June was hard. Really, really hard.

I was on such a high recently, with us moving into a new place, everything going great, getting a promotion, and decorating.

And slowly the wheels started to unravel. We’re still trying to get back on track since Eric’s injury in April which resulted in 5 weeks of no pay for him. I really thought we would be okay. But in May, we started covering expenses with a credit card to hold us over until he started working again.

Well, he went back to work in May and we started to dig ourselves out of the hole. But in early June, he started a new job.

At first, we were ecstatic. Even though the hourly rate was about 65% of what he was making before, the job was closer to home (20 minutes vs. 75 minutes), he had full benefits, and we were told he would get a full-time position with 24-hour shifts, as opposed to the 12-hour shifts he was getting with his old job. In the end, we expected that he would be making larger paychecks due to the increase in hours.

In the almost three weeks since he finished his training, he’s had three shifts. We are on hold, waiting for a full-time position to be vacated so that he can take the spot. We don’t know how long that will be, however we’re told it could be anytime in the next few months.

I don’t have months. I have bills that need to be paid and one shift a week isn’t going to cut it.

I know some people don’t care about finances and think that a few hundred dollars on a credit card isn’t a big deal, but to me, it is a big freakin’ deal. I don’t want to be imprisoned by my debt and that’s how I feel right now.

These are the last few years of my twenties and I want to be enjoying them, going out, traveling and being careless–not worrying about how I’m going to pay off credit card debt we keep building up.

To make ends meet, Eric started to pick up shifts at his old job, but it’s still touch and go and it’s still only a fraction of the money he was making before.

I am frustrated with our situation because I have no control.They made it sound like he would have a full-time position immediately. And even with part-time work, they said it would be easy to pick up shifts, but it is not.

I know his next few paychecks are going to be less than before and I just don’t know how this is going to hold up when we are trying to get ourselves out of this hole.

Of course, of course, of course, I can always dig into the side hustle or other savings accounts if we were in dire need and couldn’t pay our rent, but I really don’t want to do that. Thankfully, we haven’t had to make that decision yet. We’re paying our bills and surviving paycheck t paycheck, but we are not paying down debt, and keep being one paycheck behind from paying off our credit card.

Sometimes I just get really frustrated with the situation we find ourselves in. It doesn’t look like July will be any easier, so I’m just trying to focus on the positive and realize that our current situation is just temporary.

How often do you get frustrated with your financial situation?

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City Girl Stef Woods July 22, 2012 - 5:59 pm

If a virtual hug, thoughts and prayers help at all, I’m sending them your way. I hope that July has been easier on you both. xoxo

Jordann @ My Alternate Life July 11, 2012 - 6:57 am

Oh I feel your pain! My fiancée started his own business last fall and right now his income is incredibly sporadic. It’s been like that for about six months and it’s really starting to wear on me. Sure we’re making ends meet, but not easily. Just hang in there, things will get better, you just need to call on the depths of your patience to help get you through this.

Teacher Girl July 10, 2012 - 7:44 am

I get frustrated every single day. I understand, I really do, but just remember that this is temporary for you and long term like it is for me and so many others. You are great with money and you guys will recoup. Hang in there! *hugs*

Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals July 9, 2012 - 5:22 pm

Um, I get frustrated with my financials on an almost daily basis, but that’s just because I’m numbers obsessed. I have to say that I totally empathize with your situation; to me, a few hundred bucks on a credit card (knowing the money wasn’t already in the bank) would drive me BANANAS. Keeping holding on there, girl, your silver lining can’t be too far off.

Babybluewater July 9, 2012 - 9:06 am

I’m sorry that you are going through this. We get frustrated when we realize we don’t really have anything saved up. We have put most of our earnings towards our debt and live paycheck to paycheck until we get this monkey off our backs. It’s not a great way to live and we wish we could see some of our earnings adding up in a savings account, instead of just seeing our bills go down, but I guess it’s the choice we’ve made. I’m hoping July turns out better than you anticipate! 🙂

Kim July 9, 2012 - 5:54 am

Aha, now I see why you are always playing catch up with the credit card. Wow, that stinks – you guys did some careful planning. Imagine if this happened two years ago before you two were on the same page about money. You guys will get through it; you’re both strong. I know you’d rather fight a polar bear than dig into your side hustle money, but it might just have to happen :(. I know it hurts; I have pangs every time we use money from savings, even when it’s necessary, like car repair. But you’ve made so much so quickly, it should be easily replaceable. You’ve said that doing both barre & running make you exhausted; maybe it’s time to take a time out from barre anyway (i.e. save a little money there)? A little more beaches and slurpees instead of whatever you’ve done for fun lately that costs money? When we feel poor but want to live/get out, we go listen to free concerts or wander around free public gardens/arborteums; you’re in a city so I’m sure it’s full of that stuff. Good luck.

hikinggirl July 9, 2012 - 5:24 am

I know you said you don’t want to dip into your side hustle money, but isn’t it better to pay of credit card debit instead of building interest and having a bigger bill come due (that would eat more of your money)? Especially considering the job situation. . Just my opinion, but it seems silly to have money in the bank and not use it to pay off debt. Maybe you have it on a 0% credit card, but if not…. Hope the job situation looks up! You’ll get more side hustle money and be able to travel then. Momentary setbacks happen to everyone.

MakintheBacon$ July 8, 2012 - 7:28 pm

My sympathy goes out to you and Eric. Although my previous financial situation was not the same and not to that extent, it really is frustrating when the money is tight. I have been getting really frustrated lately ever since the bf and I decided to house hunt. The price of what I want doesn’t align with the price I’m willing to pay because houses are so overpriced here. It frustrates and worries me because while I do want a house, I’m afraid of not being able to save as much once we get one, with the majority of our paycheques going to the house. I’m almost comfortable living in my apartment just paying rent, but sometimes I crave the status of home ownership, the privacy and especially the peace and quiet!

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland July 7, 2012 - 9:25 pm

UGH I feel you and I get frustrated by my finances all the dang time! Some how, some day. You’ll get there, but dang, it sucks. Knowing it’ll work out in the end does NOT help with the day-to-day. I know.

Debt and the Girl July 7, 2012 - 4:36 pm

Sorry to hear that you are going through this. I totally can relate to this. Hopefully things will resolve themselves soon and this will be only a minor setback.

Cassi July 7, 2012 - 2:48 pm

You just have to keep trying. You have to bear through the storm before you can see the pretty rainbow. It might seem like forever, but soon enough he will start his job and you guys will feel at ease. It just take time.

KendraD July 7, 2012 - 1:56 pm

I’m hoping we’re finally about to leave the section of our lives where we’ve been coasting on debt payments and not saving anything extra. I’ve been unemployed due to our move since December. My first paycheck should come at the end of the month. I feel fortunate that we’ve had plenty of money to pay our bills, but it’s been frustrating to have to stop the debt payments and quit saving.

I know you guys will be able to make it through. Best of luck to you.

Jeff July 7, 2012 - 1:52 pm

I will keep you and your husband in my prayers.

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Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter July 7, 2012 - 9:57 am

Ack! I completely understand how you feel – sorry! Hang in there, hopefully July will be the month where it is all sorted out and you can feel secure again!

Cat@BudgeBlonde.com July 7, 2012 - 9:29 am

Hang in there Erika. If anyone can keep yall on track, it’s you.

Debbie July 7, 2012 - 7:35 am

I feel your frustration. The only difference is we are in our 50’s and still in that position. You have time and you are blessed that you are “seeing the light” sooner then we did.

Christine July 7, 2012 - 4:27 am

We are going to be in that position soon. Im pregnant and going out of work the week before my due date. (early Nov). In my home I am the higher salary and it is VERY scary to not get paid for those 3 months I’ll be out of work. While we are trying to save more before I go out of work – we are also trying to get ready for a baby so its very difficult to save. I feel your fustration.

B. (Below Her Means) July 6, 2012 - 9:26 pm

Just remember that this is the “worse” part of “for better or for worse” and that it’s not the end.

Adrienne July 6, 2012 - 4:59 pm


That would be SO frustrating! I’m so sorry that’s happened to you :(.

We DEFINITELY have those months. Like right now. We just bought a house (expensive) and Jordan’s retainer just broke, which means, emergency dental work. At a REALLY bad time. I know it’s different, and not as huge, but, still, I do understand.

Jessica @ Budget For Health July 6, 2012 - 2:51 pm

75 minute commute?! I slightly feel your pain since I could only find a part time job in town and I pick up extra shifts at a hospital 30 minutes away. I’ve picked up a lot of days this summer, but I only get about 2-6 days during the spring/fall. I’ll be praying for your situation, this is definitely a growing period in your life!

CeCe @Frugalista Married July 6, 2012 - 10:16 am

Hang in there! Your good habits will keep you going as you get through this tough time. I know it must be killing you to feel forced into credit card debt. I’d feel the same way. The good thing is that you don’t take it lightly so it’s only as necessary and hopefully won’t spiral out of control and then when you are in a better position you will make paying it off a priority so it doesn’t follow you. Don’t be afraid to use savings if you have to. I don’t know if you have or not. I know how hard it is to touch hard earned savings even when it’s for times like this but that’s what it is there for.

jobo July 6, 2012 - 9:34 am

Ugh, I’m sorry about things and the uncertainty of Eric’s shifts right now! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, of course, but it doesn’t make the NOW any easier. Hang in there.

Jessica July 6, 2012 - 8:43 am

I feel you!!
It is tough living paycheck to paycheck & being so close to paying off credit cards… One day at a time & remember to breathe. You will make it through. You gotta suffer a little bit before finding the reward… {im not sure where I heard that from} but I feel like it is very very very true!!!
Happy Friday!!

Sean July 6, 2012 - 7:53 am

I get frustrated fairly often, mostly because we JUST really started our true budget. So I am just hoping no big surprises come up just yet. I just try and look at times like this as a great test. If you guys can come out of this and the next few months with staying on just your budgeted dollars then you will be in awesome shape. Sometimes the tough times are the best tests for how well and patient you guys can be on your budget!!

I hope it all works out for you guys, hang in there!!!

Jess @JessCantCook July 6, 2012 - 7:38 am

We’re in a sort of similar position and it is incredibly frustrating, we’ve managed to get by paycheck to paycheck since we took a risk and moved across the country last November but it doesn’t feel good to be making no progress in the savings/debt payoff areas every single month. My husband got a new job recently so I think that will help, but I feel like we’re in a little bit of a stall pattern for the next few months. And that sucks…trying to stay positive though!

Blair July 6, 2012 - 7:36 am

Hi Erika, I’m sorry to hear it was a rough month. I know that the challenge/game of ‘save as much as possible, cut expenses, get by on just a little’ can get old. I am sure there will be a light at the end of your tunnel soon. Hang in there.

justrealhappy July 6, 2012 - 7:34 am

I know it’s definitely frustrating and you want to move forward, but I think there are some definite lessons to be learned during this season of your life. Try hard to focus on that and not get too frustrated. I definitely know it’s hard to not focus on something that is making you feel trapped, but I think you’re right in wanting to allow as much positivity in your lives as possible.

my honest answer July 6, 2012 - 7:12 am

Sorry you’re having things tough. I’m with you on not dipping into those savings, and avoiding CC debt as much as possible.

I’m sure you’re already doing all this stuff, but make sure you’re cutting all expenses you can. It’s easy to think, ‘I’ve had a bad week, I deserve a takeaway’, but actually, it’s far more productive to think, ‘I’ve had a bad week, I’m going to spoil myself by cooking something nourishing from scratch’. Rephrase things in your head, so you can effectively luxuriate in the poorness. It sounds crazy, but it works. I -enjoy- wearing old clothes, because I know that they are saving me from buying new ones!


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