Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Guest

How Much Could You Survive On Without Shelter Costs?

Recommended Posts

Guest

If you currently/hypothetically do/did not have to rent or have to pay for a mortgage, how much would money would you need to spend to maintain your current lifestyle?

The next question is, would you want to/need to maintain your current lifestyle if you did not have housing costs? (That is, would you continue to work and if not, would you avoid commuting costs?)

The more I think about it, housing is the only cost that prevents me from being free today. It would be far easier to raise enough money for my monthly living costs without housing.

For comparison, my bills are a combined £50 a month (£1.64 a day), monthly council tax around £86 and food costs around £120 (£3.95 a day) giving a total of £256 (£8.41 a day).

This is excluding house maintenance costs, so it actually be another £100 a month (£386) to self-insure £1200 a year for boiler or repairs.

Curious if people think this is low, high or about right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah...something like this topic has come up a few times in the past.

Housing was by far my biggest bill prior to buying. I think your figures are roughly right. Mine came out at around £500/month for the missus and I (so rather less than half of my monthly outgoings compared with previously).

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds about right to me too. Would need to factor in a bit extra to save up for occasional but necessary purchases such as replacing worn out clothes, although it wouldn't necessarily need to be very much. Perhaps just round up to £400?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm single and mortgage free and get by very comfortably on £5k a year including running a car... Yet, apparently, the basic state pension of >£6k (excluding all the other benefits and freebees that pensioners are entitled to) is an 'insult'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

£10 phone contract

£20 broadband

£12 TV

£40 Electric/Water

£75 C/Tax

£150 fuel

£500 Rent

£120 food

£50 - Miscellaneous (Insurances, Road tax, work clothes, MOT etc.)

= £977, round up to a £1000

Those are my basic living costs, apart from about £50 (top 3), I don't have much movement in that so my minimum cost of living is about £900. Housing therefore is over half of my living cost. Without a mortgage or rent I could live off about £500/month (would probably like to get rid of the car on those margins).

I do go on holidays and do go out every now and then (have to live a little) but I would quite happily cut the holiday and reign in on going out if I worked less/not at all.

As I'm only in my 20's I'd still work even if I didn't have housing costs but I'd probably work less if I could, the only reason for working is to build my net worth up (to eventually leave the rat race altogether). I'd quite happily pack up if I was in my 40's or older if I didn't need to work, what would be the point in continuing? Said on another thread, I don't mind work itself but dislike pretty much everything that goes with it (3 hours in the car a day, my waking hours largely spent looking out over a car park, working with people I wouldn't socialise with out of choice etc.)

House price increase is a noose around the neck for most people. Houses of 2-3 times income would be life changing for me. Debt at these levels really is being bent over by the bank for a lifetime of shafting. Its completely unnecessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Admittedly I am not a typical HPC frugal king, but for a family of 3, excluding mortgage costs - £2000/month covers us (well the average for this year). This is definitely not us trying to save money - and is a very comfortable lifestyle.

In order of costs the top things were;

Food, running two cars, home repairs / maintenance, holiday costs, council tax, eating out / take-away. At least I am keeping the economy going......

Our food bill is ridiculous but we have a huge amount of family guests regularly visiting and it really does add a lot!

Edited by Deft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took early retirement at 55. I could have left sooner but was scared of running out of money so put it off. From what I've now learnt that was a mistake, and I could easily have retired five or even ten years earlier.

Firstly I've been surprised at how many jobs that I would previously paid to have done I now tackle myself. Furthermore, because I'm fairly good at these sort of tasks I often end up doing them for other people and get paid cash in hand. It's not a fortune but, because I'm not paying rent or a mortgage, it's not insignificant in the scheme of things. Secondly, the area I now live (a fairly prosperous market town on the south coast) seems to have a thriving barter economy, so I'll trade fish that I catch, or sailing lessons, or building a log store, for central heating maintenance or car servicing.

Bottom line is that living a very good life costs way, way less than I previously thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took early retirement at 55. I could have left sooner but was scared of running out of money so put it off. From what I've now learnt that was a mistake, and I could easily have retired five or even ten years earlier.

Firstly I've been surprised at how many jobs that I would previously paid to have done I now tackle myself. Furthermore, because I'm fairly good at these sort of tasks I often end up doing them for other people and get paid cash in hand. It's not a fortune but, because I'm not paying rent or a mortgage, it's not insignificant in the scheme of things. Secondly, the area I now live (a fairly prosperous market town on the south coast) seems to have a thriving barter economy, so I'll trade fish that I catch, or sailing lessons, or building a log store, for central heating maintenance or car servicing.

Bottom line is that living a very good life costs way, way less than I previously thought.

Really interesting post. Thanks. I'm trying to figure out the right amount to retire on in the UK (and exploring other European opportunities as well). In the UK the best I've come up with is:

- £672 (as detailed above and the reason I'm tracking current spend so carefully) to cover utilities, council tax, holidays, entertainment, food, clothes, personal care (dentist etc) and clothes

- £208 to run a modest car (2 or 3 year old golf/polo or similar) per month (inc depreciation as I'll need to replace every 10 years or so)

- 1% of home value per annum to cover maintenance 'forever'

Would you be prepared to share your absolute values?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took early retirement at 55. I could have left sooner but was scared of running out of money so put it off. From what I've now learnt that was a mistake, and I could easily have retired five or even ten years earlier.

Firstly I've been surprised at how many jobs that I would previously paid to have done I now tackle myself. Furthermore, because I'm fairly good at these sort of tasks I often end up doing them for other people and get paid cash in hand. It's not a fortune but, because I'm not paying rent or a mortgage, it's not insignificant in the scheme of things. Secondly, the area I now live (a fairly prosperous market town on the south coast) seems to have a thriving barter economy, so I'll trade fish that I catch, or sailing lessons, or building a log store, for central heating maintenance or car servicing.

Bottom line is that living a very good life costs way, way less than I previously thought.

This^......if we have no debt, a good life costs little, surprising what we think we need when the most costly treats are the things that can gladly do without.....there are always better and cheaper alternatives, time opens the door to them.....most good things in life are free anyway.....the not so good things in life are the struggles undertaken working to acheive the better natural things life can bring......it helps to have a plan and a buffer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really interesting post. Thanks. I'm trying to figure out the right amount to retire on in the UK (and exploring other European opportunities as well). In the UK the best I've come up with is:

- £672 (as detailed above and the reason I'm tracking current spend so carefully) to cover utilities, council tax, holidays, entertainment, food, clothes, personal care (dentist etc) and clothes

- £208 to run a modest car (2 or 3 year old golf/polo or similar) per month (inc depreciation as I'll need to replace every 10 years or so)

- 1% of home value per annum to cover maintenance 'forever'

Would you be prepared to share your absolute values?

They're fairly similar to your projections with a couple of exceptions. I run a boat, moored in a south coast marina, which isn't cheap; so let's park that separately for these purposes (but worth noting that I end up eating a lot of fresh fish for free, Mackerel, Bass, Bream, and the occasional Cod, plus I've now got a few informal boat maintenance contracts with London based boat owners which has reduced my own forecast running expenses substantially).

In addition, the house is largely heated with log burning stoves (plus hot water in winter) and that's a good example of a substantial saving, as living near The New Forest it's basically free. Even the annual chimney sweep required for insurance purposes gets done on a barter basis, I provide 30kg of conger eel steaks for his dogs and he cleans my chimneys and signs off the insurance documentation. House maintenance is more than covered within your 1% allowance, even using premium materials like linseed oil based paints for exterior joinery.

A lot of the happy surprises can't be really planned for, but they occur naturally when you immerse yourself in the local community. For example I became friendly with a guy who works for a small group of local hotels and restaurants. Through him I met a local pig farmer (one of his suppliers) who rears "pannage pork" (google it, it's delicious!) I ended up building him some bee hives and in return got a freezer full of pork and sausages. We had an impromptu summer barbecue party and I was telling this story to another person, net result more bee hives this time traded for honey and two Twickenham rugby tickets. And so it goes on...

Although it's all a bit crackpot and laissez faire I'm astonished at how reliable these semi-commercial, providential, occurrences have become. Having spent my working life in a buttoned down corporate environment it's been a revelation that much of the world seems to operate on this "you scratch my back`" basis. I think the key though is my previous comment about immersing yourself in the local community. As a born networker I don't have to work too hard at it, but I did think to myself when I read your plans about Malta that I might struggle in that situation, where language and cultural issues might not allow me to interact so broadly with all the people who have become the gateway to a good life lived for surprisingly little.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're fairly similar to your projections with a couple of exceptions. I run a boat, moored in a south coast marina, which isn't cheap; so let's park that separately for these purposes (but worth noting that I end up eating a lot of fresh fish for free, Mackerel, Bass, Bream, and the occasional Cod, plus I've now got a few informal boat maintenance contracts with London based boat owners which has reduced my own forecast running expenses substantially).

In addition, the house is largely heated with log burning stoves (plus hot water in winter) and that's a good example of a substantial saving, as living near The New Forest it's basically free. Even the annual chimney sweep required for insurance purposes gets done on a barter basis, I provide 30kg of conger eel steaks for his dogs and he cleans my chimneys and signs off the insurance documentation. House maintenance is more than covered within your 1% allowance, even using premium materials like linseed oil based paints for exterior joinery.

A lot of the happy surprises can't be really planned for, but they occur naturally when you immerse yourself in the local community. For example I became friendly with a guy who works for a small group of local hotels and restaurants. Through him I met a local pig farmer (one of his suppliers) who rears "pannage pork" (google it, it's delicious!) I ended up building him some bee hives and in return got a freezer full of pork and sausages. We had an impromptu summer barbecue party and I was telling this story to another person, net result more bee hives this time traded for honey and two Twickenham rugby tickets. And so it goes on...

Although it's all a bit crackpot and laissez faire I'm astonished at how reliable these semi-commercial, providential, occurrences have become. Having spent my working life in a buttoned down corporate environment it's been a revelation that much of the world seems to operate on this "you scratch my back`" basis. I think the key though is my previous comment about immersing yourself in the local community. As a born networker I don't have to work too hard at it, but I did think to myself when I read your plans about Malta that I might struggle in that situation, where language and cultural issues might not allow me to interact so broadly with all the people who have become the gateway to a good life lived for surprisingly little.

Good luck!

Many thanks for the detailed response. Being the foreigner in a country like Malta or Spain is of course an issue but with time on my hands I really do intend to spend significant time firstly immersing myself in the language and then when I have some grasp trying to immerse myself in the community. If we stay in the UK that of course becomes a lot easier but the UK has other negatives. Currently I have 0 (and that's not an excuse but a fact) to immerse myself in my current community. That said there also doesn't seem to be much community spirit in my London location. It is very much a renting part of town and people just seem to regularly pass through. Moving to a more village location outside should hopefully open that up a little.

It really is pleasing to see barter still alive and well. In addition to supporting the local community it also means that wealth is not extracted from the region via taxation.

You've just reinforced why I'm trying to get to FIRE so quickly. As I approach the finish line I seem to be getting more and more motivated. Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

£10 phone contract

£20 broadband

£12 TV

£40 Electric/Water

£75 C/Tax

£150 fuel

£500 Rent

£120 food

£50 - Miscellaneous (Insurances, Road tax, work clothes, MOT etc.)

= £977, round up to a £1000

Those are my basic living costs, apart from about £50 (top 3), I don't have much movement in that so my minimum cost of living is about £900. Housing therefore is over half of my living cost. Without a mortgage or rent I could live off about £500/month (would probably like to get rid of the car on those margins).

I do go on holidays and do go out every now and then (have to live a little) but I would quite happily cut the holiday and reign in on going out if I worked less/not at all.

As I'm only in my 20's I'd still work even if I didn't have housing costs but I'd probably work less if I could, the only reason for working is to build my net worth up (to eventually leave the rat race altogether). I'd quite happily pack up if I was in my 40's or older if I didn't need to work, what would be the point in continuing? Said on another thread, I don't mind work itself but dislike pretty much everything that goes with it (3 hours in the car a day, my waking hours largely spent looking out over a car park, working with people I wouldn't socialise with out of choice etc.)

House price increase is a noose around the neck for most people. Houses of 2-3 times income would be life changing for me. Debt at these levels really is being bent over by the bank for a lifetime of shafting. Its completely unnecessary.

£0 phone contract (work mobile)

£28 Broadband (£14)*

£12 TV License (£6)*

£450 Housing Costs (£225)*

£38 Water (£19)*

£130 Council Tax (£65)*

£0-10 Fuel

£160 Food (£80)*

£100 Car (MOT, Car Tax, 1 Service, Car Tax, Repairs the lot)

£27 Dental Insurance

*Are costs split between two, so my total outgoings are £546 per month. That doesn't include what I choose to spend on other stuff, experiences etc. Like you it would come in about £900-£1000pm all in, for current lifestyle.

It's low for someone in Greater London, because I have a very cheap living arrangement. I'm throwing a huge percentage of earnings into pension/investments/paying off the house I don't own yet in cash. When it comes to being mortgage free/retired, my outgoings will be about the same as I'll exchange the low rent for home ownership costs like maintenance, buildings insurance etc, plus it's never guaranteed to be split between 2.

I'm in my mid 40's, and I wish I'd been as savvy as you in my 20's. Absolutely save and invest your way out of work asap. I'll be out in my 50's, but it would have been way sooner if I hadn't been such an idiot with money in my younger years. I don't mean I shouldn't have travelled and experienced life, but I should have done it in parallel with some forward planning (facepalm).

You mentioned going car free. I'm aiming to do that asap now it's apparent I don't need a car. If you don't need, and I mean absolutely don't need a car (in the sticks, with no other means of viable transport, not healthy enough to walk/cycle) then it's a financial millstone. I've been cycling to work (12 mile round trip)/everywhere for the past year as an experiment, and it's changed my life for the better. Stress levels down, fitness levels up, no transport costs, not breathing in other peoples car fumes as I'm offroad a lot, gym membership not required. I put £0-£10 petrol in my finances as that's what it now costs for me to drive it to keep the battery charged once a fortnight. Why it's still sitting outside my house is down to my own laziness and reluctance to deal with tyre kickers. MX5 anyone?

Silver Surfer - Great read, and I'm inspired by the exchange of "goats" economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My costs (incl. missus and two kids - various feckless relatives who need bailing out) - just because they seem so much higher than others here:

Housing 400

Utilities 145 (big gas bill in cold house)

car costs 130

Food 250

Work/Travel costs 200 (have to do a lot of international travel for job and a lot comes out of my own pocket!)

phone, internet, tv licence 45

all insurance costs 65 2x life; employment; house, dental.

council tax 120

kids school costs 30

sundries 400 (clothes, luxuries, etc)

About 1800k a month. Would love to cut it down, but at the moment while the kids are growing up I don't want to socialise them into my own inner penny-pinching ways. Go out a few times a month, buy treats, lots of international travel.

Before kids, looking back at my spreadsheet it was about half of the present expenditure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   212 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.