Do you live check to check?

United States
March 24, 2008 10:24pm CST
In these times its difficult to put money aside. Basically when you get paid through whatever source it might be, you pay your bills, buy groceries and whatever other amenities you might need and there is little left over. For most of my life I have lived check to check. Its really difficult to live that way, but almost unavoidable. Do you find, that for the most part you live payday to payday?
9 people like this
38 responses
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
25 Mar 08
yes I live week to week and juggle bills. I am a single mom and have not had a raise in 10 years. We get by but barely. I'm good with what money we do have. If we were to have an emergency....we would be in big trouble. my car is our life line and it is a junker....i just have to pray it gets us through as i can't replace it.
3 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
I think many of us are in the same situation with our automobiles, especially with the rising cost of gas. My boyfriends job demands that he have a working car otherwise he can't do home visits. What would he do if his car was lost?
1 person likes this
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
25 Mar 08
Well... ditto I did live most of my life check to check... no matter how much money I made. That is what we call "living day to day"... or "one day at a time" or "living for the day". The more money you make... the more you spend and the bigger are your bills. It does not matter if you spend it partying or investing it in a property or something else... the result is the same... or worse. If you lose your job... you can stop partying... but you cannot stop repaying your mortgage... otherwise you lose your house. They can take your house away... but they can never take away the good times you had "partying". People who manage to retire with their own house and a nice lump sum pension... still have to budget everyday to make that money last. It does not matter how much money you did manage to save... you only did succeed saving it by having a tight budget... and now that you are retired... you still have to maintain a tight budget to make that money last as long as possible. Being rich is an illusion. Some people live a more comfortable life than some other. But very few people are so rich that they can go out everyday and buy anything their little heart desire. It is all about living within your means and not wanting things which you cannot afford. It is about learning to be happy with what you got. If you can achieve that state of mind... you can be as happy as a millionaire on his yacht. Money does not buy happiness. The guy who needs a yacht to be happy is only kidding himself. He'll soon get tired of the yacht... and will need to buy a new toy to be happy. Happiness is a state of mind... not how much money you have in the bank.
• Australia
25 Mar 08
Well... you would know... If your money makes you so happy... why have you found the need to stalk me on myLot for the past 12 months? You have a very strange definition of happiness... Why are you not out there having fun... rather than wasting your time stalking a loser like me?
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Sigh. Never put your head into a bag of angry squirrels.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 08
I agree with you that those who have money have to maintain a certain spending average to keep the money that they have. I have several relatives who live very comfortably, but they worked for everything they have. Nothing was handed to them. Yet they live very frugally in order to maintain their lifestyles
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
25 Mar 08
I use to be able to save at least a little bit, but the economy right now is just beating our budget up.My partner and I both work in what could be considered luxury services. He's a tattoo artist, I'm a hypno-therapist. We're both self-employed. When people are trying to keep their homes from foreclosure, they're not thinking about getting new ink or about giving up their bad habits. We've both seen about a 50% drop in how many clients we see in a month. Good-bye last year's saving, hello new debt.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
I can completely understand where there would a drop in those luxury services that could be avoided. Something like cosmetic surgery I suppose. Not necessary as in the day to day expenditures that we have. People are spending alot less on frivolities as indicated by the retail market.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
25 Mar 08
I receive SSI disability and about $724 a month and by the time I pay my bills I have about $20 cash money left to buy things like toilet paper, toothpaste things like that...if I didn't get food stamps as well I'd be starving here. I'm longing to get a really successful on-line photo business going so I can tell SSI to kiss my grits And not have to worry anymore about money..kind of fed up with it!
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
My boyfriend used to own his own photography business, but lost it. He too would like to get his business restarted, its just the cost of starting it back up.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164652)
• Garden Grove, California
25 Mar 08
I sure do and I will not even say how small my social security check is but there is little left at the end of the month so I have taken on four surveys to sort of make some pin money so to speak and it has helped as will mylot to a little degree but I am not on here just for the money only.so I have to budget just to get buy I did have some money from retirement but I cannot believe how fast that went as my son was having trouble paying the rent and I could not do anything other than help him to pay it as I live here too. anyway it is check to check as it probablyis for a lot of us mylotters.
• United States
25 Mar 08
I don't know much about social security, but my impression has always been that you aren't paid much. I belong to a few survey sites too and those small checks have really come in handy from time to time.
1 person likes this
@Deea48 (1168)
• United States
25 Mar 08
Like you Katherine I also live this way, my whole life. Although now, I am proud to say I was able to save up for a vaction. I have done it 2 years now. However like everyone else I am feeling the pinch more and more. So I am not sure if I will be able to do it this year or not. I wish I could save so much more. Idealy it would be great if I had at least a 3 month cusion for all my bills. Enough to carry me through unforseen illnesses or something. But because I missed a few days of work because I was sick, I did end up taking time off. I am now worried I will have to go into the little savings I do have to cover the rent. *sigh* 2 stepps forward 3 back it seems sometimes.
• United States
25 Mar 08
Thats wonderful that you were able to save for a vacation. Many aren't able to. But you are right it seems like you finally get some money put aside and an emergency happens and there goes that savings.
1 person likes this
@miller1978 (1104)
• United States
25 Mar 08
We live paycheck to paycheck as well. Even when I was working part time at walmart it seemed like we never had enough money to stay ahead of the bills. Especially with gas costs as high as they are. We were spending $80 a week on gas for the van alone driving back and forth to work. Now we have a smaller car that only runs about $40 a week but it came with car payments and full coverage insurance.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 08
They say that you have to have both people in the household working to make ends meet, but I swear it takes more than that. You might be able to pay all the bills a little easier, but there still isn't anything left really.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45640)
25 Mar 08
I certainly know what it is to live from bank loan to bank loan. You overdraw your account by the same amount as your salary. When you get paid the loan is paid off. The next day you start on a new loan. It took us years to get out of that cycle. You don't buy luxuries often if at all, and you know the insides of the "cheap" shops better than you do your own home. I have been fortunate to make a little money, which I am spending by not working at all for a while. I draw nothing from the State. I am paid up on my Old Age Pension so I owe nothing there (but they'll take it just the same) and I shall have a good occupational pension kick in when I am 60. My wife works and earns a fair wage and when I do go back I shall only go to earn enough to pay what is left on the mortgage. But well off or poor; I have never not been happy with my life (had a few close moments though). That's what it is all about in my book. Making others happy if I can, and being happy myself.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Loans I haven't really had to deal with. We rent, don't own. The only loan we have is the one for the car and yet its still a struggle. Its credit card debt that got us into this fine mess and I'm sure its like that for many others.
• United States
25 Mar 08
I used to beabled to keep maybe $30 dollars in the bank, but how with the prices of everything going up, it is simply struggling from check to check, can't do much with 649 a month from disability...
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 08
What you are getting isn't even enough to pay the rent. I don't know how you do it.
• United States
26 Mar 08
For a while my online business was doing decent, but because of all the prices going up because of the gas, it is getting difficult to make ends meet. Though even then I was really not getting much of it, but for the last year in particular I have basically struggled with just the disability check. I am really trying hard to get the business back up and going again. In truth even with the business, I was still only getting about an extra 60 dollars when it was all said and done. $60 is really not that much either...
@surfette (674)
• United States
25 Mar 08
It seems that most working people are now living paycheck to paycheck. Many of the good paying jobs have disappeared and you are now working for a smaller wage. My husband was a construction electrician for over 30 years. After 9-11, many of the large construction projects were canceled or put on hold. For five years, he didn't have much work which drained our savings and put us in debt. Any time you are over 55, it is difficult to get a job. He did take early retirement and is now working at a job for half his former wages. We are working our way back, but with the increase of all the utilities, food, gasoline, health care, etc. it is very difficult. If you do get a small raise in pay, it is quickly eaten up by the bills. I try to make a little extra money on the internet (our only luxury) and that helps out a little with our budget. We want to get all of our debt paid off so we can move to a warmer climate for our retirement years. Our biggest goal, however, is to try and get some money back in savings. It is very scary to not have any cushion.
• United States
25 Mar 08
It literally takes two people working to make any kind of decent wage which will cover the costs of your daily living. And even then you are hard pressed to have anything left over. I just recently went back to work and even though it may help to get the bills paid in a more timely fashion, its still going to be difficult to put any extra away. I couldn't agree with you more about it being scary not to have any cushion. Just like in your case, where your husbands employment was affected by 911, you just don't know when something will pop up that could devastate the normal pattern.
@sherrir101 (3670)
• United States
25 Mar 08
I, personally live paycheck to paycheck. Social Security does not pay the disabled all that much. I give Bruce part of my money for my share of the bils. I also buy the groceries for the month. I buy all of the 'household needs'. That leaves a little for getting what I want or need. Since I have given up smoking the number is up a lot more.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Yes, smoking does cost quite a bit. And I have to admit we are both smokers and could save quite a bit of money if we were to stop the horrible habit.
@clowdine (1402)
• Philippines
25 Mar 08
I live a very average life (but not a mediocre life, I mean financially). When I was still working, I was also part of the rat race. Long before payday you know where the money is going and you don't have anything left for savings. And it happened every 15 days. But anyway, I'm constantly trying to do something about it by nonstop research. I have a strong feeling it will be solved in a very near future.
• United States
25 Mar 08
I hope things get better for you also Clow. I don't know what you are doing to make changes, but whatever it is I hope that it helps you.
• United States
25 Mar 08
Yes, we live check to check and I hate it... I'd like to be able to buy stuff we need when we need it instead of waiting until some money comes in.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 08
Its really difficult. My boyfriend has a pretty good job and has health insurance through his job and yet many times goes without his meds because he can't afford the co-pay. Perhaps now that I'm working that will improve, but its always a struggle.
@subha12 (18453)
• India
25 Mar 08
Yes, you are right. Now the things have become so expensive, it is hard to maintain all the expenses. then there are emergencies that you never know when it will happen.Its like i do not live cheque by cheque but eagerly wait for payday.Its just i am waiting now as its 26th and will be paid only on 31st.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Mar 08
LOL. I know how you feel there. Although my payday is on the 27th, I don't quite have to wait as long. And its nice because I get paid weekly and my boyfriend is paid biweekly so it will help to get those small things that pop up in between paydays, if nothing else.
@gemini_rose (16193)
25 Mar 08
We have always lived from payday to payday, often ending up in our bank overdraft because there never seemed to be enough money to live on. Never any money to put away for a rainy day, yet we always had rainy days. Being totally fed up of it, I decided to take stock at the beginning of this year and look at what was coming in and what was coming out and where I could make cuts. To save any money we need to live on an extremely tight budget, and so thats what I did I budgeted for every penny coming in, and would only spend what I needed to, whatever is left now goes into a high interest savings account. Ok it means that I can never impulse buy and if it is not on my list it does not get bought, but it does mean that I can save more. I get extra bits and pieces from what I do on the computer, ok it is never going to make me a millionaire but it is money that is extra and not needed for anything and so that goes into the savings too.
1 person likes this
@jenni7202 (1598)
• United States
26 Mar 08
Yes, it's very frusterating. It's the reason why I decided to take the free time that I have, and try to earn some extra cash online. I don't make much money at my job, and neither does my boyfriend. We had to move in with my parents in order to get back on our feet again, and it turned into us being here for over a year. It's driving me mad, we just want to get these bills out of the way and get our own home, get married, and start a family, but it's seeming like that will never happen.
@aenasao (129)
• China
26 Mar 08
hi,jenni7202,don't worry too much about your current situation,though money is very important,yet,there is another important thing--happy life,try to cope with these frustrating things and make yourself happy
@Ren1227 (104)
• United States
25 Mar 08
For the first few years after college, I lived with my parents and was able to save some of the money from my first job. A few years after that, I got married and we moved into an apartment. For the first year or two of marriage, we had a difficult time saving money after all the expenses we had. We did save a little bit of money but not very much. We continued to do well in our respective jobs and we now are able to save a more significant amount each and every month. We both know how important it is to save for retirement as well as save for a "rainy day" but given how the economy is and the various rising costs (especially housing and gas), it is sometimes difficult to have money to save at the end of the month.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
25 Mar 08
I know right where you are coming from. The money gurus always are saying - pay yourself first. Well, if i pay myself first, and then pay everything else, I am short paying the electric bill - so what do I do, pay myself or the electric bill? They never tell you how to handle this. Theyjust always act like there is enough to go around. I mean, "sorry landlord, i have to pay myself first, so I am short rent this month". Like that is going to happen. then they say things like "to have a million dollars at retirement you have to save this amount". Okay, fine and dandy but what if you dont have that amount each month! They never tell you how to handle that. But then again, they most likely have never been on the low end of the totem pole in the first place so they dont' know what it is like. can't preach about something you haven't experienced. You just do a budget and do the best you can with what you have and just work with what you have and hope it works out in the end.
• United States
19 Dec 08
Yes. I live paycheck to paycheck. After I pay my basics such as rent, groceries, utilities, etc. There is nothing left over. People say to cut down on luxuries and entertainment, but doing that won't help because I don't have any luxuries. I have no cable tv, no car, no take out dinners. All I have is my internet connection, a 3 year old dvd player and a old Nintendo game system from 1985. People who have never been limited income just don't seem to understand.
@balasri (26554)
• India
27 Mar 08
Thankfully no.I was able to save quite an amount for the future.Savings is an absolute necessity.
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
27 Mar 08
Yes I do and always have done Even when I was working and when I was Married But I would not be in this Situation if the X would have been more sensible and led a Family Life instead of a Social Life But yes I am still there now