Money Challenge #1–I Live Paycheck to Paycheck….Barely

“I live paycheck to paycheck….Barely” 


In this tightening economy that isn’t a far stretch for any of us.  The first thing that needs to be done is to figure out where your money is going, i.e.. Rent/Mortgage, Credit Card Payments, Car Payment, Gas, Groceries, eating out.  If you have worked with us in the past you probably have the Money Tracker ,  which is just a sheet that breaks down each day and helps you write down what you are spending money on, a simple lined piece of paper sectioned for each day of the week works fine also. 


If you already know where your money is going it may help to capture everything in the Monthly Income and Expenses Worksheet  for those that have already worked with Darcey, you may want to revisit it and see what things have changed.   A simple piece of paper with all of your bills on it can accomplish the same thing, just don’t leave anything out.


Another tool that is helping many clients is the new D2D Money Calendar, which is still in it’s testing phase, if you have a received a copy, we strongly encourage you to jump into it and test drive it, the feedback we are getting is tremendous, people love it.  We are still tweaking and making improvements but would love even more feedback.  If you don’t have a copy, please reply back and we will send you a copy to try out.


Okay so now you know where your money is going…there just isn’t enough to go around.  This is where the tough questions come in.  Where can I cut back?  The key to remember, as hard as it may be to hear, is….”it is not what we make, it is what we spend”.  We have clients that had more monthly cash flow straight out of school making 20-24K a year, now they make 60-80K and can barely scrape by.  People say, “How can that be?”  Easy,  your taste grows with our income.  Upgrade in housing, upgrade in vehicle, upgrade in spending, hence the spiral begins. 


The next question….”Well what can I do once I am in that upgraded house or car?”  At this point and housing market, downgrading a house is probably not even an option.  We can look at your Mortgage, but most likely your terms are the same or better than what is being offered currently with the tightening lending standards.  If they are not, email/call to discuss what your situation is and let’s see if we could better that situation. 


Onto the vehicle….this is going to sound strange…..don’t run out and get rid of your gas guzzlers for the sake of having to fork out less for gas fill ups…this coming from Darcey, that doesn’t sound like her.  But I have been doing a lot of reading…..the values on SUV’s has dropped like a rock, trading in now, won’t get you any further ahead, what you save at the pump you just gave to the car dealership.  We can help you evaluate a new car purchase, remember talk with us prior to any large purchase, we will make sure you understand all your options.  What can be done about gas prices?  Plan your driving trips, consolidate where you can, cut back.  Carpool….don’t be shy, it can cut your gas bill in half, plus a great way to get out of the office at a decent hour….”got to go, carpooling, my ride is leaving”.  For some, 4 day work weeks or even telecommuting may be an option, can’t hurt to ask, in this environment, employers are more willing to listen since the raises aren’t impressive this year, they may be willing to listen to “alternative” benefits.


The last area of expenses that we do have control over, spending….I know, people don’t like to hear this part, do you need to pick up that take out for dinner?  Can you take your lunch instead of eating out?  Double whammy, save gas AND food costs.   Go to the Money Saving tips section for posts on this.


If you have done all that and it is still tight….email or call, everybody’s situation is different and some of my more complicated suggestions may just help you get the breathing room you so much are looking for.

~ by debt2dreams on September 22, 2008.

2 Responses to “Money Challenge #1–I Live Paycheck to Paycheck….Barely”

  1. As a client of Darcey’s, I have to say the D2D Money Calendar has been a HUGE help in keeping me on track with my finance goals.
    I find that when I am not actively using my calendar I get way off track and my spending goes through the roof tops! The money calendar keeps me focused on short term and long term goals and for sure keeps me out of TARGET! HA! ^_^

  2. Thanks Shawn for the Kudos. If anybody wants to test out the D2D Calendar, let me know I will send you a copy for the rest of 2008 free! It really is a great tool.

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