It astonishes me to think about the fact that since the time I got my first job, at around 15 years old, to now, going into my late 20’s, that I had been living paycheck-to-paycheck. I have tried many times and again to set aside money, improve my financial responsibility, and fix my bad credit but none of it really sunk in until I buckled down and made a financial routine.
In the last few months I finally found myself out of the financial hole and to my surprise it was far easier to climb out than I had imagined. I would bet that if you’re reading this you are currently experiencing some kind of financial distress; perhaps you are living the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.
I can’t say that the following actions will work for everyone but they did for me and I hope they can start some form of financial routine that will improve your well-being:
· Ask for a raise – Don’t be intimidated by your boss when it comes to finances. Remember that it’s often very expensive to replace and train a new employee compared to one that understands the work so all this goes in your favor. Work out the numbers and bring your boss a detail report on how much value you’re bringing to the business and use that as leverage to gain a raise. A bump in pay, even if it’s an extra quarter an hour, can lead to hundreds of extra dollars each year.
· Start a side-hustle – Don’t look at the odd-jobs as something below your skill because there’s money to be made in those activities. Take up a side-hustle doing work for friends, family, and neighbors such as washing their car or helping them clean the garage. Do on better by putting your knowledge to work and start something you can call your own (a business). These odd-jobs add up fast and rarely take away a lot of your free time.
· Set a daily earnings goal – I’ve noticed that if I set a daily “income goal” that I usually push myself harder in work. An income goal can be created by tallying-up your expenses and goals then breaking it down to how much you’d need to earn each day. Add a little extra on top to put more into savings and you’ll notice you’ll start to get creative in finding ways to reach that goal each day.
· Own up to the debts – STOP ignoring those bills. When they come in don’t set them off to the side; write down every expense you have on a monthly planner and really own up to those debts. If you’re in over your head and have financial problems, seek out professional services that can help get your credit repaired. Once your credit is back on point, you can start making bigger, better financial moves to improve your savings.
· Pay that little extra – Look at those debts and run them through a debt calculator. Now add about $20 to each and rerun the tool. A little extra each month, which isn’t hard to do if you cut back on frivolous spending, can have you paying down those debts months ahead of time. That extra $20 or so also cuts out hundreds of extra dollars you’d be spending on interest fees so it’s definitely worth it.
I know some of these sound pretty common sense but when you’re stuck in that paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle it’s easy to put on the blinders and begin seeking complicated methods to a somewhat basic problem. Give them a try and really make an effort to make them a routine each and every day. You’d be surprised just as I was on how effective these actions can be.