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How to Break the Cycle of Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Receiving your paycheck after a long, hard work week feels rewarding; that is, until you factor out your monthly bills only to realize you have nothing left. Living paycheck to paycheck is now extremely common, with a reported 70% of American adults sporting this lifestyle. Along with the obvious stress factor that comes into play, those who live paycheck to paycheck may also struggle with paying off debt, putting money into savings, and so on. If you’re one of the many that has found yourself stuck in this continuous loop with no end in sight, consider these budget and lifestyle modifications to break the stressful cycle.

Reevaluate Your Budget
Developing a budget is a great way to stay consistent with your spending, but budgets are meant to change. Our salaries change, our bills change, even our spending habits change; so, why should our budget be any different? A hard reevaluation of your budget every three, six, or twelve months can be a game changer when working your way out of the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. If you have not thoroughly looked over your budget in the past year or have disregarded it altogether amid inflation, sit down and restructure your budget based on your updated income, bills, and leisurely spending. Revising your budget every few months can play a big role in helping you reach your financial goals.

Cut Costs
Along with budgeting, cutting costs on unnecessary subscriptions, memberships, and so on should be looked at every few months. As we know, it is easy to get sucked into a subscription service and forget to cancel it. Stay on top of exactly what you are paying for monthly and consider which services or memberships may not serve you anymore. If you find yourself paying for a streaming platform that you never use, consider cancelling the service. Although it may only be $10 a month, that money will start to add up with each new subscription you tack on. Similar to your budget, every few months you should reevaluate which memberships or subscriptions you are still paying for and cancel those that you feel are unnecessary. This is another tactic that can inch you closer to breaking the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.

Consider Side Jobs
If, at the end of the day, you feel that you would benefit from some extra income to aid in pushing you toward a more financially freeing lifestyle, there are many side gigs to consider. You have the option to become a delivery driver, sell handcrafted items on apps such as Etsy, or even resell unwanted items. For some side hustle inspiration, read our Financial Fitness Center Blog article: ‘Top 5 Side Hustles that Could Earn You Extra Cash.’ By reevaluating your budget, cutting costs, and considering additional side jobs, you have the potential to push out of that paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle which will, in turn, grant you a less stressful, financially freeing way of life.