Many Americans live life paycheck to paycheck. As a result, they have no savings so any unexpected expense that surfaces causes a financial hardship. To some, it seems normal. And why not when nearly two-thirds of working Americans live this way. The year 2020 didn’t help the situation, forcing people out of jobs or leaving them with lower income earnings. If you’re tired of not having money to enjoy living, you can put an end to the living paycheck to paycheck way of life.
Why You Need a Household Budget
Some people don’t understand the benefits of having a household budget. They associate the word “budget” to mean having to do without. However, quite the opposite is true. With a budget, you get a clear view of the money you make. You also gain insight as to your expenses, your debt and identify wasteful spending. A budget lets you live well now and plan for things like buying a home, a car, putting money away for college tuition and your retirement.
One of the best ways to prepare for unexpected events in life is having money in reserve. Opening a credit union savings account will give you access to cash when you need it the most. In general, credit unions offer some of the best interest rates. By having a savings account you can pay for a home or auto repairs or an unexpected illness without using money already reserved for paying bills.
A good percentage of those trapped in the paycheck to paycheck way of life have no credit. Their credit score is poor, thus providing little opportunity to achieve financial wealth. They are not able to get a personal loan, low interest-rate credit cards. They also pay additional fees such as security deposits on rentals and utilities and absorb late fees on existing forms of credit.
Improving your credit score by paying bills on time will do away with the added costs that come with having poor credit. Sticking to a household budget will allow you to bring your financial obligations current and in turn, improve your credit score.
One of the quickest ways to pay down debt is to bring in extra money. You can do this a few ways. You can advance your career by improving the skills of your trade, putting you first in line for a promotion or making it easy to search for a new job. Or, if you prefer, you can take on a part-time job earning a few hundred extra each week.
Uber, Lyft and Grubhub are a few companies in need of drivers. If you want to work from home, there are reputable companies that need part-time freelancers for writing, editing and customer service.
Any income level can live paycheck to paycheck if their debt consumes their net earnings. If you owe out thousands in credit card debt to multiple lenders, work towards paying them off. You can put more on one until the balance is zero and then move onto the next one.
If you are not able to make payments on all of your cards each month, you can apply for a debt consolidation loan. This will free up money you can use to pay off other debt such as an auto or student loan. A third option is to refinance your home. This only works of course if you have equity.
Living Within Your Means
Learning to live within your means is a certain way to avoid a repeat of debt overload. The needs always come ahead of the wants. This doesn’t mean you can’t have those things. It just means you have to save the money to buy them.
Waiting for a payday to have a few dollars to spend is no way to live. If you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck you do end it. Get on a budget and stick to it. Create a savings account for emergencies and learn to live life within your means.