It’s 3 days before payday, and you only have $50 in your wallet. Your bank account is empty, and you have no savings to make it until payday. So, what do you do? You easily rely on canned goods, walking to the office to save up on gas, and processed food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Right after your pay comes in, you spend it on expensive meals, clothes, and stuff that you don’t really need. You live like a millionaire for a few days, and lose your money in just a course of a few days.
Does everything sound familiar? Well, if yes, then you are living from paycheck to paycheck. It’s a mistake that almost every young professional is guilty of making, and one that is just so difficult to break. However, living from paycheck to paycheck can be unhealthy. As much as we hate thinking about how emergencies and accidents could happen, they do really happen at times, and it’s simply inevitable. So, how do one stop living like such?
Here's a few steps to follow to stop living from paycheck to paycheck
1. Follow a budget. This one is easier said than done. If you are a big spender, then following a budget may not be in your books. You should, though - as following a budget can help you get through this problem. Start with a realistic budget, with splurges every now and then. Don’t go cold turkey, as this can easily stress you out, which can lead to shopping bouts.
2. Think like you’re earning less than you actually do. Thinking that you have less money than you have will allow you to “live BELOW your means”. Once you start living below your means, that’s when you start earning.
3. Change the way you think. I know, this one’s a little bit harder, besides, who can even control their own mind? But if you think about it, it’s just a matter of discipline. You can help yourself become a conscious spender by thinking where you’re spending your money, and also, if you spend it right away after receiving it. You can also tell yourself to stop spending whenever you’re bored, stressed out, or sad. Besides, there are other ways to combat stress and boredom: like walking your dog or spending quality time with your family.
4. Keep your receipts. Keep track of your receipts and billing statements and compute them every week. You just might be surprised at how much you’re spending on things that you do not really need.
5. Start thinking about saving up. You can start small by getting a piggy bank (yes, this still works) and committing to putting a fixed amount every day.Stick to this plan, and you will surely earn enough to start open a retirement fund in a bank.
6. Stop using your credit cards and start paying your debt. Credit cards can tempt you to go on a shopping binge, so cut those cards ASAP and just start paying things with actual money. Before you do such though, make sure to pay off every debt that you have, so you do not have to worry about banks and credit card companies chasing after you.
Nobody’s getting any younger, so we might as well start now. Wishing you the best of luck!