I didn't answer originally, because I feel like I go through this with friends and family quite often and they NEVER take my advice. It's very frustrating because having broke friends and family definitely puts a dent in my ability to do some of the things that I enjoy doing. I don't think there is this big secret to getting out of the the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!
Although not exclusive to black folk, we tend to have money that burns holes in our pockets. In the eyes of almost everyone I know, what's the point of having money if you aren't spending it. This is fiscally irresponsible to the tenth degree. Almost everyone can afford to save something from their paycheck even if it's only $10 yet we don't do it. Think of the shenanigans that goes on when people get their income tax checks. It goes straight to Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Side-of-the-road car lots.
I believe @OckyDub wrote about it before, but he invested small amounts to start. That's exactly what I did. First, started my 401k off the bat then I took advantage of purchasing my company's stock at a discount when it was offered to all employees and then I kept buying more and more. This was back in 2004 so as you can imagine, that stock has ballooned beyond my wild imagination.
Also, because I was single with no kids, I created a personal budget for myself that included investing. A percentage of my paycheck went into buying more stock/bonds and another percentage went into a savings account for emergencies. To this day, I have not withdrawn a dime from any of these accounts.
There's a famous saying that goes something like, "If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book." We don't like to read. I had to read and study up on investing to feel comfortable doing it in the beginning. Even though today I have a FA(Financial Advisor) that helps me manage my money, I like to know enough to keep an eye on what he's doing.
Live BENEATH your means!!!!! I have a very nice car but it's not a Range Rover or BMW. I don't need those expenses. Remember, the extra money can make me money instead of being parked in my driveway depreciating. If you can afford a $2000 mortgage, get one for $1600. @Nick Delmacy was correct when he said there are people making six figures living paycheck to paycheck because people feel that the more they make, the more they can spend.
Unfortunately, our parents have very little to zero financial literacy so there is no one to teach us about these things. It's going to take initiative to learn it starting with this generation. One thing I can say is when you have money in the bank and other investments, it certainly takes a lot of pressure off living and trying to enjoy life.