Can You Afford to Miss Your Next Paycheck?

Living hand-to-mouth is never enjoyable. But when the economy is struggling, changing jobs isn’t easy, and layoffs seem all too possible, living paycheck to paycheck can feel even scarier. What if your next paycheck didn’t come as expected? How long could you get by without it?

Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to better your situation and reduce your financial risk.

Consider implementing these strategies to make your financial situation more secure:

1. Reduce your expenses. No one likes to cut back, but reducing expenses is a really fast way to have more money left over at the end of every month.

* Look at all the things you’re spending money on that you don’t really need. Do you eat out frequently? Do you have cable television? How many cars do you own?

* Really take some time and think about what you could do without. Maybe moving to a smaller house or apartment would make sense right now. After all, once you have some emergency money set aside, you can always move back to a bigger place.

2. Increase your income. You could do lots of things to earn extra money.

* Consider asking for a raise. It might seem like a bad time to ask your boss for more money, but good employees are always critical to a company’s success. Don’t underestimate your value.

* A part-time job is another option and, in some situations, this can be a good plan. Maybe you can find some work to do at home in the evenings.

* Even walking the neighbor’s dogs, babysitting, mowing lawns or shovelling snow for your elderly neighbors could bring in some extra income on a regular basis.

3. Take responsibility. Although your current situation may very well be someone else’s fault, blaming others isn’t helpful. Even if your predicament isn’t your fault, solving your financial challenges is still your responsibility. After all, who else is going to fix the situation for you?

* Responsibility isn’t about fixating on the past or blaming yourself. Instead, it means taking back control of yourself and your situation. And while you can’t have power over every little circumstance that pops up, you can always choose to respond effectively.

4. Decide that you and your family deserve better. Circumstances rarely change without a decision being made first. Commit to having to a better financial life, whatever it takes.

* At the end of the day, most people earn what they believe they deserve to earn. Almost undoubtedly, there are many people out there with less intelligence and fewer skills than you who are earning more money than you are. Why is this? Primarily because they believe they deserve to earn more.

* You wouldn’t take a job that paid half as much as you’re making now, because you believe you deserve to earn more. What if you thought in your heart that you deserved to earn another $25,000 a year? You can be pretty sure that you’d be out there finding a way to get it and you wouldn’t stop until you did.

It can be a challenge to stop living paycheck to paycheck, but the solutions are relatively simple. Try implementing the practical tips above to enjoy greater financial security and experience a less stressful, more fulfilling life.

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