Living paycheck-to-paycheck is stressful and frustrating. When your check hits your bank account on payday, it feels like Christmas morning. But as soon as all the bills are paid, you’re once again struggling to stretch those last few dollars for another two weeks.
If you can relate, you’re not alone. Just over half of Americans consider themselves to beliving paycheck-to-paycheck. But it doesn’t have to be that way forever.
If budgeting has always been a struggle, you might need to ditch traditional monthly budgets and try budgeting by paycheck instead.
The Problem With Traditional Monthly Budgets
Conventional budgets tend to follow a monthly format, where all your income and expenses are planned out for about 30 days at a time. There’s nothing inherently wrong with budgeting this way, but it’s important to recognize that it doesn’t work for everyone. If you live paycheck-to-paycheck, you probably know what it’s like to run out of cash before the end of the month despite all your best intentions.
In other words, budgeting strictly by month might be the most common strategy, but it’s not necessarily the best one for you.
Kumiko Love (her pen name), an accredited finance counselor, blogger and founder of The Budget Mom, wasn’t always a money maven. Her business was born out of years of struggling to pay off debt and make ends meet. And she realized that part of the problem was how she was budgeting her money.
“In the beginning, I couldn’t figure out why I was having such a hard time managing my income on a monthly schedule. I would pay my bills on time, but by the end of the month, I would always come up short,” Love said.
But one day, it clicked. “I was paying my bills every time I got paid, so why wasn’t I budgeting my income with every paycheck?”
How The Budget-By-Paycheck Method Works
As you might have guessed, following the paycheck budget means you create a budget that’s based on how often you get paid (for many workers,...