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Living Paycheck to Paycheck: How Many of Us Are?

Poll Results: In general, does your family live paycheck to paycheck?

  • 33% (60)
    No, we get ahead most months.
  • 47% (86)
    Yes, we break even most months. Not much debt, but not much savings.
  • 19% (35)
    We go further into debt each month.
181 Total Votes  
post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Do you consider yourself living paycheck to paycheck?

What is the one tip you would have for those people living paycheck to paycheck that say they can't break the cycle?

If you're living paycheck to paycheck, why do you think it's so hard to break the cycle?
post #2 of 47
I guess we have always lived pretty much paycheck to paycheck. I always thought it was the norm, and never really considered "breaking the cycle" before.
post #3 of 47
i agree happymom. Until the beginning of this month I didn't like it but I didn't do anything to change it. I am now being more proactive in my decisions. but yes.. we live paycheck to paycheck .
post #4 of 47
Well none of the categories EXACTLY match me, but I chose the breaking even. Currently with our two children sucking the money out of us like high powered vacuums and me not working, we just pretty much break even. Not going into debt, but not saving either. The only thing that is different is that we DO have savings. We saved quite a bit before we had children and we just pretend it's not there and never touch it.
post #5 of 47
Oh, I did not vote, since none of the categories really fit me either. We have debt, but it is very slowly getting smaller.
post #6 of 47
I would have to say that we arn't even living paycheck to oaycheck. We don't have enough to pay the basic bills.
post #7 of 47
I grew up living paycheck to paycheck, as did my dh. We saw the difficulties and stress it caused our families, and we vowed to do something different. We sure didn't know what, but *something*.

At the time we got married, we were 22 and 23. We were blessed to have dh's brother share some of his financial skills with us, and that started us on our road. We spent nine years with no kids, so that helped too.

Funny thing, looking at the big picture, my dh and that one bil are the ONLY children in dh's family of 11 kids to have ANY financial abilities whatsoever. The rest are all in debt up the whazzooo or still mooching off mil.
post #8 of 47
We save, we spend, so we break even. I think our problems are (the more we make, the more we spend, and once we get something paid off, dh mostly (sometimes me) wants to get another loan or monthly pmt. for something, starting the cycle of debt all over again. Nothing we can't change, we just haven't yet.
post #9 of 47
I put breaking even. In other months we've done better but recently ... worse but I hope that starts changing next month.
post #10 of 47
I guess we're pretty much breaking even right now. We have our $1000 emergency fund and are spending less than we make on essentials, meaning we get to put a big chunck toward my minivan payment each month. SO, we spend all we make.

By the end of the year we should (hopefully) have my van paid off and we'll be debt free but the house. At that point we'll start saving ever extra penny so instead of living month to month we'll be working on getting our Fully Funded Emergency Fund started. At that point we should be a bit ahead of the game!
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