For too long I spent my life believing that we would always be living paycheck to paycheck. After all, I was a stay at home mom. Life was supposed to be a struggle and money was meant to be tight, right? Wrong. Wrong, folks. While it’s not the case for everyone, for us, there was something that was standing in our way. Us. We weren’t managing our money the way we should and therefore weren’t accessing all that we could. Then, we finally discovered the top method for getting more money in our lives and the crazy part is you can get more money without working more! Tom and I have managed to get over $20,000 back in our pockets per year and I want to tell you exactly how.
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The method for getting more money without working more
Let’s cut straight to the chase and talk about the best way to get more money without working more. When it comes to people who are struggling living paycheck to paycheck, there are usually 3 major things that are standing in their way.
- Their paycheck is small.
- They are living above their means.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the top two reasons because I think they often confuse themselves with each other.
People often believe they struggle because they don’t have enough money and that’s why they are living paycheck to paycheck. In reality, they are spending more than they are earning.
We aren’t going to dive into those areas of discussion today. Instead, we are going to focus on the third area: debt.
Debt is one of the top reasons all people struggle to pay their bills, get more money in their budget and truly live the life they want to live.
Unfortunately, some debt comes with good intentions. Debt like student loans, car loans, and mortgages.
Most of the time people don’t find alternative methods for paying for these things and therefore allow themselves to get into debt without really understanding the full consequences.
The other side of debt is the side most of us dig into on our own and it is all completely unnecessary. Debt like credit cards and loans.
Today I want to talk about how to debunk your budget, find where you are wasting excess money, calculate your debts, and get a game plan for getting all of that money back into your bank account.
How to debunk your budget
There are several things you can do to find the areas of your budget where you might be wasting extra money each month. I created an easy to use,
Calculating your debt
When it comes to calculating your debt, I suggest adding up your total debt and the amount you spend each month on payments. This is the best way to get an idea of just how much money you could be getting back in your life and will help you set a game plan for debt payoff later.
Checking your budget percentages
Another way to start getting more money without working more is to look at where you might be going over in your monthly budget. If you aren’t keeping track of this spending each month, you definitely should be. You can take advantage of my Fun Sized Budget Bundle that lays out your monthly budget in a very simple, easy to use way.
These are the budget percentages recommended by Dave Ramsey:
- Housing: 25 – 35%
- Utilities: 5 – 10%
- Food: 5 – 15%
- Clothing: 2 – 7%
- Transportation: 10 – 15%
- Insurance: 10 – 25%
- Entertainment: 5 – 15%
These are the recommended percentages for a healthy budget below your means.
Calculating budget percentages
To calculate these percentages you’ll need to first find your average monthly earnings.
Because I was not a person who was great at math, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, I broke these calculations down in helpful graphics.
First, you need to figure out your average monthly pay.
After you have calculated your average monthly pay, you can take that average pay per month and begin to calculate your budget percentages to see if your budget is within the recommended percentage amount.
Taking the time to calculate these budget percentage numbers can be a little scary but very eye-opening. Thankfully, in some areas, you have a little more say over how much you are spending.
Calculating variable budget percentages
Calculating food, gas, clothing and entertainment expenses will be similar to finding your average monthly income.
Go through each area of the budget, add up the total you spent for 3 months and then divide by three to get the average amount of money you are spending on average each month. After you do this, you can go through and calculate your budget percentages again to see if you are fitting within the recommended range.
If you are out of the recommended budget percentages
If you find that you are over the recommended percentage for your budget, start with the areas that you have some control over. Things like food, clothing
My top recommendation is to create a budget with the
Getting more money in your budget without working more
Once you have gone through your budget and have seen where you are over-spending, create that solid budget that will force you to get more money in your budget each month.
If you are a hands-on person like me, go snag my Fun Sized Budget Bundle to help you start managing all areas of your budget more effectively and on paper!
Getting a debt payoff strategy
Now that you have all of that in place, it’s time to really get that debt payoff strategy into full swing. I am a huge supporter of all things Dave Ramsey and his Debt Snowball method is still my top recommendation for getting out of debt. See how we paid off $6,000 in 6 months.
How the Debt Snowball works
The debt snowball is simply finding an extra $200 in your budget and applying it in addition to your smallest debt payment’s minimum payment.
Once you have paid that one off, you apply the total amount you were paying on that debt to your next smallest debt. For example, if your minimum payment was $30 per month, you would have been paying $230.
Now you take that full $230 and apply it in addition to the minimum payment on your next debt. This is why it is called the “Debt Snowball.” It keeps accumulating as you go in order to help you accelerate your debt payoff.
Getting more money and keeping it
After tweaking your budget and focusing on paying off debt with the Debt Snowball you will find yourself getting more money in your budget. The best part is, you don’t have to work more.
It’s crazy to think just how much money is spent each month helping people maintain a lifestyle or pay for something they don’t yet own.
Tom and I easily got an additional $20,000 per year back by downsizing our house in order to live below our means, living on a reasonable budget and paying off all of our debt!
Now the key
is,after creating this additional money in your budget, is to make sure you keep it!
More about our downsizing and debt payoff:
- A Funny Thing Happens When You Become Debt Free
- We Did Our Debt Free Scream. Now What?
- Let’s Talk About Why Our Microwave Doesn’t Match Our Kitchen
- How Our Family of 5 Survived a 2,000 sq ft Downsize
How to start working less
If your plan is getting more money without working more it is so important that you get intentional with this additional money you have created.
There are so many smart moves you can make with your finances that make it easier and easier for you to do the most you can with the most you can with the money that you have.
Best tips for avoiding paycheck to paycheck
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