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How to stop living paycheck to paycheck

With the latest IMF figures showing that global economic growth is still weak and some of the biggest economies are struggling, it’s more important than ever to be financially savvy. 

If you’re sick of living paycheck to paycheck, you’re not alone. Counting the days until you get paid isn’t fun. So, if you want to take control of your finances, here’s how: 

1. Create a budget 

It’s time to start planning better. This is something that’s easily manageable by creating a budget. Doing this can help you see how much money you have and where it is going. 

When you’re making a budget, always start with the essentials like housing, food, transport, and utilities. Then, you can make a list of everything else you need in order of importance. This will show you how much is left over for non-essential items.

2. Cut costs where you can

It’s essential to pay attention to where you’re spending money so you can reduce your costs. This will give your monthly budget a boost so you have cash left over. 

Check your contracts and subscriptions, like phone, car insurance, or utilities, or TV services, and keep an eye out for deals that will cost less. Or, consider downgrading or cancelling your services if you don’t really need them. 

3. Increase your income 

If you’re not making it to the end of the month because your income is too low, you can start looking for ways to raise some extra money. 

For example, you could sell items you no longer need, ask for a pay rise at your job or take a second job, or look for other sources of income like dog walking or online surveys. 

4. Pay off your debts 

The interest on debts can be very expensive, and it’s easy to get into a debt cycle. This can quickly become unaffordable, so it’s important to make a plan to pay off your debts. 

If you have debts, make a repayment plan that includes credit cards,  student debt, car payments, loans, store cards, and other types of credit. Make sure you check your budget so you know how much you can realistically pay back. 

5. Start a savings plan

If you have enough money left over, start a savings plan so you have money available for emergencies. This will help you avoid living paycheck to paycheck. 

Even if you don’t have enough to do this straight away, try and save small amounts so you have enough to cover you if things get really tight financially. 

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