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How to Stop Living From Paycheck To Paycheck
Are you living paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet every week? You know the drill, you get your paycheck, pay some bills, buy groceries; then the money is gone until the next payday.
You then do it all over again, week after week. You know as well as I do that this is no way to live your life.
It is very stressful and one little unexpected expense could truly turn your finances upside down and send you even further in debt.
Even if you feel you can’t get ahead, there are many things you can do to turn this around. With a bit of hard work and a change in your attitude towards money, you can break free of this vicious cycle.
Here are some tips you can start doing today to break free of living paycheck to paycheck once and for all.
Change Your Attitude
If you want to change your finances, it means you need to change your whole attitude about money. Money should not be ruling your life, you should be in charge of your money. You need to take a hard look at how you handle your money.
When I was living paycheck to paycheck, my attitude about money was horrible. I would think to myself, “it’s only five bucks a week, it’s not going to make a difference.” And “man, our cable bill just went up another $20 a month but there isn’t anything we can do about it anyway”.
Does this sound familiar? I bet it does! The truth is all those five bucks adds up over time!! And, yes you can do something about rising cost of your cable bill. You can shop around for a better rate, you can give up some of the costly cable packages you are paying extra for. You could even get rid of cable altogether and opt for less costly options such as getting a digital TV antenna or a roku TV streaming player.
The total yearly amount of money wasted in just these two little examples costs $500 a year. Now imagine if you applied this to all aspects of your finances, it’ll add up to a whole lot of extra money!!
Small Changes Can Really Add Up
There are many small changes that you can make that can really make a huge impact on the amount of money you waste. Your cable bill is just one example of making small changes (yes, I know for some of you it’s a big change).
Making small changes means that you will have to deprive yourself of anything. You just need to you look for cheaper alternatives to some things that you waste money on daily, you will still meet your needs and save money too!!
For instance, take those specialty coffees daily, you could buy flavored coffee for less than $10 a can or creamers in your preferred flavor for less than $5.
At the rate of one specialty coffee a day these two options would last you over a month, so you will spend $15 dollars a month making them yourself instead of wasting roughly $90 a month for purchasing ONE daily at your local coffee shop. Cha Ching…$75 a month saved on one item alone.
Check out Simple Changes That’ll Save You $1000 Every Month where I share more easy ways to save money.
Create a Budget You Can Live With
I know, most people hate to think about creating or sticking to a budget. The thing is, you need a budget to keep track of where your money is going and to stay on track with your finances, there is just no getting around it.
The reason so many people fail at budgeting their money is because they create such an unrealistic budget that they are doomed to fail right from the start and give up.
The key to creating a budget and sticking to it is to make one that will give you some wiggle room. This way you won’t throw your hands in the air and give up after a few weeks.
Your budget is a work in progress, especially when you first start out. So if you see that certain areas are just not working for you then you should make some changes and tweak it until you find what works best for you.
If you have attempted to budget and end up giving up time after time, read “One Simple Reason You Fail At Budgeting” to see if you are making this one huge mistake.
Build an Emergency Savings
Having an emergency fund is critical. As you know, if you are living paycheck to paycheck, one or two unexpected expenses could throw your finances into a downward tailspin.
You could end up creating more debt that you don’t need or having to skip paying a bill or two to pay for these expenses. This will end up wasting more money when you get hit with excessive late fee charges and interest rate hikes.
You need to make sure you add emergency savings into your budget. If you can contribute at least $20 a week, you will have over $1000 saved in one year. Better yet, open a high yielding savings account to grow your savings even faster. I use CIT Bank because they pay over 20 times more in interest then a traditional bank. Why not take advantage and earn free money to build your emergency savings?
Get Rid of Your Debt
If you have debt then you need to get rid of it. This is the reason you have to live paycheck to paycheck. You are wasting your money by paying high interest on this debt. It’s like taking your money and burning it.
Get rid of your debt as fast as you can. You need to make sure that any spare income in your budget goes towards your debt. Make an action plan to get your debt paid off and stick to it!!
I have a great post that will show you How To Get Out Of Debt Fast When You Are Broke As Hell that will help you out.
Earn More Money
If you just can’t balance your budget or don’t have any room in your budget to save or pay down your debt, then you should consider taking on a side hustle to earn more money.
There are many things you can do in your spare time to earn some extra money, even if you don’t have a lot of time to spare. Every little bit that you can do now will help you on your mission to stop living from paycheck to paycheck.
Here are a few posts that could help you earn some extra money to contribute to your savings.
23 Easy Passive Income Ideas – Passive income is my favorite way to make more money. You need to put in the work upfront, but you have the potential to earn money for years to come with little effort.
How to Start a Blog – Blogging can be a great side hustle and could even eventually turn into a full-time business.
How to Make Money Completing Surveys – Competing surveys can help you make some extra money when you don’t have a lot of spare time.
Cash in on Clutter – Selling stuff that you don’t need can put some quick cash in your wallet to throw at your debt or in your emergency fund.
15 Money Earning Ideas – This is a great list of different types of side gigs you can do based on your skills
Breaking the cycle of living from paycheck to paycheck is not going to be easy at first. Trust me when I say that it will get easier as time goes on and it’ll all be worth it in the end. Don’t give up, there is so much more to life than worrying about paying the bills.
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