Do you have more bills each month than you seem to have money to pay them? If so, then there’s a huge sign that it’s time to start paying attention to how you’re spending your money.
A lot of people avoid budgeting because they are convinced that they are already good at handling money or that a budget won’t work because they don’t have enough TO budget. Even those making a decent salary still can’t seem to get out of the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.
Stop Paycheck To Paycheck Living, Savings Made Simple
In fact, nearly eight out of ten employed people are living paycheck to paycheck or in a paycheck cycle. More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in average savings — that means for a number of Americans, if there’s an emergency, it could be disastrous.
When you live paycheck to paycheck, you are constantly scrambling to make ends meet, or before the end of the month, you are always running out of money. We all know how stressful it is knowing that you don’t make quite enough to cover all the bills, let alone have any leftover to save or for entertainment. It is possible to break this cycle for good!
All we need to do is take it to step by step. You won’t see big changes overnight, but just know, in the end, it will be worth it! Here are some strategies to get you into the habit of saving money and stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Set Your Goals
Figure out what your priorities are, both for your short and long-term goals. Do you want to build a house, buy a new car, or take an awesome vacation? Are you saving up for your retirement or trying to build an emergency fund?
If you don’t know what you are saving for, it will stay on the back burner and probably never come to full fruition. Identify what your big and small goals are and start taking the first steps to reach them.
Learn How To Budget
The first step you can do is to learn how to budget effectively. You can write down a monthly budget. It will just take a few minutes. To budget effectively, track your spending and stop spending when you run out of money. Making a budget is also an excellent way to cut down on impulse purchases. This will lower your financial strain in the long run.
Check out our post: 6 Ways to Start A Successful Budget Plan, with FREE resources and printables to help you!
Figure out exactly how much money you have on hand, how much you have in monthly income, and how much is going out in upcoming expenses. This is one of the basic yet biggest things you can do to cut costs on your basic expenses.
Go through all of your monthly expenses and figure out how exactly what you’re paying each month, your bills and obligations, and if you have any debt obligations. This is one of the best ways to create a personal finance safety net.
Reduce Your Monthly Bills
If you think you have already reached your budget limit, you can find different ways and places to save. This way, you meet your financial goals while having extra cash, so you’re prepared for any unexpected expenses such as any car repairs.
Cut Down Your Internet and Cable Bills
Using things like Charlie can help you find free money by making sure that you’re getting the best deals around. Maybe you are overpaying on your current cell phone bill, or you can get an internet and cable combo plan.
Using Charlie is easy. You can opt into chatting with him via Facebook Messenger or text. Connect your bank account, credit card, or both, and he can start getting to work.
By saving money on your bills, you have a better chance of having enough money throughout the month, so you don’t struggle to make it to the next paycheck.
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Get The Best Deal On Car Insurance
Although you can’t get around having to purchase car insurance, you could save a lot of money by shopping around and comparing the rates.
The Zebra is an online car insurance search engine where you can compare different options from more than 200 providers in less than 60 seconds. This is an excellent way to relieve any financial concerns.
Consolidate Your Debt
If you still have debt to pay, such as credit card debt, have you ever considered refinancing it? Refinancing your debt could substantially lower the debt payments you’re making, helping you save more money every month.
This is a fantastic way to cut down on your financial stress and have the extra money in your pocket, so you’re ready for any financial situation that comes your way.
Upstart is an excellent online lending platform that can help you find a loan without relying just on your credit score.
Since you’ve already set your goals and created a budget, the next step you need to do is track everything. If you don’t track everything, sticking to your budget can be nearly impossible. And you’ll end up back in a financial crisis.
Making a mental note about your spending is not a reliable way to keep your budget on track. Sometimes just looking at what you spend each day or week or month can help you see where that money is being nickeled and dimed out of your paycheck.
Save As Much As Possible
Saving money can be tough, but wouldn’t it be better to save money without even noticing it?
Digit can make it possible. Digit is automatic payments for your savings for you. Just link it to your checking account, and this innovative app’s algorithm will determine a small and safe amount of money and put it into a separate FDIC-insured savings account.
You can also start building up passive income and savings to start saving. Paribus can get your money back for every online purchase. It scans your email for your previous receipts.
If you bought something from the retailers they monitor, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund if there is a price drop.
You can also combine playing games and saving money. The Long Game Savings automatically lets you earn coins that you can use to play and win more coins that go straight to your Long Game Savings account.
With MobileXpression, which is available for Android and iPhone, you can play an instant rewards game for prizes such as a $25 Amazon card, iPads, or TVs.
Answer Surveys While Watching TV Or Lounging Around
Instead of just watching TV or lounging around, you can earn money on the side. Earn gift cards by answering surveys or taking polls through MyPoints or PointClub. Plus, MyPoints lets you exchange your points for gift cards while PointClub gives you $5 for just signing up!
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Put Your House To Work
Do you have a spare room in your house? You can earn some money on the side by listing it on Airbnb.
If you’re a good host in a great location, you can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars. Airbnb puts it straight into your savings account, too. This makes an excellent side gig or part-time job to earn good money.
Place Your Savings Elsewhere
If you are trying to save money, make sure you are putting your money somewhere you can’t easily get to it. Use a savings account that is not very accessible. Try an interest-earning savings account or money market at another banking institution.
Be patient with yourself. Moving to a savings mindset from someone who hasn’t saved and is living paycheck to paycheck is hard. It can be challenging to break your old spending habits.
Reward yourself from time to time! Give yourself a pat on the back or enjoy some freebies for a job well done!