Almost everyone has caught themselves anxiously waiting for the next paycheck—counting days obsessively.
You may have received a shocking credit card bill. Or maybe you are supposed to get your car repaired soon. Or maybe you have a pressing need and you can’t wait for the check. You probably also fear that it will not be enough.
This is a common scenario for the 78% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. As soon as they get paid, the money gets eaten up by expenses and they go back to waiting for the next paycheck. It is like going around in circles and ending where you started—with no way out. But there is actually a way to escape this cycle. If you are tired of living like this, you don’t have to.
Create an Emergency Fund
Life is always taking unexpected turns. And that is one of the reasons that make it so hard to move forward. You may be prepared for all your usual expenses and then you’re hit with an emergency. Your entire budget comes crumbling down and the money problems begin. But you can prepare for these unexpected events and avoid all that.
Set aside an emergency fund, about $1000, to help you handle the money surprises. You can keep adding to the account.
Have a Budget
A budget allows you to control your money. You direct every single dollar and tell it what to do. You always hear people say that you should, “let your money work for you.” Well, this is where you start.
Create a monthly budget, where you see your income and expenses. For the first few months, this will not be easy. But you’ll soon get used to it. Some people opt to use budgeting apps.
Monitor Your Spending
Your budget will be pretty much useless if you don’t follow it up with actions. Even the most organized budget won’t help if you never look at it.
Sticking to your budget doesn’t get easier with time, unfortunately. But when you see the benefits that come with it, the effort will be worth it.
Track all your expense within the month. Know where your money is going. If it seems like too much work, get an app that lets you link to your bank.
Save for Big Items
Making big purchases without thinking will keep you in the cycle from which you are trying to escape. You buy the newest gadget as soon as it is released. When invited for a vacation, you don’t think twice.
You can still go for vacations and buy expensive stuff. But don’t ruin your budget. Get the total cost and divide it into smaller amounts. Then save up over several months.
Assess Your Wealth-Building Tools
Your income is your biggest tool for building wealth. So sit down and assess your job. Do you love your job? Are you utilizing your talents and skills? Do you feel like you’re paid enough?