Living on paycheck to paycheck can be a struggle and it has the ability to put a heavy burden on anyone’s financial situation.
Living pay check to paycheck means having little to no disposable income. Not having any savings in case of an emergency and barely being able to cover your bills.
In simple terms, in order to get out this rat race cycle we need to increase our earnings or spend less but we all know it is easier said than done.
The truth is that it is not impossible.
Personally, after having children our earnings decreased because I couldn’t work and our expenses went up; and that is a difficult position to be in. The cost of childcare makes it near impossible to return to work because all you earnings go towards paying childcare. However, during this season, I have learnt a lot and I hope it helps you.
On the bright side, there are some practical steps anyone can take towards surviving this season and getting out of it.
So, how do we survive when we live paycheck to paycheck?
Calculate your net worth and debts
Knowing how much you earn and how much you owe gives you a great starting chance towards working through your finances effectively.
Get a free NET WORTH CALCULATOR to help you get started.
Do a budget
At the beginning of the month or when ever you get paid, spend the time sitting down and budgeting for everything. Once you have a budget, you have a clear view on what you spend your money on.
Tip: Review budget weekly and track daily transactions. A good app I personally use to do my budget is called colourful budgets. Just download it from the app store and get started.
Cut your spending
When you do a budget, you tend to have a better picture on what you spend your money on and there are always things that are clearly a waste of money. Things like buying lunch or coffee daily has the ability to cost you 100’s of pounds annually.
There is a big difference between being frugal and being a cheapskate. For example, a cheapskate will reuse bath water or wear 10 layers of clothes to save money on their electric bill. A frugal person will research the market and switch their gas provider to save £500 a year.
A cheapskate will buy one meal in a restaurant and divide it between 6 people. A frugal person will give save up their club-card points, convert it into a restaurant voucher and enjoy a lovely meal out with family for free.
Below is an example of my frugal antics. I found a coupon in the local newspaper so I spent 10mins looking for other newspapers to rip out the coupons.
I say all this to say that being frugal can cut your spending and save you a lot of money over time.
Learn to save
I know the struggle of literally having nothing. Every penny is accounted for. On the other hand, I know that it is possible to save no matter how little you have.
How can I save money on a small paycheck?
In order to save you need to have a goal. I am a fan of the Dave Ramsey principle. He encourages everyone to build up an emergency fund of £1000. This can be your starting point.
How much should I save?
This is totally up to you. There are many money saving challenges you can do. I have compiled a list of 10 money saving challenges you can do.
Avoid taking on more debt
Live within your means and avoid buying or getting things when you can no afford. The rule of thumb, if you do not have the car to pay in full then you can not afford it. If you can survive without it then you do not need it.
A very British problem we have is that we MUST have a holiday, we need some sunshine even if we can not afford it. Pay you bills and clear your debts. Save your money and enjoy a holiday when you can afford it.
Generate more income
it is important to get into the mindset of self development which leads to learning new ways to make money on the side to supplement your income. Simply selling things online to creating a side business are all ways to make extra money.
Ask for help
We tend to get embrassed of our financial situation and avoid talking about it but we all have people in our lives who are willing to help even if it a little.
Just ask and be transparent, if they love and care about you then they will not judge you and there is no harm in trying. Going to get a loan is still a form of asking for help, the only problem is that it is a costly source of help. Family and friends are a lot cheaper.
The benefit of being a Christian is that we have Hope and faith. Key living factors to survive difficult periods in life. Being able to go before God and pray eases the heavy burden of financial struggles. In times of difficulty, I get on my knees and pray and ask God for direction and peace.
Meditate on the word of God
Meditating on the word of God gives us assurance that God is with us.
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