U
nderstanding how to stop living paycheck to paycheck is as simple as embracing a complete mindset shift around your life and finances. It’s about thinking strategically about where you stand with your finances now and where you want to be in the future. Many of us face this challenge due to lack of desire to confront our financial situations. Like anything else, it all starts with acknowledgment and having a desire to make a change. 

The reality

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s highly likely that you can’t afford the lifestyle you’re living. If your monthly household income is $6,000, that’s not a green light to commit to $5,500 in fixed living expenses per month. That leaves little to no room for savings, emergencies or investments; these are things that you must consider especially if you’re over 30 years old.

And unfortunately, living paycheck to paycheck is something many of us face as we’re working so hard to pay bills when in reality, we just need to learn better money management

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How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Kill the excuses and take full responsibility. The quickest way to ensure failure is to not take responsibility for your situation. Even if there is some outside entity working against you, take responsibility in dismantling or overcoming that challenge. And many times, it’s just that you aren’t bringing in enough money to cover your basic expenses.

The truth of the matter is, things are a lot more expensive now than they were 5 years ago. We can also assume that 5 years from now things will be even more expensive. Assuming that, if your struggle is that you’re not bringing in enough, come up with strategies and take steps to earn more. Maybe it’s easier said than done, but it’s not an excuse for inaction.

Live beneath your means.

rich black woman

Spending less on your lifestyle than what you earn is how you live beneath your means and is also how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. And I know it’s hard especially when you come into money after not having enough for so long.

The moment you’re in a position to earn more  you believe that you can now afford to have more, which is not necessarily true. Sure, you have more cushion and can live your current lifestyle more comfortably, but it’s important to level set and responsibly evaluate the extent of your level up. 

Aggressively pay down your debt.

When I realized my debt was a big reason why I was living paycheck to paycheck I knew it was time to take immediate action. Here’s how my mind worked, if I didn’t answer the calls or open the mail, then it didn’t affect me. It would eventually go away.

I was also guilty of applying for multiple payment plans and taking out personal loans because I knew I would continue to get paid so I could eventually pay everything off. It was to the point where each paycheck was spent on paying towards loans. And of course I’m only paying the minimum amount, racking up interest because it felt better to have more in my pocket now.

Aggressively paying down your debt is the fastest way to improve your financial wellbeing and stop living paycheck to paycheck. Do yourself a favor and release that obligation from your life. The debt will follow you and catch up to you wherever you are. It will haunt you and hold you back from receiving the blessings that are waiting for you.

Be a woman of your word and pay what you owe or find an ethical way to eliminate the obligation. FLOOD your credit cards and loans with cash and pay down your debt as soon as possible and do not incur tons of interest. 

Create a budget and stick to it.

It’s this simple and it doesn’t matter how much you make. Creating a budget is an essential piece to this puzzle. Here’s the template I use to budget, and here’s the software I use to manage my life and expenses.

I also use Rocket Money because it links to my credit cards as well as my bank account and alerts me if there is a payment coming up, tracks my subscriptions and helps to lower bills that seem unusually high. Rocket Money is a 10/10 I highly recommend! 

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