twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Family of 4 Trying to Live on $1,500 a Year

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

How much do you think you could live on for a year? $10,000? $7,000? What about $1,500 a year for groceries, household items and personal care? It doesn't seem possible, but one family is going to give it a try.

woman in grocery store with two kids thinking of money

Earlier this year, Heather and Brent Spooner of New Hampshire decided to put themselves to the test. They vowed to try and spend only $1,500 on food, household goods and things like medical co-pays for them and their two children.

To help their reach their lofty financial goals, the couple developed a whole new way of looking at food and shopping for food. Their new system includes stockpiling food, paying close attention to coupons and sales, cooking everything that they have before it goes bad. The couple have also committed to $0 days -- where they spend absolutely nothing.

Heather says that when they first discussed the idea, she wasn't too sure about it, "My first inclination was, wow, that's not that much money ... But hey, if we can do it, it will save us a lot of money."

In order to document the challenge, Heather has set up the blog livingon1500foroneyear, where she says, "Our challenge is meant to raise your own personal financial awareness and make you think about how you can make the most of your hard-earned dollars."

So far, the couple seem to be on the right track to reaching their year-end goal. Up until now, the couple have only spent a paltry $125 a month.

The Spooners have also sworn off eating out until their wedding anniversary on December 28.

Could YOU live on $1,500 a year?


next: Is 13-Year-Old Father Victim of a Scam?
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
April February 18, 2009, 9:04 PM

NO WAY!! I am shocked. I will have to check out her site for sure. I am actually in the process of putting together a budget as I came across the link to your post in the midst of tweeting. I am looking at my spreadsheet and trying to figure out where I can cut. Dinner out is an easy one…but the co-pays for family of 4 (both kids are frequent flyers at the pediatrician thanks to the other carriers at daycare) plus groceries, diapers, a tank of propane now and then plus the occasional haircut add up to well over half of the 1500 annual expense that this family is aiming for.

I must say that I envy the discipline to stick to such a tight budget…hope I can pick up at least 1 tip. Any other advice is welcome!!!

Tammy February 18, 2009, 9:06 PM

This is all very interesting and certainly got my attention…until I read the “fine print” as it were.

This family has a literal stock pile of most of the things they will need for a year. Where is the challenge in that?

Could I live on $1500 per year excluding the cost of food, personal hygeine products, rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance? YES!

April February 18, 2009, 9:07 PM

NO WAY!! I am shocked. I will have to check out her site for sure. I am actually in the process of putting together a budget as I came across the link to your post in the midst of tweeting. I am looking at my spreadsheet and trying to figure out where I can cut. Dinner out is an easy one…but the co-pays for family of 4 (both kids are frequent flyers at the pediatrician thanks to the other carriers at daycare) plus groceries, diapers, a tank of propane now and then plus the occasional haircut add up to well over half of the 1500 annual expense that this family is aiming for.

I must say that I envy the discipline to stick to such a tight budget…hope I can pick up at least 1 tip. Any other advice is welcome!!!

Barb February 19, 2009, 12:27 PM

I just checked out her blog, and she shut it down. Darn! I was hoping to pick up some tips.

My family did “The Compact” in January. To sum it up: don’t buy anything new except food (no fast food) and health necessities (medicines, car repairs) for the month. (The original Compact group did it for a year, but I thought we’d start small!) The goal is to save money and also cut down on waste. It worked out well for us, and I realized the hardest part was not eating out. Restaurants were fine (since there’s not much waste, i.e., styrofoam containers), but with a 5-year-old and a 18-month-old, we mostly used to order in.

I enjoyed coming up with creative ways to get what we needed. For example, our vacuum crapped out, and I bought one on Craigslist for $40… not bad (and it works well).

I’m always looking for tips to save, so if anyone has some, please pass them on!

rachelc February 19, 2009, 3:20 PM

Just wanted to say that I am sorry that she shut the site down. I actually heard from her. I guess it was getting too much attention and people were calling her house, etc. I was sad too. I was really starting to get into it!

Michelle Felton February 19, 2009, 7:18 PM

Too bad they stockpiled alot before hand as it defeats the challenge. I was going to ask the cost of the blog as well.

Orange February 20, 2009, 2:51 PM

bummer. I went to the site too & it’s gone. But I understand. I, too, am pretty frugal. I can get by on my grocery bill w/ 125 a month or LESS!! Yep. It’s really not hard once you set your mind to it…… & lookin’ out for coupons helps, but I don’t go overboard at all… I may use a dollar off of Gain or Cheer, or a dollar off of deoderant… but eating doesn’t take much and i totally STAY AWAY FROM FAST FOOD —————-THAT IS THE WORST ONE CAN DO……………..

joanne April 11, 2009, 2:06 PM

May I please have the name of the womans web page? I lost it but I was ALWAYS HAPPY TO SEE HER RECIPES POSTED.

Pplzzbfr June 24, 2009, 5:39 AM

o6kUb8 comment4 ,

d. Erase November 21, 2010, 6:51 PM

I wouldn’t vouch and dedicate my life in fruitless efforts of making money or erasing debt..


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement