6 Ways to Live on Under $10,000 a Year

Live Frugally on 10000 dollars

Life isn’t cheap – even for those of us who live in the Land of the Free.

However, we often place exuberant amounts of pressure on ourselves to earn (and spend) far more than is necessary. We work long hours to get raises; we stay up late worrying about money; and we daydream about maxing out our credit cards and running away to Thailand.

Why? Because that’s what Americans do. We make money so that we can spend money.

The truth is, you can live on far less than you are now. In fact, I believe that you can live on under $10,000 a year! It just takes a bit of creativity.

Of course, most people will have no interest in following this advice. However, if you’ve found yourself with a pile of student loans, are tired of living paycheck to paycheck, or simply want free time to write your novel, then you may find this list valuable. In fact, establish a residual income, and you may be able to embrace this lifestyle without working at all!

Some of these methods for inexpensive living can be implemented in your current town, others will require a move. And they all will require a lifestyle change. Clearly, your profession (or lack there of) will play a significant role in which of these opportunities will work for you. However, if you do a little research, you could easily start making money online and work from anywhere in the world.

So, for you nomads and savers out there, here are six ways you can live on less than $10,000 a year:

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1. Live With Family

save money by living with family

There are thousands of college graduates and retirees who implement this strategy every year. It’s not sexy, but it’s practical. In many parts of the world people spend their entire lives living with family. For some reason (and not necessarily a bad one), us Americans like to have our own castle – apart from family.

But, if you can get along with your family, and they are willing to take you in, your cost of living drops to almost zero. Whether you’re living with mom and dad, or with your kids, the odds are, they won’t make you pay much rent (if any) and you’ll have meals, internet, and other essentials taken care of. All you’ll need to take care of is your car, phone bill, and any other “luxuries” you decide to indulge in.

2. Become a Trucker

save money by becoming a trucker and living out of your truck

Life on the road is a dream for some, and a nightmare for others. But, if you want to make decent money, without spending much, trucking is a great way to go. Not only can you easily make over $50,000 a year without the hassle of a 4-year degree, but you can sleep in your truck – and skip out on owning a house all together!

While this is probably not something you want to do long-term, there are many people who take up trucking for a couple of years. I had a dean in the men’s dormitory that took a year out of college to buy a truck and drive it until it was mostly paid off. He then finished his education, owning a truck, and getting paid for the shipments that his employee delivered.

If you’re interested in making a down-payment on a house, writing a novel, or developing a top-notch business plan, find someone to work as your partner. If you truck with a friend or spouse, one of you can drive while the other one works on that great project.

3. Move to Thailand

Save money by moving to Thailand

There are many places that are cheaper to live than America. And Thailand is one of them. It’s possible to find housing for $10/day, eat out at local restaurants for $1.50 a meal, and travel on the cheap. Find a job you can do online, such as writing articles for $50 an hour, and work from Thailand. Not only will the experience be great, but you can pay for all of your expenses with just 4 hours of work a week!

4. Buy a House with Cash

save money by buying an inexpensive home

Most Americans spend their entire lives paying off their house. If you really love your home, and are willing to make those sacrifices, that’s fine – keep paying. However, think about how easy it would be to live on $10,000 a year if you didn’t have a house payment to make every month? How much more discretionary income would you have if your house was completely paid off?

“That’s stupid Rob, the average American can’t afford to pay for their home in cash.”

You’re right. But that’s because the average American want’s a specific home – and one that’s above his current net worth. If you are willing to be flexible, I bet you could find a house in your price range.

In fact, my brother and I went in together and purchased a house for just $10,000! Yes, we had to do a bit of work to it. Yes, it wasn’t in the best part of town. And yes, it was in Michigan. The odds are, you won’t be able to find a similar deal where you live.

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The point is, we put ourselves into stressful financial situations because of our own decisions for specific comforts. If you are willing to settle for a smaller home, you could find yourself close to retirement right now.

The site that I always use to search for property is Zillow. Virtually all property ends up on Zillow – whether it is listed by a real estate agent or for sale by owner. Additionally, the ease of searching makes it the perfect tool for exploring the best listings in a specific area.

5. Work on a Cruise Ship

save money by working and living on a cruise ship

For someone who loves to travel and interact with people, working on a cruise ship is another great way to live inexpensively. Of course, you won’t make a lot of money working on a cruise ship, and you’ll be worked very hard, but all of your expenses are covered by the cruise line. With lodging and food taken care of, that lower compensation can still go a long way.

Honestly, if your goal of living on under $10,000 a year is to relax, this isn’t the job for you. However, spending a couple of years on a cruise ship would certainly make for a lot of great experiences and stories.

6. Volunteer – at Home or Abroad

Save money by volunteering

If you are willing to volunteer, you can have all of your living expenses covered in no time at all. However, it will require a bit of work on your part. I spent a year as a volunteer teacher in the Marshall Islands. My lodging was covered and I received a stipend for food. Although I had to work from 8-3, I considered my work a lot of fun and I spent a year on a tropical island for free. How cool is that?

Similarly, the Red Cross covers all expenses when you volunteer with them. My brother and I assisted with the tornado disaster that hit the South a few years ago. Not only did the Red Cross put us up in a Best Western, they gave us a debit card that provided us with $30/day for food. While Red Cross volunteers generally don’t assist for long periods, it is still a great way to make a difference without costing you anything.

Probably the best way to volunteer is through finding a location on This website allows for anyone to request volunteers in exchange for lodging and food. In other words, you can visit nearly any country in the world and work for 10-20 hours a week in exchange for food and lodging. I’ve had several friends use WorkAway, and they loved it. With most positions looking for someone to stick around for several months to a year, this is an easy way to accomplish your goal of living on under $10,000 in a year.

Would You Live on $10,000 a Year?

In all reality, most of us will probably never spend a year living on less than 10 grand. Not because we can’t, but because we don’t want to. We enjoy our cable television, independent living quarters, and plush bathrooms.

And so we toil on.

But, just for the sake of curiosity, I must ask: Would you consider living on less than $10,000 a year? Have you lived on less than this? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Rob is enthusiastic about everything related to money and investing. A financial analyst and instructor, he enjoys using what he’s learned from 10 years of studying business and money to help others achieve financial stability. He founded Money Nomad in 2014!

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  1. I would totally try it… if I weren’t married, or had kid #1 or kid #2 🙂 Every time I mention the word “RV” or “tiny house” I get “the look” haha… Perhaps if I keep sneaking it into everyday conversations it may wear her down?

    1. Very true. That’s about the same place I am in. It was great to live in a major fixer-upper with my brother, but I just can’t sell my wife on the idea! If the slow and steady subtle hints work out for you, let me know – I will definitely give it a shot myself!

    2. I agree with j money.
      I would be all over this if I was single with no children. I actually found tumbleweed houses before MMM and have been longingly looking at them.

      It’s a goal so after kids are out of the house I would gladly try all. The trucking one probably on the end of the list. 🙂 not a huge fan of sitting on my butt for extended periods of time!

      Also shout out to Michigan! I have totally considered relocating so much more affordable then CA

      1. Yeah, trucking probably isn’t my first choice either. As for reallocation, there is always a tradeoff. I currently live in California (and simply went to Michigan for college). I love California, but the cost of living is ridiculously high. In Michigan it was definitely possible to live on a fraction of what it costs to live here.

  2. I am the wife and can’t convince my husband that we could live in a tiny house. We don’t even have children, but one dog. He loves his basement and huge garage with lots of tools and CNC router.

    I bet we could be financially independent in like 5 years if we did that!

    1. Well Samantha, you are clearly the dream wife! lol. It certainly isn’t a gender thing – it’s a personality thing.

      There is always a trade off. Essentially, the more inconvenience you are willing to embrace now, the less you will need to in the future. On the flip side, you don’t want to live a miserable life because you’re pinching pennies. I guess we all just have to work with our spouses to find that happy medium. And honestly, it’s probably good to be married to someone who balances us out – otherwise everyone would think we were crazy in our 250 sq ft houses. lol.

    2. Your husband has a CNC router? He sounds like a pretty great guy!

      I don’t know if this would interest him, but he could consider turning his shop into a Community Garage, registering it on and opening up for business! You may not want your home to also be your business, or maybe you don’t live in an accessible place, but if you do, turning your home into a business could be another way to lower costs.

  3. Why in the world would I want to get rid of all my debts and burdens and simplify my life so I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted 🙂 Nice article. Life is simple until we come along and mess it up.

    1. Very profound – we are the ones that complicate life. Thanks for the comment and I’ll be reading more of your blog in the near future!

  4. Isn’t that one of those container homes in the pic under #4? I’ve been hearing a lot about them and some people make absolutely crazy designed with just a shipping container!

  5. I do have a dream of spenfing our home equity on a cheaper house on the countryside. But houses are expensive here for a reason, namely the location which provides great career opportunities.

    1. It’s true – the cost of a home is always higher in a desirous location. However, in regards to opportunities, many people forget that smaller towns, though offering fewer opportunities, have fewer competitors for those positions. In other words, you may discover that you can acquire an equally beneficial position in an area with a lower cost of living!

      1. Hi, I only saw your response now.

        You make a good point. I got my first “real” job (and lots of experience) just out of university in 2010 by applying for a position way out in the boonies. Many of my Fellow students went unemployed for 1-2 years because they insisted on working in more desirable locations.

  6. Nice post Rob – I love this sort of creative thinking! I’m definitely going down the opposite path of choosing to spend a large chunk of money to live in a great house in a fantastic neighbourhood, and am fully aware of the trade-off I’m making (having toyed with the idea of ‘downsizing’ and living a simpler life). I just struggle when people say ‘we NEED a bigger house’ or ‘we NEED a new car’. We’ve become so blinded by our peers and surroundings that we can easily forget these are all choices and trade-offs we make – none of them are needs in the slightest.

    1. Thanks for sharing Jason. You very clearly caught the point of this article. It’s not about living on nothing, it’s about being aware of what is actually a “need” and what is just a “want”. Many people seem to confuse the two.

  7. I love this idea. We are currently buying the small fixer upper you recommended. We are paying my inlaws for it (they live next door…we lived with them for a while, NOT happening again unless it is a MAJOR emergency. IMO, next door, walking distance or “on the way”…you know, we just decided to stop by because we were “on the way home from…” is still too close) If all goes well, we should have our credit card debt and them paid off in about 3 years. I don’t know that we will ever get down to $10000 a year, but we would be super excited to get down to $24000 a year.

    1. Congrats on the house Jennifer! Even though family dynamics can always be tricky, it’s great to have family around that’s willing to help out when we need a hand. I would say that the inconveniences and awkward situations with family are certainly worth the support and friendship. And, if you are debt free in three years, you will be in a much better position than most people! Congrats.

  8. This totally hits the nail on the head!! I can’t tell you how many times I get emails from people who claim that they can’t save anymore. Yet there are SO MANY ways they can save more — from taking in extra roommates to moving to a lower-cost-of-living area (either in the US or overseas). It’s not that people “can’t,” it’s that they “choose not to.”

    1. Thanks for your comment. And great blog of your own! I’ve enjoyed learning how someone can actually make money from AirBnB. May have to give it a shot sometime.

  9. Pingback: ★ 6 Ways to Live on Under $10,000 a Year - Rockstar Finance
  10. Rob, I concur. I’ve done #1 on your list for a few years and using somewhat of a hybrid system to point #4. I built my house leagues below what the current housing market would pay for a similar sized and one in my location. Past and current steps include working on cutting 50% off the actual payments / loan term by paying more to principal and bi-weekly payments where necessary.

    1. Nicely done Dwight! I look forward to jumping over and taking a look at your blog. It looks like you’re really making headway into the realm of being financially independent.

  11. Just recently, I’ve been thinking about buying a trailer or RV (in the near future) and becoming a modern-day gypsy, visiting friends all over the country. I’ll be on Social Security only but have few debts. Any thoughts?

    1. That’s definitely one way to do it! If you enjoy traveling and have friends sprawled across the country, why not spend your time cruising around and visiting them?

  12. I do live on less than $10,000 a year, quite a bit less. Of course, my home is paid for, and it’s a modest home to begin with, keeping the property taxes fairly low. I don’t insure it, either, because I don’t want to pay for the folly of those living in much higher risk areas. It’s been standing here a hundred years, so I imagine it’ll survive me, too. Though it’s a small frame bungalow, it’s just houses away from real turn of the century mansions in view, in a protected historic district, with a plush modernized bathroom and a large front porch. I’ve seen most of the country many times and much of the world several, satisfying my travel bug, I do have cable and high speed internet and a not too old convertible and pretty much all the trappings, and it’s not that hard to keep all other spending, food, gas, entertainment, utilities, etc., under a C note a week. I spend more on life insurance than I do to live, and work just enough to live hand to mouth. It’s my American dream, after living other American dreams, and I love it.

    1. It sounds like you’ve mastered this concept! It definitely helps to have your home paid off – as many other expenses in life can be very flexible. And honestly, many more people could have their homes paid off if they were willing to live at a lower level of income for a few years. Great job on living frugally!

  13. I live on $9k/year and I’m 100% comfortable with my life. I pay for jiu-jitsu classes and dance classes, live in the middle of a 1st-world city, and eat a paleo diet (as well as do parkour/breakdancing/hiking which are free anyway). If I cut out the expensive classes, and ate a “conventionally healthy” diet, I could easily live on $6k/year.

    The “secret”? Don’t pay for shit you don’t need, live/work in the city so you don’t need transport, and rent a shared room in shared accomodation. If you think privacy in your room significantly contributes to happiness, you’re probably mistaken. I was mistaken. In fact, it turns out I’m happier. Humans are built to live with others — and for the introverts like myself, being around them all the time isn’t the same as talking to them all the time.

    I’m socially, intellectually, and recreationally fulfilled, and have great physical health/low stress. I think most people are just toying with the idea of evaluating what really makes them happy.

    1. It sounds like you’ve got it figured out pretty well! I’m impressed with your ability to live such a frugal (and seemingly fulfilling) lifestyle.

      Thanks for posting here!

  14. My house was paid off in ’91. It is an 85 year old bungalow shack, but property taxes are $1000/yr. I had my insurance co devalue the house to get the insurance cost cheaper but it is still over $500/yr. I have two old cars I have been driving forever. Paid cash for ’em. I only have minimum liability insurance on them. insurance on one car runs about $240/yr. I cancelled cable TV years ago and also cancelled trash pickup. That’s a huge annual savings. Total for groceries last year ran $1500/yr. That’s $125/month. Are you guys adding your income tax expenditures in. The more you earn, the more you pay. State income tax $700/yr, Fed income tax $4700/yr on a $24000 annual income. I don’t run the air conditioning unless its above 95 degrees and keep thermostat low in winter, also use supplemental electric heat in winter to even out elec/gas ratio to save money. Total elec/gas utility $1220/yr. I do all the errands on the way home from work so I don’t make special trips and waste gasoline. I do all my own home and auto repairs myself. I don’t have health insurance. I just pay out of pocket for medical expenses. last year medical was $210. I spend $0 for entertainment (exc for what it cost to play the radio or TV). Save every receipt and add up at end of each year. Total expenditures last year $15,400.

    1. Great job living on $15,400 a year! Especially considering that you own your own home and have two cars. Your detailed spending is an incredibly useful addition to this blog post. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Im a college student working three jobs making just over $10000 a year. I’m still trying to budget myself efficiently and control my spending habits, so hopefully soon i will be able to support myself and pay for school. If anyone has any advice, i will gladly take it!

    1. It sounds like you are a busy man Garrett! It’s great that you are willing to work while in college. As you sound ambitious, I would recommend looking into starting a business that you can scale. Every hour you work for someone else will make you minimum wage, but every hour you work for yourself (or have someone else work for you) is an investment.

  16. I was reading how nice would be w/o mortgage!!!! Well I have A mortgage its 400.00 dollars a month. Small condo in gated community in A bad neighborhood…
    I was making 60k a year when I bought it was on disability, gave up six to make 60 k a year things were great. AND THEN……
    We got taken over by private work for that company 15 dollars an hr…..
    Want to get disability back I’m 54 now and scared 10 a year looks like where I’m goin… What do u think???????

    1. Hi Stephen, it sounds like you hit some rough luck! Have you thought about trying to make some extra money on the side? There are actually a plethora of ways you can earn online (by freelancing, starting a small business, etc). Think about the skill sets you have and see if any of them would benefit others online. Odds are you could find something! Let me know if I can help you brainstorm in any way.

  17. Living on 10,000 a year may not work for everyone. Some it may be 5000 and some it may be 50,000. As I enter my 7th decade on this planet , I look back and realize what a wonderful journey I had . Following a lesson I learned at a young age not to be controlled by my past, people or money, I treat life like an inverted triangle and bring all the crap from the top,down to one simple life style. A simplicity that still has responsibilities, but also gives you the freedom to enjoy life.
    I owned a small home, paid it of when I was 34, raised 2 kids, saved money to pay their education, and had the time to treasure every moment with them. By the time they left the nest for University, we had experienced may great adventures including travels to 17 countries.
    With a small income a wonderful life is possible. If I had to do it all over again, I would not change one thing.
    Thank for allowing me to share.

    1. Thanks for commenting Billy! It really does all come down to priorities. If you can be happy with a few great relationships, there is no need to focus on making millions. And, even if you do make millions – focusing on relationships is where happiness will come from. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      1. Thanks Nancy! I’m glad the article and thoughts were motivating. Good luck as you continue your own path to financial independence.

  18. Interesting article!
    We plan on living on less than $10,000 a year starting this year. We bought farmland and are going to homestead , and just quit our high stress stupid office jobs in the city. We don’t enjoy our jobs, and we hate living in a large city. So living on less than poverty level seems a step in the right direction. One thing to make this possible is that we earned a lot of money for many years and have no debt and own a house that has been paid for several years, 401ks we can cash in early and some savings. We are not anywhere near retirement age yet btw, would have to work another 15 or so years for that, but we don’t care. People always say ” we don’t want to outlive our money” , well, I don’t want my money to outlive me or the government to take it all!
    Our kids are adults and need to learn to take care of themselves ( or they can homestead with us).

    1. That’s fascinating Anny! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing how your adventure turns out. It certainly is valuable living a life where money no longer becomes an issue. One of the best ways to do that is to reduce your cost of living!

      I hope you keep in touch and I would love to hear how things unfold.

  19. We aren’t at the 10,000 level yet but we have been doing the tiny house thing for a couple of years. We still own our home in a suburb of Atlanta, but we bought an RV trailer a few years ago and put it on some property owned by friends. We pay them a low rent per month for the use of the land and our power and water. Meanwhile, we have our house on Air B&B and most months we make the mortgage/home equity/insurance/utility payments through the rentals; sometimes we make even more than that. We are in the process of moving in with some friends to share a big house (having established that the 2 of us and 2 dogs can live in under 250 sq ft) which happens to be next door to the house we currently own and Air B&B. We are going to sell the trailer which will cut down our bills even further. We are lucky to have our house in a major metro area, close to the airport, and in an area where there are a lot of people interested in short term rentals (a lot of tv/film production around here, plus people coming in for training at the 2 major airlines based here — month-long rentals are very profitable!) If the house-sharing doesn’t work out then we can always stop Air B&Bing and move back into our house, or sell it and try something else. It’s an adventure!

    1. Fantastic experience! It sounds like you guys are trying all kinds of fun money experiments – and having others pay off your home in the process! Well done. Sounds like you’re well on your way to early retirement.

  20. I recently just sold all of our furniture on Craigslist. Step 1 in downsizing our life. Now I wish we could downsize our budget! I think rent in the place we are moving to though will be very difficult to find under 1000 a month 🙁

    Side comment about tiny homes: I actually went to a tiny house jamboree a few months ago where they showed off different tiny home models for purchase. I fell in love but then was surprised to find out about the cost of renting out the land to put the home on and the difficulties with zoning! Doesn’t seem to the most cost effective option. Renting is cheaper.

    1. That’s awesome that you checked out tiny homes! Sadly, they are pretty expensive considering how much house there is. I’ve actually found cheaper full-size houses (again, in sketchy parts of town).

      And in many places, like where I currently live in California, it would be next to impossible to live on $10k/year without some serious finagling.

  21. Hi, Rob and rest of readers. I don’t often write or leave comments on sights but here I will. I have never made over 10k a year but I have lived a very full life and have done and seen things that most will never get to experience. Ways of living have included, a 5000+ sq foot house, a burnt out building, a tent, a 20 foot motor home, a 35 1/2 foot 5th wheel, a half collapsed building, and a roll up foam mattress at a friends house. So with all of these I can say that the best and cheapest form of living was the 35 ft wheel. so hears the break down of the monthly expenses. 350 a month lot rent included electric, water, sewer, then about 100 dollars on food per person, there where 3 of us. food is cheap if your not picky and can cook it yourself. i made almost 10 gallons of beans for about 15 dollars. cat food 25 a month needed special food for my wonderful cat whom i picked up for free when he showed up starved and dehydrated and hes helping me write this by pawing the keyboard. So we are up to 675 a month add in we did 1 food run in the month and got all the food we needed for the month so no real travel expenses. now i also did computer repair around the park for money off rent so often rent would be much cheaper like 150 a month so for 475 to 675 or 8100 a year. now when tent living our best record was 100 a month. right now working on buying 5 acres of land on a river 220 a month and 80 a year on taxes and considering a garden fruit trees and other ways to get self sufficient ideas more then welcome. So with over 10 years experience with much less then 10k i will say its hard and not for everyone. and questions are welcome 🙂

    1. Hey Andrew! Thanks for sharing and that’s awesome you were able to live on under $10k so many different ways. It would be great to see you end up with that land and the ability to add a garden and trees. I really appreciate your insights.

  22. Great tips! There are so many ways to save money. Especially if you buy 2nd hand and recycle. 🙂

  23. Many thanks for your blog and info, I’m all over it these days thinking on ways to keep improving my “nomad technique”.
    This year (my 2nd full one as a ‘nomad’) I visited 5 areas (Italy, Venezuela, Canada, China and now Taiwan) stayed in hostels, with family, with friends, and a bit with CS and Helpx, and then finally a semester of my own pocket studying Chinese.
    I would have to sit and calculate to the dot everything I did… but I’m fairly sure I didn’t spend more than $7000.. and could have been less if I didn’t like food so much. Of course I do owe it to a lot of people, but even paying that rent I think I would have stayed under 10K. So of course is possible. 😉

    1. That’s fantastic! $7000 is a very admirable yearly expense number — regardless of where you are in the world. And there’s nothing wrong with staying with friends and family (or CouchSurfing). In the west we have this idea that we need to earn our own way for everything — which often results in higher costs than are necessary. If we rely on others (and assist them in return) it’s amazing how inexpensive life can be.

  24. I live on about $10K a year. First off, I own a house. Last year I moved to a cheaper area in the US –was on the west coast where buying a house with cash wasn’t an option—and bought a house with cash (about 130K). I pay about $1.2 k in property taxes each year and budget a couple/few thousand for property maintenance. I do have to buy my own health insurance so that’s a few K a year. But for the rest of it, I am pretty thrifty. Probably my two main spending areas are on my pets and my food each month. I work November through April here in the SW and then go back up to the Pacific Northwest June/July/August. I have friends who have property up there which I will stay on in a converted van I’m planning on buying. I will help them with gardening and such to make it a fair trade. This is the kind of life I wanted for myself and I made it happen. I would tell people who want to do this kind of thing to start saving and investing when they are young. Don’t rack up credit card debt or buy things on payment plans unless you have to. Give up some things when you are younger so that you can have things-in my case, extra time and security–when you are older. I’m in my young 50s.

  25. Not only have I lived for under $10 thousand, I’ve gone an entire year never earning a penny–homeless! But, now I come in just shy of 10-grand! That’s how I saw this blog, I typed, “living on 10 thousand a year,” in the search box, looking for ideas, shortcuts, to stretch it furthest. Here’s what I say: Every place is a palace! Honestly, when I was homeless, I could never say the world wasn’t great, it was just a phase in my life. You’re supposed to want the best… But, being able to settle for less, makes YOU better!

    1. What an awesome mindset and positive attitude! I love it. Keep that up and I’m sure you’ll love life regardless of your income.

  26. My husband’s current job is working him to death. 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. The whole factory is on that schedule with no end in sight. He’s finally earning what he wanted, 22/Hr, not bad for no high school degree and only getting a work visa two years ago. He gets all video games on release day now, but has no time to play them. He has a nice gym membership, but just keeps gaining weight because he’s exhausted all the time and doesn’t have time to go work out or make love anymore. It’s awful. He had his thirtieth birthday last fall. I married him to have adventures together but so far all we’ve done is get fast food, go to the movies, and shop. 7 years and that’s it. I hate it. I wish he’d go for something like workaway or tefl overseas teaching. ( what I was going to do before I married him. )

    1. I’m sorry to hear that his work challenges have been negatively impacting you as well. I’ll shoot you a private email but here are a few thoughts: 1) Is there any way that the two of you could reduce expenses and save more? Perhaps dropping the gym membership if it isn’t being used, using a “Netflix” type service for video games, and reducing other expenses? 2) Are you doing anything for work right now? If not, maybe you could start an online side hustle — it wouldn’t take long for you to start earning $20+/hr with a bit of effort. Then you could start saving for your trip (and retirement). If a guy is working long hours, it’s probably because he feels financially constrained. Anything you can do to help alleviate the financial pressure will help him out tremendously. Finally, make sure you understand why he feels like this is the only option — maybe he feels like this is what you want, what family expects, etc. Knowing why someone doesn’t want to give up a stressful job is always a great place to start.

  27. I have lived on $4,800 a year since November 22, 2011 which is the last day I worked. I use to make good money now no money installing automation machine in the Post Office Processing plants called P&DC’s. That work is gone and no replacement work was available.

    1. Hi Kevin. That’s incredible that you’ve been living on under $5,000 for 6+ years. It sounds like it’s not by choice, however. Hopefully a few of the other articles here on Money Nomad can inspire you to other ways to make money!

    1. Unfortunately, not very. Most people would say you need to make $50,000+ a year for a comfortable living in the US. Although that is largely based on your standard of living expectations.

      1. I am currently going through a divorce, am forced to sell my house. I have credit card debt and want to live the way you discuss… I am on disability and work part-time… would love the thought of working from home… any ideas?

        1. Hi Tamera, it sounds like you are going through a challenging time. I hope that everything is able to settle down for you in the near future. I would certainly recommend visiting and for ideas on how to make money online. Both platforms offers thousands of unique income opportunities — from writing, to designing, to creating video testimonials. Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.

  28. Living with family is interesting, though still not very uncommon in Asian countries, in USA its hard to replicate and very rare, but if you could manage then it actually could save you tons of money.

    1. You’re absolutely right Ron, it’s far more common in other countries than in the US. It seems that our enthusiasm for independence has a tendency to prevent us from being willing to cohabitate with too many people at once. I’m sure there are pros and cons to both perspectives.

  29. It’s easy to live cheaply if you’re mooching off your relatives. Letting them work hard and pay your rent, internet, and food so you can do whatever you want is a crappy way to treat family.

    1. Thanks for commenting! And it sounds like you’ve potentially experienced this first hand. You’re absolutely right — mooching for the long-term definitely isn’t a considerate way to live. However, living with family is far more common outside of the US — and it can certainly provide value to all members of the family if done right. I appreciate your very honest opinion!

    2. I kinda sympathise with what you’re saying. There isn’t a lot of practical advice in the article. Sure, you can save money by living with family and getting them to pay for everything, but that’s about it. Some people just don’t have this option, and you should at least offer to work at home for the folks. It would be more practical to give tips on how to save on expenses and still have a fulfilling life.

      Nice though to get people thinking.

  30. Great post. I try to live simply- so save aggressively…I’d find it tough to get to 10K but do have pretty limited budget- I enjoy the basic pleasures of hanging out with friends, home cooked food and keeping healthy and active especially walking and playing pickleball (inexpensive to play-compared to expensive gyms).

    1. Sounds like you’re on the right track! Even if you can’t get to $10k, the more you can save now, the better off you’ll be in the future. And great website BTW! I haven’t done much with pickleball, but may need to give it a go.

  31. Wow! Love your tips. My mom was a single parent and she was and still is great with her money. She knew how to find a deal and stretched those pennies. Keep up the good work! Hope your day is wonderful~


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