How To Live Within Your Means
posted on Jul 10, 2020 | 433 likes
How To Live Within Your Means
It’s one thing to know how to live within your means, but you can also be happy with them.
Most people wish they had a more luxurious lifestyle: they wish they had more money, they wish for more expensive vacations, they wish they could buy more expensive things.
This “desire for more” is exacerbated by social media, where everyone shares snippets of their supposedly glamorous lives.
First, it’s important to remember that most people only use social media as a highlight reel.
They only post about things that paint their lives out to be exciting, happy, and luxurious. But that’s not the reality.
If people posted on social media about all aspects of their lives, we’d have lots more “unhappy” posts about financial struggles, monotonous jobs, and feelings of inadequacy.
Those are just some of the realities of life that fall on everyone from time to time.
So, don’t be deceived into blowing your finances on irrelevant things in a quest to catchup.
If you still find this a bit of a struggle, here are 10 tips that’ll help you learn how to live within your means.
Know your income and expenses
The first thing you need to know is what’s coming in and what’s going out.
Make a list of any and all income you have from your job, side work, family gifts, pension, or anywhere else.
Then make a list of every bill you have, from food, to utility bills. (Don’t forget bills that may not arrive monthly, like rent.
The difference between your income and fixed expenses is what’s left for the expenses you can control: your variable and discretionary expenses.
Most of us have sufficient income to cover our fixed expenses. After all, we wouldn’t have taken on obligations we couldn’t pay. It’s the variable and discretionary expenses that so often get out of control.
Track your expenses
A spending plan or budget is the single best way to ensure you live within your means.
A spending plan is exactly what the name implies: It lays out what you plan to spend. To keep tabs on your progress or lack thereof, you’ll need to track your money as you spend it.
If you want to know how to live within your means and reach your goals, you have to track where your money’s going. It’s the only way to nip problems in the bud.
Separate wants and needs
When it comes to shopping, knowing the difference between a want and a need will help keep you out of debt.
Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need it. If you don’t, wait before you buy it. Try using the 48-hour rule.
If you see something you want to buy but don’t think you absolutely need, wait 48 hours before buying it. You might find that, more often than not, you change your mind.
Sure, your friends or neighbors might drive nicer cars, have the newest technology, or take expensive vacations, but that doesn’t mean you have to do the same.
Think of it this way: Your neighbor might have taken a loan out for the Mercedes, put the new flat-screen on his credit card, or taken out a personal loan to pay for a vacation.
Sometimes living within your means might not be as glamorous, but you will be much better off for it long term.
There’s nothing wrong with taking up a personal loan to fund a need that demands urgent attention.
Keep an emergency fund
Life is unpredictable. Your car might break down, you could get sick, your bike could get stolen, and you might find yourself flying across the country to visit family.
An Emergency fund will come in handy in such cases to help you sort out emergencies (as the name implies) quickly.
If you must take a loan to solve this kind of emergencies, be sure to use a trusted provider that doesn’t rope you into unending repayments – and pay it off as quickly as possible.
Save money wherever possible
Saving money will help you stop overextending yourself financially. Try these tips to get started:
· Never walk into the grocery store unprepared. Before you shop, be sure to pay attention to which items are on sale, or which items you can buy in bulk to save (but won’t go bad). Also, be sure to use a shopping list.
· Track your hobby spending. Decide exactly how much a month you want to spend on your hobbies, like movies or concerts, and stick to that budget.
· Bring lunch to work. If there are good restaurants near work, you’ll be tempted to buy lunch every day. Skip the pricey meals and try bringing lunch from home. It’ll add up.
Cut down on expenses
If you’re still struggling to live within your means, take a hard look at your expenses. There is probably something you can cut out or at least cut down on. For example:
- Gym memberships.
- Hair and nail salons.
- Cable TV.
- Amount and data usage
Go through your bills and cancel any service you don’t use frequently. For the stuff you do use, call the provider and see if you can get a better deal, or at least cut it down. Maybe you only need 10 gigs of data a month rather than unlimited.
Boost your income
Of course, an easy way to improve your financial situation is to boost your income. The most gratifying way is to make more at your current job by getting a raise. It’s probably the simplest way to ease money stress.
If that’s not in the cards and you routinely find yourself struggling to make ends meet, it might be time to look for a better-paying job.
Of course, there are many other ways to increase your income, from selling your stuff to side jobs that turn a hobby into a business. Where there’s a will, there’s often a way.
Do it yourself
One easy way to save money is, instead of always hiring a professional to solve problems, learning to do it yourself, or DIY.
There are plenty of things with which you can learn to DIY. Perhaps there’s a piece of vintage furniture that you want to refurbish. Maybe you’ll learn to change your own oil, fix your own bike tires, or even do your makeups.
You’ll find that you can save a huge amount of money by doing these things yourself because you won’t have to pay for labor costs.
YouTube and IG are your go-to place for this.
Find contentment in your lifestyle
If you don’t consciously find contentment and satisfaction in your lifestyle, then none of these tips would matter.
You need to convince yourself that you are better of than billions out there (and you are) and that you can keep things together.
Once you are able to find an inner pace within your lifestyle, other threads will follow effortlessly.
Living outside your means is never the fault of how much you earn, if you understand how your needs and wants work in sync, and how credit facilities can be used to your advantage, then you can live a comfortable and happy life – even with your current earning.
If you need further support or information, our customer service and finance expert team is available to address any questions you might have in terms of improving your personal finance, our quick loans, investing, or using our payment solution to enjoy zero charge on transfers and bill payments.