$30,000 annually is what you have before taxes! Remember that..
Nevertheless, it is possible to do well on $22,000 net income.
I will enumerate a sample budget. It is a one-size fits all. Those with radically different needs should look into www.mint.com. The service is secure--and free.
- 10% to various charities and nonprofits. Somehow when I pay this first thing, I always have more than enough left over. $176 or $250 if you claim your deduction.
- 30% for housing. $528. Nothing fancy, but it can rent a modest apartment in most parts of the country.
- 15% for transportation. $264. With the heavy fuel costs, you might want to consider a car-lite lifestyle. As an added bonus, if you drive less than 20 miles per week, you may be eligible for lower insurance in some states.
- 15% for groceries. Less if you live alone or with only one other person. $264.
- 10% for insurance. $176.
- 10% for clothing, personal care, internet, phone, etc. $176.
- 10% left over for savings. $176.
The fact is, I live on far less than this. And I'm well-fed. Trust me; I am.