Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Here’s some advice on getting your money situation together.

Write down everything you buy
Saving and handcopying receipts can be a bitch, so we prefer to put everything on our credit/debit card, giving us a line item for every purchase, which we then drop from the online system into our budget software.

Set goals
If you’re just getting started out, here’s a good one: save at least 10% of all your earnings, with the goal of building a 3-month emergency fund (all the money you would need to pay for rent, food and necessary expenses if you say, got fired).

Spend less
It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, it’s all about killing those unnecessary drags on your wallet. Find deals, lower your cable bill, lower your credit card APR, bag your lunch, bring a thermos instead of going for Starbucks, etc. Do you have a special talent or hobby, like taking photographs? Try bartering it with your friends for their goods and services.

Make more money
Sell stuff you don’t need on ebay or craigslist or hold a yard sale. Pick up a second job. Your savings account is probably earning something paltry like 1.something%. Open a high-yield online savings account and move that money in there.

What are your tips for breaking the cycle of splurge and scrounge? — BEN POPKEN

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