How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck and Save Money

Ashwin Honawar

Updated on:

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck and Save Money

Most of us have lived paycheck to paycheck at some point in life. While a few of us were living paycheck to paycheck due to lower income, others did the same despite having bigger pay.

In fact, for millions of Americans as well as persons around the world, living paycheck to paycheck has been a lifestyle for long. Most of them don’t see any other way to live and use their money. Yet, there are countless persons that successfully overcome the malady of living from paycheck to paycheck.

Let’s see how in this article.

Myths of Living between Paychecks

Regardless of whether our income was low or high, almost all of us lived paycheck-to-paycheck because of a single reason: We lacked money management skills and were reckless spenders. Some of us justified living paycheck to paycheck because we felt our pay was too low.

Others didn’t care about where their money went. If you belong to any of these categories of persons, you’re not alone. Countless people here in the US and abroad live this way, as I mentioned earlier.

At the same time, there are millions of persons in the US who earn a small pay but choose not to live paycheck to paycheck. There are others who earn a lot and have given up living paycheck to paycheck.

Would you like to join the ranks of persons who no longer live from paycheck to paycheck? Do you also wish to have some savings and make your money work for you to grow?

If your answers to both my above questions are “yes,” then continue reading. In this article, I will discuss various ways to break that vicious cycle of living from paycheck to paycheck, saving money and making it grow.

Ways to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Since you wish to stop living paycheck to paycheck and save money, here’s something important: The journey to get out of this whirlpool isn’t an easy one. It takes some time and practice.

Yet, I’m confident that you can stop this kind of lifestyle and instead, enjoy a better one where you don’t have to wait for your paycheck and also have enough savings, over a period of time. And trust me, this journey is enjoyable despite some hurdles you may encounter at the start.

Now let’s explore the ways that I’ve been speaking about.

1. Create Your Budget

Create Your Budget

Creating a budget is your first step towards getting off from the paycheck to paycheck life. If you already have a budget, it will need some radical revision.

Understand that a budget is not merely a list of how much money you will spend on something. Instead, it is an expression of your intention to stay within limits that you can afford.

To create a superb budget, download any of the free or paid budgeting apps that’s available on Google Play or App Store. You can start with a free one, like most people do.

These apps come with a feature that allows you to set a budget under specific heads such as food, housing, entertainment, education and so on.

You can create own heads too on such apps, according to your specific needs. Allot a specific sum of money under each of these heads. Make sure that the money isn’t too much or too little. You can know that by taking an estimate of how much money you spend on food and other essentials.

Most of these apps have an alarm or alert feature. That means, you will automatically get alerts whenever you’re about to cross a specific budget or have finished the amount of money allotted under that head. That way, you can immediately grasp where you were spending more money unnecessarily.

Having a budget will also help identify hidden expenses that you took as normal. For example, it will expose how much money you’re spending on cable TV, dining out, alcohol, tobacco and other stuff that’s not really necessary.

I’m not asking you to give up completely on small pleasures in life. The only thing I am saying is to limit such expenses because they serve no purpose in the long run.

Also Read: How to Calculate Cost of Living? Compare and Rank

2. Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions

Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions

The second best way to save money is to cancel all those unwanted subscriptions. Some surveys indicate that an average American household spends $219 on subscriptions while others spend as high as $886.

This depends on which survey you choose to believe. Even if you’re spending on subscriptions is minimal, find out whether that expense is truly justified by your usage.

For example, you could be subscribing to cable TV channel bundles or packages that you seldom watch. Cable TV providers craftily combine several unwanted channels with popular ones.

You end up paying for both- the ones you wish to see and the other ones too. If you’re not watching that channel and yet paying, discontinue the subscription. The same holds true for magazines, gym memberships and other fancy stuff that works on a subscription basis.

Netflix, Amazon Prime and lots more. These are subscriptions most Americans have. Yet, if you’re not using them to get the full value of the money spent, discontinue these services and save money. Also, look for cheaper options because there are several such available in the US.

Also Read:

3. Use Discount Codes and Coupons

Use Discount Codes and Coupons

There’s a lot of money to be saved on groceries and household goods if you use discount codes and coupons. These are freely available online and also thee giant megastores have promos and special offers almost daily. The only flipside here is you’ll have to look for such coupons and discount codes almost daily.

Using coupons, you can slash your bills on groceries and other household stuff by as much as five to 10 percent, on certain products. It does pay to look around online on various stores to find what’s available cheaper.

In fact, there are certain days on which certain stores come up with good discounts on various food products and other essentials. You can decide to shop for such items on those days of the week and save money.

Also Read: How To Get Free Food Delivered With No Money? 10 Ways

4. Use Cashback Apps and Websites

Use Cashback Apps And Websites

Websites such as and and their apps provide you cashbacks when you shop from stores they feature or when you upload grocery bills.

These cashbacks are available only for qualifying brands and products. However, you can easily get two per cent to five per cent cashbacks through these apps.

The cashback is paid into your account. That means you can’t withdraw the money. Instead, you can use it to pay for future shopping and save the cash at hand.

The amount you save might not look appealing at the start. However, when you add up the figures over a few months or even a year, you’ll surely be surprised to know how much savings you’ve got.

Another way to get cashbacks is through websites that offer price matches. This means, that if you find the same product with the same specs at a lower price elsewhere but you’ve paid more, that store will pay back the extra amount to your account. Check out for stores that offer price matching. This can be an exciting way to browse for products and save money.

Buying bulk could prove to be another solution to saving money. Bulk or wholesale purchases could help slice as much as 30 per cent off your household bills. But to make it successful, it’s better to share the bulk purchases with someone you know, lest they expire and go useless.

5. Start Freelancing & Side Gigs

Start Freelancing & Side Gigs

If you can provide some of your skills outside regular work hours, start freelancing. There are various ways to freelance. The first is by enrolling on any of the top freelance platforms including, and, among others. Or, by offering your services through Facebook Marketplace and local contacts.

You can also look for side gigs from apps such as Gig Walk. They have small gigs available almost 24-7. All you need to do is download the app and keep your location services switched on. You can come across demands for lots of motley tasks and handyperson services. You can take any task you like and get paid. Dog walking and pet sitting jobs are also available on apps such as Rover and Woof.

This involves getting outside your comfort zone. It involves labouring for a couple of hours or more per day to earn those coveted greenbacks. That means less time for TV and other futile pastimes such as playing games on your mobile phone.

6. Kickstart Your Investments

Kickstart Your Investments

Kickstart your investment journey. It’s a sheer myth that investing in stock markets or cryptocurrencies, commodities and forex needs a lot of money. Download apps such as Acorns or Robinhood.

They allow you to launch your investment journey with as low as $5. The good news is that they offer a $5 bonus when you make the first transaction or, sometimes, offer a full stock of some company.

The free versions of these apps will provide some basic investment advice. The paid ones provide comprehensive guides on investments in the stock market.

The stock market is the fastest way to become rich. I know that there are flipsides to the stock market too because sometimes, there are severe dips. However, the American stock markets have a history of resilience and always bounce back. That way, you don’t really lose money.

7. Make a Financial Plan

Make a Financial Plan

Once you take these steps, it’s easy to see how much money can be saved every month. Of course, this will be seen only after the first month. That’s the time to make a financial plan for yourself and the household.

Decide where you would wish to stand financially in the next three months, six months and at the end of the year. How much money would you realistically like to have in your account or invested?

Work towards this financial plan and goal by stepping up savings in simple ways. For one, you can declutter your home and wardrobe and invest the money to grow and achieve your financial goals. Or, you can do some extra side gigs.

There are lots of ways to save money once you have a financial plan and goal set in mind. Discuss these plans and goals with your family and seek cooperation.

8. Maintain Superb Health

Maintain Superb Health

Poor health and illness are the greatest enemy of every single plan to save and invest money. That’s because of heavy out of the pocket medical expenses that Americans have to bear despite having elaborate healthcare plans and insurances.

On average, an American household spends $1,249 per year as out of the pocket expenses on medicines and other essentials due to ordinary or chronic illness. This money can be saved if you maintain superb health and encourage family members to do so too.

Maintaining superb health isn’t something difficult. Nor does it involve going to expensive gyms or sports clubs. Simple habits such as jogging, bicycling or running and walking are more than enough to keep your family members and you healthy.

Combine that with a healthy diet and chances are that you won’t suffer from any major lifestyle related illness for years to come. Instead, you will enjoy a superior quality of life.

Points to Remember

Follow these eight steps to stop living paycheck to paycheck and save money. However, there’re some more points to remember too. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the famous bestseller, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, extolls:

“Before you can convert your wallet from poor to rich, change your mindset from poor to rich.” With these words, Kiyosaki implies that we need to stop thinking like poor persons and adopt some of the money habits of the rich.

Similarly, Warren Buffet, the American billionaire and founder of Berkshire-Hathaway says: “Some things take time. You can’t get a baby in one month by making nine women pregnant.” With this humorous quote, Warren Buffet implies that getting wealthy is a slow and steady process that takes time. There’re no quick-fix solutions to getting rich.

I recommend you read about some of the things that rich persons never waste their money on. These include lottery tickets, branded products, expensive dinners and pricey cars as well as opulent gifts, to name a few. Some of us are tempted to splurge on these things, regardless of our affordability.


If we simply look around our household, calculate our income and check our expenses, it’s possible to find several avenues to save money.  Nobody’s asking you to cut corners or live frugally.

However, getting out of that interminable vortex of living paycheck to paycheck to start saving does require astute budgeting and financial planning. Without these, even the most ardent plans to get rich are destined for failure.

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