Paycheck to Paycheck

I’ll admit it.  We live paycheck to paycheck.  We don’t have a buffer in the bank account and aren’t a month ahead of ourselves. It’s not as bad as what it used to be though.  A little over a year ago, we had no savings, weren’t paying off debt, and would count our change-up a week before payday in order to find money for milk, bread or gas.  Now? Well, we’re saving, paying down debt (even if it’s slow going right now) and we keep money aside for milk and bread and other little grocery things that crop up.

But we’re still living paycheck to paycheck.  But I’m okay with that right now.  I know that after we get married, we’ll have a little boost in our money situation as we won’t have to put money aside for that.  And once we figure out where we will be living in a few months, we’ll know what our rent situation will look like.  Right now, we’re looking at worst case scenario of the high-end that we can afford.  But we’ll be looking for something around what we pay now but in a better house.

I am looking forward to the time where if I have to spend an extra $40 on groceries, I don’t need to take it from our date money.   Which is what I did this last time—because, hey, it’s got to come from somewhere right? Or we’ll get to a point in the grocery budget where I’m not spending it to the limit every single time and will have roll over money.  How exciting right? But that’s the future.

Thinking about this weekend I realized I was really fine with what we are doing.  Yes, it’s stressful at times and I am usually wishing I didn’t have to save as much money as I do.  Or that I wasn’t trying to pay as much debt down as we are—but that was from our past mistakes so there’s no real excuse I can give to myself. And yes, it sucks to have to save up for something we want to do.  For instance that concert we want to go to next month? We double checked that it was still on because if it wasn’t, we were going to be able to use the money for something else.  But it makes us stronger people and I love knowing that we are living paycheck to paycheck because we choose to.  It’s not out of our control-we aren’t spending like crazy people and instead, it’s all going to savings or debt pay down.   So I’m proud of that.

Sorry for the rambly post-it was one of those days after one of those weekends!


51 Comments on “Paycheck to Paycheck”

  1. mycanuckbuck says:

    You’re making progress – and that’s the important thing! This is so strange – I have a post coming up about living paycheck to paycheck soon – nice to get someone else’s take on it!

  2. I agree with mycanuckbuck. You are making progress and that is waaaaaaaaaay better than nothing. I think you are doing great! Plus, you may learn to like living like this. We artificially make our situation “paycheck to paycheck” to put all extra money “out of sight, out of mind.” I don’t mind thinking I only have X amount of dollars left for the month. It helps me to trick myself =)

    I hope you have a great day!

    • bogofdebt says:

      It really does help trick me into not going and spending wildly. And thank you for the kind words. Sometimes we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere but when we look at it on paper, it clears up that feeling.

  3. Michelle says:

    Like the others said, you are making great progress! Living paycheck to paycheck is probably good in your case, since you are paying off debt.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Thanks! And yes-it’s going toward a good cause is what I keep telling myself. I’m not having to wonder where on earth I spent that money because I know where it went.

  4. You are utilizing your purchasing power far greater by eradicating debt, anyway. Why have savings sitting in an account at a measly .1%? Inflation is chewing it alive. Your debt interest rate, I’d wager, is faaar above that threshold.

    I really applaud you for remaining focused, even through this discouraging ‘paycheck to paycheck’ phase.

  5. Hey you are taking care of your finances, that’s the important thing! 🙂

  6. My fiancee and I are pretty much in the same situation as you, pay cheque to pay cheque. Yes we have savings, but every single dollar we have is allotted to something and we run up against the edge of our budgets every single month. It’s really annoying and I’m really sick of it, but I have faith that it will come to an end eventually.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Oh I know what you mean. Around the pay check mark, I’m counting down the minutes it seems. But at least my money is going somwhere to make a difference in my life this time, right?

  7. AverageJoe says:

    ” I am usually wishing I didn’t have to save as much money as I do.”

    I don’t know. I find this aspect of your financial situation exciting. You’re creating valuable habits that’ll serve you well for life! Awesome!

  8. You’re living paycheck to paycheck…but you’re SAVING. I’d say that’s huge and puts you ahead of… a lot of people. Keep chugging away…you’re right…it’ll get better. 🙂

    • Cait says:

      And you’re paying off debt! I’ll be living paycheque to paycheque for a long time, because the minute my debt is gone, I’ll be putting that much more into savings. You should be proud of everything you’re doing right now 🙂

      • bogofdebt says:

        Thanks! I am–it makes me feel good to look at where I was at this point last year and comparing it to where I am this year. Even if I’m living paycheck to paycheck, it’s by personal choice now!

    • bogofdebt says:

      That’s the day I’m looking forward to. I do love knowing that what we buy now isn’t putting us into debt any more.

  9. […] Go read BogOfDebt‘s article Paycheck to Paycheck. […]

  10. You won’t always live paycheque to paycheque so it’s not such a terrible things, especially since you’ve got financial goals and are paying off debt and saving up. I think what you’re doing is totally fine.

  11. Congrats on your progress. I think more people should adjust their spending habits and live paycheque to paycheque or somewhat close to it. But I think many people are afraid or they think why bother if they don’t have to. For me, its the other way around. I’m always afraid that something will happen to my job or something will happen at work that will force me to quit, so I try to live as frugally as possible.

    I love how you mention that you have become stronger people because of that!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I hear you-it’s one of the reasons I don’t mind living paycheck to paycheck for now. I’ve been in bad situations and it would have been great to have an efund or no debt to worry about. So that’s partially why I do what I’m doing. And thank you–I think it does make us stronger. We know we can do without some of the “have to haves” if we really need to. And some people just don’t get that.

  12. Don’t give up, Bobbie! I know it’s so scary living paycheck to paycheck as we did it for a long time! In fact, we are still in a way until we get this stupid debt down to nothing. Don’t be discouraged….just keep working hard and doing what you’re doing, and one day you will have so much money, you won’t know what to do with it all!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I know exactly what I’ll do! I’ll convert it all to coins, wash them, put them in a swimming pool and invite everyone in the PF world to come do a Scrooge McDuck swim. Sounds awesome right? (And yes, the washing needs to happen or they could be all icky). Thanks for the kind and encourgaing words!

  13. iheartbudgets says:

    You are prioritizing paying off debt and saving for a wedding over lifestyle, and you know what, you are going to come out ahead. Of course it would be great to get ahead, but right now, you are sacrificing so that you are in a great place in the future. I applaud you for your dedication 🙂

    • bogofdebt says:

      Thanks! That’s what I have to keep remembering when I start to get the “I wants” when I see what others are getting. Because a lot of them are gettting in debt over what they get.

  14. Rachel says:

    I live paycheck to paycheck too. I’m trying hard to figure out multiple jobs to make what I need monthly for my half. Your doing better than I am for sure, especially because you budget for date nights!

  15. I’d argue that you’re not actually living paycheck to paycheck. Why? Because you are saving. You are paying more than minimums, you have “date money” set aside that can be raided when you need more for groceries.
    You are doing great. And like Joe said, you’re setting great habits.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Thank you-I sometimes forget about the good things that comes from “paycheck to paycheck”. And like you said, it’s not truly paycheck to paycheck because I do have money I can raid if I HAVE to.

  16. Jenn says:

    I think you are doing great! I think you are doing much better than just living paycheck to paycheck, though – at least in terms of how I define it. If you have savings and allocate every dollar you have coming in, I would say you are carefully budgeting, or maybe using a zero-based budget. I always think of living paycheck to paycheck as being without a safety net, whether it be an efund or checking account buffer, or an excess of monthly income that you do not need to budget toward expenses. It sounds like you are doing what is best for you!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I think I end up doing the zero based budget lately-at the end of two weeks anything that is “left” over gets put into savings. And typically the money left over is held back for the insane amount of milk we go through!

  17. I want to get to that point where I don’t think about every dime I spend either. I know I can’t take back my spending habits of the last 4 years, but sometimes I wish I could. You’re making great strides! Hang in there!

    • bogofdebt says:

      Thank you! That would be awesome to go “I want to buy this lobster tail” because I’ve been hankering lobster. It’s “cheaper” to buy it frozen but it’s still pricey so we’ll hold off for now. Eventually!

  18. The most important thing you are doing is recognizing and working towards your goals. Some people don’t even have the motivation to do just that. You won’t be living pay to pay for a long time with a positive outlook and SMART goals. You can do it.. keep your eye on the gold. Cheers Mr.CBB

  19. You’re right, once the wedding is done with you’ll have that extra money again, which will be amazing! And you’re doing a great job of being careful when you really need to be, so you’ll be fine! And maybe get to enjoy a bit more when you aren’t paying down those pesky debts anymore.

  20. You’re making progress though, and that’s so important! You’re not creating more debt, you have a plan, and you know the future will be better. Chin up!

  21. […] Debt explains why she is happy for now living paycheck to paycheck.  I like her thoughts behind this.  While her situation can still be tough at times, she knows […]

  22. […] Paycheck to Paycheck by Bog of Debt. A honest look at what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck and where “bog” is trying to improve things. […]

  23. […] of Debt wrote a post this week about living paycheck to paycheck. It’s a situation I’m not unfamiliar with. The difference is, even though their money […]

  24. […] Of Debt- Pay Check to Pay Check Do you live Pay to […]

  25. You’re not alone!! We’re living paycheck to paycheck right now too and we’re fine with it. We are working towards some savings and once our debt is paid down we’ll be better. Short term pain for long term gain!

  26. […] of all, this quote from Bog of Debt really resonated with me.   I am looking forward to the time where if I have to spend an extra $40 […]

  27. […] Paycheck to Paycheck on Bog Of Debt […]

  28. […] pretty thin when it comes to money.  It doesn’t change the fact that we are going to be living paycheck to paycheck for a while but it does change the fact on where our money is going to go.   But a 6 month (if the […]

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