At some point in your life, you will probably go through a time where you’re keeping your head just above the water financially. Drowning in financial stress if you will.
Saving money while living paycheck to paycheck can be TOUGH.
Pretty much all of us go through this at one point or another, and there is nothing wrong with that. (Unless you waste your money on bad food and like crack cocaine or something.) In that case, I really need you to get ahold of yourself and read as much of my blog as possible. (Yes, this is a shameless suggestion of my own content)
All jokes aside, it’s REALLY hard living to paycheck.
The last few days before you get paid you can find yourself struggling to even pay for your next meal. It is something that is not only difficult to deal with mentally, but it can really take a toll on you physically.
Financial stress can cause a lot of problems and if you find yourself afraid you’ll never be able to get through it. Then wipe those tears away my dear friend.
Because I’m here to tell you that you WILL.
It takes some time to save the money you need to be comfortable and you have to break some bad habits along the way, but it is 100% achievable.
So, what can you do to save money when you’re living paycheck to paycheck?
Try these 3 things out and see if you can start saving more money.
1) Stop having (expensive) fun
I’m totally kidding… sort of.
What I really mean is that you don’t have to spend money to have fun.
You don’t have to go to the movie theatres or a restaurant when you’re hanging out with people. You don’t have to break the bank for a good old time.
You can do things like go to public parks (except at night time, that’s just creepy), or go to your public library and check out movies. (Your taxes pay for it already!) Stop paying for your Starbucks and start making coffee at home, stop going to restaurants and recommend eating dinner at home with your friends.
People seem to have it in their head that in order to have fun they need to spend a large amount of money.
The truth is that there are tons of free places and free activities that you can do to take some of the stress off.
A lot of times saving money is as simple as shopping on a budget, checking out books at the library, renting movies instead of buying them, or even walking to work once or twice a week instead of driving every day. (If you live closer than 3 or so miles, if not, I would 10/10 not recommend this.)
The opportunities to save money out there are endless.
Are you looking hard enough for ways that you could save money?
A lot of times, the little bit of money you could be saving every paycheck is probably wasted on things you either don’t need or things you could go without.
Take the time to look over your bank statement and I mean REALLY look.
How much money did you spend on things you didn’t need? I guarantee when you take a second to look, you will be surprised at how much you waste.
2) Pay Yourself First
In the article where I explain exactly how I budget, I say that it is important that you save money FIRST.
I cannot stress this enough.
After you finish paying off all your bills, you can then take whatever money you have leftover and use a portion of that as a start for your savings account. You want to have a decently comfortable savings account before you begin paying off debt and things like that to prepare you for emergencies.
Paying yourself first is a surefire way of being sure that your money always goes towards the right place.
Remember, when you pay yourself first it doesn’t have to be half your paycheck or even a quarter. Pay yourself what you can afford and allow that to grow into a comfortable savings account that you can have as a backup for any unexpected circumstances.
After you have your comfortable savings accumulated, you can then begin paying off things that drain your funds every paycheck. (car note, student loans, credit cards, etc.)
A lot of the times all you need to do to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck is build up a savings, pay off debt and begin investing money in places that can begin to grow your money and allow it to work FOR you.
3) Increase your Income
You may already be as frugal as you possibly can. Like one of those crazy extreme cheapskate types.
In this case, sometimes the only way to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck is to just grow the size of your paycheck.
This can mean either growing the amount of value that you bring to your employer and asking for a raise. If you’re a business owner already it may mean evaluating the way you do things and seeing if there is a way you can cut costs, provide more value to your customers, or improve the business as a whole.
It can also mean starting other things that bring in income.
This could be any number of things. For example, I started out with this blog just to make some extra money on the side. Before long it has grown to bring in more income than I do at my day job. I also began doing VA (Virtual Assistant) work and making money in that way. The internet has brought us an endless way of making extra money.
You don’t even have to do things online to make extra money.
It can be as simple as driving for Uber or Lyft, mowing lawns on the weekends.
Maybe you’re good at something a lot of people aren’t particularly talented in. Taking the time to market a special talent you have can really pay off.
Jobs like doing nails, hair, makeup, painting, doing woodwork, being a handyman, and so much more, are all things people pay good money to have done.
If you can make the right connections, you can potentially make a TON of money doing these things.
There are endless opportunities out there to make more money and I guarantee that there’s someone out there that is making money off of something that you think is completely foolish.
Taking time to brainstorm the options you have and coming up with a way to make extra money can make a huge difference in your life financially.
Starting a side hustle can be awesome not just financially, But it can be a really fulfilling thing as well.
Starting this blog has been a really exciting and satisfying journey for me. I would’ve never expected that it would’ve gone as far as it has and that I would have touched as many people lives as I have.
I enjoy sitting at my computer and preparing my next article to go out. I always have an exciting and giddy feeling to share the things that I have created with my readers.
Maybe you even have a talent or knowledge about a subject that you could blog about. There’s bound to be someone that is making money off of the subject or material you understand really well.
Why shouldn’t that be you?
If you are interested in starting a blog you can actually sign up for the same host I use, Bluehost.
I can’t recommend them enough. If you have any questions about the journey of making money as a blogger, shoot me an email, or let me know in the comments.
The truth is that living to paycheck to paycheck is a very stressful experience. Many times you can be so stressed that you fail to realize that you have options to do better.
You don’t have to be stuck and be one of those people that can’t seem to make ends meet. You can fight your way out of a tough position and become better than you were before. TRUST ME. I have done it. There is more to life than struggling to find out where your next dollar is coming from.
It all starts with YOU. You can be Busy Living Better. Just make the decision to do so.
Until the next one,
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