Please help, we're in the red every month and I don't know what to do

Posted on in r/personalfinance by u/Calm_Recipe on 9/25/2018

Income: $1,126/month take home pay
Mom gets $824/month from disability
Nothing in savings
Total: $1,950

Monthly Expenses:
Rent $1,230
Phone/Internet Bundle: $120
Food: $150ish a month minus $45 from food stamps = ~$105
Car insurance: $150
Private Student loan payments: $583 (Which I've stopped paying)
Gas: $80
Misc Expenses (toilet paper/soap/shampoo/etc): ~$50
Credit Card Payment (from the months where we were in the red): $220
~$1,955 at the moment, or $2,538 if I keep paying my student loans.

So as you can see, we're right on the line every month, depending on food and random expenses. And I have to occasionally put stuff on my credit card for months where we end up in the red, like when I blew my tire out a few months ago.

I was able to get my federal loans put on Income-based repayment so my total is $0/month for now. But my private lender does not share the sympathy. Either way I stopped paying.

That being said I don't know what else we can cut. I need phone/internet for work. I use the bare minimum for gas: I only drive to work and take my mom to her doctors appointments, nowhere else. The food we get is dirt cheap, generic brand stuff, so I can't cut out anything there. Car insurance is a fixed cost. And we use the bare essentials in terms of soap, shampoo, napkins, etc.

What can I do? I'm located in the LA area, if anyone is potentially hiring.


  1. This is a classic case of doing everything you can and getting nowhere. The solution is to build a complete picture of your future money so you will have a clear picture of what spending you have planned and where adjustments can be made. The only tool that you can use to do this is Income Companion.

    The feeling you will get from being able to see where you money is going for the next 12 months is unreal. For the first time in your life you won't have to ask someone else "what can I do?" because, with the "what if?" features available in Income Companion, you can play with options until you find what really works for you.

    Download the program and get started now to find out where you're headed so you can make the changes that will take you where you want to go.


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