live from day to day

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live from day to day

To exist or survive within the means available to one on a single day at a time, as out of a lack of consideration of or options regarding future resources or opportunities. There are too many families who are forced to live from day to day on the tiny pittance they are given through social welfare. I had a few random jobs when I was in college so I could live from day to day.
See also: live
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

live from day to day

Fig. to survive on limited means one day at a time with no plans or possibilities for the future. The Simpsons just live from day to day. They never plan for the future. I can't live from day to day. I have to provide for the future.
See also: live
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
They lived from day to day on the efforts of the few sound bees, while the Wax-moth fretted and consumed again their already ruined wax.
Nicholson (who teaches at the University of Cardiff and is a leading international researcher on the history of the Knights Templar) sets out to reconstruct how the Templars lived from day to day, in both the Middle East and Western Europe.
Sometimes this inquisitiveness is intrusive, but I tell myself to be patient and that this kind of behaviour stems from the kind of life lived from day to day with nothing much to look forward to.
Yet Sally's emotion was always quiet, as it was that night when she and her husband couldn't thank everyone enough for taking part, saying they "lived from day to day".
"Initially, I didn't expect Martha to see Christmas, but we have lived from day to day - it is like a rollercoaster."
The point of the original series was to see how the most bizarre family in the world lived from day to day; now we were zipping round the place watching Kelly be a (overwhelmingly hyped) pop star.
She said, "She's got colour and is cheery and is cycling around.We knew how ill she was and we lived from day to day, but now we think 'what a difference'."
"My uncle Alf lived from day to day and his favourite saying was 'Every day is Christmas'."