5 Surprising reasons why you’re still living Paycheck to Paycheck

Living paycheck to paycheck can become a dreadful never-ending cycle. 

When I was working an 8-5 job, though I was earning good money, I was still constantly scrambling to make the end meets before the month ends. 

And you know the problem of living a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle is when an unexpected expense or an emergency sneaks up on you, you’re left with no choice but to rely solely on your credit cards — burying you even deeper into debt. 

That’s what happened to me and let me tell you, it was just stressful and very frustrating. Every day it feels like I’m stuck in this never-ending spiral and that it’s just far too impossible for me to get ahead. 

And since you’re here reading this, chances are you might be feeling the same way too. 

I get it. I know how stressful and exhausting it can be to be stuck in this lifestyle. All the sleepless nights caused by never-ending financial worries are just dreadful. 

While it may not be easy to escape or fix for this dilemma, it is definitely possible for us to get ahead and financially thrive. 

We just have to be willing to make a few changes and tweaks in our lifestyle, stop certain bad money habits and of course, take certain steps that’ll help us break from this cycle.


Here are 5 Money Traps to avoid so you can stop living paycheck to paycheck… 


The “I Deserve it” Thinking

I was definitely guilty of this behavior. I was always justifying all my unnecessary spending with the thought that I deserved it. 

I always thought to myself that since I was working really hard in a job that I hated. The very least that I can do is buy whatever I want. 

And that’s the reality for most of us. Sometimes, when we are working really hard, it’s often so easy for us to get caught up in the “I deserve whatever I want” trap. 

I was so caught up into thinking that I deserved good things because I was working hard for it — and that thought is true. We do deserve good things. We deserve great things. 

Related post:  5 Sure-fire ways to improve your Finances now

But you have to be smart about choosing the things that you really deserve. I learned this the hard way. 

And I tell you, all the things that I talked myself into buying because “I deserved it” kept me from achieving the things that I really deserved. 

It’s not bad to treat yourself every now and then but if you’re constantly doing this to a point where it’s already keeping you trapped in living a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle then it’s definitely time to rethink and change this habit. 

I get it. The feeling of buying whatever you want can feel really amazing at the moment. But that amazing feeling will fade. 

Focusing on ending your financial stress in living a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle will be far more rewarding and beneficial. 


Stay on top of your finances and track your spending effectively with the help of this Ultimate Finance Printable Planner


Not Having Financial Goals

Let’s be honest. Saving money just because it’s the right and responsible thing to do is not at all fun and motivating. 

That’s what it was for me. When I started working and earning good money, every time that I had to choose over saving just for the sake of saving or spending it on something that I wanted (though not necessary) — it’s always easier to choose the latter. 

But once I was able to identify and really know what my goals were, saving money actually became something that I really wanted to do.

Identifying what my goals are did not only allow me to create a realistic plan on how to achieve it but also gave me the push and motivation needed to act on it. 

Once you determine what your money goals are it will be so much easier for you to actually prioritize it since you already know what you’re getting out of it. 

So, take the time to sit down and really determine what your financial goals are and what you need to do to achieve it. 

Related post:  7 Budgeting Tips that'll help you create an Effective Budget

Let those goals fuel you to avoid making those unnecessary purchases that are keeping you in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. 



Refusing to plan for unexpected expenses

It never crossed my mind that I needed to plan for unexpected expenses. I was earning, paying all my bills — I thought that I was doing okay and that there’s no need to plan for anything. 

And that was one of my biggest mistakes. This year, I had to quit my job due to mental health reasons — I had to do that with zero savings, no emergency funds or backup plan. 

It left me with no choice but to rely on my credit cards — which eventually buried me into a much deeper financial hole than I was already in. 

And this is what really happens when you refuse to plan for unexpected or irregular expenses. 

When an unexpected expense come up, you’re out scrambling to find the money and destroying your budget — which often is the reason why you’re trapped living paycheck to paycheck. 

It’s always important to pay yourself first (even if this means adjusting your budget) every month, set a portion of your earnings to unexpected costs — in that way you won’t have to sabotage your budget and bury yourself into debt when something comes up. 



Always choosing convenience 

Without any second thoughts, I would always choose convenience. Whether it’s as simple as eating out, springing for an Uber ride or even having my groceries delivered — it was always convenience over savings for me. 

But after taking a hard look at my spending habits (and I mean, REALLY LOOK), I realized that that small everyday spending was one of the major reasons why I’m always scrambling to make the ends meet before the month ends.

It was just too easy for me to ignore it since the upfront charge is just low and of course, it’s convenient but what I didn’t realize is how fast those upfront charges add up and how it’s sabotaging my finances. 

Related post:  7 Habits of Debt-Free People that will Change your Life

It’s not always bad to choose convenience but if this is what’s keeping you trap in living a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle then it’s definitely time to rethink this behavior. 


Stay on top of your finances and track your spending effectively with the help of this Ultimate Finance Printable Planner


You’re only focused on spending your money on things that can make you happy now 

I was guilty of this. 

You see, I was working in a very stressful job that I didn’t love, I thought that buying things that’ll give me instant (temporary) happiness will somehow justify and make up for it. 

And you know what that got me? A paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, zero savings, and debt. 

For instance, If I only chose to save the money instead of spending it on things that are only giving me temporary happiness, perhaps that would have enabled me to quit my job and find a new one that I actually loved without the financial stress and debt. 

If this is you too, it’s definitely time to change your mindset and focus on things that’ll help you escape a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle and things that will eventually help you achieve financial freedom. 


These were just a few of the things that trapped me in that vicious cycle — it may not be the same for you, so take the time to sit down and identify the things that are keeping you trap in this lifestyle and be willing to make the necessary changes. 


Living a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle is definitely not ideal and it will only bring you stress and never-ending worries. Though it may not be easy to escape it, it’s definitely possible! 


Your turn… 


What were the things that trapped you in this cycle? What did you do to escape it? Let me know in the comment section below or send me an email, I would love to hear from you! 

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