$534. That’s what the IRS in 2011 thinks you can live on as a single person without including the cost of housing:
Source: Mental Floss, May-Jun issue, Page 15 — A magazine MADE for curious cats, such as myself. I will faithfully subscribe until the end!
With two people, it’s $1068 a month as a budget.
COMPARED TO MY AVERAGES
Just for fun, let’s see how I..er..stack up against this budget.
I took the past 5 months (Jan to May 2012) and averaged the amounts:
I spend 2.8 times MORE than their recommended base budget, although I’m pretty proud of the Food budget.
Touché, IRS.. Touché.
ER…WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER PARTS OF MY BUDGET?
That’s not even including the OTHER categories I spend on such as:
- Eating Out — I don’t consider it food, it’s a treat to not have to buy groceries and cook.
- Treats — Umm.. this is where candy goes, or other things that are treats for my lifestyle but perhaps not my belly
- Internet — Kind of required for me, although I don’t pay for cable TV
- Cellphone — Again, a requirement for my job
- Transportation — I use public transportation when I can, but that is ~$100/month
- Electronics — Yeahhhhhh
- Books & Gifts — Includes magazine subscriptions
- Travel — LOVE!
- Website — To run this blog
Although I can see their point.
I’m reviewing everything above (even my 3x spending amounts), and they really are WANTS more than NEEDS.
WOULD THIS BE POSSIBLE?
I’m considering trying this $534 budget out for real.
Just for one month.
The only problem is that we’re building our household equipment (cooking stuff) here, so would I include those pots and pans, or not?
How about my cellphone or transportation? Those are needs for me, I won’t be able to cancel them just for a month…
It may not be feasible, but it would be a great test of my mettle. Maybe I can do a hybrid of this budget.
Anyway, if I never subscribed to mental floss, I’d never have been brought across these stats in the first place.
(Talk about consumer justification, eh?)
I may just do this $534 budget in September to see if it’s possible.
Or sooner, but I’ll mark expenses like pots and pans, as “not included”, as I won’t be buying pots everyday.