American Center for Credit Education
ACCE Home News About Us Contact Us For Businesses
Recent Updates

Love and Debt: Why you need to talk about money

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Q. We are living paycheck to paycheck and want to get out of that mode. What can we do to get ahead in 2018? 

A. The best advice is always based on your unique situation. If there is a non-profit credit counseling service near you that provides financial counseling for a small or no fee I would suggest you contact them. They can help you develop a plan to stop living paycheck to paycheck based on your income, debts, and goals.

In the absence of one-to-one counseling, there are steps you can take to get ahead. One of the most important steps a person or family can take to stop living paycheck to paycheck is to establish an emergency savings account. Without a savings account, every time you experience an emergency, your finances go into a tailspin. To get ahead you need to be able to weather emergencies. 

The easiest way to fund an emergency savings is with your tax refund. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on January 29, 2018. Keep in mind if you are claiming certain tax credits you will not see your refund until late February.

If you will not receive a tax refund, there are other ways to fund an emergency savings. If your employer allows direct deposit, consider depositing part of your paycheck into a savings account. If you are not paid by direct deposit, consider setting up an automatic transfer from your checking to savings every month. 

Increasing your income is another way you can building your saving account. You could pick up overtime hours if your employer allows it or consider getting a part-time job. Put your additional income into your savings account. 

Reducing your expenses and putting money into savings is another strategy you can employ to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Take the time to examine where you are spending your money. Is the cup of coffee in the morning or the pizza on the way home bringing you value or do you spend money in areas without thinking twice?  There’s nothing wrong with doing any of these things unless they are keeping you from reaching your goals. Review your expenses and see if there are items you can reduce or eliminate and put that money into savings. 

The more actions you take, the faster you will see progress. The more progress you make, the better shape your finances will be in. With a little effort living paycheck to paycheck will be a thing of the past and you will enjoy a brighter 2018.

Bonnie Spain is the Executive Director of Rushmore Consumer Credit Resource Center and its divisions, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills and the American Center for Credit Education. For more information, email

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.