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.
How Do You Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck?
Here is the thing, if you really want to stop living paycheck to paycheck 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.
- How To Pay Off Debt Fast, Even With A Low Income
- 8 Simple Steps To Save Over $7000 This Year
- How To Build an Emergency Fund and Save Your First $1000 Fast
- 9 Steps to Take When You Are Behind on Bills
- 70+ Ways To Save Hundreds Every Month
Here are some ways that will help you save money and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck.
How to Start Saving Money When 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.
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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.
If you’re new to Ibotta, you can get $10 FREE 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 ways to make extra money and end that never-ending cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck:
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:
- Swagbucks ($5 free for signing up)
- MyPoints ($10 Amazon gift card)
- Survey Junkie (fastest and easiest way to start earning money)
- Pinecone Research ($3 per survey)
Start a Blog:
This is how I’m able to make money and help with my family ‘s finances. I started my blogging journey over a year ago, and it was one of the best decisions I made.
Currently, I make a full-time income with and it allows me to work from home around my schedule and spend more time with my family.
If you are interested in starting a blog, check out my FREE 5-day email course where I teach you all you need to know to start a money-making blog since day 1. You will learn all the necessary steps and tools needed to become a successful blogger and start making money from home.
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.
Become an Online English Teacher:
Magic Ears is a company based in China that provides English learning experience to children 5-12-years-old in China. They’re currently hiring English speakers from the U.S. and Canada to teach English.
You don’t need to have previous experience or hold a bachelor’s degree to start working for Magic Ears. The company provides the curriculum, and the pay is up to $26 per hour.
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!
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