How We Stopped Living Paycheck to Paycheck

– Hey guys it’s Dana and it’s Tuesday, that means we’re gonna
talk all about money. And today I really wanna
talk about why and how we stopped living paycheck to paycheck and hopefully how you can, too. So if you’re living paycheck to paycheck like a lot of Americans are,
it can be really stressful. Jim and I were living
paycheck to paycheck, I was living paycheck
to paycheck even before I was married and it was horrible. It really made me feel
uneasy, I felt insecure, I felt like I had no security at all, like I didn’t know when the
other shoe was gonna drop. I didn’t know if I was gonna lose my job, I was out of work for a while
at certain points in my life and it was really scary
and it’s not a place that I ever want to go back to. But I started out 16
years old is when I got my very first credit card, when I was 16. Everybody said, build your
credit, build your credit. So when I was 16 I got
my first credit card and I have had or had
a credit card balance all the way up, you know,
for at least 20 years I had credit cards, revolving
credit card balances. And then when I graduated
from college I did have college loans, when I
graduated from college I went out and purchased a brand new car. The only brand new car I’ve ever bought and it was right after college. I went out and bought a
brand new Subaru Forrester, it had a sunroof, it had
all the bells and whistles. It had like the upgraded seat
material, interior everything. And a huge loan and payment
to go along with it. Because that’s what people do,
that’s like, the norm, right? But then I was completely
living paycheck to paycheck ’cause I was not making a lot of money when I graduated from
college and it was the worst decision I could’ve made
at that point in my life. In 2011 we had twins so when
I was pregnant with the twins that’s when I first sort
of started to wake up and I was thinking, you
know, we have all this debt and we’re having twins and
we’re gonna have to pay for diapers, and I was
thinking of all the things we’re gonna have to pay for
but you know living paycheck to paycheck that is really
scary, really, really scary. And so when I was pregnant
with the twins is when I first said you know we’ve got to
try to cut back our expenses. That’s when I started cloth diapering and we started to use unpaper
towels, we stopped buying paper towels, we started using
like your grandmother would like washcloths as paper
towels in the kitchen and everything and so I tried
to change up some things to start saving money so we
could stop living paycheck to paycheck but we still kind of were living paycheck to paycheck. And then in 2013 I got a new job. Because we sort of had an income crisis, we were never really making enough money so we were relying on debt
at times to buy groceries and to pay our bills and
for a good number of years at the end of the year I
would have a balance left over with our oil company
and I’d have to put it on my credit card, like $800
to pay off the oil company. So I was doing that and
so in 2013 I got a new job and I got like a $20,000
pay increase and I was so excited, I was so happy
and it was around that time I started listening to Dave Ramsey. When I got this new job is
when I started listening to the radio to his show and
sort of got hooked up with him. And then I got pregnant
again with our last child and so that is sort of when
I had to listen over and over again like I guess I
have a really hard head. So I had to keep listening
and then it still wasn’t fully sinking in that you
have to live below your means obviously to have money and to not live paycheck to paycheck. And I’m learning now you
have to eat less calories than you expend if you want
to lose weight, obviously, we know these things but
we don’t always do them. We know them but we don’t do them. And you hear it said over and over again, just like you hear over
and over again that eating fruits and vegetables are good for you but most of us don’t do that. But then to make a change
you have to make a change in your life and it’s
really painful to go against the grain, so to speak, of
what everybody else is doing. And I work in finance, I
work in a corporate office and even people who have been
trained, have gone to school for finance, they don’t
necessarily understand personal finance. So the norm is to borrow
money, have a car payment, and so it’s really hard to go
against that and be different. So in 2014 we had our fourth
baby and during that time one of our boys was in the ER. And when he was sick we were
at home and I was trying to decide should I take
him, it was on a weekend, I was trying to decide
should I take him to the ER which was two minutes away from our house or should I drive him to
an urgent care center? The urgent care center was a $20 copay and the ER was $100 copay. And so I drove him like 30
minutes to the urgent care center because I wanted
to save on the copay. And I drove him there and
it was closed and he was really sick, really, really
sick and so we walked through the door and they had just closed. And so I had to carry him back to the car and he was having trouble
breathing and he was throwing up. I remember looking in the
rear view mirror and just seeing him throwing up and I
had to drive all the way back 30 minutes to get back to the hospital. We went to the ER and luckily he was okay. But that was my, I’ve just
had it, I’ve just had it. I’ve had it with this
and we’re gonna change, we’re going to change
even if it’s painful. I don’t want to ever again have
to make a decision like that where I risk my child’s life to save $80 because we didn’t have
any money in savings and I was stressed out about money. And I never wanted to do that
again so it was my moment where I said we’re gonna
make a change and we’re gonna stop living paycheck to paycheck. And so to stop doing that you
have to have a moment, right, where you decide that you’re
not gonna do this anymore. Where you’re gonna make a change. And so to begin that process
then you have to start by writing down, you
have to know everything that you owe, right? Who do you owe, what’s
all, everything out there, even when it’s really scary. ‘Cause to make a change you
have to face scary things and it’s gonna hurt so
it’s gonna be painful. Nobody really likes
looking at what they owe, it really sucks, especially
when you don’t think you can maybe pay all the
minimum payments even. But you have to know,
that’s the first step, you have to write everything down. Once you know exactly
what you owe and obviously you have to stop, stop
accruing any more debt. Because that’s just gonna be more payments that you can’t make and that’s forcing you to live paycheck to paycheck. So write everything down and
then make a true commitment to say that you are gonna
stop borrowing money. Then once you’ve written everything out then you can see what you
owe and then you can start by just making sure that
you get current on your rent or your mortgage so that way
you can have a place to live. So that you don’t end up on the street. If you have credit cards to
pay, if you have other bills to pay, medical bills, whatever,
leave those go ’til last. You just want to make sure
you get current on your home, your rent or your mortgage
and also your electricity and also maybe your oil bill
so you have heat in the house. You want to get current on
those things and try to do that month to month before
you start going back and before you start
paying for other things. Food, too, you want to
make sure you’re eating. So those are your
priorities, you’re gonna pay for your food and your
house, your electricity and heat, all that stuff to
make sure that you can live before you start paying credit cards. Just don’t pay them. If you can’t pay them, if
you don’t have enough money you don’t pay them
first, you pay them last. So if you’re in this
position where you’re living paycheck to paycheck and
you have a lot of debt then you might also want to take some time to think about your
career, think about where you’re going in the future. Think about, do you also
have an income crisis? Is that why, you’re just
not making enough money? Try to think about your job or your career where you are planning
it out and you’re not just wandering around. Because I feel like for
a while in my career and in my life I’ve been a
wanderer, I didn’t really, just kind of was going with the flow, didn’t know what I was doing,
didn’t know where I was going. It’s kind of like you’re in
your job, you’re just wandering, so try really hard to
think about where do you want to be working in
10 years or five years? What kind of job do you want to be doing and is that job you’re working
in now gonna get you there? Or that position you’re
in, maybe you can move to a different position within
the same company, right? And then while you’re trying
to get there you can try to earn extra income by extra jobs. I know a lot of people
talk about driving for Uber or delivering pizzas,
maybe you can pick up extra babysitting, maybe you can
start a YouTube channel even though I wouldn’t recommend
that as an income source. You don’t make a lot of
money off of it at all but I’m trying to think
about side things you can do to start picking up extra
money to help you increase your household income so you
can better pay your bills and to start paying off what you owe. You can start doing your own haircuts. Maybe not for you but
Jim cuts his own hair. Well he shaves his head
so he does that himself. I cut the boys’ hair, we
bought a pair of clippers, maybe you’ve seen that
video of mine on my channel. The first time I ever did
it but I’ve been cutting their hair for years
now with the clippers. The girls, we grew out
their bangs so that we don’t have to cut their bangs
often and just like I don’t have bang so that I
cut my hair less often. We can go less frequently
to the hairdresser to get our hair done and when
we do go to the hairdresser we go to like Supercuts it’s like $7, $10. for a haircut and it does the job, right? Obviously you can cloth
diaper if you have babies. I’ve actually washed clothes
in our bathtub before. So you know, because our
washer was broken and we hadn’t yet saved up the money to
buy a new one so I washed some stuff in the bathtub. You can get really creative
with certain things when you really want to. We’ve been buying or clothes
secondhand for years now. Also, our couch is awful, like it’s old, it’s old and I have washed
the couch covers so many times now, and it helps keep
the couch looking new, it keeps it clean. I just take off the covers and wash them. You don’t need to go out
and buy a brand new couch if you’re living paycheck
to paycheck, right? You can wait on that, it’s
something that, I mean, just try to clean it up, you know? Buy some spot cleaner and try to clean it. So don’t buy new furniture. Stop driving as often. We stopped going to my
mom’s house as often, we stopped visiting family
as much just to save on gas and help save our cars ’cause
it’s less wear and tear on the cars so try to cut back
on the amount you’re driving. As you’re going through this
process you sort of want to learn how to say no. You’re gonna have to say no. I’ve said no to Pollyannas at
work, I’ve said no to lunches. You have a big, curly
head, do you realize that? Cut your cable. If you haven’t cut your
cable, why haven’t you, why? Doe anybody really have cable anymore? So we cut our cable, we have
a Roku that we picked up on Black Friday for like 30
bucks and there’s so much free content on there. And it’s been great, it’s been fine. Like we don’t get to see
everything currently, like I have to wait a week
to catch up on the Bachelor, I have to see it a week
later but it’s okay, I still get to see it. So cut your cable. And just also check all of your bills to see if you can get them lowered. Sometimes if you just call
they’ll lower it if you ask or you can get a different
deal, a different package, different bundle but you
know, look at all of that. This goes back to the
beginning of the video when I said to see what
you actually are spending on everything. Look at your utility bills and see if you can get them lowered. Your phone bill maybe you’re using up too much of your data or you’re going over your data plan every month. Start tracking that and make sure you don’t go over on your data plan because it’s gonna be adding to your bills and you don’t wanna do that. You want your bills do go down, not up. Make gifts instead of buying them Don’t buy gifts for a lot of people if you’re to turn down
going to certain events because you know you’re
gonna have to bring a gift. Then just say no, it’s
for a short period of time until you can get caught up on things, until you can start paying off debt and stop living paycheck to paycheck. So this is not easy, none
of it is easy, it’s hard. But if you really want
a change in your life, you have to change things. You can’t keep doing the same
thing that you’ve been doing. And I know from me, I feel like I’ve had a lot of moments in my life where, you know, God has
sort of whispered in my ear that, you know, what I
was doing was not right. And then I feel like I kind
of had to keep getting hit and hit, and punched in the face, and then really hit over the
head with a sledgehammer. You know, like you don’t
want to get to that point. Hopefully you haven’t gotten to that point where something really bad happens before you really get the message. Because I feel like this is a message. I know in the Bible it does say everywhere that if you borrow money you’re a fool, if you, you know, you
don’t want to do it, okay? So, it really does change
something, I think, within you when you stop
living paycheck to paycheck. And it’s a good place to be. So I think it’s worth
it is what I’m saying. I think it’s really worth
it to go through the pain for a little while to get
clear of this in your life and move forward onto something better, something more beautiful,
more positive, less stressful. It’ll make an impact all around, I think. You and for your family. And everyone who interacts with you. You’ll be able to help
more people in the world. That’s my story and the things that we did to stop living paycheck to paycheck, start building a savings account. If it’s your first time
here, thank you so much for watching, don’t forget
to subscribe every Tuesday, I do a new video all about money and I’d love for you to
join me in this journey of building wealth and being debt-free. And thank you to everyone
who’s been watching me over the years, thank you
so much, it does mean a lot. Okay, all right guys, I’ll
talk to you in the next video. Bye! Oh, and don’t forget, if
you have any other ideas of how to stop living
paycheck to paycheck, please leave them down
below in the comments so that everybody can read those and we can sort of share
ideas with each other. Okay, all right, bye. Trying to get out of debt
and most of your money aside from your thousand
dollar savings account is going towards paying off your debt. But then this is the part if
you’re a Dave Ramsey follower like I am that I get really confused on, because I hear him talk on his radio show.

100 thoughts on “How We Stopped Living Paycheck to Paycheck

  • Wow your story is a lil similar to mine as far as having a credit card early and accumulating debt.I have taken the steps to pay of my bill.I went from 7 credit cards and I am down to 3.I had my first credit card at 18 and I am now 39.My money situation is much better as I have income from various sources.Yes it is definitely possible to not live paycheck to paycheck.Having discipline is definitely a must.Thanks so much for this video!God bless

  • Hi Dana i really appreciate u & the info u give. I dont have a career i have a job. It pays enuf & the job i want (substitute teaching) doesn't pay as much as my maintenance job. Im tired of cleaning toilets etc. Well its a clean job lol pun intended. Praise God for it. Im 67 & i know i need to save which i havent bn doing like i shd. But im working towards that. I rent. Had 2 houses too much stress.

  • Not going to dollar tree is hard but i will get back to sacrificing again. U convicted me THANK U! If i can save 2 get the apt i want i can 2 get my emergency fund & savings 4 retirement.

  • Im 67 & i want to work from home. I dint have cable but i do need a car & am tired of catching the bus everywhere. But thankful i can. But winters comung & i need a RELIABLE car but no debt.

  • When we look at how poor people with and without jobs live they had everything down pack on how to live, but not enuff people to teach them how to save. I dear (Review the life off a poor person or family with or without a job) like the message you bring.

  • I watched this because the title of the video got me, I too am a mum of 4 and this video was my moment, I have been in some ways dreading returning to work next year ( after staying at home for 10 years with my 4 kiddos) but threw a vail of tears this video has helped me feel really positive about it, cause I can't live like this any more either, we don't have debt thankfully, but we are living pay check to paycheck after being on 1 income for so long and it is so scary tfs

  • Hey be as frugal as you want but not to visit your folk is wrong,they may miss you and they not getting to spend realtime with your kids.thats not fair of you to make that decision for your kids they have a right to see their family lots, ,you can't weap at someones funeral and think you going to miss them and all along you cut visits down to bare ròots when they alive,you only got one family dont put them on the frugal list,cut netflix off instead that more frugal

  • I'm living paycheck to paycheck but God has been good to me and my children. I pay my tithes and offering faithfully. My bills are always paid. I'm a single mom of three by the way. God is good, I focus on being positive at all times. When it comes to my children I don't care how big the bill is. They health matter more. Better safe then sorry. I like your videos.

  • & if anyone buys online, shop all over,
    Not spamming, is just a to really find cheap, I bought an area rug, kitchen table 4 chairs, dish rack etc, all for only $150.00, amazon, wayfair, – see every place for the same item and you will find cheaper.this app also applies discounts and finds cheaper:
    Shop smart.

  • I love every suggestion you've made. Life is too short, folks need to live & enjoy life – not struggle to get through it. Keep doing and sharing🤗

  • Wait, so do you guys on the east coast have "oil" instead of "gas?" You keep saying you have an oil bill. Is that like me having a gas bill?

  • Dana, I can really relate to this! I love to hear that other people are making sacrifices in life to get on track with their finances too. Yes, it's hard and I can relate to your story about the ER vs. Urgent Care. There was one time we sat in the ER for 5 hours waiting!!!! When we could have just waited to see the Dr. the next morning but because of our child's heart condition we felt it was important enough to go to ER but to wait that long anyways was horrible and it cost us a lot of money we didn't have at the time. It's hard sometimes to make some decisions especially when it comes to our children's health. We try to do our best as parents for our children even though it has costed us a lot of money over time. It just makes us work harder to save back money so we aren't in the same situation again. I love to hear your videos and love the help you offer to others by putting out these informative videos, thanks Dana!!

  • Ego control is so important. One of my struggles to making changes has been worrying about appearance and how that stops me from making difficult positive changes.

  • I ordered an android Tracfone from Ebay. It was $50 and came with a year's worth of service, 1200 phone calls, 1200 mb, 1200 text msg. I no longer have a phone bill. Then my grandson, who is studying to be a computer tech, said you don't need the Megabytes when you have an internet connection. So even if you run out, it doesn't matter.

  • My god girl, you have 4 kids and not a dime in your pocket. But you had tons of debt. Listening about your sick child made me cry and it's not even my kid. Thank god you decided to do something else.

  • God bless our NHS, it may have it's shortcomings but I have never had to think twice about getting medical attention due to money for my children, me or anyone else. I know that wasn't really the point you were making but it just brought that up for me.
    I am enjoying watching your videos, they are motivating me to get more control over my finances ☺

  • I didn't hear you talk about eating at home/packing your lunch, as opposed to eating out. You don't have to eat humiliating food, but anything you make at home is 1/2 the price of what you'd pay at a restaurant…and no one spit in it.

  • Were are out of debt were going to stock up on food to be a month ahead on food & were working being a month or 2 month ahead its hard living pay to pay but budget helps & learn to jump ahead its hard but not impossible

  • You have much wisdom. The process is very important. You are learning every day…me too. Putting God first is the only way to go. Your little one is adorable & those curls!! I'm debt free & have savings, cds, stocks& bonds. Yes, it is hard, but it's more than I could ever have imagined. PTL. Keep on going. God will bless you & everything you put your hands on. SHALOM.

  • Wow .. your story is so similar.. I just went thru my last straw but had to do a bankruptcy to get a fresh start …Im a mom of 4 since 16 I did the same as you! I was so far in debt living off the payments I made on the cards…now I never want to end up like that again, and came across your channel.. Thank you! I am loving your videos!

  • Tip. Keep hair simple. Keep it long. Cut ends and fringes when hair is wet and USE DRESS MAKING PINKING SHEARS! Because of the ceration you don't get that awful chopped, straight line look amateurs often get when they use kitchen scissors or hairdressing scissors. The shears mimic the snipping the hairdresser does without the bill. If you want to do simple cuts as per Youtube then pinking shears work for those also.
    If you use colour for grays buy a wash in six week treatment the same colour as your natural colour. Using cheap dies looks obvious unless it's a close match. This has worked for me for over five years. The hairdressers is an occassional treat not a six weekly money pit. Also study what they do to inform your skills!

  • Thank you for your honesty and generousity. Something I read was that people who live paycheque to paycheque are used to spending everything and it's a habit. Apparently, if they receive a 'windfall' of money say gift, inheritance, good sale with this mind set they will spend it the same way. Average time to spend 'windfall' is eighteen months and then it's pack to paycheque living. You have been warned. I did this which is why I'm sharing.

  • I cut my own hair (long hair with layers), dye my own hair, and cut my husband's, 3 sons', and 2 daughters' hair. I have done this for years and it saves so much. I learned to cut my own hair from a YouTube video. Don't be afraid! If it doesn't turn out you can just do pony tails and buns until it grows out!

  • I can relate to the brand new car. Took me 5 years to pay it off. I fortunatly lived at home with my parents at the time:). Still took me 15 years to pay of my student debt. And years later i discoved the debt free movement on youtube..

  • Wow, Urgent Care is brutal. And yes the Bible is awesome if your willing to put forth the effort to study it for understanding.

  • we do speed credit but we use them as bank card only spend what we have and we get 2-5% back from amazon and use that money to spend on things we need, self control everything is self control. Stop hanging out with friends outside, invite them over you will save tons

  • i'm sorry but reusable diapers you would still be sending money to wash those so that's not exactly true is it unless you don't pay for your water

  • I think that an even better way to save tons on your phone bill each month is to do a prepaid phone….. this is something that I never hear any one talk about in the debt free community here on Youtube. I pay $55 a month and can do anything from my phone that any contact phone can do. This is my favorite tip for cuttings back on spending.

  • I have been married our to four years I am now get my number five new set had used couch it was given y my hubby aunt loved it used ten years and gave it away

  • Meant say forty four years come September eleventh to thousand nineteen I had beautiful blue set at yardsale couch love seat for twenty dollars mint condition they delivered to me I don't drive I use it five years loved it

  • I love your channel. I am so glad I found you. I have to say I love cleaning with paper towels. I know they are expensive and bad for environment but I hate cleaning with sponges or rags. I feel I am spreading the dirt. I wish we could wash paper towels…… I love your positive attitude, thoughtful ideas and no nonsense approach.

  • Great tips! Thank you!! I'm trying to do the same thing. One thing that's helped lots is taking charge of our grocery and food bill. We started to do grocery pick up and it's saved us a ton cause even with a list you end up buying more. Also, I'm using my airline's eshop to take me to the store's site and every time I do that I'm getting a few miles which is a nice bonus for when I wanna take a vacation.

  • The story with your boy being sick was so painful. I'm sorry you had to go through that. When my grandmother was getting too sick, my extended family kept telling themselves that public hospital was fine (in my country it isn't). She passed away, she was old and sick, but I will never shake off the question of whether or not she could have stayed with us longer. The same happened 14 years later when my father had a stroke and refused to be operated because (in his depression) he felt he failed in giving us a decent life so he didn't want to be a burden anymore. He did survive and I would pay the world for that. I never had a "frugal epiphany" moment, but I will never see my family go through this again, I am frugal I suppose, I grow stuff and reuse clothes and have been saving two thirds of everything I make for rent and savings. But it's starting to pay off, the last 2months I finally managed to get to a point where my savings are generating 50$ a month (my basic goal for the past 7 years :-D)

  • not being able to make ends meet means income isnt paycheck to paycheck is just having enough. what your talking about is not managing finances correctly

  • Don't forget to build passive income streams (semi-passive). You only have so many hours you can trade for dollars to earn.

  • Thanks for sharing! Love that curly haired beauty!
    Cut my cable in 2011, cleared all debt, and credit score jumped! Available credit is massive; in case of emergency use only! One needs to police one's spending; I'm now spending only half my take home pay, and saving the rest. My retirement plan is set as well. This is peace.

  • If you have Roku hulu etc you still pay a Wi-Fi bill so whats the diff of paying a cable bill? Its a personal choice. I find paying for haircuts especially for boys is a complete waste of money i cut all 3 og my boys and husbands hair every 3 weeks which is more savings then a cable bill. To each is own.

  • This is an old video I rewatch it ,I wanted to know I give my 10% to my church I have 2,000.00 in credit cards bill I make 1,300.00 a month on disability should I stop giving my 10% give less and put it towards my bill I pay anywhere from 100.00 to 150.00 a month what is the best way if I gave less to,church ( I do a lot of volunteer work) I could get rid of the bill in a year if I continue the full amount it will take at least 2 years,I have asked them if they could put the % down but they say no I pay 60 a month on interest

  • i have cut hair for my kids and my husband for nearly 18 years to 20 years AND… I even cut my own hair.:-) I cloth diapered, breastfed my babies and now even use the clothes line to save on electricity by not using the drier.

  • Ugh! I wanted to cry with you! I had an identical situation when my daughter was little and I took her to the ER with no $$. You're so inspiring!

  • I just started watching this as we are in debt and I had my moment. Where do you work and can you share how you got a better job?

  • This video makes me cry everytime when you are talking about son. You can tell you are a great mom! Debt makes our decision making poor. I too have made bad mistakes due to debt decisions.

  • Meal planning and prepping and only buying what was on sale, going to discount stores like grocery outlet, making freezer meals to avoid going out for convenience

  • All of this is wonderful advice. Its spot on. But when your partner isnt on board, all the great advice in the world doesnt help. So depressing.

  • Just subscribed. Plant based, and scripture references, you're my kinda peep! lol another one in the bible is "the borrow is servant to the lender" and "owe no man anything but love". I'd rather be His servant than Capitol One lol

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