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Living From Paycheck to Paycheck

August 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 236

Do you live from paycheck to paycheck?

A few days out from payday are you living on the bones of your butt and counting every cent? Do you count down the days until you get your pay? Have you maxed out your credit cards? If this sounds like you, you need to read this. By the way, I'm not going to sell you anything at the end of this, I'm just giving you free advice on how to get out of this pathetic and hopeless cycle.

This scenario is so common where I come from. In fact I was in the same boat once.

My pay would clear in my account and I would think of all the ways I could use it, how I'd make it last a fortnight, how I could buy that new gadget I wanted, how much I could party and enjoy the good things like dining out and having big weekends. And then there were my bills, the mounting bills that needed attention above anything else. I even considered possibly putting some aside for savings (yeah right!). When I got paid, I treated myself, and life in general felt better for the first week where I could splash out and enjoy the fruits of my hard work.

I got to the point where I wanted a better quality of life and didn't have to stress over my finances. Like you may do now, I wanted to have money left over on payday and not have to ever worry about paying bills on time.

No matter what I tried to do however, I was still always broke before payday and sometimes struggled to even buy food for myself. I was miserable for two weeks out of every four. I blamed everything from doctors visits to high food prices when I was the only one to blame. I'll come to this shortly.

If you want to break this cycle and get rid of the stress on your shoulders that mounts on the lead up to payday then read on. This might offend some of you, so harden up and take it on the chin, if you can't then stop reading, you are not ready to improve yourself and can continue to be hopeless. I know I'm right, I've been there and you will only fix your situation by accepting its your fault due to not taking control or by coming into a lot of money such as an inheritance or winning the lottery. Don't count on the latter anytime soon.

- Accept responsibility

You must accept that it is your fault for your situation. You may have been screwed over by somebody, had a bad education, had your house hit by lightning, been made bankrupt etc. and whilst these can certainly have an effect on the situation, you cannot dwell on these circumstances and blame them. Blaming your current financial situation on things like these is pointless and lacks responsibility. If you live in the past, you cannot move forward. You have to let go and get over any hardships in order to move on. Put simply, look forward not back.

Responsibility is an interesting topic to listen to, as there are so many opinions on how much responsibility one needs in order to have a significant influence over something. However there is no right opinion about responsibility, only one truth.

For example, a stay at home mother does not have as much money as she would like to do the things she dreams of. She blames her partner for not making enough money. This is just plain wrong. She's human, and humans are creative. If she wants more money for the herself, then it's up to her to change. She isn't helpless and unable to earn. She just blames her partners earning potential and lacks responsibility. I know mothers who look after their children all day (and do a wonderful job) and make the same, if not more than their husbands from home business. The world is your oyster.

Accepting responsibility sounds cliche and will no doubt remind you of your teachers and parents growing up. But you have to, and you have to be 100%. There is no such thing as 95% responsibility, and leaving 5% to luck or chance. It's all or nothing. Responsibility is atomic, indivisible if you like. You are either responsible about something or you aren't.

Responsibility is the ability to take control of your life, and while you cannot control everything, having responsibility gives you the ability to respond. Response-Ability. Got it?

Get this into your head now. If anything is going to change at all, it's up to you. It's all you. Once you accept complete responsibility, then you have the power to change. Only death can stop you!

- Change your mindset

In order to move forward and stop living from payday to payday, you have to change your mindset. If you cannot get your mindset right you are going to stay exactly where you are and trapped. Mark Twain was right when he said "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got".

If you get your mind right, the right actions are going to follow.

How are you doing yourself and everybody else around you any good by just scraping by? You are worth more than that. You know that and so do I. I'm sure you have dreams of being wealthy, who in their right minds doesn't have those dreams? Well, you are going the wrong way about it staying broke! Make that change in your head and you are well on your way.

- Drop the social deadweight

Have you ever heard the saying, "you are who you associate with"? Well, this saying rings true in your current situation. You see, I very much doubt that you associate with a lot of wealthy people none of whom live from payday to payday. I am taking an assumption that you associate with people, or at least know of a few in the same boat as you; hanging out for payday!

While these people may be your close friends, and I am in no way telling you to ditch them, I want you to know that many of them are going to be uncomfortable with big changes that you start to make and people who are reluctant to change are sure to hold you back whether they mean to or not. Be very wary of this. If you become successful and create a better financial situation for yourself people can feel left behind and can even become jealous.

If you know of anybody who is likely to get jealous or try to sabotage your plans when you decide to double your income and keep moving up then either discuss your plans with them to clear the air or get rid of them. Trust me, I have seen it and I have been there.

Try meeting some entrepreneurs and successful people and discuss your plans with them. 99% of them are not only going to be happy to hear of your new goals but are likely to encourage and help you along the way. They are going to help with your networking and some might even take you under their wing. Another good example would be somebody who sells on commission.

For example, I like to get out to write. I could go to a local coffee shop, or the mall, but I choose a certain cafe I know of here in Dubai that many wealthy and successful people frequent. The atmosphere is better and I talk to like-minded people who only look forward in life. Sometimes we talk business, sometimes we talk cars, sometimes we talk woman, but the overall similarity is that they are all positive people who only smile and like to discuss success. Imagine what kind of dropkick you might bump into at the mall lounge or somewhere that all walks of life frequent. I know that sounds bad, but you need all the help you can get, and losers are not going to help you.

Long term employees very rarely have the same level of financial enthusiasm as entrepreneurs. They are willing to trade their precious hours for a salary whilst donating most of the results of hard work to somebody such as an entrepreneur. Now, in saying that, there is nothing wrong with being an employee if you are making an absolute killing in terms of remuneration and possibly have a business on the side that runs like a well-oiled machine requiring little input, but you aren't on that ship now and that ship is hard to board.

- Cut Expenses, but don't go crazy!

Cutting expenses is obviously essential to getting yourself out of your current situation. It's kind of like the age-old saying of "live within your means". And sure it's a no brainer, but I have seen, and even been a victim myself of overdoing it. You need to still be comfortable.

Cut out some of the frills. Do you really need cable television? No you don't, not now anyway. It's a waste of time, the old "idiot box" does nothing for your productivity (unless you are watching self-help videos every time you blob out on the couch!) Do you need that subscription to the newspaper or your favourite magazine? No you don't, it's available online for free. Buy the cheaper food, if you can really taste the difference in budget canned fruit from the premium brands then you have a problem. Get over it, its fruit. Speaking of food, DO NOT compromise a healthy diet. Good food is essential to your wellbeing and staying positive and focused, just shop smart and scrutinize every product you purchase, there will always be a cheaper option, and right now, this is your option. Don't feel bad when you get to the checkout, turn any embarrassment you may feel at the checkout into a motivator to visit the same checkout in 12 months from now with a nice bottle of bubbles and some caviar if that's your thing. Don't ever feel embarrassed or like you are a "cheapo" because you are currently in a transition stage. Feel good about it. Shop smart too. If you have the time, and I doubt you don't, buy your fruit and vegetables at a fruit and vegetable shop, buy your meat at the butchers and save the overpriced supermarkets for the essentials. If you have the space in your backyard, get a vegetable garden going. You'll have free vegetables and its very therapeutic!

What you shouldn't be doing is compromising your quality of life, like skipping meals or eating rubbish like instant noodles. Don't sell your car and start walking to the bus stop in the cold and rain but if you currently drive a V8 then sell it and buy a smaller car, and guys, ego is just a protective wall that the insecure put up. Don't be extreme, because once you start to suffer from cutting your expenses, you are setting yourself up to fail. I cannot stress enough that you must stay comfortable whilst cutting costs.

The expenses I want you to cut are recurring items, and hence cutting them, introduces long-term savings.

If you need some extra cash to get rid of some nasty bills, then sell some of your junk around the home that you don't need. We all have it, and we don't need it. Make it a habit of getting rid of the junk every six months. If makes for a tidier home and helps to recoup some of the money from silly buying choices you have made. Do not however, sell essentials. Like I keep saying, stay comfortable.

Whilst cutting expenses is going to give you some extra cash and help out with the stress of being broke towards payday, its most certainly not the be all and end all of the situation. Raising your income is going to be the primary focus here. Cutting expenses at this time is just a necessary evil.

- Decide that you deserve better and are worth more (you do and are)

Most people get paid what they think they are worth. Don't believe me? If I offered you $1 per day to work for me, would you? Of course you wouldn't, you know you are worth more. Your current boss however offered you a figure and you said yes, you believed you were worth that much. Unfortunately you are horribly wrong. First of all, you are worth more than any sum of money, however we don't get paid in anything other than money. Well 99% of us anyway! Secondly, whatever you earn now can be improved. I don't care if somebody is making $10 million a year, they can still do better, the sky is the limit, and you just hit your imaginary ceiling and don't bother raising it.

If you want to know the reasons why you are not raising that ceiling, then I want you to take your salary/hourly rate and multiply it by 5, now ask yourself why you aren't making that? You'll soon have a bunch of negative answers and those reasons. I'm sure you are aware of some people on salary who make $500 + per hour. I know two, and do you know what? It's normal for them. That's right, normal. It's not a big deal to them anymore. While somebody in your situation sees that as ridiculous, they think the same about you, how could anybody work the same 60 minutes for something far less. You need to raise that imaginary ceiling like they did and work through the reasons and excuses you found in answering my question.

In a nutshell I want you to decide that you want to earn more and begin to find ways to do so.

You need to make that decision and give yourself permission to ask for a lot more. If your current line of work cannot offer that, then it's time for a career change.

I am not going to go into detail here about how to feel comfortable with yourself in charging 5 times what you currently do, as there will be other posts in the future to help you with that. It's something you are free to email me about too. What I need you to do now is get into the right mindset and make that decision that you deserve more first. I don't bother with people who are unsure and uncommitted. Show me you have taken 100% responsibility, made the mental shift, read those articles and emailed me. And no I don't want your money for those articles or to email me. I'm not here to make money from you, I'm here to help you.

Stop holding yourself back.

Reading up to here has proven that you want change and have had enough of living from paycheck to paycheck.

Are you ready to move on up?


We are not born with the ability to budget for wealth and security, it is a talent we must learn. For all of you that are in a bit of a grind I encourage you to read this and put it into action. I hope you can learn a few things from this post and invite you to read the article on my blog @ along with other self help articles.

Source: EzineArticles
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