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Break the Cycle: 5 Ways to Stop Living From Paycheck to Paycheck

Break the Cycle: 5 Ways to Stop Living From Paycheck to Paycheck

Now that most students have headed back to class and we have a little extra time before football season kicks off, it’s time to take a good hard look at our finances. Are you comfortably earning, spending and saving the way you intended when you set those lofty financial resolutions at the beginning of the year?

Or, like so many people who set goals but lose track of them as the year progresses, are you finding yourself struggling to make it to your next payday? If so, you should know that you’re not alone. You also should know that it won’t take a significant pay raise to help you stop living from paycheck to paycheck.

In fact, we can help you break that financially straining cycle and start saving. If you’ve already admitted that constantly waiting for your next pay to arrive is not the way you want to live, you’re already in the right mindset to get started.

Here are five tips to get you on your way past living for the next payday:

1. Track Your Spending
If you’re constantly waiting for payday, you need to take a serious look at how much money you have coming in and going out. Review your last few months of bank statements to see how much you’re spending. Obviously, if you find that you’re spending more money than you’re making, you’ve found a major red flag. While you’re tracking your spending, also take note of where your money is going. Are you spending on necessities or shelling out too much for entertainment purposes?

2. Create (and Follow) a Budget
Once you have a good handle on the amount of money that is coming in and going out of your bank account, it is time to reassess your spending. Create a realistic budget that will allow you to pay your bills and spend a little, but also start to save. Don’t stop once you’ve created a budget that will work for you. The real trick is to stick to your budget for the long haul. A little financial discipline will take you a long way past your next payday!

3. Build Up Your Savings
Remember, this is not an insurmountable goal. You’ve already written savings into your new budget. And you don’t have to start off by saving a lot. Just request that a portion of your pay is directly deposited into a savings account that you do not regularly access. Once you see your savings start to climb, you’ll have extra motivation to save even more!

4. Pay Down Your Debts
And don’t accrue any more! If your assessment of your spending revealed that you’re paying out a great amount of money to creditors, it’s time to start chipping away at those bills. Go one by one and begin to eliminate your debt. While you’re making progress on those payments, do not allow yourself to add to that mountain of debt.

5. Just Say “No”
Want to go out to lunch? Want to hit happy hour after work tonight? No, no and – NO! We’re not saying that you must cut out all your favorite things, but you need shed that fear of missing out and say “no” occasionally. For instance, if you typically go on a daily coffee run, try skipping a day or two and brewing your own coffee at home. Then, you can use the money you save to pay off debts or boost your savings!

If you’re living from paycheck to paycheck now, remember that it does not have to be this way forever. Take a little financial responsibility, add in some planning and a lot of positivity—you’ll be living comfortably past payday soon!