How to stop living from paycheck to paycheck

An 11 step guide to help you get unstuck

“Financial success is not a hard science. It’s a soft skill, where how you behave is more important than what you know.” — Morgan Housel

What does living paycheck to paycheck mean?

Living from paycheck to paycheck means using all your monthly income to cover your expenses, including debts, leaving no money for savings or investments. It’s a reality for a lot of people who do not have a financial plan or financial awareness .

How I broke the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck

If I heard my client’s story in 2017 or 2018, I’d have responded with a loud ‘me too mahn, me too!’

“To grasp why people bury themselves in debt you don’t need to study interest rates; you need to study the history of greed, insecurity, and optimism.” — Morgan Housel

How to stop living from paycheck to paycheck

1. Get a clear picture of exactly where you stand financially

The first step is to own your mess.

2. Stop spending on anything that is not a need.

You are living from paycheck to paycheck because the gap between how much you earn and how much you spend is worlds apart. You’re living beyond your means. You need to close that gap.

3. Budget and record all your expenditures

A friend of mine who has trouble sticking to his budget and controlling his expenditures gave up on my ‘record all your expenditures’ advice after two days of trying. I wasn’t surprised.

4. Break the culture of silence and shame.

Did you know it’s easier for somebody to tell you they have a sexually transmitted infection than for them to talk about money?

“Shame isn’t a motivator of positive change. Yes, it can be used in the short term to change a behavior, but it’s like hitting a plastic thumbtack with a 100-pound anvil — there are consequences to the crushing.” Brene Brown

I have helped a lot of people with overcoming the shame associated with talking about money. If you’re struggling and would love to experience progress in your finances, I can be your accountability partner. Reach out

5. Build an emergency fund

You need to save money to act as a buffer in case of emergencies to prevent you from using your credit card or taking up any more loans.

6. Make more money

I do understand that this is easier said than done. That most of the articles and videos on the internet on how to build a passive income prove to be useless or impractical as soon as you start reading them.

  • I write personal finance articles, which proves to you and thousands of my readers that I know what I’m talking about.
  • People who read these articles would ask me questions about personal finance and investing.
  • Should I keep dishing free advice? Naah. People don’t take free advice seriously. And when it comes to their finances, they don’t act on it.

7. Visualize how your life would be if you stopped living from paycheck to paycheck

A lot of adults are so busy being busy that they do not take time to visualize how different their lives would be if they worked on key areas of their lives. Like your finance

8. Automate savings

“One of the causes of status quo bias is a lack of attention. Many people adopt what we call ‘yeah, whatever’ heuristic. A good illustration is the carryover effect in television viewing. Networks executives spend a lot of time working on scheduling because they know that a viewer who starts the evening on NBC tends to stay there. Since remote controls have been pervasive in this country for decades, the actual ‘switching’ costs in this context are literally one thumb press. But when one show ends and the next comes on, a surprisingly high number of viewers (implicitly) say, ‘yeah, whatever’ and keep watching. This also happens in automatic magazine subscriptions. Those who are in charge of circulation know that when renewal is automatic, and when people have to make a call to cancel, the likelihood of renewal is much higher than it is when people have to indicate that they actually want to continue to receive the magazine. The combination of loss aversion with mindless choosing implies that if an option is designated as ‘default,’ it will attract a larger market share. Default options thus act as powerful nudges.”

9. The quality of your inner circle matters

Do you have friends who become resentful, or feel threatened when you assert your financial priorities? Do you have friends who become insensitive when you say can’t afford something?

10. Audit finances on a monthly basis

If you’re going to succeed financially, you need to be hands-on about your finances. That means doing an audit of your finances regularly to be sure that you’re progressing towards financial freedom and moving further and further away from living from paycheck to paycheck.

11. Get help

Are you tired of saying you’ll do something about your finances but never do it?



Your voice of reason before you blow all your money this weekend!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store