How to Not Live Paycheck to Paycheck: 5 Powerful Strategies

February 10, 2021 | Mason Roberts

how not to live paycheck to paycheck

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck then you’re… a typical American. This is how the majority of us (somewhere between 60% and 70%, according to various studies) are living.

Learning how to not live paycheck to paycheck and taking your money under control is of paramount importance in reaching financial stability and prosperity. And it has little to do with the amount of money you make, as someone who’s paid six-figure-salary is just as likely to be living paycheck to paycheck.

It’s all about the way you utilize it. So, let’s consider the ways you can use to climb out of the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.

How to Not Live Paycheck to Paycheck

1. Cut Unnecessary Expenses

Sure, the vast majority of people don’t know how to not live paycheck to paycheck. The smartest ones of us have learnt: the first thing you need to do is take a careful look at your detailed bank statement and figure out which expenses you can cut (or lessen).

Subscription services, premium apps, cable – everything you’re not using day in, day out should be on the chopping block. If you’re a smoker, try to drop the habit – even if you only smoke half a pack a day, you’re still paying around $100 a week for something that’s not only unnecessary but bad for your health (and is likely to increase your insurance charges as well).

What you cannot cut, you should try to renegotiate – use an app like Money Clarity or Truebill to figure out which bills you could cut down on. Rent or utilities aren’t on the list, but car insurance and credit card payments likely are.

2. Create a Budget

Budget is the most important tool when it comes to learning how to not live paycheck to paycheck. It will help you not only keep track of what you’re spending but help you stop overspending.

When creating a budget, separate your expenses into “needs” and “wants”. Put rent, utilities, insurance, gas, groceries into the “need” category, the rest (things you can do without) will go into “wants”.

And yes, budgeting for “wants” is important – it’s easy to overspend on them, but hard to cut. No one can live in a constant state of deprivation, if you decide to go scorch the earth and cut out everything you don’t strictly need for survival, you’re likely to bust your budget sooner rather than later.

Man looking at his paycheck3. Consolidate Debt

Debt payments are the biggest money-sucker and an important thing to consider when gaining an understanding of how to not live paycheck to paycheck. While you should pay off smaller debts right away not to be burdened for long, debt consolidation is a good way to cut down on the monthly payments, if you have multiple long-term loans.

Consolidation is basically combining all your debts into one and putting a single payment towards them monthly while paying lower interest in the long run.

Remember that consolidation is a big decision, and if you do decide to consolidate debt – don’t rush the process. Compare offers from multiple financial institutions and ask around about options.

4. Increase Your Income

After taking your existing income under control, try to add more to it. The easiest way would be to ask for a raise (and you should definitely try that), but other than that – try to create a supplemental income stream monetizing your skills and belongings.

For example, if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, try finding online freelancing jobs on sites like Upwork and Fiverr that offer multiple options for any skillset. Another option is to do deliveries with PostMates or Uber Eats after work or on weekends.

It sure is difficult to live paycheck to paycheck, but knowing how to be content with life when times are tough will help you develop a positive mental attitude and reduce stress significantly.

5. Save for Both Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Make no mistake – that extra money you’ll be saving/earning has a purpose. Your priority should be your emergency fund – easily accessible money in high-yield savings account that’s enough to cover 3 to 6 months’ worth of your expenses. This is the money you’ll be using if a financial emergency strikes (everything from your car making weird noises to a job loss).

When the emergency fund is ready, you should switch to saving for your retirement, investing in mutual funds, and maxing out your (Roth) IRA.

Why Have An Emergency Fund?

While the temptation to start saving for retirement can be understood, financial security cannot be achieved without the emergency fund.

Financial emergencies like unplanned doctor visits, home repairs, or car troubles, are the most likely reasons to bust your budget. And what’s worth postponing dealing with them will likely cost you more down the line. So, if your emergency fund isn’t ready yet, you need to get money from other avenues, like taking out a short-term loan, such as a title loan.

Woman happy about her illinois title loan

Why Get a Title Loan?

Car title loans are perfect for emergencies since they’re fast and simple to acquire. As long as you’re over 18, and your car title is in your name, you can apply and get approval even if your credit is bad or outright nonexistent.

Besides, all kinds of income are welcomed, and the entire process takes on average between 30 to 45 minutes. If you’re in a pinch and need money ASAP, you’re not likely to find a better option.

How to Apply for Illinois Title Loans

Getting started with Illinois title loans is really easy. Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Go to our Illinois Title Loan Home Page and fill out the online form.
  2. Wait for the loan representative to contact you and set up a meeting at the nearest title loans near me store location.
  3. Bring your car, your car title (it must be in your name and completely lien-free), and your government-issued ID to the meeting for inspection.
  4. Wait for the loan representative to assess everything and determine if you qualify for the loan.
  5. Get your approval and cash.

Use our easy but effective strategies on how to not live paycheck to paycheck – and you’re sure to secure yourself financially and feel more steady emotionally.

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us or use the live chat function on our website. Don’t wait and start the process today to get the fast cash for your emergency ASAP!