we survived on a few thousand more than that and had insurance but nly pay $90 a f/n with extras. we have a mortgage and two kids. we droped about $30k a year to move out of sydney and while it was tough, we still managed. we did have a bit of savings, but when that started to dwindle, i shoped around for all my insurances and bills and managed to save about $200 a month, car, home & contents, health, phone, internet, and cancelled things that were non essential like kids swimming lessons, foxtel, made DH quit smoking.
it was tough, dont get me wrong, but DH and i always said to each other, we have a roof over our head and food on the table, yeah, maybe our bills are paid late but we are better off than alot of other people out there who survive on less.
but it did get to the point where i said this is not how i want to live, and DH had had enough of his job, i found a new one for him on seek.com, applied and within a week got the job, for an extra $25k a year plus possible bonus of $15k. Maybe that could be something to look at, the extra money for us will mean we can go on outings and that, not to actually live.