When I was in high school, I wanted to be successful animator living in Florida by this age living comfortably. Didn’t happen. I have lived paycheck to paycheck for all my working life and still am. Nothing irks me more than someone who says they live paycheck to paycheck but has enough money to go spend on frivolous things, vacations, etc.
In 7 years we have went on 3 vacations to the same location. One paid for as a wedding gift by my parents. One 5 years ago to she same location I paid for by saving every nickel and one in 2011 to the same area (An area in MD an hour and a half away) for a mid-week vacation that again I worked my tail off for. We didn’t have much to spend but I just wanted to get away.
Living paycheck to paycheck is something we do every month. There is usually nothing left over. We don’t go out to eat often. Sometimes you have to treat yourself. The pastor that married us said “make a date at least once a month to go out just you and your spouse.” I agree. We try. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to go on a spending freeze to save up for stuff we need fixed around the house.
I coupon to save on groceries and save hundreds a month doing so. We heat our home with kerosene and wood. The wood we have been blessed to get free off of along the roads after storms and our neighbor’s property. The kerosene we buy 10 gallons at a time from the local gas station and pour into our massive tanks because we can’t afford to buy the required 150 gallon minimum to have it hauled in by the truckload. We keep our thermostat at 62. When I started living in my grandma’s house it was 67, last couple years 64 and now 62. Pile on the blankets and clothes and deal. We have massive property taxes to pay each year. We are thinking of getting the house reassessed.
To make extra income I work any extra hour I can. I do this by going to auctions and thrift stores and selling the stuff on Ebay. This helps me get a little extra income. Very little. I also sell the stuff at flea markets in the summer. this means getting up at 4:30 a.m. driving 45 minutes to the market, setting everything up by myself and packing it back up 8 hours later. This year I am trying to do a craft show and have been busy making stuff to sell at it. We will see if I do good if I go for it next year.
I know I sound like I am doing it all on my own, but my husband helps when he isn’t working. He helps load and unload the truck for the flea market. helps me unload it from the auction. Helped me set up at the craft show. He works at Wal-mart so his weekends are toast. He trims and mows our huge hillside, cuts the wood and helps clean the house.
Over the summer besides doing the above we put in a garden. That was work every evening after we both worked 9 hours a day. My parents talked about how much we saved on meals with the produce we gave them and ourselves. It saved on groceries. Next year I want to can to try to save more.
I also do some online surveys, mypoints and swagbucks. I wait all year and cash in this stuff around October for Christmas money.
I am getting burnt out physically and mentally, but I have no choice to keep pushing myself to work almost every free minute I have to make ends meet and I feel with our current economic situation in this country my struggle is not going to get any easier for any of us.