Family life often creates stress and living paycheck-to-paycheck adds more. It makes you feel anxious about your financial situation. It also makes it hard to save, which can leave you vulnerable in case of a financial emergency. The best way to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck is to save, and being able to save starts with a monthly budget.
Keep in mind that progress comes in steps and big changes don’t happen overnight. But when you set goals, make a plan and stick to it, you set yourself up to win.
Focus on the short-term: Create a monthly budget
- Write down your family’s total take home pay for the month
- Track your expenses for a month, by reviewing bills and receipts, and identify ways to reduce or eliminate expenses wherever you can.
- Include a savings goal each month. It’s OK to start small just start saving.
- Develop a budget to account for all income and every expense.
- Set a goal to reduce household expenses. Every dollar saved equals a dollar earned.
- Create an emergency fund with a goal to set aside 3 to 6 months of salary. Make automatic deposits from each paycheck.