How To Live on $1,000 Per Month (2024)

How To Live on $1,000 Per Month (1)

Living on $1,000 per month sounds impossible. For many, it might be.

But it can be done with some strategic planning, intentional action and the ability to compromise. You won’t be able to do everything you want to do when living on only $1,000 per month, but you can make it work.

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We’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide on how to live on $1,000 per month by focusing on significantly lowering your expenses and building a strategy for keeping them low. At the same time, we have advice for finding additional assistance to help cover costs, as well as finding a way to eventually increase your income.

Here’s how to live on $1,000 per month.

Review Your Current Spending

If you don’t have a lot of income, the one thing you can control is your spending. While there are a million ways to optimize your budget, you need to know how much you are spending right now before you can create a spending plan that you’ll stick to.

The exercise looks like this:

  • Download bank and credit card statements from the last 90 days

  • Review your spending and categorize all transactions

  • Divide everything by 3

  • Review your “average spending” for each category

This is the tried-and-true method for finding out where you’re actually spending all of your money, and it will help you quickly find areas that you can cut, especially when trying to live on a very limited income.

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Minimize Housing Costs

With the average rent costs in America topping $1,900 per month, according to, there is no way to live on $1,000 per month unless you take some drastic measures around your housing costs. You will need to get creative to find a way to lower your costs, and it most likely will involve roommates or living with family for a reduced cost.

If you split an apartment with roommates, it also will help you lower your utility costs — i.e., you can split those up three or four ways. On $1,000 per month, a reasonable rent cost would be around $300 to $400 per month.

If you’re willing to live at home with your parents or other family and they are willing to have you, you might be able to eliminate housing costs altogether. Just remember: This should be seen as a temporary arrangement as you work on increasing your income or it might become a point of contention.

Don’t Drive a Car

There’s no easy way to say this, but you probably can’t afford to drive a car on $1,000 per month. With the price of gas, insurance, car maintenance and repairs, driving a car can easily cost you $500 per month — even without a car payment.

To get to work and move around town, you need to consider an alternative form of transportation. If you live in an area with a good public transportation system, you can get a monthly pass to ride the bus or subway; some cities even offer light rail and other mass transit options.

Also, consider carpooling to work and riding a bike to get around town.

Meal Plan on the Cheap

If you are trying to live on $1,000 a month, you aren’t going to be eating out at restaurants, and you need to meal plan each week to keep your food costs in check. This means you need to create a list of low-cost meals and a strict shopping list to keep your monthly grocery bill around $200.

There are some programs and apps that can help with this (such as eMeals), and there are entire YouTube and TikTok channels dedicated to keeping your grocery bill at very low levels. If needed, you also can build a system of shopping coupon deals to make your food dollars stretch even further.

Avoid Subscriptions at All Costs

If you’re trying to live on $1,000 per month, subscriptions have no place in your life. With an abundance of free media apps, YouTube and free access to millions of songs on music apps, you don’t need to pay for premium subscription services until you get your income up.

If you’re not sure which apps you’ve signed up for with a premium subscription, services like Rocket Money can link to your bank accounts and credit cards to find any unwanted subscriptions. This will help you quickly identify services to cancel or put on pause until you’re income is a bit higher.

Negotiate Your Bills

Everything is negotiable. When you’re living on a low income, you need to take advantage of this by negotiating your bills lower. From utilities to cell phone bills to internet services and even your rent, you can always ask for a discount.

This means you call your service companies individually and ask whether they have any better deals available. For example, internet bills are notorious for having welcome offers that expire, increasing your bill by as much as 50%. You can call your internet service provider and ask whether there is a lower-cost option or a deal that would get you close to the initial offer.

If negotiation doesn’t lower your costs, consider changing service providers (if possible). Most want to compete for your business and might offer a lower price to entice you to switch.

Take Advantage of Government Programs

If you’re on your own and have a net income of less than $1,133, you might qualify for SNAP benefits and receive government assistance. This could help you supplement (or completely cover) your food budget.

There are also programs to help cover the cost of a cell phone and internet services. Assurant Wireless gives you a free phone with talk, text and data services. The Affordable Connectivity Program can give you discounted (or free) internet service as well.

Side Hustle for More Income

The harsh truth is that $1,000 per month is very hard to live on, even if you lower your costs to the bare minimum. With inflation causing the prices of goods and services to increase every year, $1,000 a month will become harder and harder to live on going forward.

Finding a side hustle can help you quickly increase your income and give you a little breathing room in your budget. Things like becoming a video editor, freelance writer, food shopper, virtual assistant or dog sitter can help you earn hundreds of extra dollars per month. It takes some extra effort, but you can double your income by building a well-managed side hustle.

Bottom Line

Living on $1,000 per month is a challenge. From the high costs of housing, transportation and food, plus trying to keep your bills to a minimum, it would be difficult for anyone living alone to make this work. But with some creativity, roommates and strategy, you might be able to pull it off. Just remember: At this income level, you should put most of your effort into making extra money, as you can cut costs only so much.

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This article originally appeared on How To Live on $1,000 Per Month

How To Live on $1,000 Per Month (2024)


How To Live on $1,000 Per Month? ›

Surviving on $1,000 a month requires careful budgeting, prioritizing essential expenses, and finding ways to save money. Cutting down on housing costs by sharing living spaces or finding affordable options is crucial. Utilizing public transportation or opting for a bike can help save on transportation expenses.

How to realistically make $1,000 a month? ›

Fortunately, there are plenty of realistic and achievable ways to make an extra $1000 per month without sacrificing your current job.
  1. Freelancing. ...
  2. 2.1 Online Tutoring. ...
  3. 2.2 Writing and Editing. ...
  4. 2.3 Graphic Designing. ...
  5. Ridesharing. ...
  6. 3.1 Uber. ...
  7. 3.2 Lyft. ...
  8. 3.3 DoorDash.
Nov 11, 2023

How to only spend $1,000 a month? ›

How To Live on $1,000 Per Month
  1. Review Your Current Spending. ...
  2. Minimize Housing Costs. ...
  3. Don't Drive a Car. ...
  4. Meal Plan on the Cheap. ...
  5. Avoid Subscriptions at All Costs. ...
  6. Negotiate Your Bills. ...
  7. Take Advantage of Government Programs. ...
  8. Side Hustle for More Income.
Oct 17, 2023

How long can 1000 dollars last you? ›

If someone lives in a location with a lower cost of living and has low expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and food, they may be able to live on $1000 for several months. On the other hand, if someone lives in an expensive area with high rent and other costs, $1000 might only last them a few weeks.

How much is $1,000 dollars a day a month? ›

$1,000 daily is how much per month? If you make $1,000 per day, your Monthly salary would be $21,667.

How to make $500 a week from home? ›

Work From Home $500 Per Week jobs in Remote
  1. AI Content Writer. Urgently hiring. ...
  2. Medical Scribe. Xelex Digital. ...
  3. Medicare Benefits Consultant. YourWayMedicare. ...
  4. Hubspot Email Specialist. Bureau of Small Projects. ...
  5. Corporate Travel Agent. ...
  6. Strengthen your profile. ...
  7. Interview Specialist. ...
  8. Software Developer - AI Trainer (Contract)

How to make $1000 a month in passive income? ›

Passive Income: 7 Ways To Make an Extra $1,000 a Month
  1. Buy US Treasuries. U.S. Treasuries are still paying attractive yields on short-term investments. ...
  2. Rent Out Your Yard. ...
  3. Rent Out Your Car. ...
  4. Rental Real Estate. ...
  5. Publish an E-Book. ...
  6. Become an Affiliate. ...
  7. Sell an Online Course. ...
  8. Bottom Line.
Apr 18, 2024

How can I live as cheap as possible? ›

12 Tips for Frugal Living
  1. Choose quality over quantity. ...
  2. Prioritize value over price. ...
  3. Use credit wisely. ...
  4. Declutter regularly. ...
  5. Use a budget to guide your spending. ...
  6. Know the difference between wants and needs. ...
  7. Be a savvy consumer. ...
  8. Prioritize your values.
Oct 17, 2023

Is 2k a month livable? ›

Living on $2,000 per month is doable, but you won't be able to live just anywhere. This is important because at the time of writing the average Social Security benefit paid is $1,701 per month.

How much money do I need to make to save 1000 a month? ›

You can use our budgeting calculator to figure out how much to save each month based on this rule. According to this calculator, saving around $1,000 per month is a good goal to have if you bring in around $5,000 in take-home pay—assuming you aren't paying down high-interest debt.

Can you live on $1000 a month in the US? ›

But it is possible to live well even on a small amount of money. Surviving on $1,000 a month requires careful budgeting, prioritizing essential expenses, and finding ways to save money. Cutting down on housing costs by sharing living spaces or finding affordable options is crucial.

How much money do you need to retire comfortably at age 65? ›

Some strategies call for having 10 to 12 times your final working year's salary or specific multiples of your annual income that increase as you age. Consider when you want to retire, goals, annual salary, expected annual raises, inflation, investment portfolio performance and potential healthcare expenses.

Is $1,000 a month in savings good? ›

If you start by contributing $1,000 a month to a retirement account at age 30 or younger, your savings could be worth more than $1 million by the time you retire. Here's how much you should expect to have in your account by the time you retire at 67: If you start at 20 years old you should have $2,024,222 saved.

How much hourly is $1000 a month? ›

$1,000 monthly is how much per hour? If you make $1,000 per month, your hourly salary would be $5.77. This result is obtained by multiplying your base salary by the amount of hours, week, and months you work in a year, assuming you work 40 hours a week.

How many live on a dollar a day? ›

Currently, 1 billion people worldwide live on less than one dollar a day, the threshold defined by the international community as constituting extreme poverty.

How much is $10 a month a day? ›

If you make $10 per day, your Monthly salary would be $217.

Is it possible to live on $1,000 a month? ›

But it is possible to live well even on a small amount of money. Surviving on $1,000 a month requires careful budgeting, prioritizing essential expenses, and finding ways to save money. Cutting down on housing costs by sharing living spaces or finding affordable options is crucial.

How much money do you need invested to make $1000 a month? ›

To make $1,000 per month on T-bills, you would need to invest $240,000 at a 5% rate. This is a solid return — and probably one of the safest investments available today. But do you have $240,000 sitting around? That's the hard part.

How can I realistically make $10,000 a month? ›

In this guide, we'll share the 10 best ways to make $10,000 per month, including:
  1. Sell Private Label Rights (PLR) products 📝
  2. Start a dropshipping online business 📦
  3. Start a blog and leverage ad income 💻
  4. Freelance your skills 🎨
  5. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) 📚
  6. Flip vintage apparel, furniture, and decor 🛋
Feb 23, 2024

How to make $1000 quickly? ›

How to make $1,000 fast
  1. Sell stuff you already own.
  2. Deliver food.
  3. Pick up a part-time job.
  4. Rent out unused space.
  5. Start freelance writing.
  6. Try affiliate marketing.
  7. Drive for a ridesharing service.
  8. Find odd jobs.
Jan 17, 2024


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