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How to stop living paycheck to paycheck

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck?  You're not alone, the average person whether single or married is in the same situation as you are. Although it may seem difficult to get out of what may seem like a bottomless pit, it can be done.  Here are some tips to help steer you toward the path of being debt free and stop living from paycheck to paycheck.

Pay off your highest interest debt first
Look at all of your debt, and start paying off the one with the highest first. This will most likely be a credit card.

Lower your interest
If you have a lot of debt on your credit card, call up your bank and have them change it to a lower interest credit card.

Create an emergency fund
By putting a little bit of money aside, even if it's only $25 every two weeks, you'll start an emergency fund in case you need some money fast. This will not only help you on your way to stop living paycheck to paycheck, but it will help relieve financial stress and help create a safety net so you don't have to panic and scramble if you need an emergency medical expense or car and house repairs.

Spend less money
It sounds obvious, but spending less will help you get out of debt and stop living paycheck to paycheck. Every time you going shopping you should be asking yourself "do I really need this?". If it's casual shopping then the answer is usually no.  Turn off the lights in a room when you're not using it, same goes for the television and video game console (see this post).

Track your spending
Tracking your spending and seeing what you actually spent money on in previous months will help you spend less money, especially on frivolous items.

Increase your income
What's the next best method to stop living paycheck to paycheck other than spending less? it's to make more money. Get a part time job, or work extra hours at your current job.

Create a budget and stick to it
Plan out all of your monthly expenses, you need to create a set budget including all of your expenses from housing and food to entertainment and gas for your car. This will help you to start saving money, paying off debt, and getting back on track with your finances.

Automate your bills
Automating bills to come out of your account at the same time each month really helps out with budgeting your money. It's money that you mentally expect to always come out, so there is no temptation to move it around, or misspend it.

Look at discretionary spending
Every time you're about to purchase something, ask yourself first if you really need the item and if it helps you achieve your longer-term financial goals. This will help reduce impulse purchases that you may regret later.

Start thinking about your goals, and planning for them
Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years, how soon do you want to retire?  Do you want to make a major purchase such as a house or vehicle in the near future?  These are questions that you have to ask yourself to get into the right financial mindset.