One of the beauties of starting this blog and movement is that I’m continuously inspired by other women. Not too long ago one of my readers, Tyesha, mentioned in my comments section that she was living off of one of her paychecks. I’ve heard of people doing this but never spoke to someone who is doing this that wasn’t a granola eating minimalist. So I had to hear how she was doing it and asked her to share her experience with MFF readers.
Here is Tyesha’s story:
In January of this year, I took a look back on my 2013 spending and saving, and let’s just say I was very disappointed in myself. About 1/2 of my salary was being used for shopping or paying off credit card bills. I was literally sick to my stomach after looking at the numbers, and I knew something had to change.
About three weeks later, I started a new job and decided I have to see how I can live on one pay check per month.
Before that could happen I had to pay off the credit card bills I accumulated last year. My goal was to pay all cards off by the end of April. As of the end of March 2014, all those bills were been paid off. Woooohooo! I can’t say how great feeling it is.
During this time of paying off my credit cards, I gave myself a tight budget and was able to save significantly!
So why am I living off one paycheck?
I have a goal on the amount of money I want to save by the end of the year. I also have a vacation/wedding trip in South Africa this summer for which I am saving for. (I have opened a separate saving account for this trip.)
So how am I doing this you might ask?
Here are the steps I have implemented:
Step 1: I have a budget, and I am sticking to it!!! I have always had a budget but never stuck to it. Shopping being my weakness, I always see something I want to have, and I get it. NO MORE!!!
Step 2: I set my expenses up as fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are items that are the same every month such as tithes, rent, and cable. Variable expenses change monthly and include my food allowance and entertainment. I budget everything–even the allowance I gave to my niece and nephew (which they have to work for). Lol… I know; I am a bad Auntie.
If, for some reason, I go over in one area, I try to find a way to cut back in another or not to spend the money I allotted for a certain line item such as movies or the shirt I wanted to get this month.
Step 3: I reduced my overhead. My rent is currently half of what it was about two years ago, but even if it was not, I could still live on one check per month. As stated above, I have no credit card bills. When I do purchase something on credit I will pay the bill right then. I polish my own nails every Sunday instead of going to the nail salon. I go to the nail salon about once every two months.
Step 4: I said no to shopping – MOST TIMES!! I don’t shop at much as I used to…as I stated earlier, I still have clothes in my closet from about 2 years ago that I have not worn. (Now can they fit?!? Thats another conversation) I smile when I am able to walk into and out of my favorite store and not buy anything.
Step 5: I stopped eating out as often as this was another large expense in 2013.
Step 6: I significantly reduced what i was spending on others. My birthday gifts allowance has been decreased drastically.
These are some of the things I am doing to live on one check per month! Wish me luck! I am totally looking forward to the challenges and accomplishments ahead.