Get Ready to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Intro | GB 30: Break the Cycle

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Welcome to the challenge! This 30-day course is all about helping you break the cycle of paycheck to paycheck living. 

When you live paycheck to paycheck, you don’t have a one-month cushion in the bank to cover a full month’s worth of expenses. 

Not having that cushion means your finances are always hanging in the balance, creating a never ending cycle of worry and fear. It means that if your paycheck comes late, you’re at risk of overdrafting your checking account to pay for rent or utilities. It means that if an unexpected bill appears, your normal spending may be thrown off to cover it. It might even mean that some weeks, you can’t buy all the groceries you need.

Living this way is exhausting and it creates unnecessary stress on you. But since you’re here, you probably already know that to be true. You may have even tried breaking the cycle before. But as you may know, once you’re caught in this loop, it’s incredibly hard to get out. And the reality is, some of the reasons you’re stuck in this cycle may be out of your control

But even if the odds are stacked against you, there are ways to get out. And we believe that boosting savings to build a one-month cushion is a great way to do it. 

When you do have a cushion, you can breathe a little easier. You’re able to pay bills without having to time those expenses with your paychecks. You can buy groceries whenever you need to — even before your paycheck arrives! And if you’re already budgeting with Goodbudget, a cushion makes it possible for you to fill your Envelopes to full at the start of the month rather than having to partially fill them multiple times. Dogeman said, 

[Before Goodbudget], we didn’t have a good way to track our spending. There were times we were down to less than $20 in the bank by the time payday came around.

Now, we stay on the same page and can track every dollar. We’ve only used the app for about 4 months and have an excess in the bank at all times. We just saved up our $1000 emergency fund and have been paying down debt. The peace of mind has been tremendous.”

It’s clear that having a cash buffer offers some stability and reassurance. 

That sounds nice, right? 

As you take this course over the next 30 days, you’ll challenge yourself to hustle hard to create a plan to boost your savings, with the goal of building a one-month cushion and breaking the cycle of paycheck to paycheck living. 

What will that actually look like? At the beginning of the course, you’ll consider several options you can use to boost your savings — temporarily increasing income by taking on a side gig, taking on more hours at work, and/or by cutting back on spending — and you’ll set a goal for how much you’d like to have saved up by the end of the course. Next, you’ll learn how to track your savings using the Goodbudget app. Finally, you’ll learn tips and tools to help you maintain that cushion for as long as possible, but also how and when to use it if necessary. 

Ready to get started? 

Starting tomorrow, you’ll receive weekly assignments to help inform and motivate you through the challenge, so be sure to sign up to get the assignments sent straight to your inbox

Until then, check out the assignment below. 

Homework

  1. Leave a comment and let us know what you’re most excited about when it comes to building your cushion and trying to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Are you excited about not having to time your bills with your paychecks?

  2. Let us know when you plan to work on your homework over the next 30 days. 

Note for couples: If you’re budgeting with a partner, be sure to include them in this challenge. It will be really hard to build a cushion and break the paycheck to paycheck cycle if you aren’t both on the same page about boosting savings and setting money aside for that new cushion. 

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This online course is free. Get this course straight into your inbox.

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28 thoughts on “Get Ready to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck”

  1. 1. For me, having a cushion means being able to buy groceries and pay bills any time in the month. It means not worrying about *when* I’ll have enough in the bank to do what I need to do to take care of my family.
    2. The best time for me to do homework is after my kids are in bed and the house is quiet.

    Reply
  2. I need piece of mind. Having a bigger cushion will give me that. A cushion for me would be $2500. A moth of expenses. I plan on earning this this month between InstaCart and overtime. I am ready!

    Reply
  3. I’m ready to break this cycle of being flat broke every pay period. I want to learn how to budget wisely and possibly take on a side job to get there.

    Reply
  4. I’m so ready for this. I was handling my finances really well for a while and then got derailed over the summer. I hate the feeling of having so little liquid funds. I had $43 left in my account before this payday. That’s crazy!!!

    Reply
  5. I would need a cushion of $3500 that is one month of expenses. I plan to start really doing Instacart 3 times a week and cutting down on my spending

    Reply
  6. I am exited to start a cushion savings of 2500 paying bill paycheck to paycheck is hectic and worrisome. So I am exited to start!!

    Reply
  7. I’m excited to feel more responsible with my money and not feel the burden of money or lack of money.
    Best time for me to do homework is after work so I can relax with no pressure

    Reply
  8. 1. I’m excited to not be stressed about my bills and debt. I’m excited to be able to enjoy life and not constantly be worried about money.
    2. I plan to do my homework after work on weekdays and in the afternoon on weekends.

    Reply
  9. There is no question that I must break this decades long cycle. The stress is just too much. I am ready to get down to business and build a cushion.
    The best time for homework is in the morning hours. I am retired.

    Reply
  10. I thought I was getting things on track but then had some health issues so medical bills and dr visit copays have gotten me out of sync again. I have no savings and debt has increased again. I want to get back to feeling like I have control of my finances.

    Reply
  11. Having money to cover unforeseen expenses is very important to me. Anything could happen and being able to take care of the unknown is a big deal.

    I plan to work on it when I’m working at night.

    Reply
  12. I want to get a cushion because we’re tired of having spent Friday’s paycheck almost completely by Tuesday, and having only $20 or so until the next Friday paycheck.
    I also want to be able to teach our 19 year old a better way now that they are working their first job.
    I will be taking on extra hours, and I hope with PoshMark it will be enough to build up that extra savings.

    Reply
  13. It would be great to learn how to REALLY budget in a way that would allow for financial growth. Being able to establish a cushion is my goal for the next 30 days. Every evening would be the best time to address my assigments

    Reply
  14. Looking forward for additional tips on how to enhance my decade-old manual budgeting in Excel. I am most available at night after a day’s work. Thanks.

    Reply
  15. I am excited to get started. I want to have peace of mind and let money stress be a thing of the past. I often felt like my bank stole my money, even though I have utilized the funds myself.

    Reply

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