How to Save Money While Living Paycheck to Paycheck
What is YOUR story with money?
Living paycheck to paycheck might sound like the preserve of the low paid, but a recent report reveals that high earning millennials are the worst hit by the cycle of having nothing left at the end of each month.
- Thirty-one per cent of British workers say they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet - according to CareerBuilder
Researchers from Lendingtree found that 44% of young American professionals earning $100k are maxing out their current account every month.
So why is this happening?
A major factor is competitive lifestyle choices. That feeling that if you’ve scored a big, shiny job with a fat salary, you should be toasting your success in fancy restaurants five nights a week instead of staying home eating cut-price frozen pizza. But guess what financially secure middle-aged people did in their twenties? They ate cheap pizza! They also lived in crummy flats, exercised in the park rather than at trendy spin classes, and enjoyed staycations instead of luxury mini breaks. The personal finance diaries of people who live like this are actually inspiring rather than depressing. Because cutting out the proverbial avocado toast really will give you a warm glow at the end of the month when you find you have £50 in your pocket.
Another factor is financial education: many of us just don’t know enough about personal finance and investing to feel empowered to make good decisions. Yes, we say this every week, but it really is big part of why people can’t balance their books at the end of each month. Maybe you grew up in a household where saving and investing were never an issue (either because money was so scarce or so plentiful)? If that sounds like you, then rest assured that merely by being part of Vestpod you’re on the path away from all that. Make use of all those apps and hacks designed to help you budget, pay bills on time, stay focused on your savings goals and start finding a bit of money to save each month. You can do it!
What can we do about it?
Saving money is possible when living paycheck-to-paycheck, and here’s how:
First, make a schedule for your monthly bills. If you pay them on time, you’ll be saving on any potential lateness fees. And having direct bill payments go out on the same day as your salary comes in will mean there’s no big outgoing hanging over you throughout the month.
Next, get a proper idea of your expenses and nip and tuck accordingly. Eating out and recreational shopping are fun for a treat but using them as regular pick-me-ups when times are hard will only be counterproductive, as they could land you further in the red. Find something fun to do that’s free - or at least cheaper than impulse buying handbags!
Finally, make it your aim to have only one credit card. Multiple cards are a mug’s game, as you know if you watch their fees escalate every month. One - for emergencies and unexpected big payments - really is enough.
If you’re really struggling, why not take on a sideline that could earn you a few quid around your regular job? It could be something you can do while watching TV like babysitting, or a cool way of capitalizing on a skill you have, like selling crafts, teaching a language or helping people get fit or use a computer. Heck, even blogging can earn you money, so they say…!