Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Paycheck To Paycheck

Posted by Anonymous.

I am SO SICK AND TIRED of living paycheck to paycheck.

We try SOOOOO hard and nothing ever changes.

We've been reading the Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) and are committed to starting the process but first we need to work ourselves out of this rut... even just a little bit... we need to free up just a little bit of money each week just to get started... But its always something.... now Corey's work is slowing down as they finish the City Center project and it's freaking me out...

I wish we had some family member or friend (a.k.a. NOT a bank or credit card company) that could/would lend us 5 or 10 thousand. Interest free, of course. Enough to get us TRULY caught up AND a little bit ahead AND in a position to clear up some of the items that make our credit look like crap. Enough that we'd be able to breath and not have to decide which bill should be late this month - the cable or the phone? Enough that we could not worry about catching up and instead be caught up and in a position to make our money work for us instead of the other way around. So that we can take 5 minutes to think about what we WANT to do with our money (responsibly, mind you) and not what we HAVE to do with it. So that for one whole day I don't freak out (even just a little in my own head) about the well-being of my children.

We're trying to make plans to move. We found somewhere to go that can save us $300 a month. But until October we're locked into a lease. We've been in touch with the property manager several times over the course of the last 2 weeks regarding what it would take/cost to break our lease but they keep putting us off. "Email your request." "We're waiting to hear from the homeowner." WHATEVER. IT'S YOUR FLIPPIN' JOB TO KNOW HOW LEASES WORK.

I just want a break.

I'm tired of stressing over it and inadvertently making Corey feel inadequate. I work, too. If ANYone is inadequate it's me. He's the bread-winner. But really I don't think that either of us are inadequate. LEAST OF ALL , COREY. I hate that he takes my frustrations and fears on as his responsibilty. He works SO hard, everyday in the hot hot hot sun of Las Vegas and in the middle of the night if they need him and on weekends if they need him.... he busts his butt and there is NO doubt in my mind that he does it all FOR US. FOR ME. FOR JOSH. FOR CHRISTIAN. He does NONE of it for himself.

We just can't catch a break.

Maybe I shouldn't have pushed for baby #2. But not even this kind of stress will EVER EVER EVER make me regret or second-guess my baby boy. My chunkabutt. My rolly polly. NOTHING. EVER.

I KNOW in my heart of hearts that we CAN do this ourselves. But I can't help but long for a miracle.... even if that miracle comes by in the shape of a loan that we have to repay.


Anonymous said...

Make a list of everything that you buy/subscribe to. Then go through that list and see what things you don't NEED. Get rid of it. Do you NEED cable? Look at things like your phone bill. Do you have call waiting, etc? Do you NEED that? Do you have a land line plus cell phones? Do you NEED all of that? Once you really look at your spending, you start to realize how much of it is just a stupid waste of money. Good luck. Dave Ramsey makes a lot of sense; he's a good guy.

Anonymous said...

God bless you, I remember how that felt. It is always something, isn't it? One step forward, 3 steps back.
First, cancel the cable. You can get it back later.
Google Angelfood Ministries. If available in your area, it will save you many $s on your grocery bill. It's good food, too.
Sadly, it sounds like one of you needs a second, part-time job for a few months,long enough to get a little nest-egg built.
It won't be fun and it wont be easy but you can do it.

Anonymous said...

I am so with you, honey. We're doing the same thing with Dave Ramsey, but the first step is to SAVE A FREAKIN' THOUSAND? How?! With what extra income?!

And they suggest we find cheaper childcare. Or I stay at home to knock out that expense entirely.

Um, cheaper childcare would mean crackwhores and HIV needles. WE ARE AT THE SAFEST CHEAPEST CHILDCARE WE GOT, MAN.

I so feel you.

I hope it gets better.

For all of us.

Jane said...

Wow. There must be something in the water or the planets must be aligned just right. My husband and I just had this fight, I mean discussion, last night. He feels we aren't on the same page regarding finances and I feel like he doesn't notice all the scrimping and saving I'm trying to do. It's a vicious cycle in this economy.

Procrastamom said...

I, too, remember being right where you are. And it feels hopeless, but it's not. You don't need a can do this yourself. It's just going to suck for a while. Good for you for finding cheaper housing. Now take that extra $300, apply most of it to your debt and save a little (even $50/month) for an emergency fund. Like others have said, go through your finances and slash expenses.

In the earlier years of our marriage we rolled spare change for milk and diapers more times than I can count. We also used to laugh at people who said we should be saving 10% of our paycheques. Pffft, how do you save 10% of zero (after the bills) we would think. But really, we could have done it then and I wish we would have.

I wish you good luck and I believe you can do this!

Kayt said...

Oh lord, I feel you. My husband just lost his job, and I'm pulling 50+ hours a week trying to make ends meet. It hurts!

I work for a cable company, and here's what I suggest to help a bit: call up your provider, and ask if there are any specials you are missing out on. Some cable companies offer phone service too, and they are often much cheaper than traditional phone companies (my company offers unlimited everything with all features for $45 a month, and specials on that package for about $20 a month). Make a list of channels you consider must-haves, and ask what the lowest package that includes them are.

Other places to cut (trust me, it's what I've been working on over here): subscribe to the Sunday paper only and clip the coupons. A subscription is dead cheap compared to buying the paper from the store. Sign up for websites like and print coupons for the stuff you use. Match your meal planning with food that's on sale, and buy nonperishables ahead when it's cheap. Check the clearance spot if you have a superTarget near you, because they'll clearance out still good but unpopular foods, and you can still use coupons on them.

I'm sorry, it will eventually get better, but that's all I have to actively help. All I have left is **hugs**!

Candy said...

I could have written that post, about 2 years ago. I tried the Dave Ramsey thing, and just LOL'd until I realized he required you to actually START with something. I've rolled quarters for food money. I've sold jewelry for diapers. I've been there.

Honestly, the only thing that finally got us out of that whole was when I went back to work full time and even then, it was a year of double paying all that we'd gotten so far behind in to finally break even, but I can honestly say now, for the first time, we have spare money.

At the point of frustration I hear in your post, my kids were probably 5 and 7. They're 17 and 19 now. That's how long it took.

I wish you the best. I know it always helped me to realize I wasn't alone. It made me feel less a failure to know we were good people in an impossible situation. Good luck to you.

Jenni said...

We are/were there. We are just, after 4 years, starting to see the's a tiny glimmer, but it's there. I haven't had cable television for 10 years. In our area, it also means no reception to ANYTHING which means we have some DVD shows, movies, or THE TV IS OFF.

When it comes to holidays where people are sending gifts, I ask them, if I know they will be sending something, to send gift cards for the grocery stores. I find ways to stretch it out.

We have cell phones and no land lines...really, who uses land lines any more anyway.

The best money saver? NOT buying processed foods. Sure, it takes longer to bake a bunch of cut up tortillas into chips; but can I tell you how much I save? TONS!

I make most things from scratch and don't buy the "boxed" foods. Heck, with nothing to watch on tv, I have the time to do other things.

Difficult? At times yes. The most difficult is telling our friends "no thank you" when invited to go out somewhere that will cost us money. But we find free things to do like walking around the neighborhood, going on a picnic, playing board games, etc...

Yes it's hard, but we have had no help through it all and that makes us that much prouder in getting to where we are close to the end of the tunnel

Anonymous said...

You can save if you really are honest with yourself about what you need compared to what you want.

If you have spent one dime on gambling during the last 12 months then you are wasting money. Trust me I like to gamble, but only with money I can afford to lose.

Heck you live in LV you can eat out for almost nothing there.

Anonymous said...

It's so, so hard. I get it. I lost my job in February and we were totally unprepared. Totally. We examined our budget and made some big changes. Hubby had a work cell phone. Why were we still paying for his personal phone? Cable? Don't need it. Internet we kept because of job searches and spotty library facilities. Adding vegetarian meals once or twice a week was so much cheaper. Non-processed foods did wonders. Cutting portions by a quarter and eating off salad plates. All these thing made it so we could afford to live on hubby's salary until I found a job. You can do it! I have faith. You just need a quiet moment to sit and figure it out. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I really don't know how young people make it these days, even those with college degrees in careers that don't make much (teachers, social workers, etc). There is so much media blitz touting very expensive things, and it makes it seems like everyone carries $1k purses and has an expensive car, nice house, etc. This is not reality for the vast majority of the population, we're just trying to get by.

Anonymous said...

Well, wow! I'm the one who wrote this and I had no idea it ever made it onto the site! So glad I played catch up and found it. Thanks to all who commented with their suggestions and support. It means a lot, especially from outside sources. Sometimes people too close to the situation won't tell you how it is.

Interestingly enough, I was thinking about writing another snippet... cause boy have things changed in the last two months... and NOT for the better. :( Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but regardless, I'm happy to have written this post and gotten some feedback.

Thanks again!