I’m in my 30s so I should be used to this by now, but this shit is getting so stressful guys. I have no savings, my checking account is drained every month with rent, and if there’s ever a serious emergency I have no safety net, I’m legitimately fucked. I’m one unplanned expense away from absolute ruin. Those in the same boat as me, how do you deal with this?

  • Xhieron@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    Crime. That’s the answer. I don’t suggest or recommend it, but people who genuinely can’t survive or achieve any meaningful quality of life while participating in the social order will violate it instead. Some people shoplift; others engage in elaborate plots to rip off their landlords and creditors, but there’s no squaring the circle. I’m not in the same boat, but I’ve been there, and it’s only a stroke of good fortune that kept me from a very different road.

      • Koraboros@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        Why are you ordering Sony XM4s if you’re “broke”? Sounds like you’re just a scumbag who wants to justify being a scum bag to society.

        • Armok: God of Blood@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          11 months ago

          If I didn’t have a laptop or the money to buy one, I’d steal one because I wouldn’t be able to make money without one. Is a laptop a human right? No, not even close. Am I able to feed myself without access to a computer? Not really, no.

        • instamat@lemmy.world
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          11 months ago

          Lol how does that make him a scumbag to society? He’s not hurting the rest of the herd by doing this.

          • severien@lemmy.world
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            11 months ago

            When you steal, somebody gets hurt. If you encourage many people to steal, employers go bankrupt or have to downsize, letting employees go. But XM4 is a human right?

              • severien@lemmy.world
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                11 months ago

                How is stealing a product any different than wage theft from large corporations

                It’s not different, both are unethical and illegal.

                In my og comment I clearly stated that when people feel like society isn’t working for them then what use is following the rules.

                So if you feel you’re entitled to a luxurious lifestyle without having to work for it, you can steal and rob?

                FYI: It’s easier to get some XM4s to sell for bills and food than to steal a whole food shop.

                So, did you sell those for bills and food or did you use them?

            • cubedsteaks@lemmy.today
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              11 months ago

              When you steal, somebody gets hurt

              The folks at amazon and sony can cry their little hearts out.

    • mke_geek@lemm.ee
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      11 months ago

      This is absolutely horrible advice. Being financially broke doesn’t mean having to be morally broke. Those who don’t have much money don’t have to become bad people.

      • phillaholic@lemm.ee
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        11 months ago

        The first line literally says they don’t suggest or recommend it. The Answer was how do people do it. Crime is how some people do it.

      • Xhieron@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

        That is to say, the error is to conflate law with morality. They are not one and the same.

        • snor10@lemm.ee
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          11 months ago

          Yes, but stealing has been considered amoral in all cultures for all of history.

          Stealing is fundamentally wrong, only a tiny fraction of humanity would ever disagree.

    • GiddyGap@lemm.ee
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      11 months ago

      Sounds like you’re in the US. Most other Western countries have a much better social safety net to actually address these problems.

      • Zippy@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        Western countries possibly. Not most of the world population has near zero help. Safety nets are a very modern philosophy that has only emerged in about the last 50 years and mainly in in capitalistic societies that have created the excess wealth to support.

        I am happy we have those extra resources to support people. But this is not some universal law that dictates the requirement. The universe cars not about our well behind. This is provided by those that work a few extra hours to cover those that can’t.

    • cubedsteaks@lemmy.today
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      11 months ago

      others engage in elaborate plots to rip off their landlords and creditors

      …I would like to learn more about this

  • lemmy___user@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    Hey man, first off I’m sorry for the situation you’re in. I’m not sure if you are looking for commiseration or advice, so if I offer some please know comes from a place of love.

    I was in a similar spot to what you’re describing. I am not going to suggest that you can budget your way out of poverty - that’s absurd, the only long term solution (aside from fixing a lot of broken systems) is more money.

    That being said, this is something that made my situation more bearable. I cut up all my credit cards. I created two checking accounts, one for bills and one for everything else. I added up all my monthly bills and divided them by the number of pay periods in a month. I split direct deposit so that one checking account got the bill money and the other the rest. I never touched the bills account outside of depositing money and paying bills - I kept the physical debit card locked in my closet.

    This helped me keep on top of my bills and keep an eye on how much discretionary money I actually had to spend. I found the alternative was piles of late fees when I forgot that x bill was coming out of this pay check and I stupidly bought a donut that week or whatever (man it sure is expensive to be poor).

    Like I said, it’s not a solution and I don’t know your situation. No amount of budgeting is going to help if you don’t have the income to cover your expenses, and I wish that that fact wasn’t treated as a moral failing by so many people.

        • GadgeteerZA@lemmy.ml
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          11 months ago

          Yep good advice, some services have no investment value loss e.g. short term insurance, life insurance, etc. You can switch elsewhere for a cheaper rate and lose nothing.

          Unless you have a family or dependants, I’d cut out life insurance and focus on the essentials for now to recover. I also learn long ago to pay my credit card off every month to not have to pay interest on it…

      • lemmy___user@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        I’m glad to read that! I hope it helps. I would also recommend joining a credit union if you’re eligible and not already a member. They will typically have much better rates and lower fees on various services. Also, doing this math can be depressing - I remember having weeks where I had like $30 to cover gas and food. If you find yourself in that situation, dried beans and a second-hand pressure cooker are a much healthier alternative to the usual ramen packets.

      • cubedsteaks@lemmy.today
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        11 months ago

        in a state of frustration after paying my rent this morning

        lol me, every month at the end of the month.

      • June@lemm.ee
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        11 months ago

        Consider finding a budgeting tool to help. I use YNAB (though it’s gotten kind of expensive at $15/month) that keeps me in line. It’s a cash spending budget model that keeps me focused and away from credit card debt and ultimately saves me far, far more than the $15/month fee. It’s especially helpful if you have shared finances with a partner.

        There are lots of good options out there from free to more expensive than YNAB, but a good tool can go a long way to helping you maximize what cash you do have.

    • June@lemm.ee
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      11 months ago

      One thing I’d change here is the credit card thing.

      Not using a rewards credit card (like it’s a debit card) is leaving money on the table. I get 1-5% on every purchase I make and never pay interest because I pay the credit and as I go, never spending more than cash I have on hand.

      Granted, this is a discipline thing and not everyone can trust themselves with a credit card, but if you can get that under control, you should absolutely be using a credit card for all spending unless the fee to do so is greater than the reward.

      • lemmy___user@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        That’s 100% true. After a certain point, I migrated from using my “bills” checking account for everything to using a credit card with cash back rewards, and paying that off every pay period rather than using the checking account. But, that is only useful advice if you are already out of debt - if you’re carrying a balance on your credit card, rewards are likely not going to out pace your interest accumulation. It’s also a good idea to try to fit in as much savings as you can - any little bit in a money market account making you money is a good thing, and invaluable when an emergency comes up. But again, that is very very dependent on your financial situation, and may not be realistic to many people.

        • June@lemm.ee
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          11 months ago

          Great callout on it working best when lm you’re already out of debt.

      • ryathal@sh.itjust.works
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        11 months ago

        Studies repeatedly show people spend more with cards. It’s often more than the cash back amount in the first place, and additional fees for credit cards is becoming more common. Cash is vastly superior at controlling spending.

  • Kit@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    11 months ago

    It ain’t pretty, but here’s how I got through it until I started bringing in good money:

    1. No takeout or eating out ever
    2. Get a water filter pitcher and a nice water bottle. Drink only water.
    3. Every paycheck, take out $200 or whatever you can afford. This is your “fun and gas” money. Your gas, hobbies, social life, and dating comes out of this fund. Whatever is leftover when your next paycheck hits goes into savings.
    4. If you can rent a physically smaller place, do so. It will save on utilities.
    5. Don’t buy a car unless public transportation or biking is not viable in your area.
    6. Meal plan with the goal of zero food waste. So if you plan to buy an onion and will use half of it in one meal, make sure you have another meal planned that week that uses the other half. Do this with every ingredient. If you’re careful and creative you should never have to throw away food. - On this note, get good at cooking. It’s much cheaper to cook from scratch.
    7. Cancel your streaming services and learn to pirate safely.

    This works but isn’t a great way to live. You need to combine it with a plan to either make more money or relocate to a cheaper area while maintaining your current income.

    • Asymptote@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      11 months ago
      • If you have the option, buy stuff you’re always gonna need anyway in bulk when they’re on offer. Toilet paper, pasta, rice (except right now rice prices are exploding), coffee etc.
      • if your super market has marked down prices for “last date” or “close to use by” stuff, that section needs a visit every time you are in the super market
      • if you have a freezer, you have even more incentive for previous 2 tips
    • jcg@halubilo.social
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      11 months ago

      One caveat with the food tip is that eating absolute garbage like highly processed frozen food is still gonna be cheaper. I guess it’s cause they put so much preservatives and so those have such a long shelf life. Not that I’m advocating for eating that but cooking for yourself is a cheap way to eat something nutritious. But as somebody who’s gone through the same grind, it’s still honestly just cheaper to eat garbage. But, I legitimately just feel better, think better, and overall am better on food I cook myself. And that improvement has knock on effects for the rest of everything you do in life.

  • A_Wild_Zeus_Chase@lemmy.world
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    11 months ago

    To echo what some people have said, if you haven’t changed jobs in the last year or two; you absolutely should do so.

    As you’ve realized, there’s only so much you can do on the cost side to have things balance. Cost of living has risen relentlessly, but thankfully in many areas wages are finally growing too, and new hires usually get the higher rates.

    So not changing jobs frequently, especially in the industries you mentioned, is just leaving money on the table.

    Aside from that, definitely look into trades, but also look into local government, healthcare (like being a patient scheduler at a hospital), really any industry you are looking to break into as a career.

    They really need the help now, especially for entry level positions, and if you do a good job, you could parlay that into a career in an industry you’re excited about.

    So spend like 30 minutes each day looking for jobs, and don’t stop until you’re hired. Remember, even if you end up hating it, you can always quit and get rehired immediately in industries you’re more familiar with, because they also desperately need help too.

  • simple@lemmy.mywire.xyz
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    11 months ago

    I’m not really the correct person to answer this, since I’m not struggling to the same degree as you are.

    However I once heard a good tip on how to save money. Most people, when they receive their salary spent it first on the necessities (food, rent, etc) and then save the remainder (if anything is left). But instead you should first save a percentage of your pay before spending on any necessities. That way, your brain will try to make the best use the remaining money to survive the best it can

  • atlasraven31@lemm.ee
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    11 months ago

    You get some space by taking a better job and/or better budgeting

    OR

    You become numb to the grinding system

      • Retix@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        If you are willing to work, many of the trades are hiring and having a hard time getting apprentices/helpers. If you can pass a basic algebra test, you can make it as an electrician.

        The company I work for starts wages at $12+/hour with lots of overtime opportunities (including mandatory) and planned raises each year of your apprenticeship. I also know of a carpenter shop hiring helpers at $16+ because they can’t get help.

        Please don’t feel like you have no path forward. You just have to look outside your comfort zone a little.

        • Telodzrum@lemmy.world
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          11 months ago

          This one. There are nowhere near enough electricians in particular. It’s a guaranteed high-paying job and one that is in dire need of people.

      • yenahmik@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        Assuming you’re in the US, check out the USPS for jobs. They are understaffed and so long as you can jump through the hoops, they’ll hire you. I applied there back in 2013 and when I went in for an “interview” it was more of a walkthrough of if you complete x, y, and z by the deadline you’re hired. It pays well and you can get a ton of hours for overtime pay. I can’t talk to the job conditions, since I ended up going with a different job at the time.

      • FuntyMcCraiger@sh.itjust.works
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        11 months ago

        There’s a lot of government positions that require just high school, and pay more than typical.

        But they’re annoying to apply to, and often can make you wait a long time. Look into your cities job bank, same with state/province and/or federal level.

      • GBU_28@lemm.ee
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        11 months ago

        Not degrading you at all, but have you tried recipes with rice and beans? It’s filling and nutritious. Frankly I love the taste too

        I’m doing better now and still include them as staples in my week.

      • wildbus8979@sh.itjust.works
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        11 months ago

        Any chance you could retrain in trade school?

        It would help if you shared a little more about your income, your expanses, and your location.

      • GBU_28@lemm.ee
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        11 months ago

        There are a lot of remote data entry positions you could get into. You could study some data analysis on the side, using the data entry as a toe hold in the industry. Lots of free content and datasets to work with to learn on.

        Just a suggestion, not cutting you down.

        I’d be happy to chat more about that topic if you are interested.

      • Bernie Ecclestoned@sh.itjust.works
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        11 months ago

        Sales pays the best because you’re in the revenue generating column, not the cost column and also last to get the sack in a downturn

        Maybe a side hustle? If you have a good eye, upcycling stuff from charity shops is a way to generate extra income.

  • Sir_Kevin@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    11 months ago

    I realized that paying rent was like throwing money into a bottomless pit. Obviously buying a house was out of the question so I bought a used RV and moved into that. I added solar panels and all the VanLife type stuff and now my biggest expense is for the storage unit I put all my stuff in. No more rent, no power, water or most other bills. StarLink is expensive but with all the other expenses eliminated it’s not bad at all.

    • theshatterstone54@feddit.uk
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      11 months ago

      But what about an address? No address, no bank account. No bank account, no job. Or can you get paid another way in the US?

      • BCsven@lemmy.ca
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        11 months ago

        Most places you can request general delivery to a local post office, or rent a PO box

          • BCsven@lemmy.ca
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            11 months ago

            General Delivery is a term for when you don’t have a street adress here in Canada, so you still get your mail from somewhere (I’m not talking Amazon “Delivery”.) So when my friend moved to a new province and was living out of a van he contacts a local office and sets up General Delivery, his address was Dude c/o Post Office Address General Delivery. They hold it till you pick up your mail. You give this to the bank or anyone that needs a mailing address. We also have rural communities with PO Boxes at a main PO, and you can rent one. A PO box is all i had as a youth and opened government and bank accounts with it. UK must have something similar no?

      • Sir_Kevin@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        11 months ago

        There are services for that. I have an address that can scan/forward mail. Packages are also accepted. I use this address for everything.