Help With No Longer Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Map out every single one of your purchases for a month through billing statements and receipts. Include all of the purchases you make with your cash because this counts as well. Anything and everything, from expenses to gift purchases for friends, these are all hidden, recurring annual expenses and it will change from month to month (for example, people tend to spend a lot more in October - December due to the holidays).

At first glance, I think your credit card debt is the main culprit. People get into the habit of spending on their credit card and then paying it off back to the original balance prior - without paying off any of the balance. This leads to overspending and stagnant financial position - or worse, you go into more and more debt as the new debt becomes normalized.

Second, none of your bills mention food. If you eat out a lot, those are all things you're spending money on. Every time you grab a coffee from Starbucks, every time you go out and get a snack from here or there - they all add up to the rest of the pie that is your available cash flow.

My suggestions:

Figure out a way to not spend on your credit card at all until you can manage to pay it off entirely. Divide how much you have in debt over a timeline of 3-4 months, and make it a living expense you MUST pay off at your own established deadline. If you do not add any more charges onto it, this should be fairly straightforward process.

Once you've figured that out, you can go back to using your credit card, but you MUST pay it off at each statement. Meaning - zero out your balance at the start of each credit cycle as soon as you receive your monthly statement. You get all the perks of gaining/building credit and none of the drawbacks. You also get to see how much you're spending month-to-month.

/r/personalfinance Thread