Please post your success story in the victory thread at the top of /r/personalfinance (well, unless it's Thursday during tax season, please wait until Friday afternoon if the Tax Thursday thread is up)! You can ask any questions there too. You may also find our wiki helpful: - ["How to handle $"](https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/commontopics) - [Guides on many topics](https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/index) *If you have questions about this removal, please [message the moderators](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2Fpersonalfinance&subject=Removal%20help%20request&message=Hello%20moderators,%20.%20%0a%0a%0aMy%20submission:%20https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/ydkvdf/i_have_3_combined_in_all_of_my_bank_accounts/%0a).*


Congrats! We get way too many "how the hell am I going to dig myself out of this hole" posts, and rarely hear the successes. So this is perfectly fine here... And... now you're headed in the right direction, keep going. I'm assuming you've read the section in the personal finance sub's wiki entitled "How to handle money". It's at [https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/commontopics/](https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/commontopics/) . Next step (beyond keeping ahead) is to build up $1000 in an account somewhere so that when the next SHTF moment comes it's not as big of a deal. I can't tell you how comforting it is to not have to stress about how to come up with the money to fix a flat tire or pay for an unexpected expense.


Nice! And man, fast food is NOT cheap anymore, right??


Not fast these days


Not food these days either


McRib is back in 5 days!


"Enjoy it like it's your last" \- McDonald's, 2022


[On-Cor BBQ boneless rib patties](https://www.food4less.com/p/on-cor-bbq-sauce-boneless-rib-shaped-patties/0007057504058?fulfillment=DELIVERY&searchType=default_search) These are basically the exact same thing as a McRib, 5 patties for $4. Just add a bread roll and pickles. You can make it for less than half the price of McD. If you have a pressure cooker, you can make your own boneless BBQ-style ribs that are better and cheaper in about 20 minutes to tenderize and another few minutes to brown and glaze in an oven or broiler.


I have to say, I LOATHE the on-cor brands taste in comparison to banquets, which has a family pack


Cooking your own pork with a pressure cooker is better than banquet or any frozen items, and doesn't take much time or effort at all vs. thawing and cooking from frozen.


Oh I agree, but if it comes down to on-cor vs banquet, I want banquet brand, that sauce... I can dip alot of things in it, can barely stand the on-cor sauce


Lol I can't imagine there's demand for it....I just don't believe it.


Not when that McRib meal gonna be $15, ill just go to a restaurant if I want a good meal, McDonald’s ain’t it.


That restaurant meal is gonna run you $45 though.


Depends on what you get, grab the food from the restaurant to go, tip only if you feel but I seldom will if I’m picking up the food and leaving, sorry. I can get a quality meal in my area for $20~ from the average restaurant, and <$15 for Chinese or Mexican of good quality. Hell even the local BBQ place wouldn’t be more than a couple bucks difference. I’ll choose the water over soda because the money with the added benefits to my health and in the end it’s the same cost as McDonalds. Fast food is dying, it’s change your business model or eventually cease to exist. Wish it were different. Edit: I don’t have an appetite for huge meals, so this also helps me a ton.


Fast food chains are just getting greedier.


I’m in a HCOL area and I can still get a wagyu burger for $15


I'm in Los Angeles and I got a wagyu burger joint nearby that I can get a double cheeseburger and fries for $16.


[The US Department of Agriculture mandates that beef only has to have 46.9% of Wagyu genetics to market itself as such for sale at retail locations](https://www.mashed.com/202706/the-untold-truth-of-wagyu-beef/?utm_campaign=clip)


A restaurant meal costs around 25 dollars max. Add 5 dollars for tip and you will don't get 45 dollars.


Because it's awesome.


It's been out for a few days for some early release. Not officially on the menu or app. Have to order at the counter. 2 for $6. Yum.


Is there a limit to how many you can buy? I place an order for 50 of them I'm The Bronx one year and they would let me do it I wrap the and place them in zip lock bags in the freezer.


"Please pull forward and we'll bring it out" 🤬


I was going to say I refuse to do drive thrus, but they close the damn lobby 5 hours early.


So far around me they've fixed that mostly. lobby's are now kiosk or mobile order pickup only. And kitchen has become more automated. Much lower need for staffing now. And they've been offering more for pay and benefits.


That's the usual process. If you have to start paying your employees more, you start laying them off and investing in more automation.


> lobby's are now kiosk or mobile order pickup only I've encountered this a few times when I've traveled. I am very thankful that is not usual where I live. It's so cumbersome and lame.


Interesting. I think the exact opposite. But definitely not a solution for everyone. Unfortunately, I work for a manufacturer of these, and it's where almost all retailers/restaurants are headed.


Where do you live? I live in Idaho, and I generally pay for things in cash, which automation complicates. I've noticed quite a few franchises in my area attempt the kiosks but they backtracked; it's always interesting to hear what happens elsewhere.


*Forgets about you*


It's that new Slow Food movement.


Fastfood still travels fast through your digestive system at least. Some way faster than others.


The McDonald's app has ruined me. There's a 30% off coupon in there. My opinion is that they're jacking up menu prices to push people to the app. Saves on labor collecting orders and increases the speed at which they can pump people through the drive-thru.


Same! They have thing for free large fries and a drink when the local football team scores a touchdown, so basically any game day. And the way it's programmed is just a drop down with all the possible drinks plus fries, so you can select fries twice and get two free large fries. My go to order has become two large fries and a McChicken for $1.39


My wife gets your deal and then I get the free quarter pounder with any purchase over a dollar. So we end up with 2 large fries, 2 mcchickens, and a quarter pounder for 2.74-2.78 (tax varies based on which we order from).


That McChicken really has gone up in price. I feel like just a month ago it was $1.09 pre-tax and now it's up to $1.39.


Yea, it happened ever since they gutted the dollar menus. They used to have the 2 for 2.50. But I remember at that time, which was last year, the mcchicken was still a dollar. Now it's 1.29 pretax for me at one location. If I drive 20 miles into the city though, it's 1.99 there lol.


I want to say it’s around $3 here in California


Lmfao a mcchicken is $2.60 here in Portland, and $2.90 for a McDouble and $6 for a quarter pounder just the sand which.


I usually just do the large drink for $1 that comes with a crispy chicken sandwhich. It’s the Chick-fil-A clone. A solid meal for $1, but the deal isn’t always there. I need to double check this double fries deals but damn I already feel guilty eating one large fries.


I dont get that coupon. I had a 1 dollar crispy chicken sandwich but Ive never had a buy 1 dollar and get a crispy chicken sandwich.


You guys are lucky. We pay $2.79 for a McChicken here


The fact that there's literally always a free medium or large fry available makes it so much more tempting


99c large ice coffee every day via the app. Gives me joy every day it's such a deal.


Yeah without the app, McDs costs nearly as much as a sit down. It’s crazy.


fast food is terrible value these days unless you make use of mobile coupons and choose items/addons strategically
















Neither is the store. Everytime I cook I’m like how is this 28 dollars?




The only way you save money by cooking is by eating leftovers and by getting ingredients that work for multiple things


Yeah, I'm the 'secondary' cook in my house. About once a week, I prepare a fairly elaborate dinner for four. I can easily blow by $150 in groceries just for one meal, and that doesn't even include spices, oils, sherrys, wine, etc., and I am free labor.. more than 2 hours when you count the planning, purchasing, cooking, and cleaning. Restaurants might be expensive, so is home cooking 'like' food.


I try to avoid fast food as much as possible just for health reasons but when I do go I've found the only 'cheap' options now are if you do whatever "2 for $5/6" promotion they have going on. Skip the fries/drink, don't get the meals. You can get pick 2 of Big Mac, 1/4 lber with cheese, and 10 piece mcnugget for $6, or you can get a Big Mac Meal for $11. 2 burgers for half the price of burgers+fries+drink.


Dude, I fucking realized that a few weeks ago. Was at the train station at night and had just comeback from vacation. A homeless man approaches me and asked if he can get food from McDonalds. I'm like yeah sure and we go to the order machine. 17€, holy shit. That used to be like 2,5 or 3 menus. Dude did get himself a lot of food, but still, damn.


I'm the laziest person in the world and it's at the point where I'd rather go to the store for ingredients and make my own food. I'm now living the "We have McDonald's at home" meme.


Everything is expensive now. Went to little Caesar’s, you know the little Caesar’s that always boasted about the $5 hot n’ ready pepperoni pizzas? Shit is $8 now for a pepperoni pizza. I might as well just go to dominos for that price. Shits depressing.


I know, right?! And LC is trying to upsell with the “most bestest” and “fanceroni” scams. I got a most bestest pepperoni the other day and it had the same amount of pepperoni as a regular pizza.




Well I don’t eat out pretty much at all except chipotle every other month & I rarely ever eat pizza. When I do eat out I’m making sure I get my moneys worth. When you don’t eat greasy shitty food often little Caesar’s tastes like heaven, at least to me. Plus after you’re done eating it you don’t feel as bad because it was cheap. This was of course back when it was $5. Now I feel bad after eating it because it’s $8. So no more little Caesar’s for me.


Ugh, Dominoes. We tried to order our regular, but change the size, their ordering system deleted all our toppings, and the store didn't even compensate for the shorter cooking time, so we just got a charred crust. Called to ask what was going on and just got a "yeah, yeah, yeah, click". Gave them another chance and the order was entered for 24 hours in advance. Called to ask where our order was, was told to contact corporate. Contacted corporate, who told us to contact the store. At this point the average chain pizza places offer is their software and domino's can't even figure that out


Nearly $8 for a whopper out here, just the sandwich. I did a double-take.


I remember getting these for 99 cents as a kid :(


Can never go wrong with a 1.50 costco hotdog


Fast food hasn’t been cheap since 2009


Food isn't cheap. I spend 2 to 300 a week on groceries.


Just out of curiosity, how many are you shopping for? Also if you are comfortable sharing I'd love some indicator as to the general geographic area, or even just a high/medium/low cost of living qualifier.


3-4. But the teens and SO are big snack eaters. And I include cleaning supplies /hygiene items in my grocery haul. I cook a lot of meals from scratch, and we're kinda set in what brands/food items we like, so I'm not really frugal about it like I could be. I'm in southern PA, with smaller grocery chains. We don't have Kroger or wegmans/whole foods anything like that.


I read this, and my jaw dropped. I was all ready to rant/cry, then I saw that this was for a family with teens, not an individual, and you included non-food things in the budget. As you were.


I routinely spend $100–200 a week on groceries just for me and my SO. No pets, no kids. Usually works out to about $700/month. On top of that, we use a service once every few months for quality meat in bulk, that's $149, also $100–150 every couple of months for basic household items on Boxed, and a meal-kit service twice a month ($140) for fun. But we live in NYC.


4 for 4 bag is a crazy bargain.


It really adds up. I have to fight with myself almost every day about how I don't need a medium italian on wheat bread with no tomatoes from Firehouse. If I went there evert day tho that's $50 a week like wtf??


Fast food is quite literally expensive now. Little Caesar’s is still doin it for the hood though.


I'm a fast food and soda addict and both have become so expensive that I'm off the soda and severely cut back in the fast food (still really abd though). My spending shifted even more towards tools, but at least I've been feeling a lot better lately.


burger king 2 for $7 chicken sandwich bk burger plus a med fries total was $13.50


If you only buy deals that are good using in app coupons then it's not terribly expensive, but you are pretty limited in what you can order. It's certainly not the healthiest but you should be able to get a full days calories for ~$8. Bonus points for adding extra sauce/mayo for bonus calories at the locations where it's free. There was one McDonald's location that through the app(used to, they eventually got wise) let you order the butter packets free. I would swing by on my way home from work and get a $1 soft drink and 50 butters, and use them to make Kraft macaroni when I got home sometimes. Butter isn't cheap.


You couldn't pay me $10 to go eat at McDonald’s.


Uhhh I'll do it!


It really isn’t smh


I only go to Wendy’s they have lots of free offers on the app and I order the 4 for 4 dollars deal, comes with a small drink, cheeseburger, fries, and five chicken nuggets all for four bucks. Once I got that and another ten free nuggets and a free frosty just by finding some rewards on the app, it’s a good cheap place. Taco Bell’s alright too. But chick fil a? No way. Even McDonald’s is crazy


One of the biggest steps for me financially was when we had our rent just sitting in the bank. Like it had just come out, and the rent for next month was already there. Just not having to stress about "When is payday" really frees up your mind for alot of other things. Before I knew it, there was a full month of expenses there, then 2, then - wait a minute where should i be putting this money. Keep at it!


>then - wait a minute where should i be putting this money. That's when this stuff starts getting fun :) I hope to see OP posting in a few months with that question. It's always inspiring to see someone improve themselves


Where *should* you be putting that money? Is there a wiki guide you would recommend?


Depends on a few factors like age, income, family, and goals. I’m short: build up enough savings, max any employer 401k match, save for healthcare, and buy passively managed index funds like VTSAX with the rest. There are excellent links to decision trees in the sidebar of this sub. I’d link you myself but it’s hard to copy/paste them on mobile and still reply.


That's awesome! Keep it going and always be mindful that you don't slip back to your old ways... even when you have 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 digits in your accounts.


This is an appropriate forum. Having been where you were at in the past, this post puts a smile on my face. Be proud of yourself. Thank you for sharing.


Dude!! Congrats, continue to carry on as you did to accomplish what you did. Save up your money, create a nest egg. You’ve proven you CAN be financially responsible, now you get to continue that responsibility and better your family. For what it’s worth from an internet stranger, I’m proud of you.




Save this and read it before you spend. Remind yourself where you were and where you are. I'm a frivolous spender but I pay my accounts before I spend a dime on me. If I want to buy a giraffe it's w/e because I funded all my bills and savings goals


>I am very financially irresponsible and frivolously spend what I have on items that I don’t need. I’ve curved that impulse for now and I feel great One great tool for behavioral change is to change one's internal dialogue and assign one's self an identity that aligns with future goals rather than past failures. Rather than saying "I am very financially irresponsible...", it sounds like it might be more accurate for you to say "I am learning about how to budget ..." Instead of "I frivously spend on items that I don't need." I might better believe "I am building a deeper understanding of value and my priorities for saving and spending." Don't wanna psychobabble, but wanted to celebrate your strides! Keep up the good work, and be kind to yourself!


I have family who *dream* of being in the financial shape you are. Well done and best of luck going forward, this is no small thing.




Awesome! Keep pushing. Little things add up...order water at restaurants, get the cheaper entree, store brand is your friend, etc.


Baby steps are easily made into habits!


Digging out of poor choices is hella hard! Congrats on staying positive and working your way back to the black!


Man! I wish my mother had learned all this when I was growing up! I used to come home from school and there would be no electric, answering machine full of messages from bill collectors, cable off, land lord threatening eviction. Not because my mom did t have money to pay for these things but because she would use her rent and bill money to buy all the unnecessary things she wanted and had to have then and now! So good for you for realizing your failures and making an effort to correct your poor spending behaviors! I hope you continue on this new found path….🙏🏼


Excellent!!! I am very proud of you, friend. This is the best place to post, it is personal finance after all. >am very financially irresponsible and frivolously spend what I have on items that I don’t need You are not alone. My sister is facing the same realization and progressing well and slowly to learn and rebuild. Keep going, friend. Congrats


I don’t think anyone is going to accuse you of gloating. But good on you for taking control of your finances and getting yourself on the right track


This is a great thing. I remember the feeling of even having . 34 cents in. Any positive is a positive!


-$6000 in 2019. I feel your pain and congrats making it through the struggle. (Close to $40K in savings now!)


Wow. I’m happy for you. And here I was sad that my credit score is like 750 but I’m jobless now and have only 800 in savings. I’m crashing and I’m scared shitless that I’ll end up on the street. What good is my score if I don’t have any money or a job. Am I viewing this the wrong way. What should I do? I can’t even get a credit card.


Any temp agencies you might be able to find something quickly with?


Don't worry about your credit score. It's misleading and only good for taking out more credit/loans/debt. Build good financial habits and the score will take care of itself. I'd also avoid even thinking about a credit card unless you had a means of paying it off. Being in debt sucks, it's even worse if you have no money but still have the debt looming over you. Finding a job should be your biggest priority. I know moving in with family will suck, but save your money, control your spending, make a budget and follow it like a maniac. And build up your emergency fund - anything helps. You still have options, good luck!


Construction. Many times they'll take and train anyone just get there to a site early.


Doordash an option?


Apply for several jobs daily.


I been doing this daily but I live in a small town. Very. Very. Small. I’m actually on the task to move out of here. Back to family till I can find one I guess.


Look at temp agencies offering remote customer service jobs. You're here typing on Reddit so there's like 50% of the needed job skills. Kelly Services is a big national one.


I remember this feeling after spending a birthday with -147 dollars in all my accounts because a rent check cleared late and being unable to feed myself on my own birthday was a sad wakeup call. I made the choice then to get ahold of my finances and the the next month had 17 dollars after payday. It was motivation to get things right and be grateful for what I have and am able to provide myself. A decade later I am doing well now but the fear of a sudden expensive car repair, medical bill, etc is a hard cloud to get out from under. More than anything - a cheap home cooked meal and youtube over a night of pizza, drinks, and "going out" went a long way for me. Had a lot of fun in my 20s living in a big city but paid the price in so many ways. My 30s have been understanding I can live a wonderful life if I carry on being responsible with the decisions I make without having to completely sacrifice experiences in the process.


> More than anything - a cheap home cooked meal and youtube over a night of pizza, drinks, and "going out" went a long way for me. I notice you say Youtube not Netflix, if you cut netflix etc. for cost saving, I want to also recommend TubiTV, which is more like a traditional streaming site with shows and movies, but is ad supported, not pay.


man, I get where you're coming from - I've been there, where it feels like you're just working to pay overdraft fees - you're on a treadmill, sweating and sweating and getting nowhere. It's a trap, it's not easy to get out of, and you're right to be proud of escaping it. The next step is to take the lessons you learnt, and keep applying them. The more distance you can put between you and zero, the less chance you'll have to deal with that again.


Good move! I'm -15k and alcoholic, i hope i can figure it out soonish, one day, someday..


Great work! Now build a buffer! Cars are always going to need maintenance, and socks will get holes, car registration will come due, insurance premiums will rise... living pay check to paycheck is way more stressful than Starbucks is delicious.


Love hearing this accomplishment, enjoy my award friend and keep. going!!!


My family of 3 spends $30 on dinner at McDonald's these days. For $30 I can cook us 2 healthy dinners with leftovers for 2 lunches.


Mindset is everything regarding saving money. BIG PICTURE.. Money makes money. Be mindful and slowly build off this success. Like you did today, share your wins and find like minded people on the same journey.. Get inspired to learn more about finance. There are amazing personal finance bloggers out there that can show you the way. Dive-in and enjoy the journey. When it comes to money, I love this expression.. A drop of rain can turn into a torrent… LET IT RAIN!


Just 50 more cents and you’ll be able to bribe the Loch Ness Monsta!


Yo, being caught up and being happy about it is not gloating. Congrats, because my family and I are paycheck to paycheck. Stay strong and continue to fight the good fight.


Plus! Whatever you make at home for lunch (whether sammich or leftovers) is gonna be not only cheaper, but tastier and healthier than anything you can get at McDonald's!


Awesome job! Keep it up and aim for 4 left over next month!


Hey man, just want to say congratulations for what you have accomplished. It is really difficult to take that first step towards change, and not only did you do that, but you kept with it. I’m just an internet stranger, but I’m proud of you and I’m sure your family is as well, and you have every right in the world to be proud of yourself.


This is the right place... congratulations. Keep at it.


Awesome! Please stay in touch with this community :) it will change your life for the better. Now that you got the ball rolling, keep it moving! My advice to you is you remember how good you feel right now, and strive to earn that feeling again. I'm really happy for you :)


Be carefully tho any little problem can mess things up . I got in trouble many times just because of loosing overtime at my work time and time again with the crazy new economy.


​ >I’ve curved that impulse I think you mean to say you *curbed* the impulse. (someone had to say it)


Congratulations! Glad you're proud. 😊


Good job! Proud of you, keep it up! 🤩


I feel you. Sometimes are a little better and even if you have a few dollars left it feels really good. Atm I'm -$700 but get paid on Friday so just a few more days. Good on you.


Where does the $3 come in to this? Not being negative, just want to understand the title of your post.


I think they're in the positive, with bills paid, as opposed to being overdrawn and still owing money.


Nicely done. Just need to keep it up. I've heard it's a little like beating back an addiction. It gets easier the more you do it, but you can never be complacent. For what it's worth, McD gives me my cheapest meal every month but only if I eat there once a month, lol. I use their buy 1 get 1 coupon on BigMac/Quarterpounder and use a pretty regular 10% or 20% bonus coupon from Chase. Comes to $1.80 to $2.00 per BigMac. Not too bad and using coupons help limit how much fast food I take in.




Awesome! Congratulations. This is an amazing time because you can double your savings for just another $3.


For what it's worth, r/povertyfinance also exists That said, congrats!!


Yay you! (What is your goal for next month?) Please come back and share what happened/ happens next month!


Woohoo! Way to go! Now keep it going. Get that emergency fund set up, make sure everything stays current, and that you're paying off credit cards every month. It's not easy, but you're doing it. Keep it up!


I needed to read this. Thank you for sharing and I truly wish you and your family all the success from here on out. Keep up the great work!!


I feel you! When my cards were no longer in the red, I finally felt like I was making way in getting everything on track :)


I laughed when I read the title but suddenly I remember that I have a monthly payment at $350 to the bank in the next 7 years 🤣 Congrats man! Hope you find greater successes 🥳


Good job man now keep going!


I would keep the overdraft on if there is no fee (though the bounce is likely similar). There are things outside your control that can happen (monthly donation gets deducted a day earlier, double withdraw by some merchant you use, etc).


God bless, happy to hear this. Great news, continue to prosper my friend!


Congrats, that’s called winning at life. Just wait until that 0.01% interest kicks in. You can leave your great great great grandkids a coupon for a McChicken


Grew up homeless, glad it took ya this long to struggle. Keep that Head up.


I’ve been struggling for a long time, I was a father at the age of 19, and I’m 35 now. Always a struggle! Hope you’re not homeless now!


I only spend $3.18 at McDonald's, thank you.


congrats! now save more so that you can actually gloat in the future.


Honestly, McDs has a killer deal in my location right now. Free quarter pounder with any purchase over a dollar. A Mcchicken is 1.29. Get a free QP with that. I can't cook any cheaper than that. No clean up, no prep? Yep, bet your ass I'm eating at McDs 5 times a week easily.


Keep at it! Now that you're aware of an issue you can try really hard to fix it. Now try to build a small emergency fund!


Great work! I understand the struggle. It got considerably better for me, and I wish the same for you.


I just ordered doordash mcdonalds. I salute you from the couch broheim


3 years ago I was negative as soon as my check came in because of overdraft fees. After reading and reflecting I made some big changes. Now I have 5k dollars in a savings account and bills are paid every month on time, and I still pay myself first. If anyone reading this is in a rut, there is hope and a way if you are willing to take it. I also recommend the richest man in Babylon if you want to start your journey. The audio book is free on YouTube.


Those are some huge quality of life improvements! Well done!! And don't be afraid to ask for help on your journey as you face challenges


Is your wife financially responsible? If so, maybe you should let her budget and be in charge of the finances, regardless of who makes the money.


Good for you, congrats!




I have 8¢ in my account But I do have like 14$ in cashapp Should I spend it on fast food or grocery store, everything is so expensive including fast food now!


This is a huge achievement bro, well done. Think most people have found themselves on the wrong side of this, causing snowballing debt. Big win.


Great news!!! One day I’ll be out of debt and be able to feel what you,re feeling!!! Nice work!