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Old 07-24-2007, 09:50 AM
1 posts, read 11,853 times
Reputation: 15


I'm siting here wondering why am I poor, and how did i make it before, Between my wife and I we Make around 85K /yr That may seem like a lot to some but we struggle and struggle, I'm just wondering is this common, We have a 4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage house that cost us 160k, I think thats a reasonable house for the money we make, but when u add student loans, car payment, child support and all the other misc expenses, there seem to be hardly anything left. can someone that in the same income range please tell me if you have similar issues!!!
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:55 AM
Location: Atlanta,Ga
826 posts, read 2,687,388 times
Reputation: 237
Did you add up all these expenses before buying your house? This may be the problem.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:28 AM
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla
1,889 posts, read 6,842,643 times
Reputation: 1521
Do you live off of a budget or do you just pay bills as they come? Search for articles, books or software that can help get you started:

Budgeting - The First Step to Financial Success
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:44 AM
3,557 posts, read 8,924,340 times
Reputation: 5856
A good starting point is the book "Your Money or Your Life". There is also a website, Alternatives for Simple Living Home with resources and a forum for simple or simpler living ideas.

You have a decent income and there are a whole lot of families living on less. Kind of scary isnt it.

Find out what you are spending money on(keep an accurate journal).
Figure out your debts.
Determine your income.
Now talk with your wife and identify expenses that are required (house payment, debt payment, taxes, etc), monthly like food and utilities which can be somewhat variable, and those that are not required but were just spending (new clothes, toys for all, hobbies, entertainment.)

You have just identified where you are presently and now you can rationally make decisions about where you want to be (goals both short and long term) and how you can go about getting there (short term and long term solutions).

Write all this down. It will be helpful and interesting later.

You can work yourself out of a hole and into a safe and secure future but you have to have a plan and a plan starts with information.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:58 AM
7,099 posts, read 23,348,946 times
Reputation: 7212
One of the biggest problems that we had was the habit of saying that it's ONLY 10 or whatever. A magazine subscription (that we didn't really need) was ONLY 20 bucks or so. Call Waiting was ONLY $______. That extra channel of TV was ONLY $_____. The donation to all the charities and other non-profits was ONLY 10 bucks a donation.

Those ONLYs added up to a big sum every month. You have to watch that sort of spending.

Credit Cards don't help either. Put a certain amount in your pocket and don't use them unless you must. Clothing sales really are tempting, aren't they!!! If you don't really need that new shirt or skirt, it doesn't matter what a good buy it is. You just wasted money.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:42 AM
352 posts, read 1,638,294 times
Reputation: 309
Also, we live in a society that keeps sending us messages that we need the latest technology and gadgets...internet, Tivo, call waiting etc..So, our expenses keep going up and it is hard to eliminate these technologies once we use them. Get rid of the internet, I think not!
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:45 AM
3,853 posts, read 9,615,066 times
Reputation: 1677
We have lived on 85K for years, even in Los Angeles, and we have had a much larger mortgage.

We also used to have student loans, car payments, some cc debt, adoption debt, and buy whatever really we wanted, etc.....

Then we ran into a program like Dave Ramsey's, but at church. DR has a very similar approach and I would highly recommend getting a copy of his book, "The Total Money Makeover."

It changed our lives.

In 2 years we have paid off ALL debt other than our mortgage.

I could go on and on about how to change your spending, but the book more than says it all.

You absolutely CAN get debt free, but it will require a drastic change in lifestyle. You may need to give up eating out, any spending that you don't need (and most of what we buy we don't need!), and maybe even have to sell some things.

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Old 07-24-2007, 11:54 AM
Location: South Florida
564 posts, read 1,678,100 times
Reputation: 253
There are many many people in your same position; making plenty of money, but never having anything left over.

I was in that position myself when I was married. Together we made about $100k, had a home worth $220k, 2 new cars, a dog, etc. but we were always low on money it seemed.

We ended up in divorce and later I filed bankruptcy (not too proud about that). About 9 months ago, I came across a book that changed my life: All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan which I highly recommend. Since then, my net worth grows steadily every month and my savings accounts grow larger. I find myself less worried about money and it feels more plentiful than ever before, despite the fact that my income hasn't really changed. You'll be shocked at just how wealthy you feel when you have adequate savings.

Anyway, best of luck to you no matter what path you follow.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:46 PM
4,267 posts, read 13,468,726 times
Reputation: 3322
We paid over 20K in taxes last year.

Mo' money mo' problems is what I say. We don't have any kids, do not own property so no exemptions. Totally sucks.

We have been saving a lot so we can afford a house but until then I think Uncle Sam is happy that we're taking care of him. We can manage our moola well but I hear ya. At the end of the month you're just like, "where the heck did it all go?!"
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:30 PM
Location: Weston, FL and Vero Beach, Fl
2,940 posts, read 11,719,235 times
Reputation: 2042
Remember when the only communication bill was your home phone? Well, adding the internet and all ther other "stuff" that we feel we absolutely need comes to:
AT&T = $190 month (includes DSL)
Cell Phones (2) = $180
Additional Cell phone = $76

Need I say more? I use to spend approx $80 a month on a home phone. So, we are all spending more on communication and/or some form of connectivity. We have so many expenses in today's world - no wonder people have a difficult time trying to make it.

Then comes the property taxes and insurance . . .

Do sit down with your SO/Spouse and make out a list of all of your expenses. We did and have made a huge dent in what we felt we couldn't live without. It takes commitment and a budget - good luck to you!
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