Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...
03-09-2012 06:05 PM
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.
Just my two cents.