If you don’t follow many financial rules, getting by paycheck to paycheck is not a fun way to live. Nor can you really expect to change your situation, unless you adopt some new and smarter ways of dealing with money. When it comes to personal finance, let logic rule and learn to live by simple rules that will really help you end the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle of doom.
The most important financial rule is to spend less than you earn
This may sound simple enough, but most people don’t do it. Figure out what you are making and cut spending so that you are not in the red every month. Interest and penalties on credit cards add up to a whole lot of money, once you’re finished paying through credit or past due.
Pay yourself first
Chances are good that if you leave all of your earnings in the same account you use to pay bills, you will find some way to spend it all. Set yourself up with an exclusive savings account that is strictly for you and keep adding to it with every paycheck. Otherwise, you are likely to burn right through your money. Especially with automatic deductions, and how easy it is to lose track of funds with a debit card.
Establish an emergency fund
This can be difficult when you are barely getting by, but start small with modest deposits. The money will eventually add up and you can use it to avoid paying a bill late or other emergency expense like your car breaking down. This fund will also give your financial self-esteem a much-needed boost. The most important part of this is to not tap into your emergency fund, or borrow from it. Your progress will quickly be erased, and you will be back to square one.
Write up a budget to sort out your financial position
List everything you earn and everything you need to buy and try and limit your cash flow to only those purchases. Frivolous spending really adds up, especially if you’re not keeping track of it. Create a strict budget and exercise some self-discipline; it’s the only way you’re going to work your way out. Be sure to have realistic expectations of what you can and cannot afford. One app that has helped with budgeting is TrueBill.
Review your cell phone plan and cable bill
Figure out all the extra things you are paying out for but don’t use. Premium channels cost a small fortune, so does having unlimited everything on your phone. Trim down these expenses to the bare minimum and use the savings wisely. With all the streaming services, ask yourself what you really need to have, and what you would consider to be gratuitous.
Don’t buy into advertising hype
Most ads try and convince you that you really “must” have some item, when in fact, you don’t. Even though you may see everyone you know rushing out to get their hands on this hot new gadget or cool new product, resist! Just sift through your closet or “junk” drawer and see all the things you’ve already bought that you rarely (if ever) get any use out of. You do not need to run out and by the latest shoes, or cell phone, especially when your current cell phone works just fine. Too many people fall into this trap, follow this financial rule and do not become a victim to trends.
Supplement your primary income
Even if you just get a temporary position or a side hustle that brings in a few extra hundred dollars for a few weeks, having a second job is a fast shot in the arm financially. If possible, get something permanent that will fit into your lifestyle and schedule and make it a part of your economic recovery. You can quickly pay off high-interest loans and credit cards, and then start building a nice nest-egg for yourself and/or family. It’s worth putting in the extra hours in exchange for the enormous reduction in stress that you have to endure!
Side hustle ideas that pay
In the spirit of the financial rule to have more money coming in than going out, here are some side hustles that may just be the thing for you.
There are several websites available where you can pick up freelance writing jobs. (Such as Fiverr and Upwork) These sites will help protect you from scammers. Overtime, as your experience grows you can be bolder in asking for higher rates and more difficult jobs. The opportunities are endless, and you can start writing your own blogs and books to bring in even more income.
You could start your own consulting business. If you are an expert in a specific topic, then this might be a wonderful opportunity for you. You can help others find the opportunities that are right for them. The most important skill is going to be networking. You will need to keep a good influx of new clients knocking on your office door. LinkedIn is a good place to begin networking professionally.
Start a daycare
If you have the right type of home, you can dedicate part of it to a daycare. This can be a great way to be able to stay home with your kids in their younger years. You can even have your friends start as your first clients. This will be more expensive than you would think as you will need lots of permits and other paperwork before you can get started. However, once you’ve got the bureaucracy under control this can really be a good opportunity for you.
Sell products online
One simple way you can start bringing in more money is to become a reseller. This is great for people who enjoy collecting or bargain finding. You will need to build a good online store on Ebay, Etsy or another similar site.
Additionally, you will need to spend a lot of time researching and learning the prices of items so you know when you go shopping that you will be able to make a reasonable profit on an item.
If you have extra free time there are options such as DoorDash, or Instacart if you want to pick up some delivery work. Another option, especially if you have a car you want to use, is Lyft or Uber. While this is not going to work for yourself, but you can decide when and how much you want to work.
Selling other people’s products online is simplified with affiliate marketing. Rather than dealing with your own inventory, you sell other company’s products and earn a commission. Most affiliate programs are free to join and offer a vast variety of products to market. For more information, go to our Affiliate Programs Page.
Are your ready to get ahead by following these financial rules?
There really is no in-between with money; you either have enough of it or you don’t. Adopt these personal finance measures in your own life, and finally take control of where you are headed. Find opportunities for additional income streams and you will be on the path to success.
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