Post # 16
I was fortunate enough not to have to work until after high school, but I was thrust into a job market with absolutely no experience, and I’ve had to work my way up in retail. Now we’re a single-income home because daycare is super expensive and we only had one car. It really is hard to open your eyes in the morning and get out of bed when you know you’ll just spend the rest of the day hungry and savoring your last package of ramen.
I set budgets and watch my pennies as well, and we still had to constantly juggle our bills from paycheck to paycheck to make sure we didn’t fall too far behind. What people don’t understand that if you don’t make much money to begin with, you have even less after your bills. It is SO, SO frustrating when people tell you “oh, just stop getting coffee every day, that’s 4 dollars right there” when you’re more concerned about making sure you can afford to feed yourself until next payday, let alone coffee. I don’t buy new clothes, I don’t get haircuts or my nails done, our “entertainment budget” is 8.99 for Netflix, and we don’t have cable. We don’t get a newspaper, and other than my OH smoking the cheapest cigarettes he can find ($3 a pack) there’s really not much else we can cut either. (Oh, how I would loooove for him to quit smoking)
Sometimes I would really just love for some more fortunate others to exchange bank accounts. Living off of $1500 a month for 3 people really isn’t fun. My SO is working his ass off though and is clawing his way up the management ladder, so we’re doing better. But even with his recent promotion, every month really is one anxiety attack after another. I don’t know how we did it before when things are as tight as they are now.
reee: You’ll be able to look back in a few years as a strong, financially stable woman and be proud of how hard you’ve worked. I know it’s tough and really does seem impossible to get anywhere other than where you are right now, but look back where you were 8 years ago. You did it. You survived. Go you!
Post # 17
Been there done that, pretty much all my life. Trust me I feel your pain.
Post # 18
Yea we are currently trying to get caught up on bills and get back on our feet after being out of work for a few weeks in the beginning of the summer. I’m sure not everyone will agree with me on these but thats ok. I wish we made enough money to put 20%aside for savings, we live literally paycheck to paycheck, like right now we have $40 until next tuesday. Not looking for sympathy, just saying sht is real for me!! Here are some tips from my experience:
If you know you won’t be able to make a payment, contact the company and ask for an extension, just be sure to be able to pay it by then. I’ve gotten 10 days on my car ins. & electric bill in the past month which has helped tremendously. Just pay it by that date and stick to it. It does mean that you might make 2 car ins payments in a month but if that works for the way you get paid go for it.
Cut out all unnessary expenses. Look for cheaper car ins., drive less to save on gas or plan out your errands so you hit stores in order, or on the way home. Also, you mentioned a car payment, see about renegotiating your payment amount. I have never had a car payment but I am sure there is advice for doing this online. Cut cable completely. Shop around for internet if possible.
Food: shop cheap. Seriously. This can be a huge expense. No eating out, restaurant, etc. Unless you have a coupon. Shop your dollar stores, just check expiration dates, canned food, tortillas, spices, cake/cookie mixes, even eggs sometimes can be found and help you out in a jam. I also shop at Walmart and I look for the marked down bread & bakery items. As they get closer to their expiration dates, they will get marked down more. I get loaves of bread for $.88 that can get me through a week of lunches with some peanut butter.
There are lots of tips online too!
Post # 19
I felt the same way and then I took a Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey. It changed my life, honestly! I used to feel the exact same way as you, always so stressed and upset that working so hard never seemed to get anywhere.
He has some baby steps that give you a plan to help gradually pull yourself out of debt and teaches you how to save enough for retirement later and invest. It’s simple to understand and really helped with the anxiety because you’ve got a game plan now. I really really really encourage you to look him up and see what he says. Millions of families have gotten out of debt thanks to him.
Heres the baby steps to give you an idea:
1. Save $1000 for an emergency fund
2. Pay off debt using the debt snowball method (list debts smallest to biggest, pay off littlest one first then apply that payment toward the next biggest and so on, like rolling a snowball)
3. Save a fully funded emergency fund of 3-6 month expenses
4. Invest 15% of income for retirement (the class helps you learn how to do this)
5. Save a college fund if you have kids
6. Pay off your home early
7. Build wealth and give!
Its a a very simple plan and it works so well. Saving the baby emergency fund helps keep you separated from disaster and living on the edge all the time. And some people would disagree with paying off the smallest debt first (many want to do the debt with the highest interest) but it’s not about math, it’s about changing your behavior. If it was about math alone you wouldn’t be in debt and spending more than you make every month right?
Anyway, go to his website if you’re interested or PM me for any more questions. I took the class and am on baby step two so I’m no expert but I’m highly passionate about helping others just like you. Bottom line is, you can do this! Managing money is jist like any other life skill, learned through mistakes and watching others who have suceeded.