Category Archives for "Living on $30000 or Less"

March 24, 2016

How to Make Money Using your Tax Refund

How to Make Money Using your Tax Refund

using your tax refund

How to Make Money Using your Tax Refund

It is that time of year. The time of year that we fill out endless documents that verify how much we have paid into the system and how much if any we will owe or get back. I hear it all the time I can’t wait to get my tax refund. I am going to buy “insert item that isn’t needed here”. This is How to Make Money Using your Tax Refund.  

The first thing I need you to do is figure out what debt you have. Yes, you read right what do you owe and where? Then you need to figure out what you are paying on each debt that you owe.  Three things to look at:

  • the interest rate
  • the terms and conditions
  • what you can do to impact that debt

The truth is a tax return is evidence that you are giving too much to the government and they are returning your surplus. People act like this is free money. It isn’t! It is actually your savings. I would suggest saving it. It isn’t what you save, it is what you spend.

How to Make Money Using your Tax RefundContinue reading

March 18, 2016

How to Budget Your Money

Learn How to Budget Your Money with these tips.  Learn to thrive on lower income like we do on $30,000 or less per year!  A great budget tool!

Are you thinking about getting your finances under control and tightening up your belt to achieve some goals? Then first thing’s first, you need a budget! Goals are great, but you need to know where you are starting to know where you’re going to end up and how to get there.

There are two ways to on How to Budget Your Money. First, would be listing out all of the possible spending categories (payables) and plugging in your “take home” income (receivables). The other is the reverse. List out all of your monthly expenditures and then divide your monthly income up accordingly. Personally, I think there is no “right” or “wrong” way but only a matter of preference and what actually works for you.

How to Budget Your Money

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Family Home Budget Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

Family Home Budget

Family Home Budget

Raising a family is fun but can be full of challenges. As kids grow so are the family’s expenses, that’s why it’s important to stick with your family home budget. Below are some simple tips that you can do to save big and live on  $30,000 or less.

Family Home Budget – Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

save money

Savings tips for the home:

  • Of course the obvious: turn out lights, don’t let water run, don’t leave TV on.
  • First and foremost, we created a budget on which sends us an alert when we get close to our limit for each category
  • We keep our A/C at 80 in the summer and heater at 68 in the winter (turned down to 55 at night)
  • We got rid of cable because there’s nothing we NEED to watch, and if we want to watch something, usually it’s on Netflix or we can watch it online a day late.
  • Unplug anything not in use. Cell phone and laptop chargers drain power even if the device is not charging
  • We use coupons and take advantage of BOGO deals at our local grocery stores and always plan meals around the sale ads
  • We don’t eat out except for special occasions and even that is rare. I think it is more special to cook a special meal of someone’s favorite foods than to go out to eat. (Fast food/restaurants we are big chuck of where our money went before.)


  • We have a small garden in our yard which my kids LOVE to help with in order to offset produce costs
  • We have the lowest cell phone plan because I am usually at home and anyone who needs to get in touch with me can call the house phone, and same with data, I’m at home so I mainly use the wifi
  • We use a bank with interest checking (While it’s not much, it adds up)
  • I try to do all my running around for the week at once, so I am not constantly running around town wasting gas
  • I LOVE yard sales. I have found so many great deals on everything from furniture to clothes to dishes and everything in between
  • I check our local freecycle group once a week (a group where local people post things they have that they are willing to give away if someone comes to pick them up.)
  • I make big meals for my family of four so we always have leftovers which helps with the not eating out because there is always something in the fridge to heat up.
  • Allow 10-15 minutes between meal helpings, people usually overeat because they eat too fast and don’t give their food time to settle (esp my kids). If you give your food time to settle, you’ll usually find you’re full and don’t want seconds (of course you’re always welcome to them if you truly are still hungry)
  • Always buy generic if available (always check active ingredients first though)
  • I use gasbuddy to find the cheapest gas near me when I fill up (again, small difference, but it adds up)
  • Buy anything you know you’ll eventually use that won’t spoil in bulk. (trash bags, lightbulbs, paper towels, detergent, etc.) This also saves on gas by cutting out extra trips to the store


Saving tips for kids:

  • Matinee movies are usually half the price and we eat before going o they aren’t hungry for popcorn or candy
  • Check with parks and rec for local events. We live in a college town, so there are always free events and concerts going on and we make an effort to attend these
  • IF we decide to go out to eat, we base it on who has kids eat free nights (Frugal living website)
  • We homeschool, so we do a lot of field trips with out homeschool group which don’t cost anything
  • They have kids clothing consignment sale twice a year here, so I buy the kids new clothes and sell their old ones
  • My daughter begged me to teach her to sew, so I did. Now she loves to sew new clothes for her dolls and barbies from scrap cloth I pick up from freecycle or yard sales
  • Before planning an big money event always check for sales. My daughter wanted to go to Six Flags for her bday, so I checked around and found out that they were planning Homeschool Day for the day before her bday so we planned to go then because tickets were $37 cheaper than if we went on her actual bday


  • Anytime we plan an outing, we make sure to pack a cooler with snacks/lunch/drinks, so we are not tempted to purchase them
  • Teach kids to enjoy the outdoors. We save so much more than our friends because our kids don’t feel like they have to have the newest game system or ipad, they enjoy just going outside or to the ecology preserve near our home and playing outside using their imaginations.
  • Utilize free/cheap resources for vacations: road trips, campgrounds, etc.

More than anything be realistic about your situation, of course there are things I wouldn’t mind having, but I have to stop and ask myself if it’s something I really need and/or would even use. Usually the answer is no. :-/

Thanks to Alexis R. for sharing these tips!

For more Family Home Budget – Tips for Living on $30000 or Less also read these:

Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Family of 6
Living on 30000 or Less: 10 Tips
Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Large Family
5 Tips on Living on 30000 or Less

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Do you have Family Home Budget tips? Share it with us below.

Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Family of 6

Budget Saving Tips on Living on 30000 or Less
Raising a Family of 6 on less than $30,000

6 Tips to living on 30000 or Less

My husband is a disabled Vet, works for minimum wage, and I draw disability due to a heart condition. Until we filed our taxes I thought we were doing pretty well for ourselves. That was until I saw that our total yearly income was only $22,000. This made me think about all of the ways throughout the year we have saved money. I am more than happy to share with all of you some of those ways!Continue reading

Fun Things to do on Valentines Day when You’re on a Budget

Fun Things to do on Valentines Day when you’re on a budget

Valentine’s Day is one of those days that you either love or hate. When you were young child you either loved receiving a ton of cards in your box or you dreaded opening your box to see if you got any. As a teenager you either loved of the spectacle surrounding the new feelings you were experiencing or all you felt was angst about the entire mess that is adolescence/young adulthood. In your 20s Valentine’s Day can mean so many things depending on where you’re at on your journey. By the time you are a parent it can take on a whole new life. The roles of “Husband” and “Wife” are now blurry with the roles of “Father” and “Mother”. After many years together it can also be difficult to think of something new and exciting to show that you care. The cynical view that some corporation is just trying to get you to use your hard earned money to buy love and affection practically has you wearing a tin foil hat. Inevitably, this once intimate occasion has now become a Pinterest nightmare.Continue reading

November 21, 2015

Frugal Living Tips this Christmas Season

Frugal Living Tips this Christmas Season

Living Under $30,000 During Holiday Season

It’s no secret that it is getting to be that time of year… Christmas is coming soon! As a person who lives a frugal lifestyle, it is hard to get excited about events that inevitably make me step outside of my financial comfort zone. While it is a lovely thought to believe that you can be immune to the inevitable push to spend money during the holidays, it is impossible in this day and age did not find yourself pulling out a credit card at every turn. Looking realistically the holidays you must prepare yourself for two things: 1) You WILL spend more money than you should, and 2) You may think you are prepared, but you are not. So taking those things into account, what can you do to truly be ready for Christmas while living a frugal lifestyle? Here are my tips for you:

1) Get to know who you are giving gifts for. One of the easiest ways to overspend on a gift from is to either give a gift card, or continue to add to a present because you don’t feel it is good enough. One of the areas that I find hardest to buy for every year is your family. Especially your parents and siblings. You have been buying gifts for them your entire life and you probably run out of ideas. Try taking a step back and think about who they really are. Think about some of the little things that they like. Has your mom always dreamed of going to Paris? Is your sister a big Disney fan? What about your dad? Get creative with your thinking. One of my favorite places to look for unique personalized gifts is ETSY. Maybe you get mom individual photos of letters that spell out “F-A-M-I-L-Y” and frame each letter? Even better, maybe you get your camera out and take those pictures yourself? I’m sure there are plenty of signs around that have different fonts that could be used! And the sister who loves Disney? Have you checked eBay lately to see if you can find any fun vintage Disney memorabilia on there? Guaranteed she doesn’t have it already and she’ll love it! You don’t have to break the bank to get her something fun and unique that speaks to her personally. What about dad? Does he love to read? Maybe a couple magazines subscriptions would be a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year for him.

The flip side is also true, buy generic gifts throughout the year as you find them on clearance. Most of my non-perishable stocking stuffers were bought the year before on after-Christmas clearance. I also keep a well stocked gift closet that is almost always full of items purchased throughout the year at 70% off or more. That way no matter who springs a gift or party invite on me, I will not have to break the bank to give a gift.

Finally one of the biggest changes in our household after we had kids was instituting this giftgiving criteria: NEED it, WANT it, WEAR it, READ it. Each of us asks for one gift in each of the categories. The kids often ask for several in each category, but only receive one gift per category. Not only does it create a way to talk about conscious consumerism with your kids, it makes each gift special and appreciated. Part of living a frugal lifestyle is learning not to spend money outside of your means, but the other side of that is knowing that some things are more important than money. Is having another toy (or 10 more toys) more important than having Mom and Dad be able to watch you play baseball or be home for dinner? Is it more important to spend family money on more than you need to get more than you want when the money could be spent on those who don’t have the things they need? It is hard for kids to understand the bigger picture because their worlds are smaller, but getting them to view money in a smarter more conscious way at a young age is one of the best gifts you can give them.

The matter how you choose to spend your money during the holidays, making frugal money decisions will always come from a place of thought and planning. Avoid spending at sales for just the sake of getting great deals. While I am all for getting a great deal, it is very tempting to buy things that you do not truly need just because you’re getting a good deal. Also, try to avoid using credit cards if it all possible. There are clever ways to use credit cards to achieve better financial results, but during the holidays commonsense to it seems to take a backseat to consumerism. Think before you spend! At the end of the day, it is better to focus on the things that are most important at the holidays. When it comes to giving gifts, a plate of warm cookies and a up of coffee shared with a friend can be just as wonderful as anything you find on Black Friday.

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Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!

Basic Home Budgeting

Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting

How to Budget Monthly

Part 3 – How to Budget Monthly Finances Wisely

How to Not Spend Money

Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money

Smart money saving tips to get your debt under control.

Part 5 – Smart Money Saving Tips to Control Your Debt

Money Management Skill

Part 6 – Money Management Skill

couple money talks

Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?

Find out the secret on How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

How to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

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How to Manage Food Budget for Family?

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Budgeting for a New Baby

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Dating on a Budget Ideas

Angie Rumpf

I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.

For more Best Frugal Tips, read these:

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