$2,000 a month may not be "big time," but there is probably a point in many people's lives that they were there (first job, right after college, just moved, etc.). Yeah, we all survived. The best (and most accurate) advice I ever got was from my first boss - "no matter how much you make, you usually find a way to spend it all and think you need more." I make more than both my parents combined in their best years and I struggle through it with cars I don't really need, extra clothes, and so forth. I bitch about money more than anyone I know. $2,000 in Seattle is tight, but I lived in London on less than a $1,000 a month for a good part of the year. You learn to walk, don't have a cell phone, drink one beer instead of two, wear your clothes a few more times before you wash, and go to matinee movies.