Living from paycheque-to-paycheque is one of the biggest causes of stress, especially when you’re trying to provide for the whole family.
According to an article published by canstar.com.au, one out of three Australians are left penniless by payday. Some say this is because of poor planning, while some contribute this to impulsive buying.
If you have a steady job with a continuous stream of income, then that’s great. But what happens when natural disasters or unforeseen events occur? Without money saved up for the rainy days, how can you and your family cope?
I’ve been there. I’ve lived the paycheque-to-paycheque lifestyle and it wasn’t pretty when we lost our house in a flood. I could have saved some cash. I could have suffered a little each month. I could have.. I should have.
When I started working at SAHM, I learned a lot about being frugal, prioritising needs over wants and having a budget. It’s a struggle to end the paycheque-to-paycheque cycle, but it’s totally doable!
I don’t want to bore you with cliché advice so we looked around Reddit for practical and sensible stories told by real people. Here’s how they effectively ended the paycheque-to-paycheque cycle and got on top of their finances.
Create a budget out of your personal or household income. Whether it’s a daily, weekly or monthly budget, that’s up to you. But the very first step in ending that paycheque-to-paycheque cycle is mapping out your expenses and being self-aware. Budgeting is a great way to make sure that all your monthly expenses are taken care of before you splurge on things you don’t need.
Definitely need a budget, first and foremost.
My trick is that I round my expenses UP, and I round my income DOWN. If you set aside money for your bills, always set aside more than you need and then forget about it. You will always have extra money for surprise expenses.
Set yourself aside an amount of spend money. If you’re really bad, take cash and leave your credit/debit cards at home.
Part of your budget should include savings. Either short term or long term, depending on your needs at the time. Keep in mind that getting out of the “pay check to pay check” is not an overnight thing and can take years, but you have to start somewhere.
Stop being surprised by regular large payments. You know Christmas happens every year. It should never be a surprise that you have Christmas related expenses. You know you car registration happens once a year. You know your car should be serviced at least once a year. None of these are unexpected costs but people treat them like they are. You can save for these things all year round by taking the total cost (eg $1000 for registration is under $20/week).Make a budget and stick to it. Do you actually know what you spend your money on? If you don’t, there’s a big chance you’re wasting a lot. Coffee or soda every day, eating out for work lunches, ordering in multiple times a week adds up like crazy. Quit it. Or at least if you can’t quit it, budget for it, and spend less money in other places.