Stop spending more than you earn.
Do you find yourself consistently running out of money before your next paycheck? Do you find that you have to keep borrowing money from your family and friends? Do you find that you frequently have to dish out your credit cards to cover your spending?
The issue with most people living paycheck to paycheck is that they are vulnerable to financial damage. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, it becomes much easier to accumulate credit card debt, thus resulting in higher interest payments per month. Worst thing that can happen is when you can’t even afford to pay off your minimum interest payments and end up bankrupt.
Track Your Spending.
Note down how much you are spending on each category, such as food, electricity, water, gas, mortgage payments, etc. Track your categories for a month, and you’ll have a clearer view of how much money you’re spending on each area.
Create a Budget.
Creating a budget helps you plan for the future to make full use of your income. A budget is used to plan how much money goes to which expenditure. Because you are actually planning for your future paycheck, you will know whether if you are making enough money to spend all on your expenses.
If you find that your expenses are able to squeeze into your budget, then your income is enough to support your lifestyle. The main reason you are living paycheck to paycheck is because you are spending much more than you earn.
Control Your Spending.
When you know how much money is going into which area, you can start cutting expenses on certain areas. Maybe you’re spending $10 a day on lunch (which results in $300 a month), you can start cutting costs by making your own lunch. If you’re a habitual consumer of luxury items, you may have to stop buying luxury items, because you can’t really afford it if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Don’t’ just shop for entertainment, especially when with friends and family. It is enticing to buy stuff when all your friends are shopping for clothes or electronics. Shopping for entertainment within your social circle will be expensive even if you DON’T buy things, due to the fact that you’re surrounded by temptations of things you WANT but don’t NEED.
Increase Your Income.
You can try working a part-time job on the weekends or creating a online business with a hobby or expertise of yours. It gives you more money and you’ll be able to afford to spend more, or better yet, you put the money into a savings account.
Don’t Use More Than One Credit Card.
The credit card should be used only for emergencies or specific purchases. By having only 1 credit card, you will resist the temptation to spend more than your credit limit.
If you find that your monthly income is not enough to cover your debt, then it may be due time to downgrade. Do you really need that big of a house or such a luxurious car? It’s time to consider a smaller house or cheaper car alternative. With the lower monthly upkeep, it will help you pay off debt and also lower monthly bills.
This is not an easy move for most people. Do not automatically reject the idea just yet, but really think about the benefits of downgrading. Maybe you’ll be able to make life a lot easier for yourself and your family, instead of drowning in debt.