I'm 32 and broke. I finally made my first budget ever and I'm -$700 in the hole every month. What do I do?

Posted on reddit.com in r/personalfinance by u/vitreous_luster on 9/28/2018

So, I've never had a lot of money, but I lost my full time job this past April and I'm now working part time at a bank while also attending college during the day, 3 days per week. I make about $250 per week. My grandma gives me $400 per month to help with my rent. I know, I'm pathetic.

I've been having to borrow a lot of money from my parents, and it's been pretty shitty, so I broke down and finally added up all my expenses and income, and I make about $700 less than I need to just to break even. I check on Indeed pretty much every day to see if I can get a second job, but the job market in my area is really bad, and I'm also kind of limited by my school schedule as to which hours I can work. Dropping out is not an option - I'm a semester and a half away from my Bachelor's.

My rent is $600 and I am probably moving soon, in with my brother, which should cut that almost in half. I did notice that I spend a lot of money on food - like $400 per month. I don't eat out very often but I do cook a lot and I literally never check prices when I'm grocery shopping, I just get what I need for the recipe. So that's an area of opportunity.

But even if I cut both my rent and my grocery shopping in half, I'd still be in the hole. I have about 4 credit cards all with low limits (the highest is $650) but they're all maxed out and I pay about $130 monthly for them, just minimum payments. My credit sucks. I would get a debt consolidation loan for them (they all have high rates, like 24%) but I almost certainly will not be approved for any kind of loan based on my DTI and my credit score.

I'm overwhelmed by all of this. I'd like to start digging myself out of this hole but I have no idea where to start.

Edit: As requested, here's my breakdown:

Income: $1430/mo


Rent: $600
Renter’s Insurance: $17.50
Gas/Electric: $95
Trash Service: $21
Phone: $80
Groceries: $350
Food at Work/School: $50
Vision Insurance: $13
Car Payment: $256.80
Car Insurance: $103.10
Gas: $140
Misc. Car Stuff: $40
EZ Pass: $45
Student Loan: $50
Cable/Internet: $67
Alcohol: $20

Credit Cards:

Capital One Quicksilver: $25
Capital One Platinum: $40
Credit One Platinum: $40
Indigo Card: $25

Total Expenses: $2078.40
Edit: I understand what RIP inbox means now. Thanks for all the replies. I’ll go through them all when I get home later. Sorry to those I couldn’t respond to.


  1. The first step out of the hole is to build a complete picture of your future finances. With a clear view of your finances for the coming year, you will be able to see (1) how much money is coming in and (2) where that money is going to be spent. This will replace the overwhelming feeling with confidence because you will be able to see what options you have for bringing your future cash flow into the black.

    The only tool that is available for managing your future money is Income Companion. Download the program from incomecompanion.com and get started. The feeling you will have from being totally in tune with your future money is unreal.


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