Is it just me, or does it feel like you’re always counting down until “payday”?
Then when payday finally comes your bank account is empty again. There’s no money left at the end of the month, which is depressing, to say the least.
Living paycheck to paycheck sucks.
I would know because we’ve been living on one income for the past 6 years. At one point money got so tight we could barely afford to keep paper towels stocked.
Although we cut our spending by over $22,000/year so I could become a stay at home mom, the transition from having two incomes to only having one was rough.
However, I was intent on not returning to work a “normal” job outside the home. And I knew I had to do something to help us stop living paycheck to paycheck.
If you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck like I was, today, I want to share the 6 things I did that will help you to end the cycle and start living a rich life!
- How To Get Rid of Cable and Still Watch TV
- 29 Fun Things To Do With Your Family Without Spending Money
- How We Cut Our Spending by $22,183 In A Year: 18 Money-Saving Tips
- 30+ Easy Ways for Stay At Home Moms to Make Extra Money
6 Things You Can Do to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck Now
#1 REDUCE YOUR SPENDING
Yes, I’m sure you’ve already cut a lot of things out your budget, but what I’m actually talking about today is impulse shopping.
It happens to all of us. You walk into a store to grab one thing, but then you get the sudden urge to grab something else you see, and now you’re walking out with a handful of extra stuff you didn’t even plan to buy, right?
So what is your weakness: it is the clearance rack or those promo and flash sale emails you get from your favorite stores? Because we all have one (or two).
Impulse shopping is one of those things that can damage your finances when you’re living paycheck to paycheck because you’re spending money that’s not in your budget.
And it’s hard disciplining yourself to say “no” so one of my favorite ways to suppress that impulse is to shop online more than I do in-store.
It makes me feel much more in control (emotionally) about what I add to my shopping cart. Plus I can search for coupons and earn FREE cash back through Ebates!
So the next time you feel you just HAVE to throw that extra item in your cart, think about if it’s something you need or want to have. Because if it’s something you NEED and it’s on sale, then by all means go for it!
And don’t forget that for all your other normal purchases, you can start earning free CASH BACK when you join Ebates!
Want to learn more about Ebates?Read How To Use Ebates for Free Cash Back + Get A $10 Gift Card.
#2 LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS
You don’t need to become an extreme couponer (unless you want to) or wear t-shirts with holes in them to live well, below your means.
A simple place to start is where you currently live!
When we fell on hard times, we sold our 3-bedroom condo and moved into a smaller 2-bedroom apartment (with our three small kids!).
Now, I know this idea may not work for most people. But if you’re willing to temporarily sacrifice on having extra space it could save you thousands.
We saved an extra $4,080 a year in living expenses, not to mention it freed up so much more money to help us pay down debt.
The other thing we did to reduce our monthly expenses was become a one-car family. Since I was already a stay at home mom, it made no sense to have two cars in the driveway. We leased our second car to my sister, and she took over my car payments!
For more tips on how to decrease your expenses, the FREE Ultimate Money-Saving Checklist is a MUST GRAB! It lists 150+ easy ways to cut back on your spending, increase your savings, and live a rich life. Grab it for FREE here for a limited time.
#3 TRACK YOUR MONTHLY EXPENSES
If you think you don’t need to create a budget and track where your money is going, you’re kidding yourself.
When you begin tracking your spending, you may find a lot of small purchases that are eating up your budget. For us, it was definitely ordering fast food and pizza on the weekends, and my husband spending money every day for lunch.
I didn’t realize how much money we were actually spending until I started using Mint.com – a free personal finance software that helps you manage your money, pay bills, and more!
I was shocked to see that we were spending almost $240 a month on fast food ALONE.
So the purpose of tracking where your money is coming and going isn’t to make you feel guilty about your spending, but more so that you can get your finances under control. Because when you can see it, you’ll stop living paycheck to paycheck sooner than you think!
#4 PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME
I know how stressful it is to have more bills than you have income. It’s defeating and you start letting the mail pile up on the kitchen table.
But ignoring your debt isn’t going to make it magically disappear. Because living paycheck to paycheck on one income is hard enough. Don’t make it harder on yourself procrastinating on your payments.
This will cause you to accumulate late fees that are 100% avoidable if you discipline yourself to pay your bills before they are due.
An easy way to keep track of your bills and their due dates is to write it all down! Here’s an example below I found on Pinterest.
#5 START SAVING NOW
I used to think only rich people could afford to save money, but that’s just not true. You can start RIGHT NOW – even on a single income!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have emergency savings. It’ll keep you from pulling out your credit card to cover unexpected expenses when they happen – because they will happen – which only leads to more debt.
So it’s okay to start saving in small amounts, like $1-$5 each week, because that will add up fast and be there for whenever you need it.
#6 MAKE MORE MONEY
It’s not as difficult as think! You can increase your income by 1) asking for a raise, 2) getting a higher paying job, or 3) my favorite – make extra money in your spare time!
When my husband was only making about $36k a year, I knew it was time for me to find legit ways to make money from home.
I was taking paid online surveys, I owned (and sold!) an e-commerce website, and joined a direct sales company – all in an effort to help take some of the load off of my husband.
So I’m a HUGE advocate for stay at home moms that want to increase their income because if I can do it you can too!
Wrapping It Up
If you’re new to my blog, I’m all about helping moms grow their savings and income. I want you to know it truly is possible to stop living paying to paycheck and start living rich on one income – without being “rich” at all!
So the best thing you can do to strengthen (and stretch!) your budget is to control your spending, live below your means, track EVERYTHING, pay your bills on time, build your savings, and of course, make more money.
Here are some more things you may want to check out if you are trying to lower your budget.
- Use the Ibotta App to save money on groceries. You get free CASH BACK when you upload a picture of your receipts! Read How To Use the Ibotta App for FREE Cash Back On Groceries
- Eliminate your cable bill. Buy an HDTV Antenna (this is the exact one we have) to enjoy free TV, and use Hulu with Live TV to watch your favorite shows, entertainment, news, and sports LIVE (and for way less than cable) – this is what we do! Read How To Get Rid of Cable and Still Watch TV
- Sign up for a website like Ebates for free CASH BACK on your normal everyday purchases online or in-store. Plus, when you sign up through my link, you’ll get a FREE $10 gift card bonus!
- If you need help cooking more meals at home, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send you meal plans directly to your inbox – which is what we did to help us cut our grocery bill in half!
- Negotiate any bills you have such as phone, internet, insurance, etc.
- Downsize your home to save on living expenses if you can. We did this for two years and saved almost $10,000!
- Sign up for free websites like Harris Poll Online, InboxDollars, PineCone Research, and Survey Junkie to GET PAID for answering surveys (which is exactly what I still do!) in your free time!
If you’re looking for more ways to save money, the FREE Ultimate Money-Saving Checklist is a MUST GRAB! It lists over 150 easy ways to cut your spending, increase your savings, and live a rich life. Grab it for FREE here for a limited time.
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