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.

Thank you!

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

  1. My goals within 30 days are to stick to a budget where I am not living paycheck to paycheck and reduce my anxiety when thinking about money.
    I want to create a financial cushion so that I am not constantly re balancing my funds in order to pay for unexpected emergencies.

    Reply
  2. I would like to feel comfortable enough that I am not constantly stressed about money and living paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes I even have a negative amount in my account and then money automatically gets tranferred from my savings over to my checking and then my savings slowly begins to dwindle. I’m tired of dealing with that.

    Reply
  3. I’m in bankruptcy right now with half my paycheck going to debt repayment. When I think about it I’m overwhelmed! I would like to be more in control over what’s left. I’m believing for debt freedom and some way in my my too distant future I could enjoy a summer vacay without worrying about the pay back.

    Reply
  4. I have never been great at budgeting, i want something i buy it and suffer consequences later. I want to be able to live comfortably without the worry of will i have enough for bills or even food sometimes. I am a single parent struggling. I can do my assignments on my days off from work, they are never the same days

    Reply
  5. I have really never been great at budgeting, it never works out for me. I want to be able to live comfortably without the stress of bills and food. Im a single parent, the stress is real. I can do the assignments on my days off from work. Every week is different

    Reply
  6. I’m tired of living paycheck to paycheck. 3 years ago I decided to go into business for myself. Thought I would be able to see a change in my financial life. Although I don’t struggle as hard as I used to, the struggle is still real. I’m excited to finally be able to see my profit grow in both business and personal finance. Looking forward to this 30 day challenge. Can’t wait to dig in.

    Reply
  7. I am excited to learn budgeting skills to relieve the constant stress and anxiety I experience over money. I also want to work on rebuilding my savings. I plan to work through the course at least 2 times a week after work and on Saturdays.

    Reply
  8. I am excited to hopefully get to a place where I can have an emergency fund and I stay out of my overdraft each month. Being so tight on money and living paycheque to paycheque, is causing me severe stress and anxiety. I would like to feel more empowered when it comes to my finances.

    Reply
  9. Our goal is to build a cushion for savings even if it’s $1,000. We are looking to start saving to ensure we are in a better position to buy a house. We also would like to save for a few country music concerts since we didn’t get a honeymoon almost 6 years ago.
    We are tired of not ever having money. Budgeting will give us that foundation to start. We also have multiple animals and if something goes wrong we don’t have money put up. We need to prepare for a surgery for our puppy not only for her spay but for another surgery to help limit her urinary tract infections. She was given to us in bad shape and now we need to mind her body and soul.

    Reply
  10. I have less than $100.00 in the bank from last month’s salary. So, I am looking forward to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Enlighten me cause if I bumped into someone, I do not have the first cent to say am sorry with.

    Reply
  11. I am not good at budgeting. I never have been. I struggle with living paycheck to paycheck and more often than not have a negative balance. I need to be able to create a cushion in my savings account and stop living paycheck to paycheck. I plan on working on my budget every morning before I go to work.

    Reply
  12. My goal is to lessen anxiety and get my/our spending under control. Paycheck to paycheck is not the way I want to live for the rest of my life.

    Reply
  13. im excited to learn how to budget and not live paycheck to paycheck! i plan on doing my assignments at home once my child is asleep and have time to actually invest my time into working on a better way to budget!

    Reply
  14. I’m excited about the prospect of not being scared to check the bank balances and telling the children ‘no’, simply because we (my husband and i) have not been able to budget so it works. The thought of being ‘ahead’ in payments and having money for emergencies or a treat would be excellent!
    Also, to set an example for our two late teenage children still living at home on how to get ahead!

    Reply
  15. Financial literacy should be taught in our public school system (perhaps it is now but wasn’t in my days) & as wonderful as my parents are, they do not have good money management skills. I’m a good student so I thought if I take it from a student perspective, I might actually be able to improve my financial situation. Evenings & wkds.

    Reply
  16. Well , I have never balanced a checkbook in my 56 years. I have always done the figures in my head. I did a great job. But after getting laid off in June of 2019 I lost 2\3rds of my hourly wage. Now I am living paycheck to pay check and it really is a horrible thing to even think about it. I purposely would look not at my bank account fearing that there was some bill I didn’t remember to pay and then the anxiety would become to much when I did check my bank balance, especially when I would have like 5 overdrafts at $28.00 a pop. I spent about 7 hours yesterday setting up my budget on the app yesterday. Tomorrow is payday for me and I am excited to finally have money to even think about budgeting. I am very confident this app will work and I am a very frugal spender, so I am excited to get started. I will probably work on this everyday to learn how this app works and to read as much as I can to learn strategies. I hope to pass this on to my 30 year old son, who needs this as bad as I do.

    Reply
  17. In the kitchen or living room every morning I am having my coffee before work. I am going to try for each and everyday. Really excited to get ahold of my budget and start saving the proper way.

    Reply
  18. My goal is to do my assignments on my lunch break at work. This will not only help me create a cushion and stop living paycheck to paycheck but also will help me save a Christmas fund as well.

    Reply
  19. I’m most excited to have a savings cushion, so that I will no longer have to pay bills late. I’ve been so stressed with back to back payments and not having nearly enough to pay everything and still have something leftover. I plan on working on my assignments during, and after work so that I may get everything done and get as much information as possible.

    Reply
  20. I want to set the intention of having good financial health. I want to plan, budget, track my spending, get more from life as I have more control over my finances and stop spending money in impulsive, stupid, erratic ways.

    Reply
  21. I watched my mother live paycheck to paycheck so I was never taught how to budget. I’m almost 40 and I am done with the stress of money problems. My fiance manages his money extremely well but I just can’t grasp the concept. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for so I know where to start and each step to take.
    I will do my courses in the evening after work.

    Reply
  22. I’m 50 and my husband is 51. We’ve been married for 31 years, raised 6 children and have never had a reliable working budget. The best I have been able to manage is to track what bills are due, make sure those were paid before any non-essential money was spent and keep an electronic register so that I know how much is in our account at all times. Its embarrassing to me that at my age and with our income, we still essentially live paycheck to paycheck. I will be doing these tasks before work, and on my lunch break.

    Reply
  23. Love this! I am engaged and want a family. My fiancee is incredibly astute when it comes to finances, budgeting, and planning. I am looking to keep myself accountable and ensure I really take on the mindset and behaviours around thriving financially. Starting this process later in life, in mid thirties, but hopefully it is never too late to make great habits a reality 🙂

    Reply
  24. I’m excited about having a cushion so that I can get out of the cycle of “just enough.” I plan to do the homework in the evening after dinner

    Reply
  25. I’m excited about the possibility of clearing my debts by saving extra. The thought of having a cushion and emergency fund is extremely thrilling for me.

    I plan to get my homework done in between work during the the days when the kids are in school.

    Reply
  26. We have more than enough money coming in from me and my partner to survive and thrive, but we somehow are broke before each check. We both get paid weekly so it’s a struggle.

    Reply

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