Are you buying beans and rice or even Ramen Noodles to help you make it through until you get paid? Is your gas light always on and you’re praying you’ll have enough gas for one more day of work?
This has to stop. Living paycheck to paycheck is not only difficult, but it’s a stressful situation that can lead to health problems. Let’s look at how to break out of the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.
Know Where Your Money Goes
First things first. Where is your money going each month? For two months, you need to write down everything you spend money on – even if it’s something small. It doesn’t matter if you paid for it with change from your car or charged it. Write down everything.
Cut Your Expenses
Once you see where your money is going each month, work to cut unnecessary expenses. For example, are you paying for a TV package you don’t watch? Are you buying an expensive cup of coffee each morning? Cut out anything that isn’t necessary.
Create a Budget
You want to create a budget that’s realistic. Look back on how much money your family spent on variable expenses and set a budget for each expense. If you know you’re spending way too much on groceries, try cutting the total you spend by 25-percent. The same goes for entertainment, eating out, etc. If you’re spending more than what’s reasonable, cut back.
Look for a Cheaper Alternative
There’s a cheaper alternative to almost anything. For example, you can cut your cable or satellite company loose and use Netflix, Hulu, etc. You’ll save over $100 a month with this one change.
You can also do your nails at home, cut your kids’ hair, etc. Look for things you can do yourself to save money. Also look for brands and services that are less expensive.
Pay Off Debt
Debt is incredibly stressful and the more you ignore it by only paying minimum payments, the larger it will get. Sell off some of your belongings, get a second job – do whatever it takes to pay off your debt once and for all.
You may think that using a credit card is essential to make ends meet. Wrong. Once you cut unneeded expenses, chances are you’ll find the money you need to pay your necessary expenses.
Get a Better Job or Second Job
Last, but not least, look into getting a better job or a second job. You may even apply for a promotion. Whatever you choose, a larger income can help get you out of this situation but only if you follow these tips and don't increase your lifestyle along with your income.
Living paycheck to paycheck is all too common in our society. The problem is many people live above their means. If you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, follow these tips to clear up some money so that you can start living more comfortably.