How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck!

Wow, I have been on a full blown budget for 2.5 months! Time sure is flying and I am slowly tackling my debt. I get a lot of questions about how I stopped living paycheck to paycheck in only 1.5 months.  Even though I work full-time I never had quite enough to cover my living expenses and debt payments. I get paid biweekly and spent every payday stressing over how to make ends meet.  It was exhausting and I knew I had to break the cycle, but figuring out how to stop living paycheck to paycheck was going to be tough. 

When you’re living paycheck to paycheck

The key to stop living paycheck to paycheck is to pay your bills a month in advance. What does getting a month in advance actually mean? It means all of your necessities (i.e house note, groceries, utilities, etc.)  to work and provide for your family. If this adds up to $1200, then you must have sitting in your checking account $1200 by time the next month rolls around. For example if you start on March 1st, then by March 31st, you should have $1200 in your bank account to pay April bills. The money you are making in April will pay for May bills, and so on and so forth.

When  you’re living on a tight budget, the idea of getting ahead can seem impossible to achieve. Your thinking how am I going to get ahead and make it through.  Recurring expenses can make this harder and  leave you with not much to work with. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck. Start small and keep at it consistently by following these tips on how to get ahead.

Increase your income

I know for some this seems better said then done. When you are working a full-time job and have a family to take care of  getting another job can seem a bit overwhelming. But, remember this is not a long term thing! Once you reach your goal you can quit that second job. Some other ideas are work overtime at your current job, is your job looking for volunteers to work overtime. This is your chance to earn extra income. Work from home with a multitude of website were you can work from home you can possibly find an online job to make extra income.


Refinancing your home or auto loan can save you money to put towards getting ahead. Often times when you refinance you home 1) It can lower your interest rate and monthly payments 2) they will usually let you skip a month of payments. Use the extra money to save toward next months bills. You can also refinance your auto loan, with the same two benefits. But, the great thing about auto loans, sometimes they will let you skip two months of payments instead of one! This can really jump start getting ahead.

Re-evaluate Expenses

Look at your budget( if you don’t have a budget click here)and see how much your spending for certain thing and question whether you can lower that bill or expense.  For example if you budget $500 a month for personal money, do you need that much? Can your lower this amount in order to reach your financial goals or lower your expenses? Go through your budget line by line and see what expenses your can lower or eliminate all together. Use the money you save to get ahead.

Sell Your Items

Everyone has items around their home that they are not using. Think about selling these items to make extra money. With sites like, e-bay, thredup, poshmark, etc. there are plenty of place to sell your new or gently used items. You will be surprised at the amount of money your can make on these sites. If you need an extreme boost in income you can think about selling your home or your car to greatly reduce your expenses. This is only recommended in extreme cases. But do what’s best for you and your household.

Suspend Extra Activities

Sometime in order to get what we want we have to make some sacrifices. In this case, you can choose to stop all extra activities until you can get a month ahead in your bills. This would include eating/going out, taking vacations, shopping, etc. You can also reduce your spending money on birthday and Christmas gifts this year. Choose people you feel you must get gifts for and cut out everyone else.

When your first start budgeting it can be really hard and sometime you will backslide, but just remember what your end goals is! All of your hard work will payoff in the end. What other suggestion do you have to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck? Leave a comment below.


22 Comment

  1. Re financing & reevaluating will for sure save a lot of money once pumped in. Loved the post as such situations come in life atleast for once & then we just don’t know the ways to improve.

  2. We’re definitely living paycheck to paycheck over here with my salary as my husband is currently going to medical school. The good thing is it’s temporary. The bad thing is medical school is a LONG journey so even though it’s temporary, it’s going to be for a while……..
    That being said, I’m trying to research a bit more about how to monetize my blog through ads so we can make a little extra spending money through that.

  3. Living by paycheck is a very difficult thing! Espcially when your rent take up mostof your money and your are left with pennies!Will think about restructuring!

  4. In this economy it’s super difficult for most to make ends meet quite frankly even with suspending ‘extra’s’ and being wise with a budget. Especially as a writer/creative – people seem to think our services are supposed to be ‘free’! 🙂

  5. omg, this is a life saver… you’re on point in paying bills 1-month advance, I do that as well, it makes you breath better.. right? thank you for sharing this…

  6. These are all important things to think about. It’s not easy living paycheck to paycheck. Although sometimes increasing income is easier said than done. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a second job because of the hours you work your first job.

  7. Great tips! For the “Increase Your Income” section, I also recommend getting a gig or freelancing in something that you’re good at (virtual assistant, accounting, marketing, etc) – a lot of people need to outsource tasks and pay really well. Plus a lot of these gigs are work from home 🙂

  8. I love posts about saving money and making smart choices with your money! This was great. I need to work on cutting out extra unnecessary activities to get rid of those extra costs that add up.

  9. We had to live paycheck to paycheck when my hubby was a stay at home dad and I was working full time. It is a very stressful way to live. Fortunately hubby is working now so we have 2 incomes. We still budget carefully but at least there is some room to breathe.

  10. These are all great tips. Something we all need to hear because it’s easier said than done. Crazy how simple things/tasks like ‘sell your items’ can actually be rather hard to implement.

  11. These are some great tips! Financial Management is a responsibility that everyone should know how to control their expenses and plan investments for their better future!

  12. I guess wanting not to live paycheck to paycheck boils down to spending less than what we earn. All the strategies suggested here will definitely help in spending less. For me suspending spending on extra activities was difficult, but I am finally out of the rug. Today, I make it a habits also to pay myself first. No more paycheck to paycheck.

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