Your income may not be the reason you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Living paycheck to paycheck is stressful and can lead to poor financial decisions, yet many people live this way despite earning a good salary. If you are one of the many Americans who lives off each paycheck and doesn’t have a savings, it’s never too late to change your financial situation. Here are some reasons why your budget isn’t working and ways to become more financially stable.
You’re only making minimum payments.
You only make minimum debt payments instead of paying off your debt. While it can be tempting to only pay the minimum due to free up cash for other expenses, doing so means paying more in interest. Not only will you pay more over time, but you can also negatively impact your credit score. One of the main factors in determining a credit score is credit utilization. The higher your credit balance compared to your available credit, the lower your credit score.
You can pay off debt faster and pay less if you make larger or more frequent payments. Try paying off some of your debt with each paycheck instead of making one payment a month.
You make purchases to compete with others.
It’s easy to get caught up in what others have and want to keep up. Whether it’s renting a larger place than makes sense, leasing an expensive luxury car or purchasing designer handbags, large luxury purchases can eat away at your income, leading to debt and preventing you from saving.
Instead of making purchases to compete with others around you, make smart money decisions to build a stable financial future for yourself. Put away money in a high-yield savings account, diversify your investment strategy or save up to buy a home in a good area.
You don’t have an emergency fund.
Many people take out high-interest loans or open credit cards to pay off emergency expenses without the means to pay this debt off in a timely manner. Worse, some people have their debts go to collections or declare bankruptcy because they can’t pay their bills. These actions can lead to poor credit, making it difficult to get access to credit or loans in the future.
While it can be hard to save when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s important to put aside money for an emergency. Create a line in your budget for your emergency fund and dedicate a portion of your paycheck to it. If you can divide your direct deposit, send your emergency funds directly to a separate account, making it harder to spend. A high-yield savings account is a great place to earn money on the money you save. It also takes longer to transfer money out of this type of savings account, so you’ll have time to make sure you want to spend the funds.
You never try to fix anything yourself.
When appliances or technology breaks, do you call a repair professional or throw the item away? If so, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars.
Next time something breaks, check your warranty status. If your appliance is still under warranty, the manufacturer may cover some repairs or replace the item. If the warranty has expired, try to fix it yourself. The internet is full of helpful guides and detailed videos to help you make repairs yourself. Just be sure to follow the instructions so you don’t make the problem worse, damage your property, or injure yourself. Avoid any repairs that may be physically dangerous.
Stop living paycheck to paycheck. Make intentional, smart money decisions. Start making larger or more frequent payments to pay off debt faster and pay less in interest. You’ll increase your credit score, helping you secure better interest rates in the future. Don’t make purchases to compete with anyone. Divert cash you would spend on a luxury item towards your savings or investments. Build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses and avoid high-interest debt. When something expensive breaks, don’t toss it or call an expensive repair person. Research your repair online and make the fix yourself.
Uprova helps consumers reach financial success. We offer a variety of solutions for borrowers with a wide range of credit. You can request a personal loan to consolidate debt or cover emergency expenses. Request a loan up to $5,000. Check your rate online today