Living Paycheck To Paycheck? Here are 8 Reasons Why and How To Fix it!

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Are you like most people and wonder why you’re still living paycheck to paycheck?

We’ve all been there and it leaves a feeling of hopelessness watching your funds dry up right before your eyes.

You get to the end of your pay cycle with a few dollars left in your account and think WTH?? I was sure this time I would have money left over!

And let’s not even start when your car breaks down or a medical emergency pops up and you don’t have the means to pay for them…

It’s stressful and terrible for your mental health. The truth is that living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life isn’t sustainable and it can lead to an emotional breakdown.

Money, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest strains on individuals and families today.

I know first hand what it’s like because I’ve been there time and time again in the past and it’s no joke!

But you can turn things around. All you need is a little time, effort and commitment on your part to getting your finances in check.

According to CNBC, over 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck after inflation spike in 2023. And over half of Americans earning over $100K a year are living paycheck to paycheck.

Even high income earners have reported they are stretched thin!!

Knowing this, it’s time to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck with the following tips!

So let’s dive into 8 reasons why you’re still living paycheck to paycheck and how you can fix it.


This post is a little longer as I’ve packed in a lot of useful ways to help you save money. Make sure you PIN THIS and save this post to your Budgeting and Money Pinterest Boards. That way you can refer back to it whenever you need to!

1. You’re Always Comparing Yourself To Others

I’m sure you’ve heard that comparison is the thief of joy.

Did your friend just buy their first home for a cool $2 million?

Has someone you know just purchased the car of your dreams?

Do you wish you could be travelling the world like everyone else seems to be able to afford??

I know how hard it is seeing your friends seemingly living the high life while you’re pinching pennies and struggling to make ends meet. Why do they seem to have it so much better than us?? It seems so unfair that they don’t seem to have any trouble and are not living paycheck to paycheck. But what you don’t know is that a lot of the time people are funding their fancy lifestyles through debt and aren’t always as happy as they seem.

HOW DO PEOPLE AFFORD THEIR FANCY LIFESTYLES?

There are many different factors that come into play when it comes to how people fund their luxurious lifestyles.

Some work around the clock and earn the big bucks but sacrifice spending time with their family. Others use credit cards and loans to pay for what they want.

I’m not saying everyone does this and I’m not hating on people who enjoy luxurious things. I admit that I too treat myself from time to time, when I can afford it and if it serves me well.

But the next time you think about making a purchase, ask yourself these things:

  • How will this purchase enrich my life, if at all?
  • Am I buying this for instant gratification?
  • If I buy this will it put me further behind with my money?
  • Is this purchase trying to fill a void?
  • Will this purchase stop me having money left at the end of my pay?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t want to be living pay to pay all the time. Because you want to be able to afford the lifestyle you want and not have to worry about money, right? It’s for this reason that I, for the last few years, have focused on optimizing my savings and finding ways to make extra money. And in this post, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned.

I’ll also give you a few hacks that I personally use to help reduce monthly spending.

So if you’re ready to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck, keep reading!

Related post: 12 Lessons I Learned During a No Spend Challenge

2. You Aren’t Earning Enough Money

Sorry to point out the obvious here! But living in these times it’s crucial to find ways to make extra money when your main income isn’t cutting it.

Many people don’t take the time to look at all the opportunities there are to make extra money and build wealth.

If you’ve been following along with my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I’m all about finding clever ways to increase savings and make extra money.

I believe we all deserve to live a life that’s fulfilling and have enough funds to live comfortably!

And if you’re living paycheck to paycheck that doesn’t mean you can’t have it all. But you do need to find ways to make more money if you want to have savings and live a comfortable lifestyle.

One way to start earning extra money to pay for things is by utilizing cash rewards. I find this a useful way to earn a bit of extra money to go towards birthday gifts, groceries or takeout. That way I’m saving $20, $30 or $50 here and there, which all adds up.

Related post: 9 BEST Apps That Pay You Cash in 2024!

OTHER WAYS TO EARN MORE MONEY

For more serious money though and something that can change your life, is blogging. This is where you can make enough money to cover your big life expenses. Things like your mortgage repayments, car related expenses or even a yearly vacation when you need a break.

Starting a blog as a total beginner was waaaaay out of my comfort zone! But the more I learnt and stuck with it the more I got the hang of blogging. And if you’re interested in learning more about how to start a blog, I highly recommend checking out my post How To Start a Profitable Blog. There I show you everything step-by-step on how to set up your blog quickly and efficiently.

But first, you need to know a couple of things!

Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It requires dedication, hard work and a lot of learning to earn even your first $100 with your blog. You just need to take it seriously and treat it like you would a start-up business.

Other ways to boost your income:

9 Mystery Shopper Jobs To Make Money!

17 Fun Hobbies That Make Money Now

17 Ideas For Passive Income That Actually Work

16 Ways To Make $300 Fast When You Need It Now

25 Best Flexible Jobs To Work From Home in 2024

3. You’re Not Tracking Your Spending

If you’re anything like I was, I would spend small amounts of money here and there and not give it too much thought…

Only to check my bank account balance a few days later and get a rude shock to see my funds running so low!

How did THAT happen??

I knew that if I continued on this way I’d be living paycheck to paycheck forever! So I needed to actually start taking notice of where my money was going.

With some help from some of the top financial experts out there like Dave Ramsey, I was able to start paying off debt and actually start building some real savings and reach my money goals.

My budgeting journey began by putting together a simple tracker I could use to start noting down what I was spending money on. This was the best place for me to start. Simple, yet got me on track to finally see where my money was going and how much I could save.

GRAB MY FREE BUDGET PLANNER TRACKER THAT HAS ALL YOU NEED TO GET STARTED WITH BUDGETING.

This tracker is the perfect start to getting your finances in check. It’s easy to use, clear and concise and it looks pretty too! 😊 Grab my FREE printable tracker here.

4. You’re Not Taking Advantage of Monthly Savings

You’ll be happy to know that there are ways you can optimize your savings, without having to give up your favorite daily indulgences. Because I wouldn’t want to take that piece of happiness away from you!

I avoid paying for my favorite daily coffee by using free gift cards I earn through taking surveys online. It might not seem like much, but I’m saving around $1,310 a year by using gift cards to pay for my coffee. Imagine that! Spare cash to go towards whatever you want at the end of the year.


👉 Survey Junkie is a safe and legitimate survey site who pays out over $40,000 daily to its members who enjoy taking surveys and spending time online.

Sign up for a FREE account and start earning straight away!

5. You Don’t Have a Debt Payment Plan

Trying to save while you still have debt can seem impossible. But often it’s not as bad as it seems!

To start a successful debt repayment plan, it’s important to set clear and realistic goals. Otherwise it’s going to be hard to stick to any sort of budgeting plan.

Throughout my blog I mention paying off debt with Dave Ramsey’s snowball effect. The reason I mention it often is because it helped me slay my consumer debt and stop living paycheck to paycheck. I still remember excitedly receiving my first copy of Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide To Money which inspired me to get serious about getting rid of debt and work toward building real savings.

As Dave says: “the most important key to building wealth is becoming and remaining debt-free.” And I couldn’t agree more!

Click on the book to learn more!

With discipline and dedication, it is possible to successfully reduce or eliminate your debts over time.

I know you can do it! 💪

6. You’re Spending Money on Things You Don’t Need

In my post How To Stop Spending Money and Control The Urge, I talk about why I used to overspend and how to identify the underlying cause.

There is no one simple strategy for making our spending more mindful and purposeful. However, I believe the following tips are sure to help you!

When it comes to spending, some of us may need to cut back drastically, while others might be able to stick to a stricter budget with just a few small tweaks. Whatever your own challenges may be, these tips can help you to stop wasting money on things you don’t need or even really want.

The first step is often the hardest: recognizing that your spending habits need to change. This means acknowledging that you’ve been buying things impulsively or justifying unnecessary purchases out of habit.

Then, take the time to assess your current financial situation honestly and openly. As mentioned throughout this post, it’s helpful to track your spending each month, so you can get a clear sense of how much money you’re actually spending each day and where it’s going.

Once you have an accurate picture of how much money you’re actually spending, the next step is setting and sticking to a new budget. This might mean eliminating certain categories of expenses altogether, or simply cutting back in certain areas while adding designated savings goals into the mix.

Whatever your approach may be, it’s vital that it works for you and that it’s manageable and sustainable. To help keep yourself accountable throughout this process, enlist the help of family members or friends who can offer support and encouragement when needed.

By taking these steps, you can transform your relationship with money so that it works for you instead of against you. In doing so, not only will your finances flourish but you’ll feel less stressed overall too!

7. You’re Yet To Learn The Basics of Personal Finance

As someone who didn’t really understand the basics of personal finance, I found the idea of looking into it quite daunting! It was probably because I didn’t want to know the truth about my finances.

I was happy being blissfully unaware about personal finance to be honest!

There are so many different ideas about money management that it’s enough to make you want to run for the hills! But the truth is, if you want to get ahead in life, you need to be knowledgeable about your finances.

That means learning how to manage your money effectively, choosing a frugal lifestyle, and making smart financial decisions at every step. And honestly, once you know the basic principles behind personal finance, it’s not so scary after all.

Once I took notice of my spending habits, put together a simple budgeting plan and used the budget planner printable I mentioned above, I started to feel better about my finances. And just between you and me, I even started to enjoy budgeting! Shh don’t tell anyone!

So if you’re like I was and still trying to wrap your head around all this money stuff, just remember – knowledge is power. And with proper understanding of your personal finances, anything is possible. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll get better at managing your hard earned cash.

As they say – where there’s a will there’s a way! You won’t regret investing your time and energy into learning the basics of personal finance.

8. Rising Living Costs Not Matching Salaries

There’s no denying that people are doing it super tough right now. The cost of living is constantly rising, and it seems like wages never catch up.

It’s no joke and it can be really frustrating going to the grocery store and realize that you’re barely scraping by while the prices seem to keep rising monthly. And with wages not seeming to be keeping pace with rising living costs, it feels like we’re constantly working harder just to keep our heads above water.

I know there are a lot of people who are struggling and the main culprit is pretty clear. And that’s inflation!

So what can we do about it?

Well what we really need is for our employers or government officials to take action to properly address this issue…

But in the meantime, what we can do that’s within our control is:

  • Adjust your budget to suit changing times
  • Boost your income through side jobs
  • Take advantage of monthly savings with money saving apps
  • Shop local and in season produce to save on groceries
  • Live frugally and find creative ways to save money
  • Pay down debt (starting with the smallest amount)
  • Stop buying things you haven’t budgeted for

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON FOOD:

I can recall getting to the end of my paycheck and practically living on beans and water for that last stretch before my next paycheck!

Then, I’d get paid, and spend up big on food and groceries before realizing that I could survive on a lot less!

It was hard to break out of this cycle of finally getting that paycheck, only to blow it on:

Food, takeout, dining out.

Bottled water, candies, juices.

Friday drinks, date night, music concerts.

You name it!

Finally coming to my senses and realizing I was only making a huge dent in my wallet, I looked at ways I could actually be saving on these things. Or, eliminating them altogether while I was learning to budget.

First up, I started saving my hard-earned money on food. I didn’t want to admit that I was blowing a lot of money unnecessarily on food out of laziness, convenience and pure indulgence.

My biggest weakness was a toasted ham, cheese and mayo panini. Oh boy it was good!! I still dream about those paninis haha. But it was setting me back around $45 a week! So I started making my lunches and taking them in this quaint mini crockpot. It’s one of my favorite items at home and something I only had to buy once that I can use over and over again. It comes with me on picnics and day trips and I find myself getting excited to have a fresh, warm home-cooked lunch.

If you’ve been spending money on lunches every day, I know some of you would also be spending a further $10 or $15 on dinner every day too. I was also in the habit of doing this, so I started planning my meals in advance and making them at home.

Not everyone has the time to do this though and I understand that. So to make life a little easier I highly recommend trying this $5 meal plan service. It’s a service that saves you the hassle of having to think of new things to cook all the time.

For only $5 month you can receive a delicious meal plan that costs less than $2 a meal. I mentioned in my post How To Stop Spending Money and Control the Urge about how my husband and I saved around $10,000 in a year just on food alone!

If you want to give the $5 meal plan service a go without any pressure, you can try it risk free for 14 days to see if it works for you. And if you don’t like it, you can easily cancel within the 14 day period without spending a dime!

Start my free trial

GET EASY SAVINGS WITH THE FETCH REWARDS APP!

I never thought I’d be someone who used a rewards app. I’d seen advertising for them and friends were always raving about them but it took me awhile to jump on board.

I guess I thought it would be a hassle and why bother when I can just tap my regular debit card? But then a friend sat me down and showed me how easy they actually were to use, how much money she’d saved by paying for things with gift cards instead of her own money. And that I was leaving money on the table by not using them too. So I decided to give them a try and see how they went.

And you know what? I’m glad I listened! Using a rewards app has helped me save HEAPS! The points add up quickly, which means I can get some great gift cards, just for shopping like I normally would. Using a rewards app is an easy way to save money without making any big changes to your lifestyle. It couldn’t be more easy and that’s why I love it!

On top of taking surveys with Survey Junkie in my spare time to utilize cash and gift cards rewards, I discovered the very handy Fetch Rewards app. Over a whopping $340 Million worth of points have been earned by its users. Not to mention it’s FREE and super easy to sign up.

I absolutely recommend using this app to start earning points. It only takes about 10 seconds to upload a receipt!

Take advantage of FREE savings by earning points to redeem as gift cards when you sign up and use Fetch Rewards!

If you haven’t started an emergency fund yet then it’s a good idea to start now. This will help you break out of that savage cycle of living paycheck to paycheck!

It’s a scary thought when you hear about Americans having way less savings than they should in these times. According to this Bankrate article, over half of Americans would be unable to cover an emergency $1,000 bill with savings!

Building an emergency fund is crucial for when those unexpected costs suddenly arise. Which reminds me of the time I had to urgently have some wisdom teeth pulled. $750 later…Thank God I had some savings because I couldn’t put it off any longer!

When you start seeing the dollars go up you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have it to fall back on. Trust me, I’ve been without savings when emergencies have come up, like a massive car bill and it’s super stressful! These situations pushed me to start building savings quickly to be able to pay for any unexpected future costs.

DON’T MISS OUT ON THESE FREE MONEY SAVING RESOURCES!

Throughout my blog I’m always mentioning the best ways to make and save money. Below you’ll find some of my favorite resources that could help you boost your savings! And they are totally FREE to use!

Survey Junkie: This is an easy way to earn $20 or $40 here and there to help go towards the cost of small items. You can easily earn by taking simple online surveys to earn rewards that can go towards your favorite daily drink or treat. They have excellent reviews on TrustPilot and it’s totally FREE to sign up.

Fetch Rewards: Earn points with this app to redeem for FREE gift cards. Using the Fetch Rewards app is a handy way to effortlessly earn back on your purchases. You simply upload your grocery, convenience or drugstore receipts to the app and earn points for every eligible receipt!


🌟 Sign up with Fetch Rewards for FREE here! 💵

Don’t miss out on this post 👉 The Real Reasons You Struggle To Save Money (so you can fix it!)

InboxDollars: With InboxDollars you can complete simple tasks like watching videos, taking surveys and doing online shopping and get paid for it! It’s an easy way to make a bit of spare cash to spend on what you want. They make it super easy to earn some extra money with just a few clicks of the mouse. Sign up here for your $5 welcome bonus!

Now I want to hear from you What saving money tips help you to stop living paycheck to paycheck? What works for you? Leave me a comment below! As always, I’d love to hear from you!

MORE POSTS TO HELP YOU SAVE MONEY:

Best Tips on How To Save Money with No Spend Days

How To Save Money on Groceries in 2024


12 Saving Money Tips To Make You a Millionaire


10 FREE Things To Do During a No Spend Challenge


16 Best Frugal Living Tips To Save Serious Money

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