Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Many everyday folks are stuck in the never-ending cycle of earning an income, paying bills, and having nothing to show for it at the end of the month. Believe it or not, it’s possible to build a financial cushion and remove much financial stress even without a high-paying job.
Gain financial freedom by taking control of your finances:
1. Get excited
By the time you’ve become used to living paycheck to paycheck, it has likely been going on for a long time. If you changed your mindset and got motivated to change it would happen for you. Make a list of the advantages of getting out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
● Being confident you can handle a financial emergency such as a broken furnace or mechanical problem with your car.
● You will sleep much better.
● At some point down the line you could take a nice vacation.
● What else can you think of?
2. Pay yourself first
It is difficult to save money if you don’t prioritize paying yourself. Consider your monthly savings account deposit to be the first “bill” that must be paid. No exceptions.
3. Get a handle on your spending
You should have a budget. Period. There are numerous resources on the web covering the topic of setting and sticking to a budget. Get familiar with them.
● List of all your purchases and review them at the end of every day. Include every coffee, donut, and hamburger. Even if it only cost a few pennies, write it down.
● Avoid making big purchases without waiting for a set period of time, usually a week. The burning desire for that purchase will often pass quickly. If it doesn’t, then you know it’s a good time to buy.
● Create a decision-making process before purchasing anything you don’t need. Ask yourself; 1. Do I need this? 2. Is this helping or hurting my goal of a financially free lifestyle? Remind yourself how it will be when your financial situation improves.
● Eliminate unnecessary expenses. If you don’t need it to stay alive or get to work, reconsider it.
4. Increase your income
There’s a limit to how much you can cut your expenses, but there’s no limit on how much you can earn. Many personal finance gurus focus on the expense side of the equation. Thus ultimately limits your upside though. If you’ve held your current position for more than 2 years, apply for something better.
● Figure out ways to earn extra money on the side. There are ways to earn extra money without leaving home via the internet.
5. Tough it out
It’s hard to get excited if you’re only saving $100 per month, but it’s a start. Personal finance is based on inertia. It takes time to accumulate enough change to make a significant difference. It’s important to focus on progress, no matter how small.
Most Americans, even those with good jobs, are stuck in a seemingly never-ending cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. One week without a paycheck could spell financial disaster. Though it seems like a long journey to break free, it’s well worth the effort. Not stressing over future bills is a worthy goal.