You already understand the importance of saving money, but it seems like it's all you can do to keep the bills paid each month. Living from paycheck to paycheck puts you in a precarious position if the car breaks down or an unexpected medical bill pops up. Learning how to manage your bills and put money away for the future will help relieve the stress and worry that living from paycheck to paycheck can create.
Live within your means. Many people buy houses, cars and other items based on what they believe their income will grow to be in future months or years. Living within your current means will keep you from going under if you get laid off, ill or injured and cannot work for awhile. Keep your housing and vehicle expenses low enough not to put a strain on your budget.
Reduce your credit card debt. Paying off high interest credit cards by making more than the minimum payment each month will help you relax once the debt is paid. Stop using them until you clear the balances. After you get the balances paid off, only use the credit cards when necessary, and pay the balance in full each month.
Eat at home. Eating out can take a large portion of your weekly income. Eating breakfast before you leave for work, bringing lunch to the office and fixing dinner at home most evenings will help save money that you can put into a savings account.
Make a monthly budget that includes a savings account. If you treat your savings like a bill you will be less tempted to spend that money or put it off each payday. Determine how much you will contribute from each paycheck to the savings account and don't let anything interfere with making the deposits.
Look in unexpected areas to save money. For example, increasing the deductible on your car insurance will reduce your premiums. Getting a library card or joining a book sharing group instead of buying books will give you more money to put into savings. Evaluate your cell phone plan to be sure you are getting the best rates. If not, change plans as soon as your contract allows it.
Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.