Escaping paycheck to paycheck mentality


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For years, I lived paycheck to paycheck in a constant state of fear that one mishap—a sickness, car problem, unforeseen expense—could and would devastate my meager bank account and send me spiraling into debt. It was an awful feeling that limited my ability to enjoy life.

I’m not talking about enjoying life’s extravagances like exotic vacations and Gucci bags. I was missing out on simple things, declining dinner invitations because payday was still three away or skipping impromptu happy hours with friends when the tips just weren’t real flush that day. Ever put off running an errand purely because of the required gas? The worry and anxiety kept me bound to tracking paydays on my calendar more closely than upcoming holidays.

I decided that was not the kind of life or future I wanted, but I really felt like there wasn’t much I could do about it at the time. I had all the excuses.

I was still working to build my clientele as an employee in a commission salon. I negotiated my commission as high as I could and my prices were set by the salon owner. I was working my butt off to get as many clients in my chair as possible, but I really felt like there was only so much I could do. I even looked into starting a side hustle—yes, I was almost that friend sliding into your Facebook messenger to peddle my wares. But even those businesses have an investment start-up cost that I’d have to wait for next payday to afford.

As I waited for the startup money to come in, I realized something. How do I have this extra money in my paycheck to use for side hustle startup costs? It dawned on me: I’d been living paycheck to paycheck for the past couple years, but during that time the amount on each check had gone up a bit.

If I was making more money, how was I still in the same financial position? If you are currently living paycheck to paycheck, the amount of said check is not the sole reason for your situation. Think back to the amount you were making when you first began living this way. Even if just marginally, your checks have most likely increased since then.