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  • Writer's picturePatricia Campbell

Can You Live Off One Paycheck?

Have you thought about living on one paycheck?

I have thought about it within the past 5 years.

I remember my 2nd or 3rd year in my career, I worked on an audit in Warren, Ohio assisting the Cleveland office for the company I worked for. There was a guy by the name of Rob who was working on the engagement with me. Don't know how we got on the topic but he stated that he lived on one paycheck and donated his second paycheck to charity.

My mind was blown when he said that.

I was never taught to think like that. In the African American community, you rarely hear conversations about how to manage your money. My parents for sure tried to teach me the best that they could which was save money for the future and don't get into credit card debt. We never really did go into how to budget a household. That's because they were worrying about how they were going to get by themselves. That's how most families are living in the lower/middle class.

Did I take action when I heard him say that?


Do I wish I did early on?


My husband and I have been in Florida for 2 years now. We wanted to put our roots down and purchase a house. We started in January so we could be ready by the time our lease was up. We gave up due to the crazy housing market but we did consider living on one paycheck.

To come up with our monthly payment for our mortgage (and escrow), I re-evaluated our budget, just a few examples:

- Increase/Decrease Utilities

- Get rid of storage unit

- Expenses we could completely get rid of

Once that was done, I was able to come up with what we could afford. Then we had to get comfortable with what we could afford as well. Of course we are able to snag money if we wanted but we loved the idea of being able to bank the other paycheck to invest, put towards a goal, or invest in our businesses.

This is just an idea to throw out there for you to think about. If you are about to make major changes (selling your home, moving to a new location, etc.), this is the time to think about what you could do to make your money work for you.

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