Accountant With $190,000 Salary Still Living Paycheck To Paycheck Calls Dave Ramsey Asking For Advice — 'We Just Spent $3,000 On Food'

In a recent episode of the Dave Ramsey Show, Preston, an accountant from Dallas, Texas, shared his struggles living paycheck to paycheck despite earning $190,000 a year.

Preston is married with three kids. Even with their good income, they have difficulty managing their money. He and his family are dealing with several debts, including a $12,000 car loan, $6,000 medical debt from the recent birth of their child, $4,500 in student loans, and a $200,000 mortgage for a total debt of $222,000.

They also spend way more on food than planned. Although they aim to spend $1,500 to $2,000 monthly on food, they often find they’ve spent $3,000 instead.

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Preston pointed out that their income has increased over the years, and so has their spending. This is a common issue called lifestyle creep, where people start spending more as they earn more but end up with no extra savings.

What’s ironic about Preston’s situation is that he’s an accountant. He’s professionally trained to manage finances, yet he struggles to manage his own household budget. This just goes to show that knowing how to handle money and actually sticking to a budget are two very different things. Because Preston admitted they don’t stick to their personal budget well, they suggested using a budgeting app that helps track spending.

They also advised him to “Act like you’re making $80,000 and create a budget based on that amount. This means you will have to significantly cut back on expenses. For example, you may need to cancel the 18 subscriptions you’re paying for and stop the kids from attending fun Little Gym classes twice a week. You must make these cuts to adjust to the new budget.”

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This would force them to cut unnecessary expenses and save more money. They would also start by paying off the smallest debt first, which is the $4,500 in student loans. Once that’s gone, they can use that money to pay off bigger debts, following the debt snowball method.

A big part of their overspending is from eating out. Ramsey’s team suggested they eat at home more often to save money. Simple changes like planning weekly meals, shopping with a list to avoid impulse buys, and cooking at home can dramatically reduce their food expenses. This shift from dining out to home-cooked meals could potentially save them around $1,500 a month.

And lastly, since Preston is good with numbers, they also suggested he pick up freelance accounting work. This would bring in extra money to help pay off debts faster.

Preston’s story shows that earning a lot doesn’t guarantee financial security. If you don’t manage money wisely, stick to a budget, and make smart financial choices, you will live paycheck to paycheck like 63% of Americans.

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This article Accountant With $190,000 Salary Still Living Paycheck To Paycheck Calls Dave Ramsey Asking For Advice — ‘We Just Spent $3,000 On Food’ originally appeared on

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