When I was going to college full time, I had a part time job and wasn’t making a lot of money. I didn’t want to take out a loan, so I tried to be as frugal as possible by managing my paychecks and paying for rent and food each month, and then saving as much money as possible so I could pay for each semester. You can read more about how I almost paid for college without taking out a loan here. It wasn’t easy. And there were months where I was barely scraping by from paycheck to paycheck and wasn’t able to put money into savings.
After I married my husband and we had our first child, that first year when I was a stay-at-home mom was challenging as we went from two incomes down to just one. We had to figure out how to make it work each month to solely live off my husband’s paycheck, and there were some months where we barely had enough from our paycheck to cover all of the bills. Even though those were hard months, we luckily weren’t at the point where we were living paycheck to paycheck. If for some reason my husband was suddenly unemployed, we would still be able to meet financial obligations for a short time because we had savings. We didn’t want to touch that savings unless it was for an emergency because we knew that if we had to regularly dip into our savings each month to pay bills, we would soon find ourselves in an extremely stressful and difficult situation. So we found ways to live frugally.
If you find that you can’t sustain yourself a few days without a regular paycheck coming in and you have to rely on each paycheck to manage your day-to-day life, then you won’t be able to plan ahead for unexpected situations that might occur, like a trip to the doctor’s office or a broken down car. You’ll end up using a credit card then have to work hard to try to pay it off. There are a number of reasons someone may end up living paycheck to paycheck. It could be an event outside their control or it could be a result of their own financial choice they made. Either way, it’s a stressful way to live.
I want to share with you some tips on how to stop living paycheck to paycheck and start saving money. It won’t be easy. It will take dedication and determination, and you’ll have to make sacrifices along the way, but in the end it will be worth it. You won’t have the stress of debt or trying to come up with money for the things you really need or those unexpected situations that might arise. Here are 5 tips to get out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.