Photo by The Consumerist

Fabulously Broke in the City revisited this question with a resounding, “Yes I can!”

Then she asked the real question: Can you?

Honestly, I don’t know. Would that be just me? Me and Tim? Or me and Tim averaged out.

Here’s what we have on budget for the month. (Sorry for the lack of formatting. Blogger did NOT want to import the Excel table for some reason.)

Item Me Tim

Total/Average

Food $100 $100
$200 $100

Insurance $0 $502

$502 $251

Meds $20 $15

$35 $18

Rent $350 $350

$700 $350

Laundry $20 $20

$40 $20

Therapy $160 $100

$260 $130

Quarterly taxes $187 $0

$187 $94

IRA $100 $0

$100 $50

Light Therapy $0 $224

$224 $112

Student Loans $0 $51

$51 $26

Energy meds $111 $0

$111 $56

Eat out/Delivery $70 $70

$140 $70

Dr Visits $0 $38

$38 $19

Cigarettes $0 $61

$61 $31

Dish $30 $30

$60 $30

Phone $9 $0

$9 $4.50

Misc $50 $50

$100 $50

Total $1,208 $1,611

$2,819 $1,375

So…. What’s the breakdown?

Well, if you’re just looking at me (assuming Tim is still living here, paying part of the rent), I have to cut $208. Not bad. All it takes is cutting:

  • My IRA contribution ($100)
  • Cut my therapy to 2x per month ($80)
  • Use half the miscellaneous expenses ($25)

Okay, that’s only $205, but assume I’d find the $3 in savings from food. And, of course, I could take out Dish rather than cut my whole IRA contribution.

Tim, though, needs to cut $611. Not really feasible. He could cut:

  • Light therapy, which we may cut anyway – lack of results ($224)
  • Cigarettes ($61)
  • Eating out/delivery ($70)
  • Miscellaneous ($50)
  • Therapy ($100)

That’s still only $505. And it’s not realistic, because he would still need to get lotions for his skin. He could potentially find cheaper hemp-based lotions, but it would still be a significant cost. Really, his insurance is what kills the deal.

Now, on average, we each spend $1375. So to cut down to $1,000 per person, we’d have to cut a total of $750:

  • Light therapy ($224)
  • Cigarettes ($61)
  • Eating out ($140)
  • IRA contributions ($100)
  • Fewer misc. expenses ($50)
  • Therapy only 2x per month ($130)
  • Nix the Dish ($50)

Voila!

But together? There’s no way. Just rent ($700) and Tim’s insurance ($502), we’re over the limit.

What about you? Could you pare it down to $1,000?

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