Let me guess…
You’ve tried to slash your budget mercilessly in hopes of saving money… including cutting out your morning latte from your favorite coffee shop.
And what has that done for you? You’re still as broke as you were yesterday. Only now, you’re cranky and need your caffeine fix. I think we’ve all done something to this extent to stretch our paycheck, only to get our hopes crushed when it doesn’t work out as planned.
It’s safe to say that slashing budgets only works favorably if, ultimately, in the end, it saves you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Don’t get me wrong, any dollar saved helps, but doing it on the premise that it will increase your net worth is somewhat of a long shot.
So, if you’re trying to reverse the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, here are 3 things you can do immediately:
- Increase your income. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people go month-to-month doing the same old thing and expecting different results (Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity). If your current paycheck isn’t working for you despite being a careful spender and budgeting, then its time to make more money. Try asking for a raise at your current job, work extra hours, do some freelance work in your spare time, or find a new position that will pay more — maybe that job with those great hours and benefits you’ve been hoping for.
- Stop spending on unnecessary things. This falls into the realm of budgeting but learning how to resist impulse buys on things that bring no value to your life is one of the most important skills to learn. Did you really need another pair of shoes this month? Or did you really need to upgrade to the latest tech device? How many items do you have laying around the house that you’ve probably never used or only used once? Take some time to think about what you’re spending on and why you are purchasing it. I can guarantee that you’ll change your mind 80% of the time and your bank account will thank you later.
- Change/adjust your lifestyle. This one requires some real honesty with yourself. But are you living above your means? We all want to live in the nicest house, drive the fanciest car and wear the most expensive and trendiest outfits but we need to be realistic. Living in comfort/luxury and living comfortably are two different things — if an emergency were to come up right now, could you easily take care of it without using a credit card or worrying about the next paycheck? If the answer is no, then you have some adjustments to make.
This is in no way any form of financial advice, but just practical things to do to break that paycheck to paycheck cycle. It may not happen overnight but with consistency, it will happen!
Read more: 11 Habits That Make You Poor