How To Get Off of the Money-Merry-Go-Round
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"How To Get Off of the Money-Merry-Go-Round"

"living from paycheck to paycheck, also known as the money-merry-go-round"

RELEASE: June 2002
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA. Estimates are that 70 percent of all adult working Americans have no money left over after the monthly bills are paid. Also known as living from paycheck to paycheck, it often happens, with an expected emergency, but is also due in part because of poor spending habits and patterns. Complicating the problem further, the people affected have little or no savings. Panic decisions, often involving thousands of dollars of debt, are made by financially undisciplined people. These unwise decisions, made under what seem to be very desperate situations, result in those individuals living from paycheck to paycheck, also known as the money-merry-go-round.

If you, or someone you know, are on the money-merry-go-round, living from paycheck to paycheck or utilizing expensive payday loans, there are some immediate steps to take to reverse it and get back on a pay-as-you-go basis. The goal is to spend smarter, obtain a greater value and thereby generating additional savings to put towards paying off a payday loan and or getting back on a pay-as-you-go track. The steps are:

(1) Scrutinize everyday spending, gather receipts, and identify dangerous trends of regular convenience purchases. Also, look for other ways to achieve more value for your dollars. A good target is ten to twenty percent. Determine what you pay others for things or services you may do for yourself, such self-serve gasoline, or a car wash, lawn mowing, laundry etc.

(2) Set aside the all savings accumulated until there is enough to satisfy the payday loan or get enough ahead to pay the rent or mortgage from income received before its due, instead of utilizing en entire paycheck at the first of the month to pay rent or mortgage.

(3) Establish a written spending-plan, a/k/a budget for income and outgo.

(4) Either begin or take greater advantage of coupons and rebates for household and grocery items. Immediate impact may results because about 30 cents of every take home dollar goes to spending in this area.

If you are living from paycheck to paycheck or "rolling over” payday loans or having difficulty keeping up with your creditors, visit the ICFE's Web site at and click on "Mending Spending.

To receive the same information by mail, please send a self addressed, 60 cent stamped envelope to:
ICFE "Mending Spending"
PO Box 34070 San Diego
CA 92163-4070.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the ( web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: and  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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PO Box 34070
San Diego, Ca 92163
Paul S. Richard, Executive Director
Phone 619-239-1401

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