Alpha Consumer: How to live well on $40k a year
Kimberly Palmer, who writes the Alpha Consumer pieces at US News and World Report, wrote this piece that’s getting a lot of links and syndication across the Internet: The Secret to Living Well on $40,000 a year.
The Q&A interview is with a couple who were both teachers, and it was expected ahead of time that the wife would stay home at least for a time when their children were little.
We ended up being married four years before Ava was born. During this time, we tried to live off one of our teaching salaries and used the other one to pay off debt and establish an emergency fund. We were not sure how long Tracy would be able to stay home—we initially aimed for one year—but were able to have her stay home for six years and work part-time for one. We were able to do this even after having our younger daughter, Ella, three years after Ava. The key for us was the long-term planning.
Update Feb. 4, 2013: This piece is getting some search engine traffic as people are apparently asking this question again. If you want a more detailed discussion as to how this income bracket applies to the cost of living in Michigan, go to The myth of the middle class lifestyle.