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Q: How can those who are not financially stable structure their finances to avoid living paycheck to paycheck?
–F. Key, Columbus, Georgia
A: To resolve the problem of living paycheck to paycheck, you have to either increase the amount of money coming into your home or reduce household expenditures until you have a surplus that can be invested to create more income. It’s usually easier to do the latter.
Every household faces the challenge of spending less money than it takes in. At BLACK ENTERPRISE, we suggest you take a look at our Wealth Building Kit, which can be downloaded at blackenterprise.com or ordered at 877-WEALTHY. In the kit, page 14 outlines Principle No. 3 of our Declaration of Financial Empowerment: to be a disciplined and knowledgeable consumer. Having the discipline to resist “keeping up with the Joneses” by purchasing trendy clothes or other luxuries will help stretch your paycheck. When you do make a purchase, be sure to buy items off-season or on sale to get the best value.
Also, check out page 18 of the kit for Principle No. 5: to engage in sound budget, credit, and tax management practices. If you monitor your spending habits closely, you can see where you spend the most money and begin to cut back. You should create a monthly household budget that makes sense. Limiting the use of credit cards and finding ways to save on taxes can also save money. You will have to make some sacrifices, but you’ll benefit in the long run.