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Many people think that since they live paycheck to paycheck, they can’t begin investing. While they may not be ready to invest in real estate, retirement, or annuities, there are some investments that should be made to stop living from paycheck to paycheck.
I don’t discuss these things out of lack of familiarity. I’ve “been there and done that”. I know how it feels to have no peace of mind knowing if your next paycheck does not come, you and your family will not be financially secure.
You make decisions out of desperation rather than because its best. The bills become a source of anxiety or intense concern. Living paycheck to paycheck is miserable (at least for me). Here are a few investments that can help to break the cycle:
An Emergency Fund
In order to stop living from paycheck to paycheck, you have to stop spending everything. You may not feel that you have any extra, but when you set some aside, you are prepared for when a “rainy day” happens. Often times, people get into bad financial situations because they have not planned for out-of-the-ordinary expenses.
In reality, life happens. Tires go flat, water tanks go out, kids hurt themselves, and schools raise funds. Don’t let everything catch you by surprise! Start to reserve some money in a savings account. Call it an emergency fund, a security fund, a freedom fund, or whichever you prefer.
Apps to help you Save Money
Recently, I’ve been using the Digit app. It tracks your normal spending and takes small amounts out of your account, and puts them into a “rainy day” fund. Whenever you need the money, you simply transfer it into savings.
Dave Ramsey recommends you setting aside $1000, paying off your debt, then returning to fully fund the emergency fund with 3-6 months of expenses. Since my husband and I are both self-employed, we are striving to maintain one month of expenses in an emergency fund while paying off our debt.
Decide what is best for you and your family. If you have a consistent and reliable income, $1000 in liquid (easily accessible) cash may due while you work on another investment goal (paying off debt, saving for kid’s school, preparing for financial independence, or saving for retirement).
Since I’ve applied this advice in my life, there have been so many times it has saved us. My son got sick and we had to pay medical bills. Guess what I used? Our emergency fund. I had to get car repairs that I had not planned for. Guess what I used? Our emergency fund.
Something like the Digit app can help you to begin setting aside something. Don’t forget, small amounts compiled turn into big amounts. Check it out!
Education and New Ideas
In other articles, I talked about money saving hacks like meal planning, slashing your grocery budget, or freezer cooking. There are so many hacks that can help you cut your expenses, but you may miss several of them because you think you just don’t make enough money.
Sometimes, income is the problem, but more times than not, expenses can be cut to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. Tracking your spending and cutting expenses can begin the snowball into a very comfortable living. Apps like Personal Capital and Digit can be VERY helpful to track your wealth building or automate your saving.
As a Work-at-home-mom, education directly affects how much I can charge a client. I am paid by what I know and how I can apply that knowledge to help my clients. I pay for classes on digital marketing, blogging, productivity, sales, business, and others, so I can share the information with you and others.
Education for Professional Development or Personal Development Can Help
Buying a course from Udemy or another professional development marketplace can set you apart, set you up for a higher salary, or even propel you into starting your own business. Most recently, I took a 28 day challenge by the Billionaire Blog Club.
I got so many ideas from the challenge! As soon as I finished a module on Pinterest marketing, I wrote an email to a client who asked me to implement the strategies into his business. I immediately got my money back within minutes.
You may not have the exact results as I did, but you can definitely increase your value to the marketplace by taking professional development courses. There are courses that can help you in relationships, staying motivated, negotiating good prices, or starting a business.
Classes like these can increase your confidence and help you solve problems for others around you. Remember, a job is simply a solution to an organization’s problem. Learn to become a solution to problems and you will be able to stop living from paycheck to paycheck!
Do you believe that God will give you more than you can bear? Most of us know that He provides our needs, but often times, we don’t look at relationships as a method for provision.
Relationships, whether marriage, parenting, friendships, or workplace, can answer your prayers or well wishes. Someone may know someone else with the answer to your situation, but you won’t find out until you invest.
I’ve had numerous occasions where I consider myself investing in my kids–taking them to extracurricular activities, and it turns out to be a business opportunity for me. Maybe the opportunity may not be a business opportunity, but maybe a date with your spouse could bring so much peace that ideas begin flowing in an unprecedented way.
Invest in your relationships and see how your situations change. You can stop living from paycheck to paycheck simply by reaching out for an opportunity or otherwise from a relationship you may have or make. Remember, success rides on the back of relationships.
Prayer and Devotion Time
God sees you and He knows everything you need. Many times, when we are living paycheck to paycheck, we become so consumed in reaction mode, we cannot rest in God. Psalm 1 is a great scripture to meditate on in times like that. It says:
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Take some time and meditate on scripture, then pray. God can open your mind to ideas you never thought of, connections you could not muster, and opportunities you could not plan in your peak state.
Let Him take control of your situation. Invest in time with Him. Devotion time has very high returns on investment, and can give you ideas or increased peace to help you stop living from paycheck to paycheck.
Sometimes when you are living paycheck to paycheck, you get pre-occupied with the necessities to bring the bread to the table. Your thoughts are consumed with work and obligation.
Your self-care radar goes down, and your confidence can go with it. Don’t forget to take time to sow into those things that increase your confidence.
Whether it is a book you need to read, a bubble bath, or watching a movie–take some time to take care of yourself.
Don’t let living paycheck-to-paycheck be the reason you are not investing in the mandatory things that get you out of that cycle. Try the Digit app, and automate your savings!
Once you realize where you are, then its much easier to navigate yourself to your goals. Make a plan to change your habits today and stop living from paycheck to paycheck!
Hopefully these tips were helpful. If you would like to get tips regularly that can make more money, save more money, and grow more money, subscribe.
I would love to have you on board as I continue this blogging journey. Right now, you and I may be on this journey, but if you continue coming back and bringing your friends, more people can go on the journey of mastering their money!
Now, it’s your turn…
Have you used any of these tips before to stop from living paycheck to paycheck? How did they work for you? Are you just getting by with your money, and looking for where to start to stop living from paycheck to paycheck? Leave your questions and comments below.