With more than 50% of Americans workers living paycheck to paycheck it’s easy to see how people are trying to figure out how to stop being broke all the time. There is no one size fits all solution to this problem, however, there are a few steps you can take to put yourself back on the right financial track and possibly ride the gravy train for a long while.
I’m sure you know the story. You can’t pay your bills on time so you take out extensions on some of them such as the electric bill, you have trouble gathering up money to go eat out once every two or three weeks, and some unexpected expense always seems to come up at the last minute where it burns holes in your pockets. Ouch!
If this is you, you shouldn’t feel all alone. In fact, far more than three-fourths of all Americans are seriously broke at one time or another. In fact, many people have been broke for years and some have been in this unfortunate situation since they were born!
How did they get there? What went wrong? Is it because they were unemployed for a while and once they got back on track they weren’t able to meet their obligations and have been trying to catch up ever since? Is it because they are employed but they overspend on way too many luxuries?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of living paycheck to paycheck. You can stop being broke by making some lifestyle changes in your household and playing it smart. It's time to break the cycle of being without enough money all the time; all it takes is an unexpected expense to pop up where you have no choice but to pay it and it seems like the walls come crumbling down a few days later.
You try your best to get out of this hole without any luck, usually because there’s just not enough income to cover your expenses. If that’s the case, then I’m sorry to break the news; you’re going to have to get a higher-paying job or a part-time job on the side if you want to stop being broke. If not, you might as well just throw in the towel and be broke all the time.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who has occasionally been overspending and you can’t meet your financial obligations, then you know exactly where the problem lies.
To escape the endless cycle of being broke you have to put yourself in the right frame of mind and start seriously tracking your finances. You can also get a credit card to and pay a couple of bills to give yourself a little breathing room while you re-structure your finances. Consider the Horizon Gold card; it's easy to get and gives you a nice amount of credit even if you think your credit is not very good.
You can start by sacrificing some of the luxuries you have on a daily basis such as that expensive cable TV set up, excessive use of electricity in your household, running the water more often than necessary, and cutting back on many other things in your house you call “necessities.” An overhaul like this can oftentimes save the average family between $200 – $400 a month but everybody has to work together for this to happen.
If you’re not making enough money with your current position, then it’s time to put your career in high gear. Start looking for other jobs within your company that pay more or consider leaving that position altogether when you find a new higher-paying job with another company.
People don’t like change and I know it’s hard for you to consider leaving your current position but stop and think for a moment; are you being paid what you are worth? Do you see your current position as a dead-end job with hardly any chance to increase your pay? Only you will know when it’s time to get out but don’t do it until you have another job lined up. If possible, why not try to renegotiate your salary or wages? This is something that 80% of us never do even though it never hurts to ask!
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, why not start a business of your own online? It requires hardly any investment at all, just your time. It beats the heck out of getting a part-time job and being a slave to two jobs just to make ends meet and have a little bit of money left over, doesn’t it?
Be smart when you have unexpected situations arise. For example, if you have an old friend who wants to go out with you and you know you’re going to end up spending far more money than you need to, why not invite that same friend over to your house and cut the costs substantially?
When you do go out, try to engage in free activities; they are virtually everywhere in every town. You don’t have to spend much money to have a picnic in the park, take a walk in the park, or to engage in some type of physical activities such as bicycle riding or walking.
Barbecues at your house don’t have to feature T-bone steak or baby back ribs! You can host a little party complete with a barbecue and put some Bubba burgers on the grill and have everybody bring their own drinks. In the end, you will have spent $20 – $30 and you’ll still have a great time without breaking your bank. As matter fact, once it’s a success, you’ll see that you can do it more often. Hence, you’ll want to party on a regular basis. Just don’t overdo it and get back to square one!
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