If you’re like most people (64% of Americans as of February 2022), you’re probably living paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, and it can feel like there are no alternatives. But where do you start?
For starters, let’s debunk some myths about living paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s not because you’re lazy or don’t make enough money. In fact, most people who live paycheck-to-paycheck are hard workers who are just trying to make ends meet. The truth is, it’s often difficult to save money when your expenses always seem to be more than your income.
There are a few things you can do to start breaking the cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Take Full Advantage of Your Employer’s Benefits.
One way to break out of the cycle is by taking full advantage of your employer’s benefits. Healthcare is one of the most important benefits you can take advantage of. By having health insurance, you’ll be able to protect yourself financially in the event of an unexpected illness or injury. In addition, your employer may offer other benefits like financial protection and legal resources. These can be extremely helpful if you find yourself in a difficult financial situation or facing legal problems.
Health Insurance Protects Your Paycheck
Breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is hard. Affordable health, vision, and dental insurance make it a little easier. When you have access to these things, that’s a good thing! Affordable health care keeps you healthy and productive. It also helps you manage your stress levels and stay focused at work. In addition, employer-provided health care can help you save money on medical bills. And that can make a big difference in your budget! Telecounseling and teladoc services are also valuable tools that can help you manage your mental health. These services provide counseling, support, and resources that can help you cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. They can also help you resolve personal issues that may be affecting your work performance. Employer-provided healthcare is an essential benefit that can help you break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
Financial Protections Make The Most of Your Paycheck
It’s tough to get ahead financially by simply working a 9-to-5 job. The only way to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is to have some sort of financial protections in place, whether it’s health insurance, a 401(k), or a legal plan.
Health insurance is important because medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. A good insurance plan covers the bulk of those costs for you. A 401(k) is important because it gives you a nest egg to tap into when you retire. And a legal plan is important because it protects you from the unknown.
Education & Training Opportunities Help Grow Your Paycheck
Through career training, you can learn new skills that will help you get ahead in your chosen field. Online resources can provide you with the knowledge you need to get certifications and advance your career. And through upskilling, you can learn new skills that will make you more marketable and better able to earn a higher salary. Finally, trade and academic scholarships can help you pay for the education and training you need to reach your career goals. By taking advantage of these work benefits, you can help break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.
How To Take Advantage of Your Employer’s Benefits Program to Make Living (and Leaving) the Paycheck-To-Paycheck Life Easier
What does all this really mean? It means, if your employer offers a robust benefits program and you’re not taking full advantage of it, then you are literally robbing yourself of a substantial amount of money. It isn’t always spelled out in black and white, but most employer-provided benefits packages are worth thousands of extra dollars per year. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
First, talk to your manager. They may be able to help you navigate your company’s benefits. There’s a chance they might just refer you to HR, but give them the opportunity to help. If they’ve been there a while, they may have insight into how best to navigate your resources.
Second, talk to your HR department. They’re the ones who administer the program, so they can help you understand your employer’s benefits program and how best to take advantage of it. Just let them know you heard that taking advantage of programs can help you make the most of each paycheck and you want to make sure you’re making the most of every opportunity the company offers.
Finally, now is the perfect time to look for a new job if your employer doesn’t offer much by way of benefits. With the current state of the economy, there are plenty of employers who are looking for talented employees like you, and they are updating their benefits programs to attract top talent. So don’t be afraid to shop around for a better position that comes with better pay and more work benefits so you can make the most of every dollar you earn and start moving past the paycheck-to-paycheck life.