Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
The concept of living paycheck to paycheck has an overwhelming and never-ending implication. But, it's a disempowering way of describing one's financial circumstances, as if you're just moments away from financial ruin with no hope of escape. As much as that may feel true, it's a perception issue.
You can't afford not to save
It's pretty easy to find ways to spend money, whether it's things you need or people you owe. If you showed me a hundred dollars, I could show you a hundred ways to spend it.
The other day I was speaking to a friend of mine, they were complaining about a lack of savings. I asked, sincerely, whether they could spare $50 a paycheck? They pretty quickly and without hesitation, said yes. And, it got me wondering, what the hell is holding us all back?
Everyone's situation is different, and there is no universal answer. But, $50 a paycheck saved is $1,200 after one year, more if it's earning a little interest along the way. That's a reasonable sum, perhaps more than some make in a single paycheck.
You must practice patience
So, if you saved this sum, by definition, you would no longer be living paycheck to paycheck. With a little patience, after just one year, your life circumstances would be changed.
You would be the proud owner of a small emergency fund. And, maybe a well deserved small chip on your shoulder.
From that day forward, you could focus on paying down any debts. And just like that, the debt cycle would be broken. You would be in a much better place the next time life threw a left hook.
It's not easy, but it's worth it
It's not easy, I wouldn't say that, but I can tell you from personal experience that it's worth it. It's worth sitting down and making a budget that makes room for progress. It's worth short-term sacrifice for long-term gains.
If money isn't your thing, and no matter how long you stare at a budget, it doesn't work, that's okay. You can ask for help. There are lots of nerds on Twitter, Medium, or LinkedIn who are dying to flex their #personalfinance muscles. Or, you could join a free community like Wealthtender.
The point is, there are lots of options for seeking help. But, you'll have to start by deciding for yourself, on your own, that you aren't living paycheck to paycheck. Not anymore.