E: I don't have enough for a down payment on a home, so I can't get roommates and live that cheaply.
A: True, but you can be a roommate. The difference between the two (landlord and renter) is probably about $200 per month. I have a feeling most of you don't fall into this category. You want to consistently pay $300 more on top of this to live alone. Also, you have to pay for utilities all by yourself. And I know for the love of god you don't have cable!
Q: How do you keep the food bill so low, dumpster diving?
A: He's actually looking into getting food for free that is being discarded by grocery stores, but none of last month's budget reflects that nor was it particularly low. In my opinion he still spends way too much on food. He generally eats clean with as much organic food as he can find and whole food from around the edge of the grocery store, little to nothing is bought with a box. He has been known to shove a BOGO pizza into his fat face, from time to time, but even he has flaws, unlike me. Shopping at farmer's markets is a great way to get cheap produce. He also never buys meat unless he's at a restaurant, since usually the cheapest entrée has meat and it makes financial sense. Meat and dairy is so ubiquitous in American society that it basically comes to you without ever having to buy it. Go one month without buying it and look back to see how much you still ended up eating. You'll be shocked. Eggs are a very cheap source of protein. Eating one 2-3 times a week won't hurt you. Humans have been doing it for over a 100,000 years. Ken Ilgunas who you hopefully know from the book, "Walden on Wheels" said that he could eat for about $4.50 a day cooking meals in his van. This was a nasty high carb diet with processed foods, but strangely he said he lost weight and felt the best he ever did. Go figure! I'm convinced you can eat both healthy or horrible on less than $150 a month.
E: My transportation costs can't get that low because I have a car payment.
A: HAHAHAHAHA! This is so simple it makes me laugh. The average car payment in this country is $350 a month, which Americans gladly fork over every month for their entire life. That comes out to $4,200 a year, which will buy you an excellent, safe and reliable car, not to mention fuel efficient. As I comb through autotrader, I see dozens of hondas and toyotas that get excellent gas mileage and have at least 100,000 more miles left of use on them for under $5,000. You could pay it off in a year and then save that $350 per month for another 4 years, then buy a $10,000 car that will last you 10 years. When you drive around a nice new fancy $60k sports car that you're making monthly payments on. You're letting everybody know how small your brain and penis are.
E: I have a wife, so we can't get roommates and live that cheaply.
A: If you have a wife, that lives with you, then you have a roommate. Don't blame him or her for having too much house, that you can't afford. Live in a home that fits your needs. Each individual needs approximately 500 per square feet of personal space, so 2 people shouldn't need a home that's more than 1,000 square feet.
E: I have kids and they take up all my money so I can't save.
A: According to Mr. Money Mustache, you can raise each child on $300 a month. Which comes out to less than $80,000 over its lifetime, not the $250,000 that most reporters say. They simply see a number and pass it along.
E: I smoke and drink, but it doesn't take up too much of my money.
A: You're an idiot.
The "don't buy anything you don't need" is the single most powerful tool that you can use to take control of your spending and your financial freedom.
To further show that a family of 3 can live well below their means, take a look at MMM expenses for 2010. I see about another $10k that they could drop if they or he didn't have a family or kid. Thus there's no reason why somebody can't comfortably live off of $20,000 a year.