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I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that living paycheck to paycheck is a dreadful and destructive feeling.
On day one, you THINK you can get by and things are FINE. Just fine, but not great.
By day two, your car suddenly breaks down. Or even worse, one of your loved ones become ill and you have no cash to cover for the medical bill. Having that said, living paycheck to paycheck is not sustainable in the long-term because it can cause financial stress and an emotional breakdown.
I know, it’s not a pretty image.
I know EXACTLY how you feel because I was there once. But, I want to tell you that you CAN break out of this vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck despite your current situation. It just takes a bit of effort, time, and some serious dedication. It won’t be a walk in the park, but I know that you can do it! The good news is that it does become easier when you change your mindset and start forming good financial habits.
According to CareerBuilder.com, 78% of U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet and nearly 10% who make over $100,000 are living paycheck to paycheck. With that said, it’s about time for you to break out of that vicious cycle!
If you’re not aware, here are 7 reasons why you are living paycheck to paycheck (and how to fix it).
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information.
1. You are constantly comparing yourself to others.
Did one of your best girlfriends just buy a brand new Hermes bag for over $12,000?
Did your mom’s friend’s son just purchase a new high-end Porsche for $100,000?
Oh wait, I forgot to ask… did he also purchase a brand new gorgeous 3,000 sq. ft. house for over $1.5 million??
I know, it’s hard to see other people live the high life and wonder why they have it SO MUCH better than us. But know that’s not always the case! You’re just unaware that many of them are financing their luxury lifestyle through debt and living a life of deceit.
According to this CNBC article, Americans in debt trying to project luxe life, Jessica Dickler writes: “One in 10 Americans making $80,000 or more a year are willing to take on more than $5,000 in debt in an attempt to portray their life as luxurious.”
In the same article, Dickler says according to a survey conducted by Fifth Third Bank, about 70% of Americans are in debt and despite that fact, 30% of them have no plan to pay it off.
Overall, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with living a luxurious lifestyle. I admit that I love luxury and I’m willing to pay for certain things. It all comes down to prioritizing and whether you could truly afford it. The next time you decide to make a purchase, ask yourself the following questions:
– Am I living paycheck to paycheck because of this?
– Will this add any value to my life?
– Will it truly make me happy? Or am I just keeping up with the Joneses?
– Most importantly, can I really afford it without living paycheck to paycheck or getting myself into debt?
If you really want to maintain a certain lifestyle without living paycheck to paycheck, you will need to optimize your savings and find ways to make extra money which is what I did for the last several years. These are points I talk about next. I also give you a few hacks that I personally use to help reduce your monthly spending.
Related post: How To Control Your Impulse Spending Behavior (#5 is a Proven Strategy That Really Works!)
2. You haven’t optimized your monthly savings.
No, I’m not going to tell you to cut back on the small things you enjoy like coffee to save money. Instead, I highly recommend you to think about the bigger monthly expenses you incur. Can you either cut them or negotiate for a lower price?
Of course, you can!
I will introduce you to a clever robot who can help you stop living paycheck to paycheck by reducing your MONTHLY expenses.
Save money with Trim!
So, who exactly is this smart little bot?
Say hello to Trim.
This financial management bot is a FREE virtual personal finance assistant who can help cut and/or negotiate those expensive monthly bills for you. That includes Internet, cable, subscriptions, and more. Can you believe he can even cancel them for you without you doing any work? That’s a potential savings of up to $100 (or more) per month with almost no effort! Trim has saved their users over $1,000,000 in the last month!
You can sign up for Trim for FREE here.
3. You haven’t taken advantage of these FREE gift cards!
Again, some people will tell you that you’re spending too much on those Starbucks coffees, but I’m not going to tell you that!
In addition to trimming your monthly expenses, you can make things a little bit more affordable by earning FREE gift cards.
I am able to reduce my spending because I use Swagbucks to earn FREE $25 to $100 Amazon and Starbucks gift cards just by surfing the web, playing games, watching videos, shopping online, and doing easy surveys!
In addition to Amazon and Starbucks, they offer many other gift card selections. Check them out here!
Swagbucks is a 100% FREE resource and it only requires your e-mail and a password to sign up. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to earn free gift cards or cash to help reduce spending.
Swagbucks is 100% legitimate and has paid out their members over $318,312,447 to date!
👉 You can get a FREE $5 bonus from Swagbucks here just by signing up through my link. 😊
⭐️ Important: To claim your FREE $5 bonus, don’t forget to verify the email from Swagbucks in your inbox!
Related post: 9+ Clever Ways To Get FREE Gift Cards and CASH Online (Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, Visa, and more!)
4. You are still in debt.
It’s even tougher when you are in debt! In situations like these, I highly recommend saving as much money as possible so that you can pay off your debts faster. Things can really speed up when you are open to making extra money during your spare time (which I talk more about in the next point).
Throughout my blog, you will notice that I always rave about Gail Vaz-Oxlade because she inspired me to ditch debt and to stop living paycheck to paycheck. I remember when I graduated from college, I was always excited about her TV series, Til Debt Do Us Part. After watching many episodes, I was inspired to create my own budget and even went out of my way to decorate mason jars for my saving funds.
In addition to watching her shows, you can also get additional tips on how to manage your money with one of her best selling books, Debt-Free Forever: Take Control Of Your Money And Your Life. As Gail would say, “Don’t let money control your life. Start making changes today by taking control of your financial future!”
Click on the book to learn more!
5. You are not making enough money.
Captain obvious here, right?
As obvious as it may sound, it shouldn’t surprise you that many people aren’t willing to make an effort to increase their income or earn extra money. But, I know you’re not that loser. Both you and I know that you are a winner and you’re here because you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck! By reading this article to look for answers, you’re already ahead of most people!
Make extra cash so that you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.
If you regularly follow my blog, you’ll hear me talk a lot about many ways to make extra money so that you can earn more, save more and live more. Just because you’re living paycheck to paycheck, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to live a good life. You NEED to find ways to increase your income if you want to save money while maintaining your desired lifestyle!
Starting a blog is a very helpful way to make extra money (like how I did just a year ago). If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to sign up for my FREE 7-day e-mail course below! But before you sign up, I want to mention that this is NOT one of those get-rich-quick schemes! Making a few thousand dollars per month with a blog is very possible as long as you’re serious and willing to put in the effort.
Related posts on ways to make extra money:
– Learn how I made $2,797.64 last month on top of my full-time job. (Starting a blog is awesome because it requires no degree nor experience!)
How to make money online with survey sites:
Why take surveys online? What’s in it for you?
All top companies want to understand their consumers so that they can create the perfect products and services for you. For them to do that, they need to understand YOU and what YOU want. That’s why they are willing to pay you cash or free gift cards in exchange for your opinion. It’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to make extra money online with no experience required.
I’ll be honest though. You won’t become the next Bill Gates by taking surveys, but it can help make your spending more affordable. That includes paying for some groceries, filling up the gas for your car, buying birthday gifts for your friends, or splurging on your daily coffee without having to cut back on them. If you’re not looking for hard work, then this is one of the easiest ways to make some extra money when you’re living paycheck to paycheck!
How much money can you make from survey sites?
Anywhere from $50 to $200 (or more) per month depending on your eligibility and the number of surveys you complete.
Here is one of my personal favorite survey sites to earn a bit of extra cash.
Survey Junkie is rated 8.7/10, one of the highest on TrustPilot reviews. I love them the most for their pretty-looking and easy-to-navigate interface. Over 5,000,000 users (including myself) have a great experience with them and I know you will too.
I do fewer surveys compared to the more active users but I was still able to make $58 in a month from it. Other members from TrustPilot reviews said that Survey Junkie allowed them to earn enough to pay for their monthly utility bills, so a little extra cash can definitely help with your living expenses.
They only require your e-mail address so it literally takes less than 5 seconds to start earning.
👉 You can sign up for Survey Junkie here for FREE and start earning extra money immediately. 💵
They have over 10 million members and paid over $10,000 a day!
Again, membership is 100% free. By signing up for many survey sites, you’ll get to take more surveys for more extra money.
Have you thought about increasing your job salary?
Ramit Sethi is one of my favorite go-to people for personal finance advice. I always turn to him for answers because he offers solid advice on how to make more money at your current job.
Ramit’s FREE ebook, The Ultimate Guide To Asking For a Raise And Negotiating Your Salary, is super helpful and will give you (almost) instant results! You need to check this out if you want to boost your salary, stop living paycheck to paycheck, and improve your lifestyle!
6. You don’t know the basics of personal finance.
Let’s face it. Personal finance isn’t the sexiest topic and most of us avoid talking about it. Having that said, we ignore it and live our “normal lives” by frivolously spending it on everything and anything.
‘Cos you know… “you only live once.”
ANDDDD that is one of the main reasons why 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck!
According to a New York Post article, Americans really, really don’t know how to manage money, surveys and data reveal:
“We don’t save enough, we spend money we don’t have, and we have our financial priorities backwards!”
Based on this same article, here’s why you can’t stop living paycheck to paycheck:
– You are more worried about paying for your next vacation than about saving enough for retirement.
– 60% of Americans don’t even have $500 saved based on a survey released by Bankrate.
– According to the Federal Reserve data, Americans have racked up $1 trillion in credit card debt.
Here’s a solution for you to improve your financial literacy and boost your confidence…
The Most Epic Personal Finance Book That Will Change Your Life in 6 weeks!
To help you conquer your finances, I HIGHLY recommend reading Ramit’s best-selling book from Amazon, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. This is honestly one of THE BEST personal finance books for beginners who struggle with saving money.
With Ramit’s approach, you don’t need to give up fun to save money! By following his guide, you are well on your way to ditching the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck WITHOUT depriving yourself! I’ve read this book and it’s extremely straightforward. No B.S. and no fluff! As he says, it’s just a 6-week program that works!
Click on the book to conquer your finances today! Also, don’t forget to download the FREE Amazon Kindle reading app here. You don’t need a Kindle device to use this app — you can enjoy reading from ANY device including your PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.
7. You don’t know where your money is going.
Chances are, you’re like me.
But thanks to personal finance guru, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, my fiancé and I were able to ditch living paycheck to paycheck and even managed to save over $750,000 in 7 years by following her clever budgeting strategy.
To help you master your savings, we created our version of her fail-proof budget plan so that you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.
In this budget kit, we included a monthly budget tool that keeps track of all your income sources plus expenses. This will tell you exactly where your money is going and exactly how much you are spending.
Aside from the budget tool, we also made these pretty weekly printables that will keep your budget and savings on track. These free printables were made to give you instant results to boost your confidence in your financial journey.
This budget kit is only exclusive to my subscribers, so grab your FREE copy here!
For more details about this budget kit, visit my post, The Free Budget Kit You Need To Conquer Your Finances.
8. You keep buying convenience.
I know that we are all busy with our lives and don’t have time for the smallest tasks. That includes cooking your own meals on a daily basis and preparing small snacks for your next road trip.
I get it!
And I know exactly how you feel. But what I didn’t realize was the huge dent in my wallet. I was constantly buying convenience and that was part of the reason why I was living paycheck to paycheck at a point in time.
Like you, I was frustrated!
Who wants to think about what to eat next for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I just bought whatever was convenient downstairs from where I worked.
I bought everything and anything that I wanted on the spur of moment…
Bottle of water.
$6 freshly squeezed Juice.
Lunch, dinner, etc.
You name it.
But I realized that I was just coming up with excuses to why I couldn’t bring my own lunch and snacks to work.
To make some changes so that I could save some money and stop living paycheck to paycheck, I started packing my own lunch in this cute mini crockpot. I absolutely love this product because it’s a great way to have fresh-tasting food without having to use the microwave. I seriously hate the microwave! On top of that, it’s a healthier and cheaper alternative compared to what you buy at your local food court.
How to save money on food:
I know a lot of you are used to spending over $10 on lunch every day. Some of you don’t have time so you spend another $10 to $15 on dinner. That was me too, so I started planning and making my own meals at home.
However, if you don’t have time to meal plan, I highly recommend this $5 meal plan service that will help you save time and money. This is simply a weekly meal plan service that aims to make your life super easy and stress-free!
For only $5 a month, you’ll receive a delicious meal plan that costs less than $2 per meal. In my post, 11 Things I Stopped Buying To Save Money, I mentioned that my fiancé and I saved over $15,000 in a year when we reduced our food expense!
If you’re not sure whether this $5 meal plan service is right for you, you can test it out here with their 14-day risk-free trial. If it doesn’t work out, you can cancel at any time without ever spending a cent. No questions asked!
Make savings easy: get FREE cash back with Ibotta and Checkout 51!
I’m not a coupon lover, but I AM a money-saving app lover because they make saving money SO easy!
I absolutely love using FREE resources to help me save as much money as possible without putting in a lot of effort.
With that said, I absolutely recommend using both these FREE apps to get the most cash back (YES, I totally love FREE STUFF)! Not to mention, it’s really quick to sign up!
Ibotta is supported by 300+ nationwide retailers, so there’s always going to be something for you to redeem whether you’re shopping at your local grocery store, eating out at your favorite restaurant, or even purchasing something you need on Amazon!
Ibotta users have gotten back over $490,995,558 in REAL cash, so you can definitely count on Ibotta to put more money back in your pockets! 💵
With that said, you need to take advantage of FREE money!
👉 Grab your FREE $10 welcome bonus from Ibotta when you sign up through my link.
👉 On top of that, grab your FREE $5 welcome bonus from Checkout 51 after uploading your first few receipts!
🌟 Don’t leave FREE money on the table!
9. You don’t know the difference between income vs. wealth.
As the Millionaire Next Door would say:
“Most people have it all wrong about wealth in America. Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income each year and spend it all, you are not getting wealthier. You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend.”
PRO TIP: No matter how high your income, always remember to live below your means! If you really want to improve your lifestyle, you must find ways to increase your income (like what I mentioned in point #5 above)!
Again, don’t forget to download the FREE Amazon Kindle reading app here. You don’t need a Kindle to take advantage of this free app — enjoy e-books from any device including your PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.
10. You don’t have an emergency fund.
You don’t have an emergency fund that will help you break out of that vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.
It’s quite scary because according to this CNBC article, only 39% of Americans have enough savings to cover for a $1,000 emergency fund. That means the number is even lower if we’re talking about an emergency fund that exceeds $1,000!
Read here for 10 clever ways to build your emergency fund in the next 30 days so that you can stop living paycheck to paycheck. After saving your first $1,000 for emergencies, you will be glad that you did! I promise!
Don’t miss out on these FREE resources!
If you follow my blog, you will know that I’m all about saving money and making money. Below are some of my favorite sites and resources that may help you! The best part is that they’re all FREE to join and use!
Survey Junkie: I personally use this free resource to earn extra cash by answering simple surveys online. This can help you save money or pay for some of your monthly bills because you can redeem cash or FREE gift cards (your choice). They are rated 8.7/10 which is one of the highest on TrustPilot reviews. You can sign up for Survey Junkie for free here. If you live in Canada, use this CAD link to sign up.
MyPoints: You can earn FREE gift cards to your favorite stores or cash (your choice) just by watching videos, taking surveys, reading e-mails and more. MyPoints has paid out their members $236,000,000!
🌟 Sign up for MyPoints here for FREE and get a $5 bonus immediately when you take 5 surveys! 💵
⭐️ Important: Don’t forget to verify the email from MyPoints in your inbox so that you can redeem your bonus!
Don’t miss out on this post: The Best Places to Get FREE Gift Cards!
The one thing I really love about Drop is their points can be COMBINED with other rewards, promos, cash back programs, and coupons! So YES, you can STACK UP your Drop points with Ebates and other credit card rewards!
To start earning FREE money with Drop, all you have to do is:
1) Link your debit and/or credit cards (this is how you passively earn points) — rest assured that Drop uses industry-leading security to ensure that your data is always safe. Your bank login credentials are never stored on Drop’s servers.
2) Choose the top 5 places you shop at. This includes Amazon, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Chipotle, Uber, Dunkin’ Donuts, and more! Check out your options here!
3) Redeem your Drop points for FREE gift cards!
My referral code is applicable to both the U.S. and Canada!
Ebates: You get FREE cash just for shopping at over 2,000 of your favorite stores. This includes Walmart, Macy’s, Apple, Kohl’s, Target, eBay, and so many more! I use Ebates to save over a few hundred dollars just for shopping for the things I normally buy. Sign up here for your $10 welcome bonus after making your first $25 purchase through Ebates. If you live in Canada, use this link to sign up for your $5 bonus. To learn more, read my full review and tutorial on how to use Ebates here. You won’t be disappointed with Ebates!
Paribus: Ever heard of price-adjustments? This free app helps get your money back when an item you purchased goes on sale (there’s no effort on your end). When Paribus finds a price drop in your e-mail inbox, and you’re eligible for a price adjustment, it will notify you and the retailer. Yes, Paribus will do all the work for you and you keep 100% of the savings! Paribus has helped users saved over $24,000,000 to date! You can learn more about the free Paribus app here.
Don’t miss out: The Best Places To Get FREE Money! Find $5,000+ Over Here!
Over to you — What saving money tips do you have to stop living paycheck to paycheck?
– 5 Beyond Amazing Money Tips From a Billionaire That Will Help You Conquer Your Finances (My readers’ favorite post!)
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