Celebrate America Saves Week and Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 2023
First things first: Have you heard of “America Saves Week?” The idea behind this important awareness campaign is to encourage Americans to save, but what if you’re living paycheck to paycheck? Is that you? If it is, how much money do you put away every payday if you can do it in the first place?
If your New Year’s resolution was a better financial future, how’s that going for you? Are you saving less and less because you’re financially stretched thin?? You’re not alone. A national survey found 66% of Americans made a financial New Year’s resolution. However, 81% of those individuals believe inflation will force them to break it.
Inflation shouldn’t crush economic confidence that easily, but a good stiff wind can make wage earners topple over these days. According to CNBC, 63% of all Americans share they are “living paycheck to paycheck.” Sound familiar?
How to Start Saving with Confidence
Thomas Jefferson said, “Never spend your money before you have earned it.” That’s how credit cards work for many families because money is rarely in your pocket when the impulse strikes.
Lauded billionaire and philanthropist Warren Buffett said: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”
The problem is that freedom from acute financial stress begins with having money to cushion a fall. Life throws detours in our paths, like a car breaking down or losing a job. When that happens, what do you do? Your blood pressure races, and not sleeping well. That restlessness is caused by resources needing to be there when you need money.
You didn’t save, and now, there’s nowhere to turn. No one needs to live in that scenario to empathize with those who do. However, this is why “America Saves Week” is essential–reminding Americans that a small monthly sacrifice will have an enormous benefit when you least expect it.
A path to savings doesn’t have to create unnecessary detours or drive onto the shoulder and into an economic ditch. Living paycheck to paycheck feels like that, but like a GPS, we have a different route to share with you. It’s the same one we share with our clients.
So, turn right and go straight!
How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
That’s the problem with not being able to save money each month. Everyone who isn’t experiencing the same financial stress you do can do it–they save money! How?!
Groceries cost more. Gas costs more than that. Inflation doesn’t help at all. And that promotion you want doesn’t seem to be in your future. You may have many questions about debt. We have answers, but this new journey with money begins with belief.
Breaking the cycle and pedaling toward prosperity and financial wellness is possible. Our financial planners and experts have a few tips that may propel you in that direction. Living paycheck to paycheck is possible. While it may feel that way, a few adjustments in your life could bring you the financial peace you desire. Follow these tips, and you’ll see.
The beginning of any budget starts with understanding what you “want” and what you “need.” If you want to cut costs, start with all the extras. Do you need to go out to eat that much? Are all those sales online worth shopping that much? Shouldn’t using a credit card be a privilege and not a hassle? Make this step your first.
If you’re not big on saving money, start now. Pay your bills and pay yourself. Create a routine for each check you get. That way, a specific amount goes into savings without fail. Don’t use that money. Keep it for emergencies. You may be surprised how much you have left over for saving once you trim down what you want but don’t need.
If you have a “9-to-5,” but that’s not your passion, maybe there is room to make that hobby more beneficial to your finances. If you have a “side hustle,” it requires more work. However, it won’t feel like a hassle if that additional job is doing something you love to do. You’ll enjoy it and maybe finally start getting paid to do it.
Have you ever heard of “lifestyle creep?” That’s when you stop feeling the paycheck to paycheck style of living and notice you have a little extra change in your pocket. That is not a license to spend. If you allow that new lifestyle to creep up on you, there is no chance you will break the cycle of debt. Just because you make more doesn’t mean you should spend more.
Last but certainly not least, learn to relax. How you live now creates stress, and much of it is stuff that feels impossible. You can live with less stress and a little more money. If you have an ultimate goal, make that the reason you’re saving. If you do, that will also be why you can sleep better at night and breathe easier during the day.