5 tips can help prevent living paycheck to paycheck

Published: Monday, Oct. 1 2012 11:42 a.m. MDT

More than two-thirds of people are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a new survey, but some tips can help stop the cycle.

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Sixty-eight percent of Americans feel it would be somewhat to very difficult to get by if a paycheck were a week or more late, which means more than two-thirds are living paycheck to paycheck, according to The Christian Science Monitor, citing a survey by the American Payroll Association.

While living from paycheck to paycheck can be a hard habit to break, several steps can help break the cycle, wrote Angela Colley, a writer for Money Talks News.

Step 1: Set long-term goals

This involves looking into a realistic budget and setting financial goals for yourself. Goals can include starting an emergency fund, improving your credit score or saving money for a necessity down the road. This provides direction that better guides your spending choices.

Step 2: Budget for savings

In addition to tracking all expenses for the upcoming month, set aside some money for savings.

Step 3: Keep track of your spending

Small stuff adds up fast. Use spreadsheets or other software to track your expenses so you know what spending you can eliminate or reduce.

Step 4: Cut replaceable expenses

Cable TV, gym memberships and magazine subscriptions are just some of many luxuries that could be replaced by free or cheaper alternatives. The money saved could go toward paying down a loan or into a vacation fund.

Step 5: Having fun doesn’t always cost money

Go to a nearby tourism office and make a list of the free activities that are offered locally.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

TWITTER: @SeanRParker

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