8 Steps to Quit Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Does it feel like your paycheck is gone the moment you get it? Here's how to break that vicious cycle and make your financial goals a reality.

1. Know where your money goes

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Some people swear by budgeting. Others are happier just tracking their expenses. Whichever you prefer, make sure you can see where your hard-earned money is going, right down to the last nickel. Keeping a careful eye on your spending is critical to getting a grip on overspending.

Don’t worry: Budgeting and expense tracking need not be painful. A program like YNAB (short for “You Need a Budget”) will walk you through starting a budget or an expense log and automate much of the process after that.

It can also pay for itself: According to YNAB, new users save $600 by their second month of using the program and $6,000 by the end of their first year, on average. To learn more, check out “How to Automatically Track Your Spending and Goals.”

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