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Money Smart: Breaking free from living paycheck to paycheck

The majority of Americans are struggling financially, and are living paycheck to paycheck. We have a guide to help you break free of that.

SAN ANTONIO — Breaking free of living paycheck to paycheck is easier than it seems.

The first piece of advice from financial advisor Karl Eggerss of Covenant is to make time in your schedule for extra work.

"Really look at how many hours a week you are working and is there any margin in there to do something extra for some extra income?" Eggerss said. "With Uber and Lyft, is that something you could do on the weekends?"

Eggerss says if you decide to take on extra work, the best thing to do with the money is put it toward savings, rather than your daily expenses.

"Start with the discipline. Because the discipline of doing that as you get raises, take that extra amount of money and save more."

He also says that one of the mistakes people make is that as they get raises, they increase their living standards. He says its particularly important to put money away with raises if you are in debt.

Debt is more important to pay down debt than to invest, Eggerss told us.

"You have to get rid of that debt, otherwise, it snowballs and eats you alive because of the interest and then you fall further and further behind," Eggerss said.

But, even more important than debt is emergency savings. 

That leads to his list of financial priorities:

1) Build emergency savings

2) Pay off debt

3) Start saving

One more piece of advice is to make use of automatic payments, which can help with budgeting.

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