It’s not uncommon for people to say, “I live paycheck to paycheck” and naturally assume this means they are struggling to make ends meet. While this may be the case for some people, we want to offer a different perspective. We would argue that you SHOULD live paycheck to paycheck, if your budgeting is done properly.
A solid budget plan will include your savings as part of your monthly expenses. It will have each dollar “assigned” to a specific expense or a goal, which will include short-term savings, long-term savings, and retirement. Even your “leftover” money for discretionary spending or “fun money” should be included in your budget. So if you have clearly defined where every dollar goes, then most of the time, you won’t have anything left over at the end of the month and it will feel like living paycheck to paycheck.
This kind of intentional “paycheck to paycheck” mentality means they are making sure you live within your means. That alone should be perceived as a great accomplishment. Unfortunately, society sometimes makes people feel like they have failed to be successful with their money because they don’t have the ability (or the desire) to just buy everything they want. That should be disregarded.
By doing this approach, you are putting yourself in a position where you can build your assets and achieve financial freedom in future. It takes a lot of time and effort to grow your assets and make good financial decisions throughout your financial journey. It is not an overnight process.
In other words, it is common for many people to focus on what they don’t have instead of being appreciative of what they have. People generally love to compare themselves to other people who have more success which could cause them to have a difficult time to be content with their own financial situation. You are encouraged to focus on your situation to make financial decisions that is suitable and put yourself to achieve your financial goals, even if it leaves you feeling like you are living “paycheck to paycheck”.