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The Steps Between Paychecks

Last post 07-21-2007 9:28 AM by Brandy. 27 replies.
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  • 06-18-2007 9:19 AM

    • Brandy
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    • Joined on 03-28-2007
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    The Steps Between Paychecks

     Many people turn to frugality due to lower incomes or their expenses eat up the income. Is becoming debt free only a dream for those living paycheck to paycheck? What steps can those who face this type of living do to make the debt free dream a reality?

     

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 06-18-2007 9:53 AM In reply to

    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

    Dave Ramsey suggests to get extra work or have a spouse work part time until you can get debt free if necessary.  Sounds like a lot of dedication and time but once you are debt free you can cut back on work.

  • 06-18-2007 10:16 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

    It's a sound plan that can work. I do remember living very close to the edge before. We ran a business, my husband worked as a sub contractor taking whatever work he could get and I attempted to get a part time job. Having three kids at home and me not driving reduced my options to almost nothing.

    But on the flip side to that, being home makes it possible for me to be more frugal. I do promote that as a way to lower the expenses so one can live beneath one's income. Many here certainly do a lot to be frugal..using reusable items over disposable, weighing and eliminating wants, hang drying clothes, couponing and sale shopping, making use of second hand items, making our own things and more. I am shocked though at how many around me struggle financially and don't take greater steps to more frugal living.

     

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 06-18-2007 10:40 AM In reply to

    • Pat
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    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

     I think the extra work or spouse working should be on the "last resort" list, mainly because of the reasons Brandy mentioned. It can actually cost a spouse to work , especially if there are children involved. Child care is expensive! Then the need for transportation and clothing and other work expenses and not being able to do simple money saving things like hanging laundry to dry or cooking from scratch can cost a lot. When you add in doing things you feel you "deserve" (and everyone will feel that way to some extent) because you've worked hard all week, working can be an expensive deal.

    Jonni McCoy (Miserly Moms) works this concept over very well in her books. 

    I think the two most important things to becoming debt free is to want to and to be able to "do the math."

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  • 06-18-2007 11:01 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

     Adding up the cost of working played a huge part in our continued decision to have me at home, regardless of where we stood in our finances. Realistically, in my town I can get a job making $300 a month. My skills don't relate well into the working world of regular jobs. Being a smaller, lower income and college town..there is an overabundance of people without work experience or the types of skills needed for the higher paying jobs. A very real number here..a friend who works at a local video store told me that there were 65 applicants when an opening became available, all I could say was wow.


     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 06-18-2007 11:09 AM In reply to

    • Pat
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    • Colorado
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    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

     Even if you could make a good amount of money, the costs tend to eat it up, so the profit is... how did Greg put it? Profitless profit, or something like that. Something that looks good, but in reality, doesn't work out very well.

    I've been both and I can tell you that I spent a lot more money when I was working than when I wasn't. I didn't have specific hours to keep (self employed), but after a good hard day, there was no way I was going to cook a meal from scratch, do a load of laundry and hang it to dry, and sit down to mend clothing until bedtime. It just doesn't happen.

     

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  • 06-18-2007 1:15 PM In reply to

    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

     I am a SAHW, no kids.  I am educated and skilled, but for me to go to work I would have to have a starting pay of $22 an hour for us to get ahead of taxes.  We figure I can make that and them some by being a SAHW.  We have two vehicles, but the expense of mine is very low and I drive it about once a week.  I am totally responsible for running the household, including the budget.  I set the limits on what we pay for everything, including car insurance, gasoline, repairs, mowing the lawn, the electric bill, the ironing, washing, cleaning, etc.  The last time I worked I was making $8.50 an hour, no benefits and we were living paycheck to paycheck.  Instead of investing in quality items to last us thru the years, we bought tons of junk.  We didn't eat at home even though I am a chef.  Now we are finally getting in the red so to speak and we have few worries, other than what I am going to make for dinner each night!  lol

    But all in all the money we save by me staying at home gives us a quality of life we enjoy every minute of, that is worth every ounce of the effort.  : ) 

  • 06-18-2007 3:51 PM In reply to

    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

    This is the same way we looked at our situation 13 years ago when our second child was born.  I sat down and wrote out how much it would cost to send a six week old infant and a 5 year old to day care and after shool care, work expenses (food, clothes, gas) and at the end we would have ended up $30 in the hole every month!!! So it made more sense to me to stay home, raise my own kids, cook, clean and care for my family instead of work for NO money into the household budget each month.  Has it been easy financially since we made the choice for me to be a SAHM?  NO, but the other rewards have been out of this world and even now that my kids are 18 & 13, we still choose for me to stay home. 
    When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep is your downfall. - Unknown
  • 06-20-2007 9:09 AM In reply to

    • rolo
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    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

    Each situation is different.  There are many part time jobs a person could work at that is the opposite shift as the other spouse so no day care is involved.  If it's at a fast food, ect. the employee is provided with one or two uniform shirts, caps, etc. so that cuts down on having to buy clothing.  (Although I think many people use their job as an excuse to spend on new clothing when they have a closet full of wearable clothing.  IMHO)  Ditto on the food expenses.  Whether working full or part time you should have enough time to put together meals, snacks, etc.  It's not easy but doable--time management and organization are key.  The gasoline expense is unavoidable unless one can walk to work.  DR addresses this as it will be X time period of hard work but then you are done when the debt is gone. When the outgo exceeds the income OR the outgo take all the income you need to reduce the outgo.  BUT if there is little $ to do this then you need a bigger shovel (more income) to dig yourself out.  Then there is always the option of in home daycare, you can be a SAHM and still earn $$.  There is a budget calculator on line called how much does mom really make? or something like that.  Very interesting.  I have been a SAHM, also have worked full time and partime all with some assortment of kidlets/teens at home.  I still had time to maintain a lot of frugal choices, line dried clothing, cooking from scratch, etc.  It is time management and organization that is the key. 

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • 06-20-2007 9:52 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: The Steps Between Paychecks

    Rolo, the fast food places, video store jobs, ect are the $300 a month jobs here. Employees don't get free uniforms at most of those places either.

    Do these types of jobs offer a steady schedule where you are? The places here mostly do rotating shifts. My daughter has one of the better low income/easy on the skill requirement jobs. We never know what her schedule will be from week to week or how many days she will work.

     

     

     

     

     

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