Living paycheck to paycheck really sucks, but those who have been doing it long enough have gotten really creative just to save a penny.

Since 2022, the number of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck has gone up by nearly 20%.  That's a huge jump, but it's not that surprising considering all of us recovering from losing jobs, getting hours cut, and being unemployed from the pandemic years.

"About 61% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, an issue that impacts both low-wage and high-income families alike, according to new research from LendingClub." [cbsnews]

 

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Personally, I've been living this way for a little over two years now.  I've been adjusting to paying all my bills myself and trying to budget in the best ways possible.

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Even if I'm just spending what I need on basic necessities; bills, gas, food, toiletries, and medications, my paycheck still isn't enough to cover all the costs.  A few weeks ago, I only had $25 in my bank account.

Some months, I can't pay my utilities all in one check.  It's just not possible.

"the majority of paycheck-to-paycheck consumers aren't splurging or spending on things beyond the basic necessities. And those essentials alone can quickly eat up a worker's paycheck." [nbcnews]

It's not easy and I know a ton of others can relate.

Read More: Illinois Woman Goes Viral For Having $25 In Her Bank Account

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You start getting creative in ways you never thought you could when money is tight.

Illinois Woman's Creative Way To Make Ends Meet Surviving On $25

I posted to TikTok that my neighbor texted me asking to do a "trade".

He wanted to give me a taco from Taco Bell in exchange for a roll of toilet paper for him and his kids.  Obviously, I couldn't say no.

Why did I say yes, though?  It was too good of a deal to pass up!  I am always hungry and my neighbor is always in the bathroom.  It was a total win-win for both of us!

Related: Illinois Woman Makes Ramen Noodles Every Day Until Payday

Sure, I put my business on blast but it's for anybody who needs to know they're not alone.  Don't feel ashamed for the situation you're in, make the best of it!

Too many people in Illinois, and around the country, are living this way and it's so sad to think about.  We shouldn't have to worry about where our next meal, dollar for gas, or roll of toilet paper will come from.

I'm currently on track to financial freedom and I'm so excited to see where I'm at in two years time.  You can be in the same boat, too - just trust the long process.  We got this!

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Gallery Credit: illinoistreasurer.gov

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