crying woman (l) hand holding dollar that is disintegrating (r)

@mackmoan1988/TikTok SERSOLL/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘We have $200 to last us until next Friday’: Mom says she and her husband both make ‘good money’ but live paycheck-to-paycheck. Here’s why

'I've never been in credit card debt and now im in debt because of GROCERIES.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Nov 20, 2023   Updated on Nov 30, 2023, 11:43 am CST

A mom on TikTok broke into tears talking about her family’s financial situation. Despite her and her husband having well-paying jobs, she says they barely have money left over between paychecks.

The video strongly resonated with viewers, many of whom shared they’re also living paycheck to paycheck or have gotten into credit card debt to afford necessities.

Living paycheck to paycheck means a person or household’s income is just enough to cover their essential expenses like rent and food, but they don’t have enough left over for savings or to cover an unexpected situation.

In the clip, Mackenzie (@mackmoan1988) is seen crying and overwhelmed as she explains her family’s financial situation.

She shares that she and her husband got paid a few days ago, but after paying their mortgage, getting groceries, and putting gas in the car, they only have two or three hundred dollars left to last the next week and a half.

“I’m so stressed out. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be,” she says.

Mackenzie is a registered nurse who works full time and is a full-time student, and her husband works overtime (she didn’t specify what field he’s in). Together, she says they make good money and live below their means in a small three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with their two kids. Despite that, they’re struggling to get by.

“Growing up, we were told, you know, go to college, get a degree, work to support your family. Here we are. Did that. Now what? Now what?”

Mackenzie recalls struggling financially in college but assured herself that her situation would change once she entered the workforce. She expected to pay bills comfortably and not have to check the bank account if one of her kids asked to go to the movies that weekend.

While she says she didn’t want to get political about it, she urges those with influence to do what’s in their power to improve the financial situation of working-class people.

For at least the last two years, most adults in the United States—about 60%— are living paycheck to paycheck, CNBC reported. This is happening as wages continue to lag behind cost of living increases and as Americans continue to face continued periods of inflation and high interest rates.

Mackenzie’s video has gained over a million views and over 16,000 comments as of Monday morning.

@mackmoan1988 normal people are struggling. something has to change. #economy #groceries #price #rn #registerednurse #momsoftiktok ♬ original sound – Mackenzie

Many commenters said they are in a similar situation and expressed disdain towards how the government is handling the situation.

“And the worst part is our government gaslights us and claims the economy is ‘roaring back,'” a person wrote.

“I’ve never been in credit card debt and now im in debt because of GROCERIES,” another shared.

“I know this is unpopular but I swear it’s taxes. They literally take half our paychecks, I am a nurse single one adult child. I’m barely making it,” a commenter said.

“As sad as this is, it feels good to not be alone,” a further viewer wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to Mackenzie for comment via TikTok direct message.

Update: 11:43am CT, Nov. 30: In a follow-up video, Mackenzie addressed the negative comments she received on her video. “I don’t anybody an explanation, especially a stranger on the internet,” Mackenzie said, explaining that she is dealing with enough in her personal life.

Mackenzie also clarified the purpose of her video, saying, “I didn’t make that video asking for help. I didn’t make that video asking for a breakdown of my finances. I didn’t ask for sympathy. I didn’t ask for anything.” She said she created the video just to vent about what she stressed out about.

In another follow-up, she said she was “blown away” by the kindness she received on her video. While she said “there were a few rude comments here and there” on her video, she also saw thousands and thousands of people who resonated with her struggles. “Everybody is struggling right now,” she added.

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 20, 2023, 8:00 am CST