Getting a paycheck is one of the most rewarding things in our lives. Without it we would not have most of the things we have and would be without many necessities.
A paycheck puts food on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. It also provides us with the means to go on vacations, purchase vehicles and so much more. Some of our daily experiences all start with a paycheck.
But what happens when you get to the end of the paycheck before you get to the end of the end week?
There is nothing worse than having an expense that needs paid and having only $10 in your checking account.
It does not have to be that way.! I have seen people with small incomes who always seem to have money when needed.
I have also seen just the opposite….people with large incomes who always seem to be broke or borrowing money from others.
Why Are You Living Paycheck to Paycheck?
Most people living paycheck to paycheck either fall under the following :
1.They don’t make enough to cover their expenses
2.They live beyond their means
If you are one and your paycheck is stretched just to cover the necessities, your first step is to make a change in your expenses and see if there is room to cut back on anything.
Saving is not as difficult as it may seem, cable, internet and cell phone bills offer the biggest potential for quick monthly savings. Groceries are also another bill where it is easy to save.
Increase Your Income
Trying to increase your income to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck rut is another option. This could mean looking for another job that pays more.
It could mean taking on a side job or just working a few more hours a week at your current job.
I should remind you that this is not the time to take on debt in hopes of starting a business that may eventually make you money. There are many businesses that can be started for little or no cost.
Living beyond your means can be a little more difficult to resolve. In most of these cases, there is a lot of money going to debt.
Credit card debt, large car payments, high mortgage payments and possibly student loan payments can lead to getting to the end of the paycheck quickly.
How to Start Saving
Ultimately, not living paycheck to paycheck means having money in a savings plan that will be available if something happens.
Not having some money in savings almost guarantees you additional debt when unexpected expenses arise.
Even if your budget is very tight, you have to find the money to build an emergency fund.
An emergency fund will keep you from living paycheck-to-paycheck and remove the stress that goes along with wondering where the money is going to come from.
The best way to have extra money available is to create a budget and track your spending.
It is very important to have a list of what expenses you are paying each month so you can calculate what you have left for saving.
If you think there is no way that you can actually put money in the bank and still pay your bills, don’t give up. You CAN get there. It just may take a little bit of planning and adjusting to reach that goal.
The easiest way to come up with more money if your savings is falling short is to re-evaluate your other budget expenses.
Is everything in your expenses truly a need? Cable bill, extra phone costs, luxury expenses…
Bottom line…look at everything you are spending money on and cut some out.
It is up to you to decide what is a comfortable amount of savings for you and your family.
How to Find the Extra Cash
Don’t get discouraged, get creative and see how you can make more money.
Where can you make an extra $100 a week? It may not be as difficult as you think. There are many ways you can make extra cash these days.
It can be as simple as working a few extra hours a day at a job you already have. Got a hobby you could turn into a small business?
Do you have neighbors that need babysitting, pet sitting, lawn care or window cleaning? Clear your mind and spend a few minutes thinking about your options for making extra income.
In most cases, living paycheck to paycheck is a choice. So is breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Just follow the above steps one at a time.
Look at it like this…if it is in the bank, you still have the option to spend the money in the future. If you spend it now, it is gone and there is no getting it back.
In most cases, I would say that living paycheck to paycheck is a choice. I know when I did it, it was. It was a conscious choice to spend extra money on luxury things rather than saving it.
Getting out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle is a process and it has to start somewhere. Start with looking at where your money is going.
This will help you identify where you can cut back and come up with the needed money for saving. It may just be a matter of making some simple changes to your spending habits.
The sooner you get started building your savings the sooner the cycle will be broken as well as the stress of wondering where the money is going to come from to pay that unexpected expense.