How Little Could You Live On?

J.D. at Get Rich Slowly recently had a post “Extreme Personal Finance:America on $10 a Day.”  It was about a man who lives on about $3,700 a year.  I found it interesting that some commenters couldn’t imagine living on anywhere close to that.  Some didn’t think they could live on that much for a month.  Although somewhat odd the man does seem to be quite content living on that amount.

It makes me wonder how little I could live on.  There have been many years that I’ve lived on less than $10,000.  It was pretty simple to do because I made less than $10,000.  Since I  avoided debt I couldn’t spend money I didn’t have leaving me with no choice but to live on what I made.

If I were free from the expenses associated with earning an income I think I could live quite comfortably on less than $10,000.  If I were to spend six months hiking the Appalachian Trail and the rest of the time in Guatemala I think it would be fairly easy to live on $6000.  That does include paying for health insurance.  That year would probably be much more enjoyable than the present one too.

How little could you live on?

6 thoughts on “How Little Could You Live On?”

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tim Ramsey

  2. I am amazed at how little I need to survive and unfortunately it’s not a matter of choice right now. I hope that when things are better I can carry my frugal lessons on.

  3. I read somewhere that an AT thru-hike would cost around $4000-5000 but I did not see a break down of the cost. I could imagine that a lot of the cost comes from processed trail food. One of my friend’s girlfriend is an avid hiker and she dried a lot of her own trail mi and saved a ton.

  4. Tim- Thanks

    Cindy- Yes it is amazing how little you can get by on when you don’t have any choice.

    ERE- The $4000-$5000 figure is accurate for the average hiker but a lot of hikers do it for a lot less. I’ve done a couple of long hikes on the AT and I’m confident I could do it for $1000-$2000 and not be depriving myself. You don’t really spend much money on the trail. The big expenses are when you’re in a trail town. Many hikers splurge on hotel rooms,expensive meals, and lots of alcohol. By staying at a hostel, eating low-cost meals, and using moderation when it comes to alcohol the town expenses can be greatly reduced.

  5. I live on less then $10,000 a year. I,m living on S.S. and a small pension from my late husband. I live in public housing and I also have a car which I have to insure. I,m careful where I grocery shop, using alot of discount places and eating a whole lot of generics. I also have a cell phone and a computer which I have to pay for. If I cut out any and all entertainment I could probably live on alot less, but the computer, TV and phone is basically my entertainment, so I will keep them.


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