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Hearing about the importance of saving and investing is great, but what are you supposed to do if you’re tight on money? It’s unfortunate, but the reality is many people struggle to make end’s meet and barely have enough left over for the future.

Living paycheck to paycheck sucks. You can’t get excited for pay day. Sure you’re thankful to have a job, but your money leaves your account just as fast as it came. In some cases folks need to write themselves an IOU and rely on credit cards to make their essential purchases.

The paycheck to paycheck life is one that’s not glamorous in any way. If you’ve been struggling with your finances the time has come to find that light at the end of the tunnel.

Here are some tips.

Live below your means. While some might struggle due to low wages, there are too many who make a decent amount and spend more than they earn. If living within your means isn’t working, take things down a notch by pretending you make less. If you have $200 left over from a paycheck it’s not a license to shop. Adjust your budget so you save more than you spend.

Find areas to remove. Those who have ever found themselves in this type of situation know firsthand how frustrating it can be. Your money goes to so many others that you want to keep something for yourself. While this is understandable, you might have to go without for a season before you can reap abundance. Look for areas around your life that aren’t a true necessity. No matter how big or small, that bit of money adds up over time.

Prioritize your debt. Everyone should payback what they owe — and more than the minimum — but you need to arrange them by priority. If you have a manageable bill you can pay off, do so. Otherwise you’ll need to tackle debts with the highest interest rate first. These are the ones that will stay with you for many years if you aren’t careful.

Save your change. It can be very hard to save anything when living paycheck to paycheck. One effortless way to do so is by rounding up your payments to the nearest dollar and saving your change. Pennies and cents have a way of adding up over time.

Look for additional streams of income. If you aren’t getting enough money from one job you might want to consider adding to your resume. There are tons of part-time jobs, virtual hustles and online business opportunities for the taking. Try to find something that will work into your current schedule. There’s nothing wrong with doing what’s necessary to provide for your family — legally speaking of course.

And always remember to pay yourself. Sure retirement sounds far away, but failure to properly save will have you lacking major bucks in the future. You need time to accumulate money and make it grow. It’s also a good idea to save for a financial emergency. These days anything can happen at the most unexpected time.

Hopefully you’ll find yourself on the other end of your financial woes. Here are a few more reads that will hopefully make the journey an easier one to navigate:

9 Miscellaneous Expenses to Add to Your Budget

How to Budget with Irregular Income

Budgeting Tips for the Self-Employed

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