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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,736
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

KeithW - having lived in MO, yeah, your income is pretty darn decent!   Even working 54 hrs at one job - it was considered VERY high paying - I didn't make your salary.

 

I live elsewhere now.  Income has changed.    We have much more income, but the cost of living is so much higher where we are now.   We live paycheck to paycheck and are able to save a little.   But we also live very frugally.  I do purchase groceries on sale, I try to make most things from scratch (we grind our own meat, make our own flour, sauces, etc), have a little garden, shower at the gym when possible, etc.  We don't compare ourselves to family or to neighbors or to co-workers.   And our family definitely does NOT understand why we live the way we do.  (We live within our means, not on borrowed income.   Pretty much everything we have is paid for.  If we can't afford it, we decline.   It's a bit tough at family reunions when the others have adventures that would cost us $100-250 a pop, but they know by now, if we can't pay cash, we aren't doing it.)

 

DH started the trend of taking his lunch to work.   Everyone ate out.   And I do mean EVERYONE.   He started declining their invites and bringing his lunch.   When they'd give him funny looks, he'd ask them, "How can you afford to eat out all the time?"   or "Ugh, don't you get tired of always eating out?  I love making this for lunch..."   He was bringing in leftovers, making special dishes, and occassionally having sandwiches.   By the time he left that office, the majority of the people were bringing in their lunches too.

 

Stop worrying about what others are doing and do what's best for you.   I basically read that you are spending about or at least $170 a week on eating out.   What could you do with an extra $170 a week?   Have steak night at home?   Enjoy a nice bottle of wine with your wife?   

 

It's YOUR life, YOUR paycheck, and YOU get to decide how to spend it.  Don't let others bully you into following the crowd and spending money you don't want to.

 

It's not so much what you make as how much you keep.  Smiley Happy

 

Just my two cents.

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

[ Edited ]

$170/ week x 52 weeks = $8,840/ year, which is AT LEAST $10K a year before taxes.

 

Give yourselves a raise, and stop eating out. Take turns with your family hosting dinner at home. I almost always bring my lunch, mostly leftovers, and when I don't and have to buy lunch, I regret it every time. My food's better. Smiley Happy

 

As for all your friends, who knows how they're really doing? They could be living paycheck to paycheck, making minimum payments on their CC's, and Googling "bankruptcy."

 

 

eta: Oh, and sit down with your wife and think about what it would be like if one of you couldn't work. Pretend you don't have her income, and start saving it (as a couple.) Learn to live on less. You'll feel a lot more free this way, plus you'll have savings, which is hard to beat.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...


IOBA wrote:

 

DH started the trend of taking his lunch to work.   Everyone ate out.   And I do mean EVERYONE.   He started declining their invites and bringing his lunch.   When they'd give him funny looks, he'd ask them, "How can you afford to eat out all the time?"   or "Ugh, don't you get tired of always eating out?  I love making this for lunch..."   He was bringing in leftovers, making special dishes, and occassionally having sandwiches.   By the time he left that office, the majority of the people were bringing in their lunches too.

 

 


 

You probably have a good idea then of how much I get picked on, on a weekly basis because I make my own lunches and bring them every day. And I swear, the people at my job only pick the same three things, greasy, pizza, or chinese and spend $7 a pop EACH for lunch. Holy heck! I always got complimented on how my food smelled and how it looked so good.

 

My cultural background has me making rice and beans most of the time, as well as my frugal background, but they all seem to think that it's such a chore to make a lunch. I honestly cook just once or twice a week. And I see the savings pile up while I hear everyone else complaining about how broke they are. Granted, I don't make a lot, but I don't have to worry about my income because I know I cook myself meals. Not only that, but it actually helped me to lose weight.

 

Even something so simple as packing a sandwich for lunch, is a great way to save. And the cost is minimum.

I learned the hard way, that's it not how much you earn that might matter, it's whether you spend more than you earn that truly matters.

Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com


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Posts: 28,098
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

I found that the trick to bringing leftovers is that when you cook dinner, you first take enough for lunch the next day and stick it in the Crapperware, and put it in the fridge. That helps keep you from pigging out at night, too.

 

Then in the morning, it's ready to go. No excuses for not packing it in.

 

It will probably motivate you to up your mad cooking skillz at night, too. Smiley Very Happy

 

When I'm organized (it does happen!) I cook up a ton on weekends, and then I'm set for the week. Not being prepared by planning and shopping and cooking ahead = paying too much money, and for bad food.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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Registered: ‎08-04-2007
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

[ Edited ]

KeithW wrote:

I guess my biggest problem is the people we associate with all seem to have so much more money than we do. It just gets to where you don't appreciate that you have more than lots of others you don't know and things could be so much worse.

 

....It also doesn't help that many people tend to exaggerate their own income.

 



Never ever never compare yourself to others. It's just as bad as comparing your spouse to some other woman. You can't do that and it'll only get you in trouble. You might think the people you are comparing yourself to are well-to-do. They might have that nice home or that nice car. Or you read on FB they they are taking their second vacation this year. But what they aren't sharing is that they have a five- or six-figure debt and are 30 days away from a BK if they lost their job.

 

It's called status. Status is buying things you can't afford to impress people you don't even like. Every community has them. These are the ones who drive a new car each year and are eager to impress you with their car waxing skills. These are the ones who talk with a high brow when asking about your financial endeavours. And don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with having a 7 or 8-figure home and a parking garage for your car collection, so as long as there isn't any debt behind them. But in comparing yourself with some of your neighbors, your are probably richer than most of them. I bet many of them have a net worth in the negative column.

 

There's nothing wrong with expanding wealth. If looking to do so, start with your budget first. Create a written budget and commit to it. There's nothing wrong with eating out everyday (except for health issues maybe) but if looking to shave off a thousand or so every year, that's a great place to start. Then go over every single CC and bank statement from last year. Go over it in detail and ask yourself, "Did I need that?". If the answer was no, then resolve never to buy that item or make that purchase ever again.

 

After creating a budget and resolving to trim future fat from that budget, then analyze if your income meets all obligations from now into the future or if you need to increase your income. I think you should. Everyone puts all of their eggs in one basket and when that basket breaks, their eggs break. But it's all tied up with 1 job for 90% of Americans. I recommend diversifying your income like you would investments. Add a second job. Add a business. Add investments. Get as diversified as possible. Dig your well before you are thirsty. And never be content with your current income level. A ripe tomato will eventually rot. Be in the process of growing and expanding.

 

 

Valued Contributor
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Registered: ‎02-09-2012
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

My base salary is 35k, but with OT and a 13hr/wk pt my AGI for 2011 was 50k. If not for the OT and the 2nd job, I'm sure I would have to cut out some toy buying, as I rarely eat out.

 

But I have lived here in middle Tn (in one of the weathiest counties in the country) without the OT and the 2nd job, and managed just fine. But I owe a lot of that to mint.com

 

5/2012: 560 credit scores across the board and $500 secured CC
12/2014: 750+ scores across the board and $80k in revolving credit

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...


llecs wrote:

KeithW wrote:

I guess my biggest problem is the people we associate with all seem to have so much more money than we do. It just gets to where you don't appreciate that you have more than lots of others you don't know and things could be so much worse.

 

....It also doesn't help that many people tend to exaggerate their own income.

 



But what they aren't sharing is that they have a five- or six-figure debt and are 30 days away from a BK if they lost their job.

+1

 

It's called status. Status is buying things you can't afford to impress people you don't even like.

+1

 

If looking to do so, start with your budget first. Create a written budget and commit to it.

Just seeing cost detail can be a huge eye-opener. Also, start simple and allow for changes.

 

There's nothing wrong with eating out everyday (except for health issues maybe) ...

You might be the first person ever to say this... <sheds tear from face> As a travelling man, I appreciate it Smiley Happy

 

Also, your existing income is fine. Just make it work harder - you're the boss, not your income (well, theoretically).


 

"Credit is purely a cash flow tool. Thinking of credit as extra money you didn't have before makes it an EXPENSIVE cash flow tool."
Valued Contributor
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

cassembler - I travel a lot....and do eat out some.   Lol - but keeping with budget, I have been known to bring food to the hotel (precooked),  have been known to bring a toaster over and a hot plate to the room to cook...

 

I am on day 5 in a hotel and still haven't eaten out.  (May change tonight, since I will be traveling right after work...)

 

OP - don't compare yourself to others!  Do what works for you.  It takes courage, it takes strength, but in the end, it's for you, for your family.

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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...


IOBA wrote:

cassembler - I travel a lot....and do eat out some.   Lol - but keeping with budget, I have been known to bring food to the hotel (precooked),  have been known to bring a toaster over and a hot plate to the room to cook...

 

I am on day 5 in a hotel and still haven't eaten out.  (May change tonight, since I will be traveling right after work...)

 

OP - don't compare yourself to others!  Do what works for you.  It takes courage, it takes strength, but in the end, it's for you, for your family.



Ever tried crock pot cooking while at a hotel?

Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com


EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

AMEX BCE (0/10K) --- BOA 1-2-3 (0/15.9K) --- Discover More (0/6K) --- Chase Freedom Visa (0/1.4K) -- Hyatt Visa Sign. (0/5.8K) -- Barclay's NFL Card (0/7.5K) -- Chase Sapphire Preferred (0/5K)

Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...


FrugalRican wrote:

IOBA wrote:

cassembler - I travel a lot....and do eat out some.   Lol - but keeping with budget, I have been known to bring food to the hotel (precooked),  have been known to bring a toaster over and a hot plate to the room to cook...

 

I am on day 5 in a hotel and still haven't eaten out.  (May change tonight, since I will be traveling right after work...)

 

OP - don't compare yourself to others!  Do what works for you.  It takes courage, it takes strength, but in the end, it's for you, for your family.



Ever tried crock pot cooking while at a hotel?


You take a crockpot through airport security??

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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