Break the 'Paycheck-to-Paycheck' Habit

It's a terrible feeling when your money's gone but there's still a lot of month left to go. You pay all your expenses, and that's a good thing; but, afterward, there's very little (if anything) left, and you end up 'calendar-watching' – restlessly counting off the days until your next Payday rolls around. But there's a different way to live, a better way. You can achieve it by lowering the amount of your overall debt which, admittedly, will take a bit of effort.

But before we go any further, let's take a few moments to consider a very basic a question, but one that most people really don't have a hard and fast answer for; namely, "Just how much money would you need in order to have a feeling of peace and security?" Of course, different individuals would be expected to come up with different numbers, but virtually all of the answers would likely be predicated on having enough so that any circumstances that came up, such as a family member's illness, would not send the finances careening over a cliff into ruin.

But if you're living under a significant amount of debt, the only way you'll ever be able to reach that "Utopia" is by implementing a debt-free plan. It's very difficult to build wealth when you're saddled under a mountain of debt. In order to break the paycheck-to-paycheck habit, you're going to have to use your paycheck in a different way. It may seem insurmountable now, but each step will take you farther and farther out of debt.

Putting together a workable budget is the first step. It's almost impossible to get a good handle on just what you're able to do to turn your finances around when you have no real idea of where every penny of your money is going. So, write down and keep close track of your expenses and your income. Then, and only then, will you be able to gain a perspective about your money and identify any areas wherein you'll be able to cut back. For instance, if you go out to eat lunch everyday at work, start bringing your food from home, and cut those restaurant dinners from one a week to twice a month or less.

Now, about those credit cards. Unfortunately, paying the minimum just won't do, especially if you're trying to dig your way out of debt. If you owe a substantial amount, you could literally buy a home and pay it off completely before you finish paying your credit cards with minimum amounts. Start with the smaller debts and work your way through them. Pay larger monthly amounts to eliminate your debt one card at a time. Little by little you'll gain control over your finances, and with that control will come the peace of mind you've been missing.

Yes, it may get difficult at times. But keep reminding yourself of why you're doing it. Eventually, you'll begin to notice that there's actually money left at the end of the month. And you'll have proven that you can live happily without the extra things that were causing such a drain on your finances. Now, funnel that extra money into a savings account or a solid investment plan. It's time you showed your money who's boss; put it to work for you for a change.

blog comments powered by Disqus