How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck | BeatTheBush

How’s it going, everybody? This is BeatTheBush. Today, I’m going to talk about how you can stop living paycheck to paycheck really really quickly. You see, most of America spends way more than the bare necessities, making the illusion that it seems like you’re living paycheck to paycheck. But all that’s necessary for most people is that you can cut back on luxury items and then all of a sudden, you will have up to 30% of your paycheck to spend on whatever you want. The first thing that’s keeping most people from spending at such a low level is the need to keep up with others. The majority of people that I come into contact with likes to show off their things, likes to show off their status. So all you have to do (which is probably harder for some than others) is to be more humble. When you’re more humble, you don’t really care about showing your possessions off to others. When you’re standing next to someone, you don’t care as much that they’re more well-dressed. Or they look fancier. And, you know, having a nice watch or whatnot. Personally, I get a lot of flack for using my Freedom Pop phone which is a free cell phone. People wonder “Hey, I’m an engineer; I can afford a cell phone.”
Of course, yes I can. But it’s something that’s not that important to me. And I can get an equivalent service with that service already. I found a great way to deflect any kind of criticism towards you being frugal. It’s just by bragging more about your frugalness. So for example, if someone likes to make fun of my Freedom Pop phone and saying “Oh, yeah. Your phone is old; how do you even get calls on it?” All I have to say is “Hey, I’ve been using this phone for several years now. And I don’t have to pay a monthly fee for maybe four or five years. Every single year, I’m actually saving like $1,000. You guys can go ahead and spend $1,000 on the monthly fees if you like. Sure, it’ll look more fancy and stuff but I like my position of my phone. [Rolling white board in] Now in the beginning, you know why I said “Everybody should be able to cut off their luxuries and suddenly have 30% of their paycheck for use”? Just check out this Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys from 1984 to 2012. Now each one of these graphs represents 1/5 of the population. The one furthest to the left is the highest income. And then you get lower and lower income. Right off top, you’ll notice that the bare necessities is the same for everybody no matter how much you earn. Of course, the more you earn=the less percentage of bare necessities of your income that you’re going to use. So you can see the lowest 1/5 of the income bracket (the bare necessities percentage) of your total income has actually decreased, from around 70% back in 1984 all the way down to 60% of your income. Now these are bare necessities such as water, food, shelter, things like that. Even in the bottom 1/5 of the income level, people are still spending some level of luxuries. In the lowest 1/5 here, you can see people are spending around 35% in luxury items. Now, I don’t think this is Gucci bags or anything. But I think this luxury item might be like going out to movies, things that are a little bit luxurious but not absolute basic needs. Now, you might wonder why I bring this up in trying to not live paycheck to paycheck. It’s because I think most people are spending way beyond than what they actually need. Now, in order to figure out what people actually need, it helps to look at this chart; this is called Maslow’s Pyramid. And you have some basic needs at the very bottom and then you sort of build on top from the bottom. You can see at the very bottom, it’s the physiological needs. You need things to keep your body happy. You need water every single day to keep you hydrated. You need food to keep you well-fed. You need warmth so that you don’t catch a cold and, you know, get sick. You need shelter to keep warm, of course, at night and then also to be safe. You also need a certain amount of rest because you don’t want to be working 24 hours a day. In which case, you would just kind of collapse and not be able to do anything else. So these are more bodily needs over here. There are other basic needs which is the safety part. You generally want job security so that you know you’re going to be taking in some income. And having job security–it kind of gives you a fuzzy feeling so that you would feel safe. You’re not going to lose your place of stay. You’re going to keep on having food coming in that you can eat, and water, warmth, etc. On top of the safety thing, you want to have help. So if you’re on a job that is very dangerous, of course, you’re going to lose a little bit of that. You want to keep your health well through exercising, through eating well, through living in a safe place. So bears aren’t attacking you or what not. So when I talk about the bottom of this pyramid, you realize that I don’t list things like cable or coffee or soda or soft drinks or any of those things which I personally consider luxuries. Those things, you can also argue that it’s not very good for you either. Now if you go up further on the pyramid, you have social needs such as friends, family, intimacy. Now generally, if you have all these already, you should be able to obtain all of these other things as well. After you have the social needs, you might want to meet some esteem needs such having good confidence that you are where you are in society. You want to have good achievements that you did something well that you can show others. And you can have the respect of others because of those achievements by other people such as your friends, family. Now beyond that, it’s a little bit even more greedy because you’ve attained all these other things. And you’re like “Oh yeah, I’m sitting around. I have good confidence. I did all these achievements.” Then what else do you want to do? Do you want to express yourself in self-fulfillment in terms of creativity? And a whole bunch of other things. And you can look up the Maslow’s Pyramid to check out all the other stuff that’s related to self-fulfillment. Today, I want to concentrate more of the basic needs. I bring this up because these are the basic needs. And you got to really use this to figure out what are the needs vs. wants. When you look at these things, you can quickly figure out “Wow! You only need water as basic needs?” Food? What’s the food? Is that like steak or something? Warmth? Well, I mean you can have warmth with a little hut, right? And of course, shelter and rest. You’ll notice that if you look at this in detail and then you compare it to your budget, you’ll notice that a lot of the things that you’re spending on is not actually part of these basic needs. Is packaged macaroni and cheese basic needs? It generally is not because yeah, it is considered food but you don’t absolutely need macaroni and cheese. Food here really means the basic things that your body needs to keep itself happy. I’m not talking about eating just bread or whatnot because then you’re going to have a lack in vitamins. But you can actually get very good food for minimal costs and that would already meet your basic needs. You don’t need to eat fast food. You don’t need to eat restaurant food. Of course, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you can just cut everything down to your basic needs. And then really figure out what you really want to spend on. One really really easy thing to cut out a lot of expenditure is just to drink water only. Don’t drink all the soda, don’t drink coffee, whatever. If you drink water, well, how much is water? It’s basically free. Just get a filter and filter it out and then you can have all the water you want. Food–If you eat fresh food, eat less meat, eat more vegetables, that’s really going to drastically cut your food costs as well as food planning. Because if you’re not wasting any food, then your expenditure on food is going to be a lot lower as well. So I’m sure you’ll notice that these basic needs does not include magazine subscriptions, fancy sneakers, and things like that. Those are the kind of things that can really make you live paycheck to paycheck as well as trying to finance something all the time. If you don’t have enough money, you finance something. Then you end up paying a lot more for that item rather than just paying cash for it. So I hope this gives you a little bit of perspective on how to not live paycheck to paycheck. You can easily cut out all the luxury items and then all of a sudden, BOOM! You don’t live paycheck to paycheck. And all of a sudden, you have a lot more money to pay off any of your debts if you have any of those. Don’t forget to give me a like on this video. Comment down below. Let me know if that helps you cut down on all your expenses just like that. If you’re interested in supporting this channel, I have an Audible link down in the video description below where you can get a free audio book. There’s also a Gamefly link down there for a 30-day free trial. I also have a Patreon link over here and don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck | BeatTheBush

  • I did an excel sheet of my expenses to the penny

    It was a good wake up call aside from my $90 phone bill
    And $40 gym bill
    I spend about $80 a month in luxuries.
    I'll say $160 just to be humble.

  • I dont get the idea of all this. money is there to spent not to accumulate. sure if you are saving for something large then thats ok but from what Ive heard you are a millionaire or close.. why would you not have some luxury? why save it? for what?

  • I hate that I know all this things in the back of my head but I look the other way, and not til I hear it from someone else ,then, I listen… just fund ur channel, I'll follow u…for good.
    u are an ace in my libro


  • So, what you’re saying is stop buying unnecessary things, and you will have 30% of income left over to buy unnecessary things? Ok….

  • Very well put video! I do have a question for you though. I get the idea of restricting yourself on the luxurious parts of life. Many will argue that you only live once and the money you save you won't take with you when you pass away. So my question is how often do you yourself enjoy luxuries? And what luxuries do you not feel guilty taking part in?

  • You are a great teacher and this video really helped me to distinguish between what i really need and what is luxury. Thanks for uploading

  • Just wake up people. The luxury can wait. Run up your check meaning save your money for a couple of months especially of you're young and living rent free you can save so much money and quit the job and live up

  • All this is such obvious stuff but people refuse to accept it and if you tell them about it they get all pissy and shity nobody wants to accept the truth about anything and generally when people tell them what the truth is they just started in with their mental gymnastics. Why do we all like to suffer so much

  • Buy things on sale. Sell everything you don't need. Cut out the time wasters and use the time saved on earning more money.

  • I knew it! Mac & cheese is a luxury food! Pat on my shoulder i only consume coffee and snacks at work. Thank God for my job!

  • I love watching these tips and pieces of advice. They get you thinking about things in a different way and help reduce waste!

  • It’s simple you can just get a fucking higher paying job or a job that will provide you with more hours

    I worked for this job called food lion for about 4 months and I’d get paid around $320-$350 every 2 weeks which is basically shit

    My rent every month was about $290 because I live with my friends from high school

    After rent I also had bills I had to pay like WiFi, electricity, and water. All that combined was about $100-$150 a month

    After that I have to worry about food and my phone bill so when I round it all up that’ll leave me with about $60-$100 every month that I can save or by clothes which really isn’t shit

  • Thank you, I am changing my ways to see money and also starting to spend less or just not spend at all on extra things that I don't really need in a long term.

  • One thing that helps out that my mom mentioned to me was, she said you make 26,000 a year just for being a security gaurd and you been working their for 1 year now, and I said yes, But then she said now out of 23,000 a year , 1,804 a month, 460$ a week, and 92$ a day, how much do you have saved in your bank right now? I answered 76$ bucks and then thats when I realized man I due have a spending problem.

  • try the 7 day no food challenge… only can drink water… do this every month and save you a weeks groceries every month. Also get your water from the neighbours tap when they aren't home.

  • I'm currently in the process of eating some humble pie as we speak. From age 18 until now (28) I've always had to have the best pocket knives, the nicest car, the baddest motorcycle on the block, the hottest girlfriend, the best cell phone, just the best of everything and I only make $11/hr. It has finally caught up to me. I'm about to be living in my car for a while so I'm working on getting rid of all the high end stuff and downgrading from the nice house to an apartment

  • You hit the nail on the head. Most people get in financial trouble because they want to show off to peers. I changed my spending by moving to a much smaller place, not fancy at all but good area. My stress level went way down, I don't have to worry about paying basic bills.

  • Also, paying for groceries you don't need to get 100% organic and/or non-gmo or quick meals. The calories and the cost add up for those. Just keep it simple

  • It does drive me crazy when people spend so much on cable and amazon prime and Netflix and Hulu and hair and nails and then buy electronics on credit and then lease a new car and then they cry when they don’t have savings for an emergency.

  • I would emphasize, if you need a car for transportation(public transit isnt good outside cities) then NEVER BUY NEW.

    A new car even if financed steals thousands of dollars from you. Depreciation is money turning into smoke when you drive off the lot.

    If you can't afford or don't want to throw away thousands of dollars, by used. It can be a year old, two years old and still be in mint condition, sell after 3 years and buy used again if you want fairly recent vehicles.

    But to get the most value, drive it until it has major mechanical problems. Which can be 20 years in some cases. That is 15 years of no car payments if you financed.

  • Thank you for the video I am going to learn how to live frugal how can I get a free phone? I want to retire at 55 and I need to save money 7 years to reach my goal

  • You have made some very good points and I follow a few of them to a certain degree. However, and I'm only speaking of myself, I find that all of that saving and cutting back is fine, but you have to have a good time because life is way to short. I knew a gentleman that saved his entire life and never went anywhere, no vacations, rarely buying anything new except when he absolutely had to. He finally retired, all is well, right? He died a week later, massive heart attack. This man never got the opportunity to enjoy life. Everything in moderation. Love your channel, great work.

  • I'm humble or so I want to think. Most of my income goes to pay bills such as rent, my personal health insurance, and family members' life insurances. It is quite difficult to save when I am not a parent, but I have to act like one and provide for both my parents and my siblings.

    Your video indeed helps to remind me of the basic needs and how I can try to remove or stop the spending on luxury, which I really don't have much of. That luxury is mostly Starbucks a couple times a month.

  • Rule #1 of personal finance. Spend less than you earn. If you do this, no financial problems will arise.

    I agree with you teaching people wants vs. Needs. But the problem is you need to put this into the concept of the budget. Money in – money out.

    There are only 3 types of expenses. Fixed (rent, phone bill, insurance) Variable (gas, electricity, food) and unplanned. By definition, you cannot plan for the unexpected. The only thing you can do is take the excess money you get from spending less than you earn and save it. Then, stick to the budget. When life happens, boom, you have the cash to handle the situation.

    That is how you stop living paycheck to paycheck. Mic Drop

  • The wisdom of this channel has revealed itself to me upon staring at my empty bank account… Thanks for the tips!

  • Yeah.. These bear attacks have been vicious dude. LMAOO i love how you say bear attacks like its an epidemic kind of thing where if you go out at night you get attacked by bears 100% LOL

  • Partly agree.
    I agree you should not spend too much just to keep up with peers.

    But you need to spend some to keep up with peers. E.g at least use a smartphone, instead of a old school Nokia phone

    Keep up with peers, stay in relationship, similaritiy , is also part of the "investment"

  • These are great tips but sadly, this doesn't apply to me for the most part because I am already doing these things. I still have to live paycheck to paycheck and cant get out. Rent, medical debt and student loans are kicking my butt.

  • My issue is that I have chronic illnesses and the reason I live paycheck-to-paycheck isn't because I'm blowing my money on stuff I don't need. I live paycheck-to-paycheck beause after my monthly bills (mortgage, car payment, insurance, utilities, prescription medications) and groceries I have a bunch of medical bills that I'm trying to pay off.

  • My friend got a 2nd job to make an extra 40 dollars a day. But now he spends 15 dollars a day just on energy drinks. People are excruciating.

  • So true! I’ve really cut back my non-necessary spending and it gives me hundreds to put towards savings. And I’m safe from bears 🐻

  • I got my Smartphone, a Droid, for free on Black Friday with my carrier, then used an employee discount for every monthly bill. I protect my small homes. I love the phone, helped me learn my new neighborhood and even found the place as trees Thank God, we’re covering the street name. I know others gave up but not me.

  • Yes, give up living and be a total pauper to survive. With hard times ahead, most citizens will be struggling to subsist if they aren't already.

  • It's true just focus on the basic needs. It's the media and people who wants to make you believe you aren't hip enough

  • You Looked similar Face of my Korean teacher in philippines 🇵🇭
    His name is Will oppa🤗
    Thumbs up 👍
    for your videos 🎥🎞

    I subscribed yesterday
    Enjoy your passion.“

  • one of my biggest regrets is wasting a TON of money buying stuff stuff and more stuff…stuff i didn't need, nor use, nor sometimes even want….i would be wealthy if i saved that money instead…..thanks for all the good info you provide

  • How about I spend $1000 now on a good phone and don’t buy a new phone for as long as I can. I generally agree with being frugal although there is nothing wrong with parting with some money for quality items you plan to keep forever. Just my strategy

  • BeatTheBush, could you please clarify exactly which phone and which provider you use?

    At the moment, I use a Galaxy S-7, if I remember correctly; I have paid it off, but I still pay about $70 each month for the service, but I'm considering getting a cheaper phone / plan.

  • I remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs from college days–it is surprising how much "stuff" we simply do not need. If one is careful it is surprising how much you can save from your paycheck, if fact, if you think about it, you might be able to save your whole paycheck if you know how to make money on the side and pay for your living expenses–you might not do this long term but if you need to save it could be done.

  • Ignoring the whole permit, taxes, fines, etc fiasco… it's really not that expensive just to Survive. Someone frugal could manage on just $400 a month. Of course survival isn't the same thing as comfortable.

    That of course assumes you have no medical issues or anyone else you have to take care of.

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