If you are having to live paycheck to paycheck, what do you feel matters most in your expenses?
Well definitely paying the bills first, then providing food for the family. I love treating myself and family to an ice cream cone every now and then, not much left after that...
For me, the first one to be paid would be my priority bills like mortgage, electricity and gas, council tax, and water. And then I will buy food to eat. If there is not enough for clothes and shoes that can wait, when I have enough money to buy them. The most important thing is a roof over my head.
Mortgage, car payment, car insurance payment, electric and groceries. I need a roof over my head and I need a car to get to work. Sometimes I have to put off a payment until the following week if I have just enough to pay one bill and have nothing left over. I don't buy fancy clothing much and have no problem shopping at thrift stores and using coupons.
Having been down many years ago I always paid the rent first and my utilities. There's no substitute for having your own roof over your head even if you can't afford furniture.
At the time I was single so food was not a major problem. When I ate my family was fed. During the 80s there were tons of "happy hours" at every restaurant/nightclub that offered a free buffet of appetizers. I would order one beer or soda and milk it until I was full. In other instances I simply bought dry and can goods to stretched throughout the week.
Living that way is tough - have been there off an on. The most important thing is always the rent/house payment. Sometimes you can get assistance with food from a food bank, even if you can't qualify for Federal food assistance. Use that resource as it can free up money for utilities which are of course also important. If you live near where you work or in an urban area, giving up a car to not have that payment can be a big relief, or drive a used car that is paid for and in decent condition. Living in a more rural area, we did not have that option. There are usually organizations that can help with utilities also - ask your utility companies. Sometimes they can do assistance based on your annual income and reduce your fees.
The first things to give up are expensive cell phone plans and get a basic one. Cable can also go - Netflix/Roku save us tons of money and there is programming for the kids. Cut extra stuff that isnt' necessary and always focus on the basic necessities first.
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