Tired of Being Broke? How to Break the Cycle of Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck

break the cycle of being broke

So you’re tired of being broke? You hate living paycheck-to-paycheck and want to change. Well, the first step towards changing your life and gaining control of your finances is to admit you want to change, and acknowledging how much you need to change.

Only you have the power to change your financial situation.

When it comes to life, money and even being your own boss, no one can change your mindset but you. So, what happens when you finally figure out you want to change and you’re sick and tired of being normal and broke?

Where do you go from there?

We all get stuck inside this rat race called life. Going around and around on our wheel like a caged hamster. We are moving forward, but never progressing. Here’s how to break the cycle of being normal and broke.

1. Be prepared to take action

The amount of effort and thought you put into changing, is the amount of results you will see. In other words, if you don’t apply yourself to changing your financial habits and only put in a mediocre amount of effort, the results you’ll see will also be mediocre.

Maybe that’s what you’ve experienced in the past after trying to change your finances, and failing. But this time has to be different!

You have to change your mindset to be ready for a radical change and not care what other people think. This is the only way to see the drastic changes you’re hoping for and to stop the cycle of being broke.

However, this kind of change takes courage. Essentially, you have to be a phenomenal person living in a nominal world. And that’s a tough thing to do.

Once you decide you don’t want to be normal anymore, that’s when you’ll see more positive results in your finances. It’s time to stop being average and embrace that fact that you can change and you will.

Yes, it’s painful. It takes effort and sacrifice, but it’s worth it.

You won’t change until you’re sick of being broke, enough to start taking action. I know we are all discouraged and tired of being broke. Have you had enough?

If you’re unhappy with your job, then why don’t you quit? It’s completely pointless to do the same things, over and over but expect to see different results. Are you ready to take action?

2. Know your type of money problem

There are only two ways to stop being broke; you have to spend less than you make, or increase your bottom line. Do you have a spending problem, or an income problem. Or both?

Spending wisely is a major part of experiencing financial freedom, but spending less has it’s limits. There is only so much you can cut back on, before you have to start earning more money. This is where having a side hustle, or taking on freelance work comes in.

Determine what kind of money problem you have and then take steps to remedy it.

If you have a spending problem:

  • Go on a spending challenge – For the next 14 days (or 30 or 60, however long you want to) vow to go on a spending challenge where you’re only allowed to use cash, or a direct debit from our checking account, to pay for all your expenses. You could even go on a spending fast where you don’t buy anything besides essentials for a certain period of time.
  • Start budgeting mindfully – My business partner, Cait from Blonde on a Budget, has an awesome budgeting program called, Mindful Budgeting. It’s a money planner that helps you become more mindful with your money. It can also help you create a budget for the first time. You can track your spending and see what’s leftover at the end of the month.

If you have an income problem:

  • Take on extra work – Ask your boss for some overtime at work or talk to your co-workers about taking over work for them. If that’s not an option, take on a weekend gig working somewhere locally. When I needed more income I took on a night and weekend job at a local tax office. Look for local jobs on Craigslist and the classifieds.
  • Start a freelance side hustle  – In addition to my night and weekend job I also started freelancing a bit in my spare time (yes, I ended up working pretty much non-stop for about 14 months). What skills do you have that you can offer as a freelance writer, consultant, virtual assistant or social media expert? Look over your resume and see what you can use as a lateral skill to start a freelance side hustle.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Your income potential is only limited by your mindset and your skills. You really can earn as much money as you want! I truly believe that. But you have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Be confident in your abilities and find help for the areas you’re not so confident in. It’s not bad to have confidence in your career and to be good at your job.

I’m very good at what I do, and I’m worth every penny that I’m paid as a freelance writer. I’m constantly learning, trying to be better and improving. But I also work my butt off.

I’m diligent, focused and I make sacrifices. I don’t take many holiday or vacation days and I’m a hard worker. I’m dependable and honest, but that comes at a price.

character shine tough times quote

4. Push past the fear

When was the last time you did something that was scary and just a little crazy (in a good way)? Exactly. For me that’s a very rare occurrence, because I like to play it safe.

But how do we know we’ll fail if we don’t try? We limit ourselves with fear, insecurity and by not making the necessary sacrifices. What is the price you are willing to pay for financial freedom? Nothing in life is free. So if you aren’t paying with money you’re paying in time.

Back in 2011, I told one of my friends that I wanted to start a blog so I could start earning money on the side. I’ve always loved writing and both my parents have written and published books, and are fascinating speakers. I guess it’s in my blood.

My friend thought I was crazy, especially since I didn’t know very much about writing, blogging or the technical parts of running an online business. But I didn’t let that stop me. All I knew is that I wanted to try, and then I took action.

I’ve made some mistakes, and will continue to make them as I travel down this road. It’s been something I dreamed of doing but never thought I was good enough.

But I pushed past the fear and I jumped off the hamster wheel. I made a decision to start changing. So go ahead and try something new. Take a leap of faith, because you will never know until you try.

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