5 Reasons You Are Still Living Paycheck To Paycheck!

Living paycheck to paycheck is a vicious never-ending cycle if you don't take the necessary steps to break it!

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Living paycheck to paycheck is a vicious never ending cycle if you don’t take the necessary steps to break it!

So most of you will find this shocking. I had a job in California where I was making almost $20. Yet if you have read my previous posts one of the reasons my family left California was because we struggled there. It was because we lived in the paycheck to paycheck cycle and scrambled by the end of the month to make sure we had enough money.

The problem with that is when my wife had her stroke we had no money saved which just made out situation even worse. That unexpected emergency snuck upon us and we had no choice but to let the bills pile up and use any credit cards that we could. That of course just gave us the biggest mountain of debt you could imagine.

Living paycheck to paycheck is a vicious never-ending cycle if you don't take the necessary steps to break it!

Now I know that was an extreme situation because a medical emergency like that won’t happen to everyone. Yet something always comes up. Your car needs new tires, someone needs to see the doctor, someone needs new glasses.

That extreme situation is just what happened to me and it was the worst you could imagine. We lived in California for a few years after that but our finances never got better. It was like quicksand was just slowly killing me. That is part of the reason we decided to move, and although we are not doing great yet, we are doing a lot better than when we were in California.

I am assuming that since you are taking the time to read my story so far, that you understand the feeling and want to learn how to stop these habits.

Just want to give you a heads up though. This is not a quick fix. I have lived in Colorado for over 2 years now and I am still working on fixing my finances. This is a process that takes some time but if you really put your mind to it you can thrive financially!

So I won’t keep you waiting any longer by telling you my story…

Here are the 5 things to avoid so you can stop the paycheck to paycheck cycle!

1. I’ve Earned It or Deserved It Thinking!

This was the one thing I was really bad at. I kept telling myself and my wife I either earned said item or deserved it because I was working so much! The line I always gave and sometimes still give my wife (because I’m not perfect and am still working on this one) “I work really hard in a job I don’t like… I deserve to buy ___ to make me happy!”

Sadly just because I was working hard to earn money didn’t mean I “deserved” something else. Yet a lot of time we seem to fall into thinking that just because we put more effort into something we should be rewarded with anything. The problem is, do you want 100 anythings that are OK or do you want 1 something that is AWESOME!! 

What I mean is by constantly getting anything anytime you feel like you deserve it. Well, then that is taking away from your ability to get something bigger than you may want that you can’t afford right now. In my case, I really want to own a house. Yet if I keep buying every new movie that comes out that is never going to happen.

I understand, considering I like to collect things, I like the feeling when I get to buy a new Funko Pop. Yet 200+ Pops later that feeling is gone and I have probably spent over $2k towards that when I could have put it towards savings…

2. No Goals Financially!

Who wants to save? I don’t! I mean whats the fun in that? You can’t have fun with money in a bank account… or can you?

In California, I was earning good money yet I didn’t make the choice of saving the money or spending it. I always chose to spend it. I always found something that I wanted.

It wasn’t until I moved to Colorado that I was really able to figure out what my goals were.

Once this was the case saving money became the choice I made over spending it on some stuff.

If you don’t figure out what your goal is financially then you will just be going through the motions. Figuring it out will allow you to create a plan of action that will give you the motivation to set that plan into motion.

Sit down and figure out what you want out of your finances. Even go through the related post below to help you out. Once you have all your ducks in a row and know where all your money is going then you will be able to plan on what to do with it! 

RELATED POST: 40 Tips To Help You Make and Save Money

Imagine the changes that you can make once you get your goals written down and start to implement them.

3. Where is your Emergency Fund?

I have never been big on saving, and the whole time I lived in California it was paying my bills and spend my money.  I never once thought that maybe I should plan for an emergency situation. Well, that bit me in the ass when my wife had her stroke.

With no savings, no emergency fund and no “safety net” things got complicated.

I was forced to put what I could on credit cards and also just flat out ignore other bills. I highly DO NOT suggest that because I was just digging myself a bigger hole to get out of. One that made day to day life very difficult. That financial hole I was in eventually forced my family to leave California, and most of our family. 

Sadly when you refuse to plan for crappy unexpected situations (and yes mine was the most unexpected you can think of) this is what happens. You need to plan to have some sort of safety net.

Unexpected things will happen. Now if you prepare for it will be ready for when they come. Yet on the other hand, if you don’t plan for it then you will be in financial chaos trying to figure out how to pay for it. This will end up destroying your budget and you will be stuck living paycheck to paycheck.

You will want to put some money aside before paying your bills. Essentially pay yourself first before the bills. I have found out the easiest way to do this is through Digit. It’s a service that automatically saves your money, so you don’t have to think about it. What could be better than that??

Now I save money and don’t have to even think about it! The best part about it is you get $5 free for starting today by using this LINK!

Living paycheck to paycheck is a vicious never-ending cycle if you don't take the necessary steps to break it!

4. STOP choosing convenience!

For a while, my family got into getting food delivered to our house. I mean why take the time to go get it when you can have someone bring it to you? We didn’t even give this a second thought once we discovered they actually came to where we lived. (Some of the places we lived before they wouldn’t go to)

I realized we were paying more for the meals because we would have to tip the driver but for me, it was the convenience over saving a couple of dollars.

Then a few months ago we had a really hard month and our finances went under a microscope. It was bad… it got to a point where I felt I didn’t know how I was going to pay for food because there were so many bills I was behind on.  

Then I realized that we had so much we were spending on little things that added up which ended up causing the panic.

RELATED POST: How To Overcome Anxiety

We stopped getting food delivered and started making more family meals. Those tips we gave the driver added up not to mention the delivery charge. You take it for granted because you think oh its only $3 here $1 there. Take that and do it a couple times a week and it adds up quickly

Now don’t get me wrong it’s not bad to want to have a bit of convenience and get a meal delivered. The thing is try limiting it to once a week that way it isn’t the cause of you not being able to get ahead of the paycheck to paycheck routine.

Living paycheck to paycheck is a vicious never-ending cycle if you don't take the necessary steps to break it!

5. Happy Now vs Plan For Happiness

I was working all the time, never getting to see my family. We kept saying oh you will get ahead and then things will be great. The problem is that I was working a job that I did not like. It was causing me more stress and anxiety than anything. I figured hey maybe if I get those collectibles I like its ok because I have to put up with so much.

That got me temporary happiness. No savings and I had to move. I was sick of living paycheck to paycheck.

Planning for happiness is the way to go. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on movies and collectibles over the years I could have put that into savings. Found other ways to be “happy in the moment” because by now I would have more than enough to potentially buy a house.

Who knows, over the years I may have been able to save enough to pay for a house completely. (That is how much money I have wasted to get my happiness in the moment)

These were a few things that I did that stuck me in the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Now it isn’t the same for everyone, so sit down and really dive into your finances to see what is causing you to live paycheck to paycheck. Then work on making the necessary changes to start a better life!

Once more I will suggest if you don’t have a savings account then check out DIGIT because it was a life saver for me!

Living paycheck to paycheck is a vicious never-ending cycle if you don't take the necessary steps to break it!

Living a paycheck to paycheck sucks and it will only brings you stress and anxiety. I am not completely out of the paycheck for paycheck lifestyle but I am almost there because I have recognized what got me there and I am making the changes needed to get out. You can to!

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