How to STOP Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Worrying about money is one of the main causes of unhappiness and fights in couples. So many long-term relationships end because people aren’t able to talk openly about money and they’re stuck in a paycheck to paycheck cycle. There is nothing more stressful than not knowing how you’re going to afford to eat before you get paid again.
When living paycheck to paycheck you’re unable to build up wealth and start saving for your future. You’ll never be able to pay for your kids’ college or be set for retirement. You need to know that just because you’re in this situation now, doesn’t mean you’ll be in this situation forever. It is possible to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck if you put the work in.
Tips Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Add Up Your Total Debts
Having extreme amounts of debt is a big reason why so many people are stuck living paycheck to paycheck. When you’re stuck under thousands of dollars of student loan debt it seems almost impossible to be able to get out of the cycle. Something people need to realize is that they can’t run from their debt, there is no quick fix and the only way to get out of it is to pay it off.
You must be aware of your total amount of debt and figure out when you’ll be able to pay them off. The longer the amount of time you spend in debt, the more interest you’ll pay which will keep you in this situation LONGER. Interest is evil and you don’t want to be stuck making minimum payments and never get those debts to 0.
Start a Budget
I have a feeling if you’re living paycheck to paycheck you’re either scared of the word budget or you think it means you aren’t going to have any fun. Okay. I get it. But a budget is actually a great way to increase your freedom and peace of mind.
Budgeting helps you know where your money is going and where you can do better. If you’re really going to commit yourself you need to find a budget that works for you. If you’ve never done a budget before, I strongly suggest trying out the Zero-Based Budget, it’s a great way to show every dollar where it should go and really reach your goals.
The main thing you need to think about when deciding to start your first budget is that this is a lifestyle change. It’s not a short-term fix. If you wanted to get fit you wouldn’t go to the gym, lose 20 pounds, and then go back to being a couch potato. You need to know that if you take control of your finances now, you have the opportunity to do it forever. And I know you can do this.
You should check out the website everydollar.com! It’s a free online budgeting tool that can help you stay on track.
Figure Out Where You Went Wrong & Correct It
Chances are you’ve made a lot of financial mistakes over your lifetime. There was no one big event that caused you to get into debt and to live paycheck to paycheck. We are given no financial information in high school and most people don’t take it upon themselves to learn the things they NEED to know.
You need to know that everyone makes mistakes and everyone has the chance to fix their situation. If you take the time to think back over your financial life and see where you went wrong you can take the steps toward fixing it. You aren’t a failure. You’re better than so many people because you’re taking the steps toward changing your situation which is the first step!
Build an Emergency Fund
If you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck I’m going to assume you don’t have much of a buffer for one-time emergencies. An emergency fund is so incredibly important to be able to move forward in your financial life. If you’re able to save up a $1000 emergency fund within the next few months you can start attacking your debt without having any worries when something scary happens to you.
Start a Cash-Only Budget
I know in a world that is becoming more and more digital reverting back to cash can feel archaic. The thing is, if you’re only spending cash you’ll never overspend because it’s not possible to get cash that you don’t actually have. You’ll be able to set aside certain amounts of money for specific categories and never go over budget!
Start a Meal Plan
A lot of the time your food is where you spend too much money. People can find themselves over buying because they didn’t go to the store with a plan! I know for a fact that I’m guilty of this. If every Sunday you make a plan of exactly what you’re going to eat for the week you’ll be able to avoid impulse purchases when at the store and you’ll find it so much easier to stick to your food budget.
Start a Profitable Side Hustle
Making side income is even more important if you’re a single income family. If you’re a single person, a single mother, or a stay at home mom you must be trying to make extra money on the side. You could start a blog. You could walk dogs. You could paint houses. There are so many options. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend and want to start soon, check out our post about 4 side hustles that you could start THIS WEEK that have hardly any money down.
I really hope you understand that living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t have to be forever. There are ways for you to change your financial situation and if you implement these small changes you’ll be so much closer to where you want to be. Just know that you can do this and there is nothing standing in your way. If this post helped you at all, please feel free to share this on Pinterest and Facebook so your friends can see it too!
As always, thanks for reading!