I had a carrer in management where I utilized my management and engineering degrees working 80+ hours a week making about $50,000.I was keeping up with the Jones and saving nothing, stressed out.I now have two jobs where I work less than 40 hours a week total, require no college, I have weeks off, could drink on the job if I really wanted to, and have averaged about $40,000 a year with far less stress and saving $20,00 a year.This year I am in a position where my total pay will go up to about $50,000 - 60,000 through some extra consulting on the side. I plan on still living on about $10,00 a year in a major city - Chicago!I am saving for both retirement while also working on plans for my own small business.Rent (I split a $500 2br with a roomate) is $3000 yearUtilities (my share) $600 yearGroceries (I buy buy a month at a time with a very particular, healthy meal plan) $2000 yearEntertainment/nights out/videos/etc $1500 yrClothing/shoes/coats $400/yrTranspotation (old BMW I maintain and paid for) $1000/yrVacation $500 -1000 year depending on a short or long tripHaircuts $0 (my girlfriend is a hairstylist)medical/dental $250 year max avg (sometimes higher, often way lower) (no insurance-I know risky)Misc: papers, mags, pers care, household stuff,internet etc. about $750 yearFrugal, but not cheap.Trust me it can be done,although there are those here who think it is impossible.I live a block away from Cubs park and my neighbors pay $1500 in rent.I could live on even less and save more and have .I could live in a far worse neighborhood,have more roomates, not go out or have no entertainment, and I have had years w/o a vacation, but If you are going to live on a very low budget, I believe you need some releases and relaxation and reward and not be so tight where you may get your head blown off by someone or yourself!At first it was rough, but I found a balanced life with more time do things, rewarding myself, and I guess just being content, watching the money grow. By doing this and knowing I am soon going to reach my goals has made me feel fine:-).Good luck with your dreams!
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