Sophia Young 4m 1,010 #paycheck
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Getting stuck in the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle is never a fun thing to do, and it’s a tiring cycle that brings stress and desperation to those experiencing it. The real question that matters, though, is this:
How can you break the chain and get out of this never-ending loop?
There are several reasons why you can’t seem to stop living paycheck to paycheck. For one, you may not be earning enough money to cover your basic expenses. Or you may be spending too much money on non-essential items. Or, you may have debt that you’re struggling to pay off.
Inflation and the high cost of living can also contribute to the situation. A June 2022 report from CNBC reveals that 58% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, spurred by high housing costs and surging gasoline and food prices.
The first three reasons entail a more personal level of involvement, and there are various ways you can try to address them. The last one, on the other hand, is on a larger scale and involves a country’s economic state – making it harder to control or predict.
Nevertheless, the usual result is the same – barely making ends meet, which cascades to not being able to save money for your dream of having financial stability.
You’re breaking your back to stay afloat. But amidst the rising prices of almost every type of goods in the market, wages that remain relatively stagnant just won’t cut it. Here are a few tips on increasing monthly income that you might find helpful:
Get a side hustle.
If your salary’s not proportionate to your expenses, leading you closer and closer to negative balance and debt, perhaps it’s time to consider finding an additional source of income. Maximize whatever resources you have. Do you have your car or motorcycle? Try ridesharing or perhaps food delivery.
Also, take advantage of the internet! There are tons of postings for freelance work on the web, whether it be for writing, graphic design, or data entry. You’ll surely be able to find something that suits your interests and skills. Requires time and effort, but hey, which job doesn’t?
There’s nothing wrong with negotiating a salary raise if you’re an excellent employee who’s been in the company for more than a year. If you’re a diligent worker who gets the job done and accomplishes tasks efficiently, there’s no reason for your request not to be approved.
You can also try applying for open positions that are higher than your current role in the company if you’re confident you fit the job description well.
Gauge if you have any hobbies that you can potentially monetize. Do you love playing online games and are pretty skilled at it? Try game streaming on Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube platforms.
Do you have a passion for the arts or making handicrafts? You can accept art commissions or put up your creations online and sell them.
Clothes, books, gadgets, and any other items you’re ready to let go of – but in good or good-as-new condition, of course – can be sold online to help you earn a little extra. A lot of people do this by listing their items on platforms like Amazon and Craigslist.
This means either going back to school for a master’s or a doctorate or earning certifications for upskilling online. Learning or improving a skill means ramping up your qualifications, thus increasing your career advancement opportunities. The more valuable you are to your employer, the more likely they are to give you a raise.
If you’re worried about not having the funds for schooling, you can look for postgraduate loans you can avail yourself of. Student loans are considered ‘good debt’ since it has low interest and is used to increase your value in the long run, making it possible for you to build wealth using debt.
For online certifications, there’s a wide selection of sites that offer both free and paid courses, such as Google Skillshop, LinkedIn Learning, and SkillShare.
Here are some money-saving hacks to get you through the headache-inducing process of handling your income.
List everything down based on level of importance. Which ones need to be settled first? Whether it be the rent, the utility bills, the food expenses, or the debts, making a budget plan helps you track your cash flow and see where you can cut back.
Not paying monthly services like electricity, internet, and phone services can cause late fees, or even put you at risk of disconnection. In the case of the latter and you want to get these services back, you would have to unnecessarily spend on the reconnection costs.
Due dates ahead of payday? There are deposit accounts that allow you to get paid earlier than your scheduled payday, so you can settle your bills early.
Spend less on non-essentials, and focus more on those you need. Do not spend more than you earn. You can be more economical by doing little things like packing your lunch for work instead of eating out or saving money through coupons and rebates.
No matter how little, set aside a portion of your monthly income. Savings accounts earn interest, so your funds are not only secure but can also accumulate over time.
It’s also good to have a separate emergency fund. This can lessen your stress in case there are unexpected expenses that you need to take care of.
There’s no instant solution to escape the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. But when you work hard to find ways to augment your income and handle finances wisely, you’re bound to see progress and sooner or later succeed.