Check out this piece on a family who lives (almost) debt free on $44,000 a year. A few highlights:
The family’s total Christmas shopping bill this year was $90 for 27 gifts.
Breaking down their budget to 19 categories, they paid off their first house in nine years on an average income of $33,000 a year. Their second home, which they estimate to be worth more than $700,000, was purchased for more than $200,000 and is almost paid off.
They plan every meal before going to the grocery store, building their menu around specials and coupons. The monthly bill to feed a family of seven is $350.
FYI, they also have a blog.
A few comments:
1. I guess $40k is all you need to be happy after all.
2. These people have learned the secret -- you don't need "just a little more" to make ends meet.
3. Funny how this family of seven can make it on only a fraction of what others can't make it on.