I make well over that, I am far from paycheck to paycheck, but that is an idea of a single persons living expenses where I live. Keep in mind I do at least 1 web template a month for a few hundred, I work >40 hours a week at >$15/hr pay, and I do professional design work for local bands and posters for a few hundred dollars a month. However, for a cart pusher at wal-mart making $10/hr, the ability to live alone is damn near impossible, and finding a stable and reliable roommate is just as much. Also your funds of 4 people are pretty damn abnormal. $100 is the lowest BASE health insurance I have been able to find, most of them are in the $120-150 areas around here, for my age group. Bills as $300 for 4 people are fairly reasonable. Car insurance for 4 people, that's 4 cars, no way are you making out of that with under $400/mo. Gas? There are dates, errands, shopping, etc. I alone spend $120/mo just going to work and back with a grocery store run once every 2 weeks and the fast food run every now and then, and everything to me is within a very close proximity as I live in downtown Denver (10 mile radius easily). Going on dates to good restaurants often times take me 20-30 miles out of my way (because I like going to places with better settings that aren't truly feasible in downtown), which for my vehicle is ~2 gallons of gas, gas being nearly $4.39 where I am atm, that's ~$18 just to go out and bring them back. Multiply that x4 and then your looking at nearly $400-500/mo for gas assuming 4 people. Groceries are reasonable, rent is semi-reasonable (where I am you would be hard pressed to find a 4 bedroom house or condo for anywhere near $1300, your talking more in the $1400 range, but its possible). Your looking at a few hundred dollars more than your approximations for 4 people, once again, averaging about $15/hr. That is the reasonable wages to make for my area to have a decently sustained life, using minimums and very few liberal decisions. I have been out on my own, or at least self sufficient for the last nearly 4 years of my life (given, from 16 to 17, I was at home, but paying rent, groceries, bills, etc. however you can efficiently quote me from 17 to 19, and nearly 20 now) and that is a very good and rounded budget. I never have had financial help, not because it won't be given to myself, but because I am too proud to ask for help. The only liberality I really have included in that budget is food, as 90% of the time I am too lazy to make food and insist on getting fast food, all others are necessities and averages for what I did / do pay.