How To Save Money When You’re Living Paycheck To Paycheck


Hey what’s up, Jeff Lerner here
and in this video we’re going to talk about how to save money
living paycheck to paycheck. Something I get a zillion
questions about online, a zillion, that’s the technical
number. DMs, private messages, emails, just different outreach.
People hear me talking about making money, investing money.
People say, what if I don’t have money? How do I save money when
I’m just barely scraping by? So that’s what we’re gonna to talk
about. Okay, so I look at this issue
two ways. The issue of how to make or how to save money,
living paycheck to paycheck. First of all, it’s kind of a two
phase approach in the way that I look at it, and if you watch my
stuff, you know that a lot of things I kind of compare it to
like physical fitness and being in the gym. Go to the gym every
day. It’s like a tangible reminder or way to start your
day with a life lesson at like this is how the world works.
You, what you take in becomes what you put out and stress and
exertion forges you and makes you stronger. It makes you grow
and like again, the gym is just, it’s true of what’s true in the
gym is basically true in life and so the way I look at this
question of how to save money, living paycheck to paycheck is
very much how I look at the gym or how I look at developing the
human body. Essentially. If you’re saying I
only have this much to live off of, then the first thing you
want to do is you want to get lean. Like at the gym this would
be about cutting, right? You just want to cut out everything
you can. As minimal as possible, get to basically where your life
doesn’t have any fluff. Doesn’t have any extra random expenses,
and here’s the thing. When people say, what do I do in X,
Y, Z circumstance. It’s hard, especially online because all I
have is a message. I’m not like they’re meeting with the person,
getting to talk to them and read their body language. There’s so
many layers to that question because the answer’s usually
going to be something that’s hard. If people say, well, what
do I do about this circumstance? The answer is going to be hard.
It’s going to be hard, and a lot of it’s going to be kind of like
common sense, and then people would go, Oh yeah, okay, I need
to do that, but then they don’t do it. The biggest problem in this
world is not getting the answers to questions. It’s getting the
strength and the discipline and the consistency and the
commitment and the drive to actually do what the answers to
the questions tell us to do. So, if somebody comes to me and
says, Hey, I don’t make much money. I make let’s say $1,500 a
month, $2,000 a month. I live paycheck to paycheck. I got my
rent, I got my girlfriend, I got my car, I got my, my stuff, I
got my Xbox addiction, I got my this, my that. Okay, well,
here’s what you’re going to do. We’re going to get lean, right?
We’re going to to pair down your expenses. I can’t do without my
Xbox and my girlfriend really likes to go out to eat and you
know, I got to live in this part of town and well, I really do
need a car. And so then we’re stuck and
there’s nowhere to go. Usually it’s like, okay, you gotta get
lean. You got to do the hard thing. Like getting lean is
hard. Ask a bodybuilder who’s cutting for a competition if
getting lean is hard. They’re miserable, they’re carb
depleted, they’re cranky all the time. They’re, it’s hard to, to
literally fast and starve yourself and in life, if you’re
on a lean diet, then you can’t live like you’re not. You’ve got
to do the hard thing and you’ve got to make the hard cuts. And I
can’t tell people what that is, but here’s what I can say is I’m
in the growth business. I think it’s a lot more fun to have the
conversation, to reframe the conversation, to be about how do
we get jacked? Not how do we get lean, right? Like how do I grow
lean muscle? How do I grow a lean life? How
do I grow a life that is stronger and has more
possibilities and has more stamina and hows more excellence
and has more experience and more incredible stuff I can do where
it’s not about getting fat, it’s not about being bloated and
excessive, but it’s also not about having to live small and
you know, look sickly because you know, physically, I’m
obviously stretching the metaphor here, but because
you’re like physically starving yourself or you’re financially
starving yourself because you haven’t evolved your life to a
place where you can make more money. And this is about
mentally reframing the question. Usually people that come to me
with this question. There’s a whole belief system. There’s a
whole indoctrination phase of their life that has led them to
a point where if they’re living off of $2,000 a month, they have
made choices that are rooted in beliefs that say that this is
even reasonable, that this is like a real way to live. And you know, it’s fine for a
time. I mean if you’re a college kid and your, you’re studying
your craft or something, but as a life, to me it’s much more
about the vision of your life. Like what are you doing with
your life and that it’s usually whatever you want to do with
your life. At some levels you can benefit from making more
money. So make the strategy not how do I survive paycheck to
paycheck? Make the strategy how do I gain money in my personal
economy? Again, just like it’s not, how do I live off of 1400
calories a day? It’s, or it all fluctuates depending on your
body weight, but like how do I live off a thousand calories a
day or whatever. It’s more how do I get my life in a place
where I can eat 25 or 2,500 or 3000 calories a day, but be
working in exerting and producing in such a way that it
converts it into lean muscle and I can grow my body and I can
grow my life. I just, this question frustrates
me and maybe people say that’s insensitive, but you know, I
went through a time, went through a decade of my life
where I felt poor and miserable and starving all the time, and I
was exposed to these ideas that basically say, if you reframe
your life and you reevaluate and you reevaluate your decisions
and you scrutinize your belief systems and you change the way
you spend your time and you cut away the clutter and you cut out
the fat and you cut out the friends that are a drag and the
people that bring you down and you cut out the negative energy
and you focus and you get obsessed and you reprioritize,
you can actually completely transform your life. You know, I
spent a decade of my life never earning more than $40,000 a year
and I was living in a major city. So basically you’re, you’re
pretty poor. Like you’re not living high on the hog if you’re
making $25,000 to $40,000 a year. Living in a major city in
the United States. Spent a decade of my life doing that.
Then I had these conversations. I met some different people. I
changed the way I looked at the world. In the next 18 months, I
made a half a million dollars. So, i do come by this
perspective, honestly, that it’s a lot easier to reframe the
conversation and say, okay, how do I make more money? Not how do
I scrimp and starve and try to subsist on meager rations. Dave
Ramsey is someone I actually like the way he approaches this.
Dave Ramsey is a pretty good blend of, and by the way, let me
just say this, I don’t have anything unique to say.
Everything that I say is stuff I learned from other people. So, if it surprises you that I’m
going to reference someone else. Look, I mean, I wasn’t born
knowing these things. I had to learn them from somewhere,
right? And so that’s, that’s my first lesson is becoming a
student of the game. You’re watching videos online right
now. That’s great. Do a lot more of that. Read books, go to
seminars, invest in yourself. Typically people don’t value
free. So, while it’s great that you’re watching free videos,
doing things that invest, even just buying a physical book, and
I have other videos about how to improve your reading, but like
buying a physical book and taking the time to actually read
the book. Listening to guys again, Dave Ramsey, I like the
way he approaches this. He does a pretty good job of kind of
blending really pragmatic advice with also like real tough love,
where it kind of, the underlying tone of a lot of his stuff is
basically you gotta get your shit together, right? So you’re, you’re telling me you
make $20,000 a year, you’re telling me you’re getting
married, you’re telling me you want to have a kid. You’re
asking how you’re going to make it work. The real answer is it’s
not gonna, it’s not gonna work well. It’s not going to be
elegant. It’s not going to be smooth. It’s not going to be
that much fun. It’s going to be really hard. You’re setting
yourself up with your decisions and they’re beautiful things.
Getting married and having a kid like nobody’s knocking that but
it takes resources in this world. What I do, and what Dave
Ramsey talks about and I really like his approach. He’s saying,
look, forget about, not forget, but for now, just set aside
where you are or your circumstances and you know what
you’re working with. Now let’s talk about 10 years from now. What is the vision that you want
to have for your life? See, a lot of people when they talk
about, I want to make more money. I want to pursue
something. I want to work hard or build a business or do a side
hustle or whatever. They say, what do I like to do? What’s my
passion? Because I’ll bet if it’s my passion, I’ll work hard
at it and be motivated. Who cares what your passion is?
Nobody wants to pay you because you’re passionate about a thing.
Some passions happen to also be good business ideas. Most
passions happen to be pretty crap business ideas. Start with
your vision, not your passion. Decide what you want your life
to look like 10 years from now and then start working
backwards. And this is, you know, kind of the grant Cardone
approach to life is what you’re doing now is going to be
primarily a function of what your vision is for where you’re
going to be in 10 years. Cardone’s big deal is 10 X your
vision, right? If you have 10 times bigger vision, 10 times
bigger goals for where you’re going to be 10 years from now,
you’ll be taking 10 times more action and doing 10 times more
aggressive things now to get there. And I agree with him on
that. I don’t agree with every single thing he says, but on
this, I very, very much agree that having a really big,
magnificent, inspiring vision in your future is going to be way
more powerful than having a smaller vision because smaller
visions aren’t that inspirational. Big visions will
inspire you and drive you to do the work right now. And what you
do is you just reverse engineer. You say, Hey, to be where I want
to be in 10 years, what do I need to do right now? What
skills do I need to learn? And it’s gonna come down to
three things. It’s gonna be, what skills do I need to learn,
I. E. education? What relationships do I need to have,
I E. network other people and what habits do I need to
develop? I. E. me. The X factor, the independent variable in the
experiment. The one thing that I have absolute control of. How do
I need to discipline and regiment my life to be as
productive as possible? And that’s it. Training, network and
habits. So reverse engineer your life to say, where do I want to
be in 10 years and say, what training do I need to acquire
right now today? What network do I need to start building right
now today? And it takes time to build a network. I have
relationships now that allow me to do things that make things
look certain things look really easy, but their relationships,
it took me 2, 5 in some cases, 10 years to acquire. So it’s, but you still start
that process now. Training, network, and then habits. Who do
I need to become? My guess is anybody who says, and this man
you, Jeff, this is harsh. You don’t know everyone’s personal
circumstance. No, I don’t and I never could. I know my personal
circumstance, you know, over a decade ago when I was broke,
living in my ex wife’s parents’ house got kicked out of my
apartment. I was almost half a million dollars in debt. I had
tried to start two businesses, actually a franchise restaurant
concept. They both collapsed. I was $500,000 in debt and hurt my
hand. I couldn’t even play piano gigs like I used to. I mean, I
know that circumstance. Granted, I don’t know everyone’s, but I
know one, it was pretty damn tough and I know what it meant
to pivot and come up with a bigger vision of my life, change
the people that I was surrounding myself with, change
what I was doing every day changed my attitude, changed my
discipline, changed my focus, and changed the skills that I
was focused on. At the time. I had been really
focused on being a great piano player and that was awesome. I
sat there like this for hours and hours a day playing, playing
the keyboard, trying to be a great piano player. I had a lot
of fun. It was my passion but didn’t pay for squat and I ended
up in a big hole so I changed to a different keyboard. Right, and
I sat here and did this for hours and hours a day, learned
some different skills, changed my focus and use digital
marketing to dig myself out of a half a million dollar hole in 18
months and go on to make over $30 million in the last 12
years. Education, network and habits. Those are really the
only three things I changed. I started learning different
things. I met different people. The internet is amazing because
it can, it can connect you to anyone. If you want to get
connected with a group of Daredevil Alpine skiers based in
Switzerland, boom. I’ll bet you there’s a Facebook
group for that. I’ll bet you there’s a forum for that. I’ll
bet you there’s a website for that. You can get connected to
them right through the internet. If you want to get connected
with a group of multi-millionaire digital
marketers that travel around the world and make money from their
laptops, boom. I know for a fact there’s a Facebook group for
that. There’s a lot of Facebook groups for that. I have a
company where you can meet those people like it’s out there. You
just got to change your network and changing your network is
going to largely involve starting to say no to all the
people that currently occupy your network because there’s
only so much bandwidth in this world for us to network. That’s
the hardest thing. Again, these, these answers are not
complicated. I get these questions, the same question
again and again and again and again and it’s, it’s not
frustrating. I love what I do and I love that
I get to evangelize this for people, but it’s hard because I
just feel like there’s not a big enough megaphone in the world
for me to say this enough times to enough people in enough ways
that they’ll take enough action. It will make enough of an impact
and they’ll actually do these things. Change your network,
change your habits, change your educational focus, and you will
change your life and you will not have to ask the question any
further. I mean for forever. You might have to ask it for another
few months while some changes kick into gear, but you’re not
going to be stuck in this quagmire forever. Well, how do I
make ends meet when I only make so much money? Change the amount
of money that you make. All that to say, that’s the big picture,
right? Create a different vision and
reverse engineer the education network and habits that you need
to develop to aim for the big vision of your life. Now, in the
short term, I get it in the short term, that’s where the
hardship lies, right? Assuming you make this big picture
mindset shift that I’m talking about, then it’s like, okay,
well what do I do today? I got a bill due or something. Okay, you
got to get a side hustle. I wasn’t knocking side hustles
earlier. I was just saying that side hustles don’t really amount
to much if you don’t first get in the right mindset to be
successful at everything you do. Because how you do one thing is
how you do everything and how you do your main hustle and how
you do your side hustle and how you do your relationship and how
you do your communication and how you take care of your body
and how, what time you wake up in the morning and what food you
put in your body and how you do your spiritual practice and how
you do it all. You’re either excellent or
you’re not, you know, so gut check yourself, decide to get
excellent. Then start a side hustle. Don’t start a side
hustle so that you can hopefully make some extra money so that
you can fix all your problems. So then you can be excellent, do
better in life. That’s, that’s putting the cart before the
horse. So if you’re ready to start a side hustle and you’ve
got the right mindset, there basically are two side hustles
that I’m going to strongly recommend. One is digital
marketing. Like I said, basically I changed my life with
a side hustle. 2008 I got online, I found some guys that
started teaching digital marketing skills. I got started
in a particular area, digital marketing called affiliate
marketing. Like I said, in 18 months I side hustled my way out
of a $500,000 debt. So side hustles can be really, really
powerful and pretty quickly they can kind of become your main
hustle, but you gotta make sure that you’re learning from the
right people. Again, changing your education,
changing your network and changing your habits. And so
digital marketing is one area that I strongly recommend.
Obviously, I have a digital entrepreneurial education
company, so I have a vested stake in saying that if you want
to check out my company, it’s called Entre. There’s surely to
be a link around this video somewhere where you can learn
more, but whether you use my training or not, it doesn’t
matter. Get educated about digital marketing and you will
change your life. That’s one of the hardest pills for me to get
this world to swallow in my life is there is no one that I come
across that couldn’t change their circumstances. People that
want to change their circumstances, obviously. I mean
somebody owns a ranch in central Texas that’s throwing off $2
million a month in oil revenue then I’m not going to tell that
guy he needs to become a digital marketer. He’s doing fine, but for most
people that are struggling and they want to change their
circumstance, I say digital marketing, there’s like anybody
can learn this stuff. It’s not complicated. It’s not
complicated beyond a certain basic level of, I would equate
it to like maybe things you learned in the seventh grade.
Like seventh grade biology, at least at the school I went to, I
would say was more complex than anything I’ve ever had to learn
in digital marketing, but biologists make X, digital
marketers make millions or tens or even sometimes hundreds of
millions of dollars. There’s a few that have made billions like
learn digital marketing and then the other thing, if for some
reason you’re one of those people who has a total mental
obstacle against dealing with computers or you just for
whatever reason, are adamant that digital marketing is not
your gig. Real estate. There’s always opportunities in real
estate and those are really the only two things that I recommend
for people. Digital marketing or real
estate. There’s always opportunities in real estate.
The reason real estate is so great is because it’s
ubiquitous. Everywhere you go it’s not only happening, but
it’s also usually the biggest pool of capital in any market
that you go into just because it’s tangible and it’s high
value and there’s so much leverage from the banking system
in real estate, so even if you just get in and start figuring
out how to get tiny small fractions of real estate deals,
you can still make meaningful money. Certainly if you’re
making $20,000 a year. $1,800 a month or whatever that is, how
much involvement in a decent real estate deal do you have to
have to really fundamentally change your quality of life? So
learn digital marketing skills, learn real estate skills. Again,
changing your education, network, get connected to people
that can create these opportunities for you. Change your habits. I promise
you, whatever challenges you’re facing in this life, they are at
least partially grounded in your habits and your daily choices.
If you have questions about that, I recommend the book the
power of habit by Charles Duhigg. Again, just this whole
video is to basically say, reframe the question, like
scarcity, mindset, poverty mindset. It’s a real thing. If
you’re stuck living paycheck to paycheck, it’s because you’re
stuck thinking paycheck to paycheck. Change your thinking,
you’ll change your living. Okay, so, Hey, that’s my 2 cents on
the matter. If this is the first video of mine you’ve seen and
you’re like, what’s this about? Exactly? Basically, this channel
is committed to helping people have a more awesome life. I
believe life is meant to be awesome. I have a mission of
empowering physical, personal, and professional excellence
through entrepreneurial education solely for the purpose
of helping people create and pay for more awesome lives. Because
that’s what I believe that we are destined here to live. So if
you’re into that, I’d love it if you’d subscribe and get more of
my content. Make sure you click the bell to get notified as new
videos come out. I always do this as the bell down here. I
don’t know. I always do that. Make sure you click the bell so
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bringing you the awesome life training. See on the next one.

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