very frugal TF readers out there, I have a big dilemma. I am trying to help someone out with and was wondering if you could guide me. Is it possible to live on $1000 per month with a mortgage payment of $800 a month which includes the taxes? I am asking for a family of two, a parent and a 22 yr. old college student.

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The student's schooling costs are covered and he works part time for his expenses. The location is upstate NY which I mention because I know cost of living varies. Of course in this location there will be heating costs in the winter, but I know there is assistance available for that. Thank you for any advice you can give.

By Arlinn

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July 23, 20120 found this helpful

You are right there is assistance for heating, but it won't cover all of the expenses, anyway in SD, it doesn't. There is also other utility expenses, such as electricity, phone, etc. If they run an air conditioner in the summer the electricity bill will be quite high, Then there is food, clothing, and cleaning supplies.

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I don't see how with a mortage payment of $800 a month that they can live off $1000.00 monthly. Oh yes, there is also homeowner's insurance, car expenses such as insurance, gas, and general upkeep.

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July 23, 20120 found this helpful

$1000 a month and $800 mortgage - that leaves $200 to live on. I don't think it can be done. That is only about $50 a week for everything else--food, transportation, utilities, etc. even if they stay health and have no emergencies. Can they sell the house and get into something cheaper; housing should not be more that a fourth or at the highest, one third of income and those figures include insurance and taxes on the house. Live on $1000 a month, yes, it can be and is done, but that $800 makes impossible.

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July 23, 20120 found this helpful

Almost impossible. Utilities alone would eat that up. But $800 a month is not a horrible cost for a home, in fact, in a lot of places that would be considered "low".

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If there is any way they could add another couple of hundred a month to the income, it would still be hard, but maybe do-able.

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July 24, 20120 found this helpful

Could they get someone to share with; who would pay rent for a room? This is called having a lodger in the UK.

It is better to stay in the same home if they possibly can, because moving costs are so expensive.

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July 24, 20120 found this helpful

How about a boarder? Someone to share expenses?

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July 24, 20120 found this helpful

You didn't say how large the home is but I agree with on post; rent out a room or rooms but be sure to do a thorough backgrounds check. Do you have friends or relatives who need to cut expenses; maybe they would be willing to share housing. If that's not an option try to bring in extra income by getting a part time job.

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Check the appraisal on the home; it may be appraised too high and getting it appraised at a lower rate can lower your taxes and lower the house payment. Also, you didn't give a whole lot of details about other expenses such as cable TV, etc. If you drive a car can you sell it and take public transportation?

Your question has really go me to thinking as I'm not as pessimistic as others, and depending on other things you failed to mention I wouldn't say it's entirely impossible. In Texas one has to be "dirt poor" to get any assistance with utilities and even food stamps. Good Luck and I wish you well!

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July 24, 20120 found this helpful

Search the Internet for State Help. One I found for NY was:
coverageforall.org/.../everyoutcomepage.php?st=26

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July 24, 20121 found this helpful

If you are willing to move, try contacting USDA-RHS (rural housing service). It is for low-income families.

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I pay $155.00 for a 3-bedroom, 1500-sq ft. house in a town just 8 miles from a big city. House payment is based on income & house taxes are paid at the end of the year.

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July 26, 20121 found this helpful

Another cost that can be reduced greatly is by going to their local food banks for assistance. They should call first to find out the hours they are open and what sort of ID and proof of address, if any, are required. Where I live you must bring a recent utility bill and a state ID that shows the same address. The hours open are limited.

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