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Living paycheck to paycheck? - Page 2

post #31 of 42
I just wish I could have enough money where I could do something other than just buy food and pay for rent. I struggle to pay the phone bill. There's not much more I can give up, since I don't have cable, I don't have cell phones, I don't go out, I don't rent movies, I don't buy movies, I don't have credit cards. It's like I'm working just to stay alive, but there's never anything to look forward to from paycheck to paycheck. All I have are "wish lists", and at this rate I'll never be able to afford anything on my Wish Lists. Even my clothes are starting to fall apart, and there's no money for even clothes to wear. If I could just live paycheck to paycheck, I'd be grateful.
post #32 of 42
I do. I paid rent today and now have $25 to last the week. Student loans come due in January which just isn't going to happen.

I like the idea of voluntary simplicity but I didn't volunteer! It is just how it is. I would love to eat out, go to a movie, anything but I just cannot afford to do anything but pay rent/utilities (am a couple of months behind on gas and electric), buy my food, pay bus fare, laundry (wash only) and cat food. Couldn't afford to pay the phone so am out of a phone until next Friday. Every time there is a vet visit needed, it just wipes me out.

I don't have relatives with extra money or friends to lean on, so this is just how it is until I get a better job. Just need money to buy the clothes to wear to interviews. Am considering a second job of some type just so I can buy clothes. Would hate to leave the cats alone for 18 hrs a day ... oh well. Sorry for the ramble!
post #33 of 42
I used to live paycheck to paycheck, but now I live pretty comfortably. My husband has a good job and even with me not working we can still live comfortably and still put money away into savings.

We don't spend much on ourselves, don't live fancy lifestyles (compared to other people at my husband's work), so can afford to treat ourselves to the movies, or little holidays here and there without feeling guilty about spending the money.

I always feel horrible for others who aren't so lucky - I spent a number of years wondering how I was going to afford to buy groceries and I know how stressful it is and how hard it is to get out of that cycle.
post #34 of 42
Originally Posted by marie-p View Post
This may not be directly answering the topic at hand, but I am really interested in the concept of "voluntary simplicity". I haven't read much on it yet, but the basic idea is simple: learn to live with less, then work less and spend more time enjoying what's really important to you.

In my case, I have no car and no need for one. I don't have cable TV (or even an antenna) and I only shop when I need something.
Right now I am fine with working full time. I am living on about $1000 a month and the rest all goes into saving for future projects (travel, grad school).
But it's really good to know that I can live on so little and have no desire for more.
Some of my friends follow The Project. They refused to buy anything new for the past year. Now, there are specific things that don't apply like food, feminine products, razors, and such. The first few months were rough, but now they are really in the swing of things. It's working out great for them.
post #35 of 42
I used to live paycheck to paycheck and I hated it. By cutting down on my spending on clothes, eating out and also getting my credit card and car loan paid off, I have a much more comfortable lifestyle now. I'm not completely flush but I have some savings to fall back on.
post #36 of 42
I had to live paycheck to paycheck for about a year when I graduated college and moved out on my own. After that I got a raise and was able to start putting some money into savings.
post #37 of 42
Paycheck to paycheck here......actually....what's worse than paycheck to paycheck because that's me. I'm a college student living off half student loans, half part time job.
post #38 of 42
lol... still living paycheck to paycheck ... still paying student loan plus car payments ..... Mom says stop spending ....lmao , my cc s are mostly vet and dr bills , gas and grocerys

My schooling does me ABSOLUTELY NOTHING .... I would likely make less if I had finished in that major than I do now...

MY saving grace is my $$$ increases about 20% a yr thou I wont say where it started
post #39 of 42
We aren't living paycheck to paycheck anymore, but it's tight right now because of moving out of state.

The only reason we are no longer living paycheck to paycheck is my husband went back to school (2 yr technical college) and got a degree and a great job. I should have transferred to that school while I was in college like I wanted to (pressure from family to finish the 4-yr bachelor's was pretty heavy). My degree is pretty much worthless and I've had nothing but crappy jobs with it (either over or under qualified for everything that pays decent). Hopefully it will eliminate some gen eds when I go back to school either this spring or next fall. I'm going to attend the tech school my husband went to. The education is great and they help place their grads in the area if possible.

Anyway, I still watch the budget and try to save what I can. Credit Cards are evil as far as I'm concerned, but a necessary evil when you have sick cats. I'm always working on paying mine off. Raven really racked up the bills this summer.
post #40 of 42
I do live paycheck to paycheck.

We have cable, internet, etc., we eat well, and Riley gets everything he needs and eats very well, but there is nothing left over each week to save. I have only about $1000 in savings. Every time I add a little to it, I end up needing to take a little out for something.

For the most part, we are comfortable, but definitely no extras like new clothes, shoes, etc. My car is falling apart and I'm worried how I am going to afford a car pmt when it finally dies
post #41 of 42
I say I live "paycheck to paycheck" b/c it sure feels like it. I am v. broke by the time my next paycheck arrives.

I pay myself first though - which is partly why I am "broke". If I have the money available, I spend it all and claim I have nothing left over which is why I have to "hide" it from myself.

I would like to find a higher paying job though - at this rate I'll never be able to afford a house AND save for retirement at the same time.
post #42 of 42
I don't. When I was in high school - my personal finance teacher made us watch the Dave Ramsey tapes and some other great ones and i learned a lot of really good savings tips from those. I ALWAYS pyf (pay myself first) with each check i get. I always put something away into my savings account- even if it's just a few bucks- i AWLAYS make sure i save something. I have a CD that i add to each year that is for my retirement when i get older.

I have two savings accounts - a primary one for emergencies/hard times/etc that i try not to touch unless necessary

I have a misc. savings account just for the little things- like wedding expenses, home improvements, vet bills, clothing i may need for work ,etc- so that i'm not tempted to dip into my primary savings account and blow all my money.

And i have a checking account that i keep track of daily and am pretty disciplined about.

Colin is awesome with money (fortunately!) and i've learned a lot of really good habits from him when it comes to investing and saving- he's well set up in investments/etc- the Navy really took care of him when he was a lt- so he has plenty of money should we fall on hard times/etc. We're both really careful with what we buy and we save ahead if we want something and only spend money when we need to for the most part. We also don't have cable/satellite or home phones so that saves us money as well. We "carpool" as much as possible to save gas money, we use cupons and try to "recycle" things around the house to make them last longer - a coat of paint will do soo much!

I also get a lot of my work pants from Goodwill and wal-mart so that saves me money as far as clothing gose (no need to spend tons of money on nice pants just to have the shelter animals get fur on them)

For me- being a wise steward of my money is SOOOOOOOOOOOO important. I saw my mom and my aunt struggle my entire life as single moms trying to raise us kids as best as they could- they live pay check to pay check and bairly get buy. I don't want that kind of hardship for me and my future family - i want to be wise with what i make- so i am very, very careful. I want to be able to take care of my mom when she gets older - so i also have a saving account set up (that she doesn't know about) that i add to each month. It's not much- but it does add up. We also don't go out to eat too often- i do a ton of cooking at home (i have food allergies, that and it's healthier) and since we're both city employees, we go to the local movie theatre because we get in free there for our dates sometimes. We really try to not speed too wildly. If i do spend money on something fun though- it's only if i've saved up for it. The biggest expense for me is my medical bills/prescriptions- they're astronimoical! And right now i only have short term health insurance for emergencies (mine went out a few months ago on my birthday) - when i get married in March though i will go on Colin's so that will be great. Right now my short term insurance won't cover my prescriptions (and i can't go without them) so i'm paying a ton out of pocket for them though which stinks. I just try and set money aside for it though and that seems to be working soo far- i'm definitely doing "without" but i'm not going into debt for it though. Because my presciptions are soo pricy though, i'm having to really be frugal about what we do with our upcomming wedding- so that makes things a bit of a challenge- but it's doable. I don't want to go into debt our entire marriage for one day- so we're trying to keep things in persepctive and be wise with what we spend.

One thing i'm SOOOOO glad i never did was get a credit card. Sooo many people get themselves into CC debt and it's hard to get out of it- so i'm glad i never got one. I have a debit card i use for things and Colin has a cc for emergencies that gets paid off every month- so we're careful about that. I do not make a ton of money- i'm a vet tech....but just because i don't make a lot does not mean i can't save- that's one of the big things i learned from my personal finance class a few yrs back and it's really stuck with me. EVERYONE can save no matter how much they make - you just have to cut back and figure out way how to.
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