Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How Can the Average Family Survive?

Everyone reading this right now fully understands what I am talking about. To go to the grocery store and purchase 1-gallon of milk and 1-box of cereal will cost you $10.00. This is absurd!!! The cost of living is crazy for the average person. I am going to provide you with a simple budget for the average family, to show you just how hard it is to live, even with two incomes.

Person #1 - $2,000.00 per month (that is only $500.00 per week) - Cleared
Person #2 - $1,500.00 per month (that is only $375.00 per week) - Cleared
Total of Income per month $3,500.00
Those are good numbers to work with, they are close to the average two person household, at least in this area)

Rent / Mortgage - $900.00 per month
Electric bill - $175.00 per month (if you are lucky)
House Phone bill - $65.00 per month
Cell phone bill - $75.00 per month
Groceries - $400.00 per month (at $100.00 per week, that is not alot of groceries)
Veh. #1 Insurance - $100.00 per month
Veh. #2 Insurance - $100.00 per month
Gas #1 - $240.00 per month (that is at $60.00 per week, and that's cheap)
Gas #2 - $240.00 per month
For those who have the average 2.4 kids - Daycare $600.00 per month (that's $150.000 per week)
Gas for heat / cooking $200.00 per month
Total for Expenses per month $3,095.00

You now have a balance left of $405.000

Now, $405.00 is left. But I haven't even included, a veh. payment, misc. birthdays, summer / winter clothes for your kids - as you know when kids are young, they can never wear the same clothes from one winter to the next b/c they have outgrown them. Christmas gifts - not included. An emergency within the house i.e. hot water heater broke, pipes frozen, backed up septic, fridge broke, or health insurance costs and also no credit cards.

I know some will say "You have to plan better". The numbers I used are bare minimum numbers. Which most people are living off of. When you can barely afford to stay afloat, how can you ever get ahead? Get a better job? - Maybe, if you can afford to lose time at work (and $$$$) to go back to school part time and learn a new trade.

No, this is not for sympathy for the average people, this is just an example of how people are trying to live, and are failing miserably. Thanks for listening, Average Girl.


joealbero said...

Fantastic Post!

Historical Wit said...

That about sums it up. Most of us Americans are one serious illness away from losing it all. No joke. See richy rich up there could care less. And he does. Its all about him. He aint crunchin numbers every month like the rest of us. Thats ok, the lord will sort his soul out. After all sloth, pride and envy are sins and JJ got those in spades.

Still back to you very accurate analysis of the average citizens plight. Notice that the brunt of these expenditures hit the widest set of the population: poor and middle class. Why? Cause thats where the money is. Just like inflated house values, why the heck is a tomato $3.50 a lb when that same tomato was 1.49 2 maybe 3 years ago? See this economy has forced about 10 million people back below the poverty line. And more an more people are looking around at people like JJ there and saying, why has he got so much crap and I got dick? So in turn you will see a capitulation to the party not in power cause they got to be better than the yahoos runnin the joint now, but is that right? Who knows. All I know is I am paying to much for food and a basic cost of living. Looks like you are too. Fed up yet?

Average Girl In Average World said...

Fed up????? HELL YES. Now mind you, those are not a representation of my bills, I can say I have a little more wiggle room than that. But do I budget? Like a mad woman. Clip coupons? Yes. Use rebates? Yes. Have energy saving light bulbs? Yes. Credit cards? NO. I can feel the crunch and pinch. At times, but I make it work. Do I wish I was a fortunate as some? Yes. No need to lie, but I am young, much younger than most of you would believe, and I am going places in this world. Trust me, my day is coming.

Historical Wit said...

You sound determined. Get some! Yeah I still got some unmet goals that need to be accomplished also...

Average Girl In Average World said...

I am determined. I come from next to nothing. I am doing better as an adult than most people I have met. If I ever come across as arogant, I am working on that. I have this high self esteem am proud of what I have accomplished. Never a better time than the present to reach those goals. Good Luck with yours. Thanks, Average Girl.

joealbero said...

Historical Wit,

Don't hate me just because I'm beautiful! LOL

JIM said...

Our family basiscly lives paycheck to paycheck. We are lucky tho to both have parents who help out whwn needed and we have emergency money stashed away. But yes, this area is hard to find good paying jobs and a house that is affordable.
10 years ago the wife and I bought a house in a OK part of Salisbury (not in city limits) and our morgage was 525.00. I hear you cant even rent a decent apartment for that now.

joealbero said...


Back in the day, (1973) you could buy a Bowie home for $15,000.00, honest to God. That same home is now selling for around $350,000.00. Things are way out of control. Fortunately, I was taught many years ago by my accountants, PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE!

When I challenged the write off he said, you paid $300,000.00 for this home, right? Yeah. By the time you pay it off in 30 years you'll have paid over $1,000,000.00 for the home! So if you sell if for $500,000.00 in 20 years, do you really think you made a good investment, especially after you're paying all that interest? He added, you get what, a $2,000,000.00 write off a year on your home? PAY THE TAXES INSTEAD and don't let the Bank own you!

So that's what I did. I made additional payments every month for years until I paid the first home off. I've never turned back since then either. We are TRAINED by this Government to do things a certain way. Mortgage our homes, make payments on cars, charge everything on a Credit Card, it's easier. NOT! I do have some credit cards but I pay them off each and every month. If you're not in a position to do so, SET A GOAL like I did and eventually you'll get there. Send $50.00 a month extra towards your mortgage and shorten your payments by 5 years or more, seriously! Talk to your Banker, (NOT your mortgage company) and ask then and you'll see what I'm telling you is correct. STOP DOING THINGS THEIR WAY! It has no real advantage and I challenge ANY one of you to try and tell me I'm wrong.

Historical Wit, you may not like the position I'm in but I grew up dirt poor. Going to McDonalds once a year was the highlight of the year for us when we were kids. I swore I would never be that poor as an adult and I was raised to be a provider. I earned everything I own and nothing was gifted to me. I retired at 40, like it or not, I worked that hard for it and I earned it. ANYONE can reach that goal if they set it. Yes, even here on the Eastern Shore. Try it, you'll like it.

joealbero said...

I meant to say a $2,000.00 write off. Sorry Folks!

Historical Wit said...

It's not you position I dislike, its you.

Average Girl In Average World said...

Reminder: Always check with you mortgage company to make sure you do not have a penalty for early pay off. Some do. I specified that in my contract for my mortgage. I pay more than $50.00 extra per month. I used to work for a credit bureau in Salisbury that worked directly for mortgage comapnies, so I know how they work.

The Un-Runner said...

Your post really hit home - not sure if I should thank you for that or not!

I homeschool three kids on the Eastern Shore - and our monthly budget took a severe beating a few years ago when my husband was laid off. He now brings home under $4k a month - and it's just not enough to live on - let alone save!

We've changed our money habits - so much - but the economy is always ahead of us. Most of the clothes come from Goodwill, we don't have credit cards (or debt) anymore, we NEVER eat out - and we always eat cheaply. We never go to the movies - or anywhere that cost money. We don't have television (but just got satellite internet - dial-up was killing us!)

I've even cut drastically back on electricity! We're heating the house with the woodstove, except for the back bathroom (so the pipes don't freeze). And yeah - it's chilly in here!

I'm earning extra money by doing some writing/marketing. Actually, I'd really appreciate it if folks would go to the blog: and PLEASE click through to the Preston Autoplex - I need to show some traffic!

{{{sigh}}} I'm with you, Average Girl - it's time to give up the struggle and fly - and to change the world!

Average Girl In Average World said...

Well home schooling is tough - KUDOS to you !!!! You sure sound like you are trying to make it work like the rest of the world. Best of luck to you and I will visit your site soon. Best of Luck, and Thanks for posting!!! Average Girl.

blutojthetotmom said...

Ditto-great post
You are soo not alone!Our income is about 2000 a month after taxes and hubbys child support and my only contribution to that is a piddly $200 monthly pension from my former job(I took early retirement offer due to downsizing)We pinch pennies so tight Lincoln squeaks and live frugally but we manage.Heres how I keep it in perspective-instead of bitching about what I dont have,I try to be thankful for what I DO have.I dont have 2 new cars in the driveway like my neighbor,but some people dont have a car,PERIOD.I dont have a McMansion,but I have a large comfortable home on 2 acres,and some people sleep under bridges.I cant buy my beloved filet mignons execpt on special occasions,but as I tell my husband-we eat damn good for broke people and some people dont know where their next meal is coming using that line of thought helps.
You made a great point,its getting harder and harder for families to survive everyday.