been getting by

been getting by

Living with the minimum amount of necessities required to survive; barely making ends meet. The phrase is often used in response to questions about one's well-being. Ever since my husband lost his job, we've been just getting by.
See also: been, by, get

(I've) been getting by.

Inf. a response to a greeting inquiry into one's well-being indicating that one is having a hard time surviving or that things could be much better. (See also (I'm) just getting by.) John: How are things? Jane: Oh, I've been getting by. Sue: How are you doing? Mary: Been getting by. Things could be better.
See also: been, by, get