Ways to Make Your Paycheck Last Longer

Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? If you are one of my email subscribers then you know that I ask you to reply back with your #1 financial struggle. In order to help you gain control of your finances I need to know what you are struggling with and how I can teach you to make better decisions with your money.

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Read how these 5 ways can help you make your paycheck last longer!

One of the most common financial struggles that I hear is how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. It is definitely a challenge to overcome this struggle, but it can be done. Keep in mind with a little bit of hard work and changing your mindset about money you can stop the vicious cycle of barely making it ever month.

{Related: Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck}

Today, I wanted to share with you a few things that you can start to do now. One of the important things to consider is using a budget. I know a lot of people are scared off when they hear the term budget, but bare with me for a minute.

If you want to make your paycheck last longer then you need to:

  • Make changes
  • See where you are spending your money
  • Start cutting back

All of this can be done by utilizing a monthly budget. Even if it is a really simple budget it is better than nothing.

You cannot expect to magically save money without putting in the work #budgeting Click To Tweet

I can tell you a million different ways that you can save money or how you can stretch your paycheck, but if you are not going to put it into action then the tips will never work.

{Related: Free Monthly Budget Template}



Make your paycheck last longer:

1. Set a budget and stick to it. Like I mentioned above, using a budget is the best place to start. Even if you have no idea how to set a particular budget for your expense categories it is important for you to take an honest look at where you spend your money every month. The act of writing it down and looking over your bank statements will allow you to see how and where the majority of your money is going. In order to stretch you paycheck you will need to cutback. If you want to get even more serious about your budget then I recommend printing a copy of my Budget Binder Worksheets.

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Read how these 5 ways can help you make your paycheck last longer!


2. Cutback on dining out and getting takeout. This also includes your lunch break. A lot of people will cutback on going out to dinner, but they forget about their lunchtime expenses. Start to take your food and drinks to work. Stopping to purchase a coffee or pop at a vending machine can start to add up over a month. If possible, pack your lunch everyday. This may mean making a little extra the night before but the benefits are definitely worth it. you can save a lot of money by preparing your meals ahead of time and taking them with you.

The same goes for people with kids. It may be easier to give your kids money to purchase a school lunch, but you could save money by having them pack as much as possible. Try to meal plan at home to help you cut down on food costs.

3. Clip coupons and save money on groceries. There are a ton of different ways that you can save money on groceries. Here is a quick list to check out. You may already be doing a few of these tips, but it is important to try some of the other ones to see the positive effect they will have on your budget

  • Always use a shopping list
  • Only shop sales and deals
  • Don’t go shopping hungry
  • Take advantage of rainchecks
  • Compare prices
  • Avoid impulse purchases
  • Buy generic
  • Skip prepared and pre-packaged foods

4. Cut out unnecessary monthly bills. This may be a very difficult step for you, but in order to make your paycheck last longer to have money for your necessities like food, shelter and transportation you need to ditch things you can do without. Take an honestly look at your expenses and figure out what items are ‘needs’ and which of those are just ‘wants.’

Now is the time to weigh what is important to you and what you can do without. To help get started I made a quick list of items you can consider ditching.

  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Newspaper subscriptions
  • Gym Memberships
  • Clubs
  • Netflix
  • Amazon
  • Gift Boxes {Birch Box, Bark Box, etc}
  • Warehouse stores {Costco}


5. Have fun without spending money. Living paycheck to paycheck is difficult enough but taking away everything that makes you happy can actually sabotage your success. You work hard for your money and you work had at saving it, so the important part if changing your spending habits and finding ways to still have fun.

Having a small entertainment budget can help to provide motivation and give you some time to just have fun. But, keep in mind that you do not have to spend money to have fun. Here are a few ideas to have fun without breaking the bank:

Stay at home – Even if you cannot afford to go to a movie, concert or local sporting event there are plenty of things you can still do at home that can be fun. Enjoy a movie night with redox or even Netflix. They are a much cheaper option then heading to a theater and paying to see a movie.

Make copycat recipes. Although I love dining out at our favorite restaurants it is a lot of fun to re-create some of our favorite meals at home. Here is a site that has some really great copycat recipes that you can try at home.

Dining Out

If you do still want to dine out limit the amount of times you eat at a restaurant on a monthly basis. Set a limit and stick to it. Before you head out check to see if they offer any printable coupons or go when they are offering 1/2 price items. The key is to plan ahead.

I know that this can be difficult because some times it just happens, but if you can stick to a budget and prevent yourself from dining out several times a week the savings will quickly add up.

Alternative Activities

Get creative and find other ways to have fun. Check your local area and see what free activities there are to do. We have a local outdoor theater that offers free concerts and there are even free movie nights at our local library for our children. You may be surprised with all the activities you and your family can do for fun.

Have a family game night or even a game night with your friends. You can alternate who will host it each week or month.

This may take some time to adjust to, but staying home can save a lot of money over the course of a month.


Stretching your paycheck and making it last longer will take some work on your end. It is important for you to know that budgeting is tough. It is all about trial and error and figuring out what works best with your lifestyle.

If you are ready to start saving this year, but do not know where to start then check out my Yearly Household Budget.

What are some of the ways you make your paycheck last longer?

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Read how these 5 ways can help you make your paycheck last longer!

This Post Has 2 Comments

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