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Tips for How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Stashed in: Reddit!, Awesome, Real Talk, Personal Finance

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Top Reddit comment:

Typical places to save:

  • Going out to eat less
  • Owning cheaper cars
  • Cutting down on cable and/or cellphone bills
  • Excessive heating and/or air conditioning
  • If you like to go out, drink less and/or order cheaper drinks
  • Going out to eat less (for emphasis, this one REALLY adds up)

For you two not to live paycheck to paycheck you NEED to know where your money is going. Get MINT, it's free, if you keep it updated and put all of your accounts in it'll give you a great idea where your money is going.

I guess MINT is still the most recommended budgeting tool.

This whole thread illustrates so clearly the problems with personal finance advice. Unless you go out to party a shit ton -- in which case you should maybe consider getting your drunk on at home, if only to save on the $10,000 DUI that is surely in your future -- how much can you save by ordering cheaper drinks? Maybe $50 a month. Meanwhile, nowhere on this list are the three biggest categories of expense over a lifetime: housing, healthcare, and kids. When people go bankrupt it's rarely from staying home watching cable TV with the heat cranked up to 80 degrees and a Bulleit Old Fashioned in hand. It's almost always housing, healthcare, and/or kids that drive even prudent savers to the poorhouse.

To be fair, you can tell that this guy is young and has no idea of the real facts of life -- which are that no matter how much you save in your 20's, the healthcare system will hoover it out of your bank account before you die. But here's another fact: the single most common housing situation in America today for people under 35 is living with their parents, and that isn't even counting parents who move in with their grown kids. So in fact a whole lot of people have already figured out a solution to their financial problems BUT THEY CAN'T ADMIT IT. When is the last time you read a finance column that had any practical advice about how to live with your parents without killing each other? Money is already a touchy subject, but when we can't even be upfront about our real situations... how can we hope for real advice?

I got no beef with Mint in particular, but I will say it has a lot of value for people who have extremely regular habits and love to budget. I'd say a trivial number of people I know fall into that category, but maybe I'm the outlier here.

Yeah, I've read more than once that less coffee is not the answer:

I did not consider that most people know the answer but can't admit it.

It suggests a whole new style of real advice. 

I've heard you should look at what people actually do, not what they say.

It's hard to know what people actually do. Are there good sources of data?

Another good Reddit comment:

Pretty much this. After becoming near broke I went back and analyzed last 3 years of bank statement. Most of my money went to eating and drinking outside. That $10-$15 meal eating out adds up to a lot. That one time steak or lobster dinner will rack up bills pretty fast. Not to mention you will add tip to the bill too. I have stopped eating outside and pretty much perfected cooking/grilling whatever I love eating at restaurants

Thanks to /r/gifrecipes

Today I learned there's a gif recipes subreddit. 

Because they escalated quickly!

Plastic cup + butter knife = massive DIY fudge pop mold

Pitcher + spatula

Lamp post + cement mixer

LOL. Oh Reddit is there anything you won't say?

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