Could you survive (and thrive) on $12K a year?

Surviving (and thriving) on $12,000 a year.

This MSN article details what a 48yo returnee college student is doing to survive and thrive on $12K per year. There are several things I find interesting about her story. First, I think it's great that she is taking responsibility for her choices - in other words, she chose to leave her marriage and she chose to go to college and she chose to, essentially, live on $12K a year. I admire that - I think it's also foolish, but, well, you know.

Next are the actual deets of what she is doing - such as going to a food bank and shopping at thrift stores. Also, she does something that my gf and I do regularly - putting it out to the universe. This might be called praying over it. Basically, I will say out loud "I need a new table, universe" (I'm not the praying kind) and I also let some friends know what I need, since they might run across it. My gf and I have been very successful with this - she actually furnished her whole entire apt on free or very cheap with good quality stuff - I'm talking 32in flat screen tv good quality.

The article doesn't go into detail on if the woman is living on additional savings or the like, but it doesn't seem like it. Nor does it give a picture of her overall financial situation. I also would like to know what she's going to do for her future retirement plans. I would think that if since she doesn't have extra money draw from, that she doesn't have any future savings either.

Additionally, I'm not sure how realistic some of her practices would be for everyone else (like shopping at a food bank, mainly), but, at the very least, the story was eye-opening on what a person will survive on AND what they would be willing to do when they are faced with a stark situation.

What would YOU do in this situation? I tell you what I would do - quit school full time, go part-time, and get a full-time job!


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