Pay days are the best days. However, it’s disheartening when you realize you are at the edge on the 5th day of every month. Meaning, you received your money and spent it within the first five days of the month. Sometimes your money may go out by the end of the month if your expenses are spread in different times of the month.
Living paycheck to paycheck wears down your emotions. You often find yourself struggling to make ends meet, and can be stressful and frustrating. Living like this means you are sometimes unable to acquire some things you want. You only have enough to cater for your necessities. You are not able to set something for saving or probably pay some of your debts since your income cannot stretch as far as you need.
At first it may be okey for you since you are able to stay on top of your bills. With that mindset, it is difficult to look to the future because you cannot afford money to save and invest.
If you are stuck in the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, you can break the cycle. It is not a permanent situation. Practice the following tips and you will attain financial freedom.
Ways To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck
1. Know your trouble spot
Start by having an assessment of your finances in order to find out the reason behind the state you are in. The best place to start is by reviewing your spending habits. Review all areas so that you can see exactly where your money is going.
Review your income also. It may be that you are not getting enough to enable you stretch beyond your paycheck living. You are able to figure out your biggest hurdles and can be able to plan how to overcome them.
2. Make a budget
A budget is a powerful tool that helps you take control of your finances. A budget will clearly show you the amount you received and how it was spent. Your overspending habit can be unveil if such unplanned expenses pop up. Make a budget that you can stick to and can help you minimize financial stress. Infact, budgeting is the first step towards ending your paycheck to paycheck living.
3. Spend less than you earn
Spending less than you earn is a rule that requires a change of mindset. It is a sure way to ensure you actually do not overshoot your budget. It helps you break the hand-to-mouth cycle of income. according to Garrison, if you spend less than what you earn after tax, you will always have a budget surplus. Having extra money left for you at the end of the month reduces financial stress.
Another way to reduce your spending is reevaluating your social circle. Check how your social circle influence your finances. friends with expensive life may put a dent on your finances if you are not careful. Always focus on the bigger picture to keep yourself at per with your financial goals. Instead of spending on luxuries, it is advisable that you save up money for longterm investments. Such investment may add some income in your pocket which can stop you from living paycheck to paycheck.
4. Spend on needs not wants
Tracking your needs is crucial since you are able to see those that qualify for want or need. One way to do that is by classifying the item in your shopping lists s either wants or need. Always, take care of your four wall expenses; food, clothing, shelter and transport. Only spend on what is important.
5. Build an emergency fund
An emergency funds helps you cater for unplanned financial occurrences such as loss of job or accident. The funds saves you from using your paycheck to cater for such emergencies when they occurs. Read how to create an emergency fund.
6. Diversify your income source
If you have tried your way out through budgeting and cannot make ends meet, you need to think of some ways to increase your income. Starting a second job or a side hustle helps you reduce the likelihood of living paycheck to paycheck. Making more money means financial freedom for you. You can use your extra time after your daily work to purely make money online. Remember to budget for the extra money you earn from your side hustle.
7. Automate your financial life
Automating means you set a direct deduction from your income to either cater for your expenses or go to savings. If you want to shift from your routine of living paycheck to paycheck, automation will make things easy for you. For example, you can automate your monthly bills to ensure the essentials are paid for and that you don’t pay late.
8. Set clear financial goals
If you have clear financial goals you are motivated to work towards them. In fact, the first financial goals should be what we are discussing: getting out of living paycheck to paycheck. Once you set your financial goals, establish a timeframe and start working on them. check your progress regularly. Once you achieve a goal in your list, think of setting the next goal. This will help you move forward in your finances.
9. Avoid impulse buying
The only way to achieve your financial goals is sticking to your budget. If anything is not in the budget, then do not buy it. It may be irresistible but train yourself to say no to such temptations. I am not saying you completely stop treating yourself with nice things, no! but factor them in your budget.
10. Reduce your debts
Debt reduces your income. it is therefore appropriate to pay debts first. If in any case you start a side hustle, the money should be directed to paying the debt first. Imagine living a debt free life. Manage your debts by paying them as fast as possible and restrict yourself from getting more debts.
Living from paycheck to paycheck makes you feel like you are going around without making any progress. Its a feeling of being stuck without a way out with your finances.
If you are tired living paycheck to paycheck, the above tips are for you. It may take time to get there. It may be hard and tough but focus on why you are doing it.