Recently I saw some headlines that indicated that at least one-half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
Last year alone; CNN reported that 76% of Americans were living from payday to payday. This adds to our story about women and poverty written earlier.
We know that polls have a tendency to fluctuate depending upon the location, gender, and marital status etc. With the past 7 years of our slowing economy and fall of our financial system; many individuals found themselves living in lower income brackets, and sometimes deeper in debt from the loss of their job. Partially due to the fact that getting another job soon enough, and same experience level became impossible. Finally taking a job with less pay and starting over again within a career; at the bottom of the ladder. Not a position that anyone would covet.
With the above factors, many men and women found new jobs that did not supply the same financial security and therefore forced them to be living paycheck to paycheck. Thus making it difficult, or impossible to continue saving for the kid’s education, saving for retirement or simply living as they did previously. This is where many lost their homes to foreclosure, deed in lieu, and short sales.
The Obama Administration’s efforts to help with the Home Affordable Refinance, and modifications did not work for everyone; often leaving people homeless and without sufficient income. A question we might have; “is there a way to change spending habits so that one does not live paycheck to paycheck?”
Dave Ramsey is one of the best at giving advise on finance and how to make things better, and stop living paycheck to paycheck. The above books give his expertise and one is totally for women with or without a man in their life.
With that said; Mr. Ramsey has company in selling great books…try this one…. The Millionaire Next Door:
Let’s talk about possible solutions that can alleviate living paycheck to paycheck to some extent:
- One important step I believe is the human mindset factor. A lot of people become complacent, yet compromised by living paycheck to paycheck. They just do it without thinking their life situation can change. Changing the way one thinks is a crucial part of stepping out of the agreement with yourself; that there are no other choices for living one week, or month at a time.
- What if you decided to put $5 or $10 dollars aside each payday for future necessities? Forget it is there, and try living without it. Have you ever found five or ten bucks in an old billfold or jacket pocket? Think about how you would feel if you had put away this amount for a long period of time; and something significant came up and it was there for use. It would definitely be a great feeling and relief.
- Have you invested in yourself and taken online courses to get a higher education to get a better job? There is financial assistance on many programs. You can find educational material online that is free.
- Have you tried to pay off some expenditure that has the lowest balance on your list so that you no longer have that bill to pay? A few extra dollars to the principal of a loan reduces interest and the principal balance. Therefore you are helping yourself in more than one way. You are actually saving money.
- Most people watch their spending, but there are some things that can cut down on un-necessary cost. You can check out the most economical cost for viewing TV in your area. Some cell companies offer better rates than other and you can get unlimited minutes, text, and web. Conserving energy in the home is also a way to cut overly expensive utility bills. Watch out for grocery coupons and items on sale. How about having a car pool for taking the kids to school or you to work?
These are just some suggestions and hints that might help. I know that it is not always possible to make changes. Sometimes there is not enough money to go around, and people who have never had these money issues do not always understand. Living paycheck to paycheck is pretty common as we have stated in certain local in our Country, sometimes there are no choices to be made, but these hints are just to help you if you haven’t thought about them.
P. S. This article by no means incorporates every possible tactic or help in changing a life of living from paycheck to paycheck. There are many factors that dictate why one is in this position, and/or why they have no control over changing it.