If you’re tired of living the same financial drama each month, you’ve come to the right place. The battle between your bank account and your spending habits has gone on long enough. ✋
It’s now time to learn how to stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck, and we’ve got just the guide to help you on this newfound quest.
Budgeting: The financial GPS
If you're wondering how-to stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck, the first step is the magical art of budgeting.
For those who are budgeting newbies, budgeting is basically your very own financial GPS. It helps you stay on track and prevents any impulsive detours. If you're serious about the whole stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck thing, you'll need a clear plan for your money.
And with Cleo’s budgeting app, you can do just this.💡
Making a budget that works for you is all about understanding your expenses each month and having the flexibility to adapt if circumstances change.
Signing up to the best money app only takes a few minutes, and it’s completely free.
Step 1 Get connected 🤝 – Download the app, sign up, and connect your checking account.
Step 2 Income 💸 – Select your latest paycheck(s) so Cleo knows when you get paid.
Step 3 Bills 👀 – Add your bills and double-check to see if they’re right so they can be tracked correctly.
Step 4 Spend limit 🥡 – Set a realistic spend limit.
🔒 Once you’re done customizing your cute budget, you’ll unlock your ‘left to spend’ and ‘left per day’ amounts so you can see if you’re still able to afford your iced coffee.
Savings: The little piggy bank that could
Savings are crucial for learning how to stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck. It's the little piggy bank that could – and will – save you from financial ruin.
Each month, try to save a portion of your earnings in case life throws a curveball your way so you have money to cover things like car repairs or medical bills. Or, a relaxing weekend away. 🍹
The 50/30/20 rule is a popular saving hack:
💡 50% of your income: Needs. This should cover things like housing, food, transportation, insurance, utilities.
🛍️ 30% of your income: Wants. This could be monthly subscriptions, travel, entertainment, meals out.
🐖 20% of your income: Savings and debt. Devote this chunk to help off existing debt or add to your emergency fund.
Smart Shopping: Cut the costs
Learning how to be smarter with your grocery shop can really help you stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck.
Each year, it’s estimated that a four-person household wastes $1,500 worth of groceries.
And that extra money could come in handy. 💰
One of our fave tips for cutting back on food waste is by using a tool called SuperCook. It’s a free nifty ‘zero waste recipe generator.’
Literally all you need to do is select the ingredients you have, and it’ll chuck out a load of recipes. 🍲
You heard it here first.
Check out 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money for more ways to cut back.
Debt: Tame the financial beast
You can't learn how to stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck without taming the financial beast: debt.
Devise a strategy to pay off your debts as quickly as possible so that you’re able to start putting money aside for unexpected expenses. Prioritize high-interest debts first and where possible, avoid taking on new debt.
To help, our resident financial advisor, Anna Yen, has a whole blog post on The Need-to-Know on Debt Management.
Entertainment: Be more frugal
Cutting back on your entertainment budget could really help you stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck.
While going out every weekend and sipping on those mimosas might be fun, it can also drain your wallet. But you’re probably aware of this… we’re guessing that’s why you’re here.
Discover the joy of frugality by planning budget-friendly outings and taking advantage of free events in your city.
There are tons of sites you can check which offer a variety of free events including arts, cultural, music and educational.
A few sites with events that won’t cost you a dime:
- Eventbrite: Eventbrite is an event management and ticketing platform that also lists free events in cities across the US. Simply search for events in your area and filter the results by selecting "Free.”
- Meetup: Meetup is a platform that allows users to create and join groups focused on specific interests. Many Meetup groups host free events, ranging from outdoor activities to book clubs and networking sessions.
- DoStuff: DoStuff is a network of local city guides that curate lists of the best events and activities happening in various cities across the United States. Many of their listed events are free, and you can filter events by location and category.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and sadly, neither will your financial empire.
Learning how to stop-living-paycheck-to-paycheck won't happen overnight but it will happen.
You just need to give yourself time to develop new habits. And if you have any debt, get that paid off first to avoid pesky interest fees and then start building your savings pot.
Here’s to unleashing your financially savvy inner-adult. 💅
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Big love. Cleo 💙