You have a pretty good job and your spouse works part-time helping to supplement your income. However, at the end of each week, you’re broke. Many people who live paycheck to paycheck do so because they are careless with money. The good news is that you can earn a renewed respect for your money and as a result, make better use of every dollar you spend.
Living with Stress
When every bill is urgent, you keep your mind in a state of panic. This can lead to excessive amounts of stress and overwhelming feelings of despair and anxiety, which can develop into a state of depression. Unfortunately, it’s during these times when you test your endurance and will. Many people end up taking something to help them relax and escape the reality of their life, even if just temporarily. They start to drink moderately every day or see their doctor to get a prescription to help them cope. Even, if you take something for a few months, it can quickly become a dependency, where without the crutch, you can’t function.
On top of money woes, you now have an addiction. The good news is that there are new treatment options available. For instance, CBT therapy was developed to help people with recurring depression and anxiety. It provides clients with a better understanding of how their negative thoughts have a direct effect on their mood and daily responses.
Establishing a Household Budget
Every household should have a budget. It identifies your debt and from where your debt derives. A budget also lets you set realistic goals such as saving up for a vacation, college tuition, a down payment for a home, and an emergency fund. Once you have the undisputable numbers in front of you, you’ll start to find weak areas where you waste money. Make a list of all your monthly expenses and then deduct your total net income.
Managing Your Money
Your work hard each week to bring home a decent paycheck. So, why do you want to travel down a road of financial ruin? If you’re ready to change your spending habits, there are plenty of ways to trim your budget and reduce your expenses. For instance, foregoing the morning cup of joe on the way to the office, brown-bagging and eating at home, are just a couple of examples of how you can free up several hundred dollars in a single month.
Reducing Your Debt
If you’re currently in a predicament where every bill is urgent, you’ll have to make decisions based on level of importance. The mortgage, household utilities and car payment are all bills that you must pay. When it comes to your credit cards, they can consume several hundred dollars alone each month. You can contact the companies directly to see if they have a hardship program to get you back on track or if they can extend a payment until the following month. If none of these methods provide positive results, you can take out a personal loan or contact a debt consolidation company. Just make sure if this is the avenue you choose that you check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Learning to Save
The best way to avoid an emergency is to have money tucked away. Opening a savings account for the sole purpose of a future repair or illness is smart. It’s only a matter of time before something unexpected does present itself. By having the money available, you’ll pay for the expense without using a credit card and adding to your debt, and you’ll be able to continue to pay your bills without faltering.
A large percentage of the adult population lives paycheck to paycheck. However, many of them live life this way simply due to their mismanagement of money. A positive change to spending and adapting to established budgets can help get back on track.