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Beating Debt: Budget Hacks for Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck


It’s a simple fact: Life is expensive. For those striking out on their own for the first time, and for new homeowners, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the cost of living. Many find themselves in the rut of debt while simply trying to make ends meet.

While 30% of Americans have a long term plan in place to cover investments and savings, about 50% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Even more concerning, Americans as a whole owe a whopping $1 trillion in credit card debt.

However, there’s good news: there are programs in place to help ease the strain of debt. Many companies now offer customer financing, flexible lease-purchase programs, financing for appliances, and services for rebuilding credit. In this article, we will look at a few resources that will help save money on the cost of living.

Flexible Lease-Purchase Programs

Also known as “lease-to-own”, these sorts of arrangements are intended to help consumers purchase the things that they need at a lower monthly cost than short term leasing. What sets flexible lease-purchase programs apart from other financing options is that these agreements are, well, flexible.

With normal financing, such as with appliance financing, or HVAC financing, lenders may turn you down because you don’t fit into their financing program structure. The unfortunate reality is that sometimes the total amount of household expenses are more than the amount of income. Flexible lease-purchase programs take this into account and offer more flexible options. This gives consumers a little wiggle room during months when they may be scraping the bottom of the change jar.

Clipping Coupons

This may seem like a dated concept to some. We all know the stereotype of the thrifty granny on a fixed income, using coupons to purchase her daily essentials. In actuality, the logic is pretty sound: Clip Coupons, save money. You can find all sorts of deals and discounts by looking in your local Sunday newspaper, or in other periodicals and circulars.

If scouring through page after page, and clipping every useful coupon doesn’t sound quite your speed, there are other options for finding coupons and special offers on items that you need. One option is the use of smartphone apps such as Honey, Ibotta, and Groupon. These apps offer amazing deals and help you find the lowest prices on the things you need, from food and grocery discounts to household items and more.

Sign Up for Email Lists and Loyalty Programs

If you find yourself shopping at the same businesses month after month, then you may be leaving money on the table. Most e-commerce websites have email subscription lists. When you sign up, you will be the first to hear about sales and digital discounts that could save you serious money. In the brick and mortar world, customer loyalty programs can lead to even more discounts and free rewards.

These are just a few ways in which you can lessen the financial strain and better make ends meet, but they aren’t the only way. You could also consider selling unused items online or hold a garage sale. If you have a qualifying vehicle and the extra time, you could consider driving for ride-sharing companies. If you are an animal lover, new apps allow users to make money by walking other people’s dogs. The possibilities to earn and save money are endless. With some creative thinking, and Google at your disposal, you can find all sorts of ways to save money.

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