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

  1. I am excited to have a cushion because recently I had to use my credit card to pay for a repair to my vehicle. It cost way more than I wanted to spend because I had to use a credit card for a specific auto shop when if I had the cash in an emergency fund or cushion, I could have shopped around.

    I will work on my homework in the evening after I put my child to bed.

    Reply
  2. I want to learn to have more than enough then to always feel afraid of not having enough when it comes to money. I want to break bad spending habits and instead learn to save for the unexpected and live without felling strained for the next paycheck.
    I plan on doing these course before bedtime because that’s when I reflect on my day the most and prepare for the next day.

    Reply
  3. The pandemic over the last two years has created me to start living paycheck to paycheck. Being off because of quarantine several times, I used up what I had saved.
    So this will get me back on track. My spending has already slowed way down but I need to do something different than what I have been doing so I never have to choose whether I eat or buy gas to get to work.

    Reply
  4. I’ll be working on my assignments when I get off work. I live alone so I have no other obligations or responsibilities to interfere.

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  5. I’M EXCITED ABOUT TAKING CONTROL OVER MONEY MATTERS, SPECIFICALLY LIVING CHECK TO CHECK. I PLAN TO WORK ON THE ASSIGNMENTS IN THE EARLY EVENING WHEN I HAVE TIME TO MYSELF

    Reply
  6. One month of emergency funds will truly help me as a returning adult student. I believe it is a great way to start the new year and in hope to turn it i to a three-month cushion of emergency funds that I am sure will come handy!

    I plan to start today just before bedtime. In this way, I can carefully plan for the next day.

    Reply
  7. I am excited to have that cushion so when I get ready to hit the bottom it won’t hurt so bad. And maybe even not get to the bottom who know. I plan on doing my assignments during. My lunch break it really the only time I am not in my car

    Reply
  8. I am excited to have that cushion as I spend way more than I should as well as being an impulsive shopper at times. I have never taken any courses on budgeting so I am really looking forward to this. I plan on doing these courses before noon or before bed.

    Reply
  9. I’m excited to be able to have a financial buffer and not have to stress about every unexpected expense.
    I plan to work on this in the evenings at home.

    Reply
  10. We do fine, but don’t have reserves for large ticket items that will be upcoming soon. I would be much easier if I could just put away money each month and commit to a budget and try to stick to it.
    I will probably do assignments either early morning or late at night when things are quiet and calmer.

    Reply
  11. I’m excited to have more peace of mind and not be stressed out at the end of each month. I’ll work on this in the afternoon on my lunch break.

    Reply
  12. I’m excited to get started on my first course,living from pay check to pay check. My wife and will start tomorrow. Looking forward to learning how to manage/ budget our money.

    Reply
  13. I will be a stress reliever if I don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck and it will be a little be closing to buy my dream home.

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  14. I’m excited because I’ve never been able to stop spending on those little (and big…) things that eat up my budget. I want to be in control of my money, not the other way around.

    Reply
  15. I am excited to start this program. I am currently working on Spenders Anonymous because I am an impulse spender. I am scheduling time every evening, six evenings a week to work on this.

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  16. I’m tired of having to pull a loan every time something happens that keeps me from working. Like work shut downs and short term disability. I’m gonna try to get all this done this weekend honestly. I’ve already been working on creating some savings and paying off small debts. But the more knowledge I have the more successful I’ll be.

    Reply
  17. I’m excited about this course because I would like to learn about how to break bad spending habits and build up an emergency savings. I plan to implement my homework into my bedtime routine since I’m usually busy throughout the day.

    Reply
  18. Looking forward to building a cushion for peace of mind. Homework will probably be done in lunch times, and evenings after the kids are in bed

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  19. We want to stop living paycheck to paycheck and start saving for retirement and vacations with our kiddos. We are going to start our boot camp routine after the kids go to bed.

    Reply
  20. I’m excited to break the cycle which will give me the ability to start planning for life goals.

    I’m going to do my homework each night after work at the kitchen table. Weekends, first thing in the morning with some coffee.

    Reply
  21. Excited to break the cycle and actually make plans and have money to do it, I will work on the homework at night and weekends.

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  22. I will work every morning before waking up my kiddo for school. I am excited to make a budget as I always feel better knowing that I worked hard to meet the goals. I just never seem to have enough income, and am hoping this course will show me better ways to meet the obligations I have and to save the 6 months that I feel I should have set aside.

    Reply
  23. I am feeling hopeful. Creating an honest budget has been a reality check. There is no reason why I am living paycheck to paycheck when I make more than enough to live a very comfortable life. I’m excited for the journey and ready to get rid of the stress.

    Reply
  24. I am excited to build a cushion for unexpected expenses and hopefully save enough money to buy a home. I’ve been renting for at least 15 years and would love to be able to pay towards a property that I own.

    Reply

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