Its exhausting living paycheck to paycheck, constantly terrified of what could happen when the funds run out. You try to budget, spend wisely, work hard. But there's never enough. Something always comes up. Pregnancy, eviction, family emergency, job opportunity, snowstorm, food runs out, hospital bill, check returned, dogs hit by a car, etc.
Frequent financial emergencies that drain your savings account are a direct result of too many financial responsibilities. Do you have more pets than you can take care of? Have you been taking care of someone or lending out money? Do you have kids to take care of? A car? A rental or owned home? Debt? A job that requires a payment from you, such as a personal business or trucking?
It sounds awful, but if your budget is balanced, you can't find a way to bring in more income, and you find yourself facing emergency financial moments this is what you have to do: cut your responsibilities or find help with them.
I'm not saying don't feed your kids. But maybe sell that 2014 truck and get yourself a sturdy Chevy that costs you 1/10th the price and is cheaper to fix. And cheaper to insure.
The second step of budgeting is emergency and longterm planning. Your dog needs vaccines? You should have prepared for this.
Now your whole stability is threatened by a preventable event.
But say you're in my situation - where its vaccines or the gas bill? It means you have too many responsibilities. Learn to say no.
I want kids really badly. I'm saying no, not until my husband can work. My car needs repairs. I'm going to make sure the house I'm renting is insulated for the winter first.
You have to prioritize. Because especially when money is tight, it is a finite resource that won't magically multiply. Make sure you have a real emergency cushion - because things can always get worse. Plan ahead for what you can afford. Say no or ask for help for the things you can't.