Some people spend all of the money they have and more, each and every week. It does not matter how many raises or windfalls they receive. They rob Peter to pay Paul, and they end up spending every last dime. They live paycheck to paycheck, and they struggle just to put food on the table. If you are one of these people, use these real ways to stop the vicious cycle of overspending, and start putting money in the bank. It is possible to relax and enjoy life instead of simply existing and worrying about having enough.
Consider the Difference between Wants and Needs
Those who are struggling to make it until the next payday are not necessarily poor. They might feel underprivileged, but in many cases the problem is a result of bad money management. Some people make themselves penniless on a regular basis, and they are fully responsible for their demise. They have good jobs, a solid roof over their head and all of the essential tools that are needed to live a comfortable life, but they do not know how to use them.
When looking for real ways to stop living from one paycheck to paycheck, learn to recognize the difference between wants and needs. Wants are goods and services that are nice to have but not required to sustain life. Needs are things such as food, warmth, reliable transportation and anything else that is truly essential. Get your priorities in order before you open your wallet. You will have more money in your bank account.
Reduce the Number of Weekly Restaurant Meals
Dining out is not essential to life. Some people might consider it therapy after a long hard day on the job, but restaurant meals will drain your account very quickly, especially if they include alcoholic beverages. You do not have to stop eating out. Reduce the number of weekly, bi-weekly and/or monthly restaurant meals. Ready-made dishes from grocery stores are cheaper, and they are often just as good as or better than restaurant fare. Check out the hot case and deli of your local grocery store. If you still feel the need to pay a chef to prepare your food, consider ordering in and picking it up. You will save money by not having to pay for beverages, and you will not have to tip a server. Those eating out and complaining about a lack of money for groceries are not making good financial choices.
Examine Your Bills for Ways to Cut Back
Those living paycheck to paycheck might be living above their means. It is not easy to sell a home and move, but it is easy to cut back – if you are willing to do it. Examine your bills, and consider ways that you can reduce them. For example, those who are paying for satellite or cable television have other options. Consider switching to on-demand programming that is streamed through a smart TV, a WII or a Roku box. Use a digital converter, or start buying discounted DVDs. If you decide on streaming television programming, before making the switch, make sure that your Internet service provider does not limit your bandwidth use. If they do, switch to another provider. It all goes back to what you want versus what you really need. No matter how much you earn, your financial situation will not change until you decide that it has to.
Source: A Financially Savvy and Observant Single Mother