Living paycheck-to-paycheck and stretching that last dollar to make ends meet carries a lot of financial stress and concerns for many families these days. In fact, according to a 2016 survey by careerbuilder.com, almost 75% of the American population lives paycheck-to-paycheck.
When you live paycheck to paycheck, it can be really hard to set money aside to cover those unexpected financial expenses. It can be tough to save money when you are hardly making enough to pay the rent/mortgage, utilities, or your car loan. The simple thought of setting aside a $1,000 for an emergency fund could be unrealistic, and often, it never happens.
The truth is that, if you really want to stop that never-ending cycle you should consider starting saving money so you can start achieving your financial goals. Saving money could help you pay off your debt faster, develop better financial habits, become financially independent, and many other things. Here are some ways that will help you save money and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck.
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- 70+ Ways To Save Hundreds Every Month
How to Save Money When You Are Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck
1. Set a Budget
This is the first step you should follow before you start saving money. You need to know where your money is going, and a budget could help with that. Knowing exactly where your money comes from and goes to every week or month will give you a good understanding of your financial habits. When you keep track of all your expenses and income, you will develop a good sense of your financials patterns with time. By understanding this important concept, you will be able to make better financial choices in the future.
2. Reduce Your Expenses
Once your budget is set with all your monthly income and expenses, select which bills or expenses can be reduced. I know it may be difficult at the beginning because you might think you really “need” that service. However, by getting rid of or replacing some services you will have the opportunity to save some money by the end of the month.
For instance, some big monthly expenses that could take a big part of your income are cable TV and cell phone services.
The average monthly bill for cable TV is around $103 per month, which it makes up $1,236 per year! That is a lot of money for what you actually get. There are other cheaper alternatives to Cable or satellite TV. You could opt for a digital antenna like this one, you can watch local channels for free! In addition to all the free channels, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy HDTV shows.
Regarding your cell phone bill, just think about it, Do you really need all those unlimited minutes or data? Sometimes those free minutes or data mean more money towards your monthly bill. Try to switch to a cheaper service such as Republic Wireless. With Republic Wireless, you could get a monthly cell phone plan for as low as $15 per month! Reducing your monthly cell phone bill will definitely add more money to your savings. You can learn more about Republic Wireless here.
3. Save Money on Your Groceries
Without a doubt, your groceries take up a big part of your budget, and there is no way you can eliminate this expense. Take advantage of Ibotta, which is a free app that allows you to get cash back on groceries, clothing, restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies and more. When you buy your groceries, you earn cash back with Ibotta from your regular purchases at the store, such as buying fruits, vegetables, dairy, bread, household items, and so on. You can even get cash back just for submitting your grocery receipt!
Last month, I withdrew $200 from my Ibotta account. It took me a couple of months to get to this amount, but I know for sure that it will help with some expenses at home. Get $10 by just signing up through my link here and redeeming your first rebate! (To make sure you get your free $10 bonus, redeem your first rebate within the first seven days after registration, excluding “Any Brand” and “Any Item” rebates).
Go over each category in your budget and try to find ways to reduce your monthly bills. Even if it is $10 or $20 per month, it will add up quickly. The idea here is to cut back on every category of your budget so that it will be easier for you to spend less and, therefore, save more money.
4. Set an Automated Transfer
If you receive your paycheck through direct deposit, then try to set an automated transfer to a savings account. You can begin with $25 per paycheck and increase the amount as you are able. By doing so, you will notice the increase in your savings accounts in no time. You can use this money to pay off debts or build a much-needed emergency fund. An emergency fund is crucial for those unexpected circumstances in life. A good amount to aim for is a $1,000 in your emergency fund, but you can make this a lower amount, such as $500. The point is to begin the habit of saving money and, more importantly, avoid touching this money.
5. Make Extra Money
Earning extra money could help you put money into your savings account faster than you’d think. To do this, you need to know some available options that will allow you to earn extra income. The extra income you make can be used to pay off debts such as credit cards, loans, rent or mortgage.
You don’t have to think hard about this because there are many ways you can earn extra money. Here are some practical ways to make extra cash and end that never-ending cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck:
- Answering Surveys: Taking surveys is one of the most common ways to make extra money. There are many legitimate and trustworthy survey companies out there that will pay you for your opinion.
You could early extra cash for doing a fairly easy task such as answering surveys, reading emails, watching videos, or playing games. Most survey companies have a similar way that you can earn extra money.
They will usually pay you in gift cards like Target, Amazon, Walmart, and PayPal. The majority of survey sites are free to join and easy to use. Also, it is best to sign up for more than one survey site. Each company may send only a specific number of surveys that you might qualify for, so the more survey sites you sign up the more money you are able to make. These are some great survey companies I recommend:
- Download the Nielsen app on your phone to make free money. Basically, Nielsen pays you for using the internet as you do every day! Nielsen’s app runs in the background and keeps all data anonymous without interfering with the performance of your device. If you are an active member, you may be able to receive up to $50 a year! Click here to sign up for Nielsen Mobile Panel
- Have a Garage Sale: You can make some quick extra cash by getting rid of unused things around your house. Several years ago, I organized a garage sale, and I made almost $800! Just think about all that you can do with the amount of money you can earn by organizing a garage sale.
- Start a Blog: This is how I earn money on the side. I started my blogging journey not too long ago, and it was one of the best decisions I made. Currently, I make a full-time income by blogging, and I am sure my earnings will increase in the future. If you want to start your blogging journey and make money from it, I’ve put together an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to start a profitable blog the right way! You can start your blog for as low as $3.95 per month with Bluehost, plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
- Become an Online English Teacher: VIPKID is an online teaching service that provides English instruction to children in China between the ages of 4 and 12. It connects students with teachers for a fully immersive, one-on-one online English language experience. VIPKID is currently hiring remote teachers, and you could make between $14 to $22 an hour by working in your free time from home (or anywhere else). If you have a bachelor’s degree in any field, this could be a great opportunity for you. This article explains all the requirements needed to become an online English teacher. Click here to learn more about VIPKID.
Recommended articles about Making Money:
- How to Make Up To $22 An Hour By Teaching English Online
- 9 Real Work from home Jobs to Start Today
- 10 Ways to Make Money As A Stay At Home Mom
- How to Make $1000 working from home
- How to Make $300 Working from Home
- 10 Amazing Ways to Make Extra Money for Christmas
Saving Money when you are living paycheck-to-paycheck could sound like a difficult task. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Take this guide as an initial step to break that vicious cycle so you can stop living paycheck-to-paycheck once and for all!
Are you still living paycheck-to-paycheck? What are you doing to stop that?