Do you live your life paycheck to paycheck? Do you sometimes have to hold off on buying things that you need until your next paycheck comes in? If so, you’re not alone.
In fact, a 2017 study by CareerBuilder found that 78% of workers live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. The study even found that nearly one in 10 workers making over $100,000 a year live paycheck to paycheck. Furthermore, nearly three in four workers are in debt and more than half believe they will always be.
Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t easy. However, there are strategies that can at least take some of the pressure off. We have some tips that can make living paycheck to paycheck just a little bit easier on you and your family:
1. Create a Budget for Your Household
When it comes to living paycheck to paycheck, creating a budget for the household is a must. Creating a budget for your whole household lets you see where your money is being spent. When you don’t have a budget, you don’t have a plan, and sometimes you don’t even know how much money you have to work with.
Having a budget that shows all of your income, as well as your expenses, will give you a clear picture of what you have to work with. You will have clear parameters to stick to, so you don’t overspend on things like eating out or going to the movies. A budget will also allow you to cut out expenses you really don’t need.
2. Determine Which Expenses You Can Cut
Once you have identified expenses you don’t need, you can take effective action to cut those things out. Can’t find any areas to cut down in? Keep looking over your budget and you’ll eventually find something, even if it’s small.
For example, do you really need a subscription to Apple TV, Disney+, and Netflix? If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, the answer is no. Cut it down to one and right there you’ve cut out two expenses.
Call your current service providers (internet, cable, cellphone) and see if they have any cheaper packages. You may be able to downgrade your packages to save money while still getting the service you need. The worst they can say is no, so it’s definitely worth a try.
3. Payday Loans & Debt
It brings us to our next point: manage your debt. It is perfectly understandable if you use easy-to-get payday loans to make ends meet. Many people use these loans to turn their financial situations around. However, you must have a strategy to pay off the debt.
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, the last thing you need is to be throwing your money onto things like interest. When you have a lot of debt to contend with, it makes it harder to get ahead. Of course, what’s done is done, but you can make wiser choices moving forward. The first step is to stop taking on new debt. This will open up some funds and allow you to pay down existing debt.
3. Save Up Before Buying Big Ticket Items
Do you need a new mattress or a new sofa? Rather than putting these purchases on credit when you don’t have the money to pay it back, or worse, blow your whole paycheck on it, put money aside for it with each paycheck. Only once you’ve saved up the money you need should you go ahead and make that big purchase.
Starting to think and live like this can make profound changes in your life. Especially if you have a habit of putting things on your credit card and forgetting about it. Actually having the money you need before you make the purchase can save you tons of cash in interest alone.
5. Sell Things You Aren’t Using
Looking for some extra cash? Chances are if you take a look around your home, you’ll find something that’s just collecting dust and taking up space. Get rid of it! There are so many apps and websites out there that allow you to quickly list your stuff to people in your surrounding area.
Think things like old purses, wallets, that waffle maker you’re no longer using, that game console that you haven’t touched in years, etc. Not only will it get these items off your hands, but you’ll have some extra cash coming in before your next paycheck.
6. Save a Bit of Money for Emergencies
When you live paycheck to paycheck it’s hard to save money. But even saving just $20 a paycheck can add up over time. By saving some money every two weeks, you will always have some money for emergencies.
This may include your car breaking down or an emergency veterinary visit for your dog. This will make you less reliant on your next paycheck and will stop you from turning to your credit cards and incurring more debt. The best part? You will have peace of mind that you have some money to fall back on, no matter how small.