The Paycheck to Paycheck Struggle

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It’s day 12 of 14. There is currently $29.66 in the account. Two more days until pay day. Two more days of trying to make it stretch. Is there gas in my car? Is there gas in my husband’s car? Do we have enough diapers and wipes? Is there enough milk to last us until Friday morning? What’s in the fridge, freezer and pantry that I can make for dinner the next two nights? We can’t drive on the highway just in case Sunpass decides to charge us. Are there any bills that are going to come through? No, I don’t think so, I think I did all my math right.

Paycheck to Paycheck

My husband and I both work full time jobs. We have a teenager and a toddler. We also live paycheck to paycheck with no end in sight. And the kicker is…I’m pregnant! Every week I panic. No, scratch that. Every DAY I panic. I’m constantly worried about money. How much is in the account, what bills have yet to be paid, when do they need to be paid? And truthfully it’s exhausting. I have my moments were I wonder

how did we get in this position?

I know some people will read this, they’ll roll their eyes and wonder why we don’t change our situation. The thing is, we have. I recently took on a new job that pays a little more. We have cut some things out of our budget just to save a few dollars. Our work schedules allow us to not have to put our toddler in daycare. We all know that this expense alone can make people live paycheck to paycheck. Us not having her in daycare is not because we don’t want to. It’s simple: we literally cannot afford it, not even part time daycare.  

Paycheck to Paycheck

Does any of this sound familiar?

I know we are not alone. I know there are plenty of people out there who live this way. Finances are something people don’t talk about and I get it, it’s a private matter. Money drives me absolutely crazy and it makes me cry at least once a week. We have no savings and no credit cards to fall back on. I’m tired of worrying. I’m tired of trying to figure out “this bill can be paid right now, this bill can be paid in two days, this leaves X amount of dollars in the account for groceries and gas.” I’m tired of wondering if we are good parents or if our children are missing out on things because we don’t have money.

I’d love to tell you I have this amazing advice to help, but I don’t. I’d love to tell you that it will be okay and you will get through this. But even I’m not convinced of that half the time. What I do know is we make it. Day after day, week after week and month after month. We make it. I don’t know how but we do. I can tell you the typical cliche “we have a roof over our head, food on the table (even if it’s cereal) and so much love.” So next time you feel you’re alone just know you’re not. And for my mommas trying to make it to payday, come to my house; we have spaghetti. A lot of it (thank you BOGO!).

9 COMMENTS

  1. Totally relate to this. We play this ‘game’ all the time, too. All I want is to be able to buy groceries if I run out and put gas in the cat without stressing. Someday…

  2. Thank you so much for writing this! I’m in a similar situation. My husband and I only have 1 child but I am the only income earner while he is in school and we don’t have student loans to fall back on. But you are right! Day after day, week after week, we make it. Although we can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel sometimes, we probably also can’t imagine that we would be able to have gotten as far as we have. Stay strong and thanks for helping me feel less alone.

  3. This is the reality many of us face daily, myself included. Looking to see if can sell something in case need that little extra grocery money or something that wasn’t budgeted for. It is beyond stressful. Hugs momma. I hope one day it eases up.

    • Same here. So thankful we have been able to pay off debt and even buy a house with me and my husband both just working part-time while he is in school.

      But I have totally lived the paycheck to paycheck life, and I can totally sympathize!

  4. Thank you for posting this blog. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Somehow, we make it, too. But I, too, cry at least once a week over finances. An you’re right, no one talks about this private matter, so thank you for making me feel less alone.

  5. thank you for sharing. the struggle is real. single mom 2 teenagers, 19 and 17. i thank god that my son works to help me when i need just a little to help during the week. its never easy trying to make ends meat. prices on everything keeps going up. we eat lots of spagehtti too, but i think the kids are tired of it. lol

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