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Celebrating Financial Freedom

Living Paycheck to Paycheck? How You Can Do Better

Studies show that more than two thirds of people are living paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

That's a startling number.

Keeping your financial head above water is getting more difficult every year, and there are several of reasons why that's happening.

Some of it has to do with how attitudes have changed about how we use money. Some of it has to do with economic changes in the marketplace, and some of it is due to the fact that many people are not adapting to those changes.

It’s Not a New Problem

This has been a problem that's been happening even since ancient times, as seen in the Bible in Haggai 1:6 where it says:

" You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."

But just because there are a lot of reasons why it's harder to make ends meet these days doesn't mean it’s not possible to be successful financially.

There is always hope .

You Can Get Out of the Paycheck to Paycheck Rat Race

Any big life change always starts with the decision that change has to happen, no matter what.

So what do you do if you're living paycheck to paycheck and it seems there is just no way to get ahead? There are several steps you can take.

The first step is to get your mind right.

It's easy to believe when you're living paycheck to paycheck that it’s just the way things are and that's the way it always will be.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is a way to get out of the paycheck to paycheck rat race and overcome the mindset that comes with it forever.

Learn Why You're Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Once you make the effort to get your mind and your thought processes moving in the right direction, you have to decide that you're done living hand to mouth and you're going to change your financial situation no matter what it takes.

Once you make the decision that you're never going back, then you have to figure out what caused the situation in the first place.

Here are some of the common culprits:

  • You've come to the conclusion that debt is just a part of life- It doesn't have to be that way. Decide to be different. Car payments and credit cards are NOT inevitable.
  • You're not making enough money- You’re underemployed or not making enough effort to and kill it at work and need to kick it up a notch.

  • You're overspending- You’re spending more than you make. You have to gain better control of what you spend and how you spend it. Usually this is because you don't have a plan.

  • You don't have a plan- You don't really keep track of your money and just continue to spend until the money runs out. Then you get your next paycheck and do it all over again. You have no idea where the money goes. This is how most people end up living paycheck to paycheck.

  • Luxuries have turned into needs- Cable TV, eating out several times a week, and so many other things that we once looked at as "extras" are now viewed as a necessary part of life. In reality these are not needs, they are wants.

  • Money is too easy to spend- Credit cards, and even debit cards don't feel like real money. When you swipe and sign it doesn't hurt as much as using cash, so you end up overspending before you even realize what you've done.

  • You have a spending problem- You may have a lack of self control that needs to be addressed such as a shopping addiction.
  • The job market has changed- Businesses are changing the way they hire and compensate workers. You have to learn to change with the times and understand how to overcome those challenges that come with how the workplace is changing. There is a great book by Dan Miller titled "48 Days to the Work You Love- Preparing for the New Normal" that can help you with that.

Take a Long, Hard Look

Be brutally honest with yourself.

Take a long, hard, honest look and figure out what is really causing the problem. It might be painful to confront those issues, but lying to yourself never lets you to get ahead in life.

Once you’ve figured out what the main causes of your paycheck to paycheck problems are, then you can take concrete steps to address those problems and eliminate them forever.

In the next post (soon), I'll give you specific strategies that will show you how to leave behind the paycheck to paycheck life and start moving forward financially, instead of treading water like a shipwreck survivor swimming in a school of sharks.

Until next time...

Do you recognize yourself in any of the bullet points above?

Leave a comment and tell me which one you struggle with the most.

"Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker. He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog and self study course . His new book "How to Budget- The Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Budget That Works" is now available ( more info here ). He can be reached for interviews or speaking engagements by email , and can be found on Twitter , Facebook , and Google + ."


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3 Reasons You Should Never Borrow From Your 401k said:

Pingback from  3 Reasons You Should Never Borrow From Your 401k

January 23, 2014 9:25 AM

3 Reasons You Should Never Borrow From Your 401k said:

Pingback from  3 Reasons You Should Never Borrow From Your 401k

January 23, 2014 9:25 AM

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