living paycheck to paycheck

How to Survive Living Paycheck to Paycheck

It’s very common for Americans to live paycheck to paycheck. It’s also very common to break free from such a financial challenge.

A whopping 80% of people in the United States live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent survey. The reasons vary — a global pandemic, a tough economy, poor fiscal management, and debt to name a few.

Living Paycheck To Paycheck Made Simple

The cycle of living paycheck to paycheck is very real. People feel stuck with no way out in sight. Though it’s challenging, it is possible to live paycheck to paycheck if that is your only option as you work toward financial security. Here’s how.

Stick To A Strict Budget 

Even when you’re able to not have to live paycheck to paycheck, a budget is the most important part of a responsible financial plan. 

Living in these financial conditions, your budget will need to be airtight; there’s not much room to deviate. Outline your set expenses each month like rent or mortgage and utilities, and budget austerely for the rest, including food and transportation.

Review how much you’re spending each pay period and see if it is possible to make even some small cuts to start living more comfortably.


Yes, it is possible to establish and add to savings even when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. With a savings plan, you can help prepare yourself for possible financial emergencies that often plunge you deeper into the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. 

Start small. The key to saving money is making the huge step to simply start. It could be $10, $20, or $50 between paychecks. Look for a savings account to open that has good interest-earning rates and keep in mind that many banks require minimum deposits to keep the account open.

Usually, that number is low, about $20-$25. Slowly building a savings account will go a long way to ease a financial struggle.

Pay Down Debt

Almost everyone struggles with debt but it’s especially difficult when you live paycheck to paycheck. Before you start your savings, see if you can pay down any of the lingering debt you have. There are numerous grant and assistance programs for low-income individuals to help with debt. 

Other debt-related help options include refinancing your debt and refinancing your mortgage to try to lower your interest rates. 


You may be living this way because you’re living beyond your means. Use this financial reset and commitment to breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle to refrain from buying things you don’t need and selling what you currently do not use.

Electronics, furniture, nice clothes, and more often go for big bucks online, and the extra cash can help tremendously with your debt and savings.

Start An Additional Income Stream

While a side hustle may be difficult to fit into your schedule, there are likely a few that offer reliable cash each month or pay period with minimal effort.

See how much you can make in just a few hours driving for a food delivery service, pet sitting or babysitting, or offer freelance work online from the comfort of your own home.

Lower Your Bills 

You may not be able to lower certain bills, but there should be at least a few approaches to lowering your individual monthly expenses. Review any subscriptions you’re paying for, such as TV streaming services, magazines, and grocery delivery, and see if you can either pay less for them or cut them.

See if there’s a lower car insurance rate available or if it’s time to move to a cheaper cell phone plan. Every little bit helps. 

paycheck loan text over image of calendar and calculator

Consider A Paycheck Loan

An emergency room visit, vital home and car repairs, and last-minute travel are difficult to cover when you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

Such financial emergencies are part of life, but they don’t have to lead to a financial setback. A paycheck loan is designed to help you address such emergencies when they occur between paychecks.

A payday loan at Alabama Title Loans, Inc., is easy to qualify for and you are never instantly disqualified from a loan because of your credit history. 

In just a half-hour, you may qualify for a payday loan of up to $500. Just begin online.

Fill out the short payday loan form on our homepage and a loan representative will give you a call to walk you through the next steps and review the required items.

At an Alabama Title Loans, Inc. location of your choice, your required items will be reviewed, and once you qualify and agree to the loan terms, you will get the money you need. 

Get Started Today

Living paycheck to paycheck is stressful and difficult to manage, but with a few small tweaks, it’s doable as you begin to make a better financial name for yourself. If you’re facing a financial emergency, a paycheck loan may help.

Get in touch with us today online, in person at one of our stores near you, or give us a call. We’re here to help.

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

Mason Roberts

Mason Roberts is a seasoned economics writer and blogger with a knack for breaking down and simply communicating the ever-changing world of finance. He is philosophically committed to the premise that financial knowledge equals financial freedom.