Paycheck to paycheck living can be stressful, frustrating, and absolutely painful. However, it’s possible to get out of that rut with some effort.
While hard work is involved, it will be worth it to get out of this vicious cycle of paycheck to paycheck living. I’ve never met anyone that’s counting the days to payday with less than $20 in their bank account that felt thrilled with that scenario in their life.
Here are a few tips to avoid that struggle in life:
Live Below Your Means
Live and act like you make less than you do. When thinking in terms of your whole check, you could quite possibly spend your whole check. Pay the essentials and try hard to save the rest.
Work to cut out anything that is not a necessity. In fact, ask your payroll company if they could split your check where part goes to checking and part to savings. Out of the box thinking will do you some good with this goal! This is a way to save extra each month and the money never will hit your checking account.
Write a budget
I’m a huge budgeting fan. However, most people that I talk to don’t think it’s worth the effort to live by one. If you will try to, then you’ll save more, give more and be able to track your financial goals better.
It’s hard to get head when you don’t have a plan in place. Often, people don’t realize where all their money goes! A budget is a great remedy to spending your financial resources carelessly and flippantly.
Start an emergency fund
Begin to save anything extra toward an emergency fund. Set a goal to save at least $1000. This won’t cover everything that life brings but you’ll be able to cover surprise car issues or house situations that will enable you to pay cash rather than struggle or put it on a credit card.
Pay down debt
Pick a debt that you have and begin to pay it down. If you can get one thing paid in full, then you’ll feel inspired to keep going. Trying to handle the largest debt first is overwhelming because you can’t see the end in sight. Debt-free living is an important goal worth working toward!
Downsize if that would help!
Move if you have to! If you can’t afford your rent or mortgage payment, then make a change. This may seem radical, but I’d do it in a heartbeat to help our family’s financial goals. Less of a monthly payment will allow for more flexibility in your life and perhaps less debt. You can always “buy more” later, but while you are trying to cure the paycheck to paycheck scenario, you should try to do what it takes.
Tweak your hours and/or job
If your paycheck doesn’t cut it, then find a new place to work. Also, consider a part-time job, even if just for a set time period to get ahead. Strategic change is often necessary at times to improve your financial situation. There are lots of ways to make extra money. Consider mowing lawns, babysitting, cleaning houses or just about anything that would bring in a little additional money for your home!
I’m not saying that these tips are easy to do; however, they may be helpful to get out of the paycheck to paycheck rut. If you want to live in financial freedom, then it will take work. However, you will look back and see that living in freedom from financial constraints was worth all the effort!
Originally published August 16, 2018