It’s challenging to meet your financial obligations even with a consistent income. How hard can it get when payday is unpredictable?
You almost want to cry. You can barely sleep, and your head is spinning, wondering when your next paycheck will come through.
But here’s the thing.
You can still make it easier to wait for your pay, even without worrying about creditors knocking at your door – all the time.
Start thinking about your future.
You have been so focused on making ends meet each month, and you haven’t stopped to think about your future.
Worrying about how to survive until the next paycheck is the easiest thing to do. But it’s time to start thinking about the future – what could you do with your money in the future? When do you stop worrying about your next payment and all?
Permit yourself to dream a little more.
What are your long-term goals? Maybe you want to spend your golden years travelling from coast to coast, retire early, or get out of debt. Or perhaps you want peace knowing your account is not going to overdraw again.
Whatever your big dream is, it isn’t going to happen unless you start paying attention and being intentional now.
That said, here are ways to make your life easier, even as you wait.
Let’s do this.
7 Ways to Make it Easier to Wait for Your Pay
1. Make a budget
Stop wondering where your money went to and start telling your money where it should go. It sounds like a cliche, but here is the thing.
It’s easy to live paycheck to paycheck without a budget. Why?
Because you lack a plan, and you can’t stretch your dollars because maybe you don’t even know how much money you have to work with. That’s where a budget comes in to show you where you can cut back and start saving money.
To create a budget, take your income and less expenses, ensuring it equals zero. But that doesn’t mean you have nothing left for emergencies or savings.
Instead, this method makes sure you give every dollar on your paycheck a job to do. And by job means deciding exactly where every dollar goes for the month.
Step 1: Write down your monthly income (both regular and expected). You can use traditional methods such as notepads, spreadsheets, or a free budgeting app such as EveryDollar.
Step 2: List all your expenses for the month. They include food, rent, internet, phones, loans, and anything in between.
Step 3: Subtract all your planned expenses from the monthly income. Always leave something small in your checking account, like $50 to $100, to cushion any overdraft fees or any fees.
2. Prioritize your four walls first
If you live waiting for the next paycheck, and always struggling to cover all your bills on time, focus on things you need to survive.
These four walls are food, shelter, utilities, and transport.
If you have any money left over, then make a list of what else you need to pay in order of importance.
When your money runs out – that’s it. Things may get tough. Yes, you may not be able to pay your loan or credit card on time. But your family will have a roof over their heads and a meal – no matter what.
Keep affirming yourself that tomorrow will be a better day. You’ll make more money tomorrow (yes, it’s true) – and your paycheck to paycheck life will be over. Soon.
3. Avoid getting into debt.
Playing around with debt (robbing Peter to pay Paul) is a recipe for disaster. You’ll never attain financial freedom that way.
Believe it or not, not having enough money to pay for something then reaching out for a credit card to buy is not the best way to live.
But credit card debt is not the only debt. Debt is sneaky. It comes packaged in payday loans, car repayments, student loans, store credit cards, personal loans, business loans, even money you borrowed from a friend.
Want to kick away that debt?
Step 1: Stop taking on any new kind of debt. Don’t pay for things using credit cards to make ends meet and live within your means.
You can’t get out of the muddy puddle if you keep adding mud to it. Instead…
Step 2: Focus on paying off your debts using the debt snowball (pay off from the smallest to the largest).
4. Sell stuff you don’t need
It’s time to bring in more money!
Sell items such as jewellery, baby items, clothes, and even that additional car sitting in the garage. Selling items you already own is one of the fastest ways to make extra money.
But don’t go selling your kidney in the black market or selling things that will cause your kids or to start worrying that they might be next!
5. Live below or within your means.
Maybe more money is not your ideal solution. Because if you’re not able to live within your means now, you will not do it with more money either.
If you’re not careful, more money could make you spend even more. Dave Ramsey calls it lifestyle inflation or lifestyle creep.
Suddenly, you can afford the things you couldn’t afford before, and you start becoming pretty loose with the purse strings.
Yes, it’s tempting to spend more money when you have some more coming in, but please don’t do that. Always stay intentional with your spending and stick to your budget no matter how huge the extra income is.
6. Cut back on your expenses.
It’s not the best time to buy steaks for dinner or eat out at your favourite restaurant, especially when you have no idea when your next paycheck will come in.
It’s time to cut back on any unnecessary expenses that you can. You live from paycheck to paycheck here, and even that doesn’t come on time, so lighten up.
Look for any area in your budget (you created in point 1, remember?) where you can spend less.
You can pause some subscriptions such as Hulu, Netflix, meal deliveries …anything. Downgrade or stop your cable, internet, and cellular providers. Remember, none of this falls within the four walls.
Making sacrifices like these are painful. Right? But always remind yourself that this is a temporary sacrifice. Put in the work now to have a better life in the future.
7. Tired of being broke? Start a side hustle.
If you’re sick of not getting paid on time, you probably need to consistently bring in more income – not just when you have worked 9 – 5 jobs or some part-time jobs.
While you can (and should) pursue salary increases and promotions at your full-time job, you might need a side hustle to boost your income.
Ways for making extra money are;
- Become a virtual assistant
- Online tutoring
- Sell services on Fiverr
- Launch an eCommerce site.
- Start a blog
You can find work at home jobs you can do after hours or weekends too.
Even if you don’t find any so soon, you can still take up some odd jobs in your neighbourhood. This about picking leaves, cutting grass, dog walking, babysitting, and much more.
The easiest way to start your side hustle is to identify your talents to make extra money. You can use your design, sewing, or banking skills to help you bring in more money.
Stop wondering when the next paycheck will come and start living again.
Sick of staring at the calendar, counting down until your next payday arrives?
You should be really. It’s time to change things around. And you can do it.
In the meantime, while you’re working out how to stop living paycheck to paycheck, PressPay is here to help your with a few extra dollars between paychecks (for a low flat fee)
Get on the proven plan (create a budget, cut down on expenses, and create another stream of consistent income.)
Sounds good? It’s not a pipe dream. The simple plan works.
Ready to take the plunge?
Let us know in the comments section.