How to Get Ahead If You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Part 2)

In the first article in the series, I covered eight things that might cause you to end up trapped in a paycheck to paycheck life.

In this second post, I’m going to show you a few things you can do to get your finances under control, stop spending more than you make, and end the paycheck to paycheck cycle for good.

If you read the last article, at this point you’ve probably figured out some of the top reasons why you’re struggling financially.

Once you understand those reasons, I explained that it was important to get your mindset right and take a deep, honest look at what is really causing the problem.

Those are the two things you absolutely must do before moving on to the strategies below that will help you ultimately solve your problem.


4 Tips To End the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle

Once you’ve reached this point in the process, there are four things you should be doing to get off the paycheck to paycheck treadmill (depending on your situation, you may need to do some or all of them):

  • Put Together a Plan- Lasting change is not going to happen without a solid plan.  Winging it just doesn’t work!  Make a written plan for how you’re going to get out of debt (Here’s how to do that), and then work that plan.  It’s very difficult to change your financial habits if you don’t have a plan.
  • Find Ways to Increase Your Income- Even if you’ve already cut expenses to the bone, sometimes it can still be hard to make ends meet.  The best way to fix that is to find ways to make more money in your present job, start a side gig, get a part time job, or even a combination of these.
  • Get Out of Debt ASAP- Debt is a choice.  It drains away your hard earned money through interest and fees, and prevents you from getting ahead financially.  Doing what it takes to become debt free is the best way to start becoming financially successful.  My get out of debt course can show you how.
  • Do a Monthly Budget- It’s impossible to truly know what you’re spending unless you keep track.  A monthly written budget helps you understand what’s coming in, what’s going out, and allows you to see where the money leaks  A budget is absolutely essential.


The Paycheck to Paycheck Life Stinks!

Most of us, especially those in the middle class, have been getting hammered for the last decade or so with stagnating wages and increasing prices.  But that’s no excuse for not being able to succeed financially.

You just have to take massive action and be diligent toward your goals.

You have to become relentless about learning how to overcome the paycheck to paycheck monster and keep it from rearing its ugly head ever again.



Have you been using any of these strategies to improve your finances?

Leave a comment and tell me what has worked and what hasn’t worked.



The “How Do You Get Out of Debt?” Series

More Money Won’t Solve Your Problems, Here’s What Actually Works

More Posts on Dealing With Debt

More Posts on Budgeting

More Posts on Money and Behavior

About Dr. Jason Cabler

8 Responses to “How to Get Ahead If You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Part 2)”

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  1. Gretchen says:

    This is great advice – both the first and second article! We were living paycheck to paycheck, but we’re slowly breaking out of the cycle. We are doing all 4 steps, making a plan, getting out of debt, increasing our income, and budgeting, all at the same time. I’m kind of type-a and very impatient, so I find that doing all of those things at once both keeps my busy and motivated.

    • That’s awesome that you’re doing all 4 steps at the same time! So many people do one or two steps and end up not making a lot of progress because they don’t want to work that hard.

      Kudos to you guys for hitting it hard and making a change!

      Thanks for the comment Gretchen!

  2. Melody says:

    This was a great two part series. Definitely needed. I recall when I was living the paycheck to paycheck life, and I never want to live that life again. This was a good reminder of why.

  3. So true about the budget! Another good strategy is to take on the occasional “boot camp” intensive frugality kick for a limited time – like a month or so. For example: for November, no restaurant meals; for May, gather all unused items in your home and hold a garage sale. These short bursts of frugality don’t need to be sustained, and they give a bit of a boost to what is a long term effort.

  4. Michelle says:

    This is some great advice to take advantage of. Being in debt has only caused us nightmares. It’s sickening to watch all of our payments be sucked into interest.

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