BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Living paycheck to paycheck? Saving tips as sound as a dollar.

Aug 3, 2022, 7:00 PM

pay gap...

FILE: 3 out of 5 money lenders face negative consequences. (Stock image, Canva)

(Stock image, Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Just over 60% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck in June 2022, up from a low of 52% in April 2021 and 55% in June 2021 as reported by PR Newswire

Could you be throwing away money on food?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,  33% of the food globally and 40% of food in the United States is lost along the food supply chain from the farm to the market. Food waste is that which is thrown in the garbage.

Debbie said she read this on Business Insider: 7 signs you’re wasting money.

  1. Your refrigerator is full of take-out containers.
  2. You’re shopping online for stuff you don’t need.
  3. You’re not using your gym membership, but you’re still paying for it.
  4. Your bank is charging you to be their customer.
  5. You have a shelf full of books you bought but have never read.
  6. You’re using your car for work.
  7. You’re paying for content you’re not watching.

Follow your money

Certified Financial Planner Shane Stewart, with Deseret Mutual Benefits Administrators, joins Dave & Dujanovic to discuss ways to spot and prevent money waste.

Stewart said the first step for a person living beyond their means or living paycheck to paycheck is to track their spending. In other words, where is the money going?

“That’s probably the most painful, but the most important step . . . finding out where things are going,” he said.

“‘Where’s all the money going’ is a curse and a blessing. It’s one of those things you don’t want to know because you don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Did I seriously eat out four times this week?’ Dave said.

Call it a ‘spending plan,’ not a ‘budget’

After the painful realization of where your finances are being wasted, it’s on to Step 2.

“Once we know what’s happening, put a plan together. . . I’m not a fan of the word ‘budget.’ I like the word ‘spending’ plan better, mostly because the first word is ‘spend.” Stewart said.

Prepare for emergencies — they happen

Stewart warned if you don’t put away money for emergencies, you will be stuck on the paycheck-to-paycheck roller coaster because sooner or later that emergency will strike.

“One of the hardest things I’ve found with the emergency fund, Shane, is I love dipping into it. It’s hard to replenish it,” Dave noted.

“Put that on automatic is the key where you have it automatically taken from your payroll and put into a separate and distinct account — that will help that behavior,” Stewart said.

“We’ve all been there — just slap it on a credit card and then it just adds to the debt, and you’re paying interest on it. It is hard to bail yourself out,” Debbie said. “Take a look in the mirror and start slicing and dicing until we stop living paycheck to paycheck.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as on Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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Living paycheck to paycheck? Saving tips as sound as a dollar.