Not Keeping Up with the Jonses’- Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Approximately 1 out of every 3 households in the US with a household income above $75,000 per year live paycheck to paycheck1.  3 in 5 Americans don’t have enough emergency money saved to cover unexpected expenses. 2

Let those numbers sink in for a minute. Now think about your friends and family. How many people do you know that are living paycheck to paycheck or who are bordering on the brink of disaster?  How many names come to mind?  Now, of those names, do you know if any of these people live on a budget?  Now think about a few names of people who you know (or think you know because you’d be surprised) who don’t seem to stress about money.  Do you know if they live on a budget?

I had a conversation with a friend a few months back during a wine date night and she made a comment about how relaxed I seemed.  She said it was more relaxed than she’d seen me in years.  I told her it was because we started using Dave Ramsey’s system to get out of debt. Our debt is steadily going down and  each month I procure a budget telling our money where to go (instead of wondering where it went) and the end result is that I feel much more relaxed in so many areas of my life.

I have a coworker who is on the brink of disaster with his finances.  I listen to him talk about struggling with expenses and then I listen to him plan a ski trip and inside I cringe.  I’ve casually thrown around Dave Ramsy’s name and the words budgeting, but the reception I receive is limited.  He is both of the statistics listed and I am sad for him.  I cannot make him change, only he can do that.

I do not want to be the statistics listed above.  I don’t want to be chained down by debt, so I am taking steps to try to remedy my situation, and after a long while the light is at the end of the tunnel, a faint glimmering light of hope.  I’ve had to make changes and sacrifices.  I’ve had to tell myself NO.  I’ve had to tell other people NO.  Living on a budget is no easy task, and sometimes I do fall off the wagon and make a splurge I know I shouldn’t.  But I pick myself back up and get back to it.  I know I can do it.  I can get to debt free.  I’m 2/3rds of the way there, just a bit of a stretch left to go.  You can do it too.  The hardest part is starting, so I am here to encourage you to START.  Don’t be one of the statistics listed above.  Change your life!  Take control of your money!

1 Marte, Jonelle. One-Third of Households Making More than 75,000 Live Paycheck to Paycheck. The Washington Post. 16 April 2015.
2Morath, Eric. Most Americans Don’t Have Savings to Pay Unexpected Bills” Wall Street Journal. 7 Jan 2015.

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