How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
You don’t have to be living out of your car to be broke. Being broke means living paycheck to paycheck. And you can do that on any income. Even if you make good money, you can spend it all and still be living from one paycheck to another with nothing to spare. Approximately 8 out of 10 Americans are living paycheck to paycheck despite how their lifestyle may look from the outside. That means 8 out of 10 of your friends and family members couldn’t handle an emergency if it came up. And maybe you’re one of the 8 in 10. If you’re living from one paycheck to another with no hope in between, it’s time to make some changes.
Live on Less than You Make
We’ve been taught the lie that if you can afford the payments, then you can afford it. But the truth is many Americans are signed up for all these payments they “can afford” and if a $1,000 emergency happened tomorrow, they would have no means to cover it. You have to stop living on less than you make. That means you don’t take out more debt and you live based on a monthly budget. This will put you back in control of your money. You can tell your money where to go and develop a plan to get out of this position.
Related: Why You Need to Break Up With Debt
Earn Extra Income
If the monthly budget is as tight as it can be and you have no extra money to put into savings or throw at your debt, you have to increase your income. You can get a part-time job. There are an endless number of side hustles out there — walk dogs, mow grass, clean windows, deliver pizzas, and the list goes on. Maybe it’s even time to finally go to your boss and ask for a raise. If you feel like you’ve reached a dead end at your current job, maybe it’s time to look for a better paying position elsewhere.
Work the Budget
Using your budget to help plan ahead for all the expenses that occur once or a few times per year will actually help you stop living paycheck to paycheck. When the vehicle taxes come due, you can already have a chunk of cash sitting in savings to pay for it and you don’t have to take it out of the grocery budget or anything else that month. Save monthly for expenses like Christmas, taxes, insurance premiums, etc. Planning ahead for things like this will create a cushion in your budget after several months of saving and sticking to your budget (meaning tracking expenses and not going over) you will feel like you have some room to breathe.
Related: Why You Need A Budget
We’ve all made mistakes with money. We’ve all made the choices that put us in the current situation we’re in. So if you don’t like your current situation, it’s time to take the necessary steps to change.
If you’re ready to start paying off debt or you want further guidance in your pay off journey, get my completely FREE downloadable Debt Free Guide. This is a full guide of reading and prompts that gives you the steps to paying off debt in a bite sized format so that you can stop feeling overwhelmed and start feeling motivated!