Are you tired of the endless paycheck to paycheck cycle? I know how you feel. I’ve been there. I’m here to help you though! I want to help you reach the point in life where you are no longer living that paycheck to paycheck cycle and are instead blissfully saving and no longer stressing about money.
How to Stop Living Paycheque to Paycheque
If you are ready to make the change, here are some of my favorite tips for you on how to finally stop living paycheck to paycheck:
Forget about how much money you make.
Let’s say you make $50k per year. Start living as though you make $40k per year. Keep your bills to a point where they are manageable at that level. Or, if you are a 2 income household, try to live on just one of those incomes. It may be hard to adjust to, but it will help tremendously toward adding to your savings.
If you start planning your meals out for the week or month, you will save money on grocery shopping, last minute trips to the store and on eating out. I like to add to this by meal prepping (you are less likely to go through the drive through if you already have dinner waiting at home).
Create a budget.
Before you can stop unnecessary spending, you need to know where your spending is going. Take the time to create a realistic budget for the expenses that need to be paid, along with the extra spending money that you can realistically afford. Then go through your last 30 days of receipts, bank transactions, etc to see what you have been spending your money on. All of those little purchases that you don’t think matter, really add up over time and it is important to know how much you have actually spent.
Build an emergency fund.
Things happen all the time, whether it is a broken down car, an emergency doctor visit, your cat gets sick, etc., all of these things cost money and they take away from the money you have. Make sure to build up an emergency fund of at least $1,000 so that you can take care of life’s inconveniences without straining your budget. You might find that just avoiding restaurants for a month or two will be enough to build this fund, but you can also try some other ways to build it up, such as signing up for extra hours at work, selling clothes or other items that you no longer need.
Pay off your debts.
There is no sugar coating it, debt is keeping you broke. When you are paying minimum payments, you are not really making any leeway and you will continue to have those same bills over and over for years. I know that paying off your debt isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when you are already living paycheck to paycheck, but if you can do anything to earn money on the side, do it. Use that extra money to pay off your credit cards and higher interest debts to get you back on track.
Getting out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle is not going to be easy, you have to work hard to get there. I promise you though, the hard work will be worth it!
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!