Perhaps you lost your job a while ago, or perhaps your student loans have started becoming even more demanding. Maybe you had a financial setback, or perhaps you have moved and found yourself without the resources you had previously. There are many reasons why someone might end up living paycheck to paycheck, but the truth of the matter is that no one likes it! You may feel as if you are barely keeping your head above water, and you may be constantly stressed about money. If you are sick of living paycheck to paycheck, consider these tips for moving forward and getting away from this situation!
Downsize Your Lifestyle
If you are having issues with money and there is no relief in sight, consider taking a step back from your lifestyle. If you are renting a house, consider renting an apartment. If you go out to eat regularly, think about keeping your meals at home. If you are on your own, think about moving in with roommates. No one likes living less well than they did previously, but sometimes, this is something that you need to do for a little while. By downgrading your life, you are automatically cutting costs, which allows you to pay off debts, to build an emergency fund, and to simply have more financial breathing room.
Make a Budget
If you have not made a budget yet, now is absolutely the time to do so. Sometimes, it is hard to see where money is running out when you do not have all of the pieces in front of you. Your budget is all about figuring out where your money is going and where you can cut down. Some people budget tightly as a matter of course, while other people assume that it will take care of itself. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, it is not taking care of itself, so map it all out and figure out what is going on.
Keep Up With Payments
When you are having trouble with money, it can be hard to keep on putting money into things that are not actively on fire. For example, when you are having issues affording meals out, you may be tempted to drop things like insurance and retirement plans. The truth is that this is the last time you want to drop these things. Insurance is oftentimes all that is standing between you and a greater disaster, and a retirement fund is your ability to plan for the future. Keep up those payments; they are going to pay off in the long run.
Consider Short Term Money Making Solutions
When you are having money issues, it is important to look into how to bring more money into the house. One thing that many people do is to consider a second job. The issue is that working a second job can be extremely tiring, but if it becomes necessary, plan for it. Decide when you are going to start work, and make sure that you have a plan regarding how long you can keep it up. For example, if you are supporting a spouse through training, a second job might be a good idea for a year or more. However, it will eventually turn into a serious issue if you have to keep it up long term.
Are you living paycheck to paycheck because your old job has disappeared or been rendered unnecessary? The march of time affects us all, and some people are a lot less fortunate than others regarding how employable they end up being. If you are having issues finding jobs in your field, it might be worth your while to look into something new. What jobs are hiring where you are, and what kind of training do you need? This is something that can make a big difference to your long-term future plans. Retraining is something that requires a lot of time and effort, so think about whether you want to give it a shot.
Bust Casual Spending
You’d be surprised how easily a few dollars here and there add up. The issue for many people is that small things like instant food, coffee and convenience items can and will add up. This goes back to budgeting as well, but make sure that you know what you are putting money into before you do it. If you are spending money without thinking about it, now is the time to stop it! Be willing to examine your spending habits and to decide whether you really need whatever it was you picked up.
Take a few moments to think about your current financial situation. There are quite a few things out there that may be affecting it, but if you have been having issues lately, there are always things that you can do. Take control of your financial situation!
Amy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, a company that simplifies the hiring process for small to medium size businesses. Prior to that Amy has held similar roles at Rent.com, eBay and US Interactive.
For Amy, corporate culture isn’t about dogs and free lunches, it’s about empowering employees and creating an enriching environment for people to excel.