How to live within your means without feeling deprived?

Live Within Your Means

Live Within Your Means

Why Can It Be Difficult to Live Within Your Means ?

For some people, living within their means is pretty easy and many have no trouble transitioning.

 However, it can also be challenging for others to break bad financial habits and get spending under control.

Credit cards One of the main reasons it can be difficult to live within your means is the direct access to credit cards. 

If you have multiple cards with decent credit limits, it’s incredibly easy to swipe it constantly and buy things.

If you want to live within your means, you have to know what your means are. 

Simply knowing your annual salary or hourly rate isn’t enough to help you live below your means. 

You need to know the net income that appears on your paychecks—the amount you actually have to spend.

Luxurious Lifestyle

So maybe your neighbors just got a swimming pool or built an addition onto their home; but they may make twice as much money as you do. 

If you get caught up in trying to keep up with everyone around you, then not only will you never be happy, but you will also never be able to live because you’ll be too busy trying to maintain an image that you can never fully live up to. 

When you can afford to buy everything you want, it feels great, but it also results in buying unnecessary things you barely need.

Sure, your best friend’s new designer jeans look amazing on her. 

Be happy for her cute new look instead of being jealous and wishing you could afford the same. 

Jealousy is guaranteed to make you an unhappy.

When you say you live within your means, this means your lifestyle is perfectly aligned to how much you earn. 

It’s okay to spend money on things that are meaningful to you, but steer clear of purchases that don’t line up with those values.

If you can’t afford to buy something now, don’t reflexively pull out the plastic.

If you don’t have the current funds to pay for what you want, you’ll be forced to wait and think about how much you truly need that new television, new car or those concert tickets.

 Instead, save up be sure that you can afford it in cash — it’s a huge part of being financially independent.

This is significant to incorporate in your financial life because it helps you practice self-control and discipline in your wealth and finances.

 It helps you prioritize your expenses and budget accordingly to your means.

Smart Tips To Save Dollars

Live Within Your Means: Control Spending

Tip #1 

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. Cell phone bills. 

Shopping trips. Go through your bills and cancel any service you don’t use frequently.

Tip #2

Work with a financial professional 

When you’re just starting a career or adding to your family, it’s sometimes tough to stick with your spending. 

It can also be difficult to put money aside for a rainy-day fund, vacation, retirement, children’s college costs or a down payment for a home.

Tip #3 

Another helpful tip on how to live within your means, is to also consider another option: moving. 

By moving to somewhere with a lower cost of living, you can accelerate your journey to financial freedom.

Tip #4

You’ll also want to know how often you get paid and if there are any bonus amounts you may expect in a given timeframe. 

This can help you align with your bills or any debt payments better, plus ensure you aren’t spending randomly before paying yourself first .

If you’re reading this, that means you are ready to make a change.

Related Article: Sticking To A Budget

Be Financially Responsible

Financial Plan

We all need to take some time for reflection and decide what’s important. And then live by it!

When you’re overspending on a regular basis, taking time to sit down and focus on living within your means is important to manage your stress and set yourself up for financial success.

Keep Your Financial Future in Sight 

If you’re accustomed to overspending, getting your budget back on track may sound overwhelming.

 But these simple first steps will help you make progress toward your goal of spending under what you make.

Make sure you have a budget plan, clear financial goals, and a plan for cutting expenses.

What is a budget? I could use to live within my means?

Try the 50/30/20 budget . It allocates 50% to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to your financial goals. 

Sticking to your budget is like managing your weight. 

Just as eating no more calories than you burn each day will help you maintain your weight, spending less than you earn will help you balance your budget. 

If you can monitor your cash flow, you’ll stay in better financial health. 

However, just like counting your calories, saving your pennies consistently is much easier said than done.

While you learn to live within your means, you may be spending 100% on needs, but once you get accustomed to doing that, you can stop worrying and adding some wants into your budget.

 How will an emergency fund help me live within my means? Even the best budget can be derailed if an emergency comes.

An emergency fund of three to six months of living expenses is ideal, but starting out with $100 to $200 will help with some of the minor emergencies from time to time.

Without enough savings, many adults live paycheck to paycheck, which means they don’t have enough money for emergency expenses.

 Use your budget to figure out what you can afford to save each month, then set up an automatic transfer to make it easier to reach your savings goals.

Saving money really pays off. 

It makes much more sense to save the money to buy things rather than to rent items or buy them on credit.

 Credit is not free money. You will pay dearly for the option to pay for something over time. Credit cards can be convenient. 

They are necessary to rent a hotel room or rent a car.

This is going back to the basics of financial literacy and getting your finances under control so they no longer rule your day-to-day.

Think about what’s going well in the present moment but also how it relates back when we were younger or had less responsibilities at work/school.

Don’t forget to spend quality one-on-one moments because they’re rare nowadays!

I know this may sound odd coming from me since I’m accustomed to telling people about ways to save money.

But more importantly their sanity by cutting off all those cursed bills before they can cause any damage (let alone bankrupt).

However keep an open mind as there are always solutions even if things seem impossible right now.

  • Stop spending money on things you don’t need

The less money you spend on things that don’t matter, the better.

A lot of people know how hard it is to make ends meet when there isn’t enough cash available.

Then they find themselves falling into one expense after another without really thinking about what those expenses mean for their situation long-term or even short term.

Because life throws curveballs at all hours so fast these days!

So here’s my advice: stop buying anything besides essentials–food/clothing needs are necessary but shouldn’t take up most if not everything in your budget.

The easiest way to save money on electricity is by being mindful of appliances like lights and TVs.

You can turn these off when you’re not using them, which will lower your bills even more!

Renters might also want take into account that they don’t need cable boxes since most live streaming services now-a days (like Netflix and YouTube Live).

 These services can be considerably cheaper than cable.

Live Within Your Means: Financial Planning

Every family has their own unique way of making sure they stay on top things.

Too many people guess or think they know these numbers without actually writing them down or calculating. 

It’s the easiest way to see where your income is at and where your expenses or spending might be causing trouble. 

You’ll also want to know how often you get paid and if there are any bonus amounts you may expect in a given timeframe. 

This can help you align with your bills or any debt payments better, plus ensure you aren’t spending randomly before paying yourself first.

For some, this means saving up for a rainy day while others prefer to spend what’s available without considering the future implications.

However there is one thing that all these families have in common- staying within your budget!

It may seem difficult at first but once you get into a groove with how much money comes in (and goes out) each month, then it becomes easier. Goal setting helps too!

Living within ones’s means isn’t just about managing finances wisely though as we also need backup plans when unexpected expenses arise such as accidents/injury etc.

Start saving for retirement so that you have some income when you stop working

You don’t want to retire with a hefty debt load, so start saving! The earlier in life you can build up some cash for your old age the better.

So discussing how to live within one’s means impacts financial security and retirement planning. 

It is important not only to be Financially Secure but also have adequate incomes during both good times and bad.

Because we often hear financial commentators predict that this generation will experience on Social Security in the future.

Get out of debt by paying off your credit cards, student loans, taxes, etc., one at a time

How to pay off credit card debt?

I’m sure you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of your financial obligations. It’s hard to keep up!

The first step is making sure that everything comes together on paper – credit cards, student loans and car payments are just a few examples. 

They don’t have to be daunting if we take care of them one at time starting now.

Related Article: 11 Strategies for Paying Off Your Student Loans Faster

Sell things online or in person to earn extra cash without having to get another job.

Make money online by selling items you already have.

You can either do this through a traditional yard sale or on sites like Ebay, Facebook Marketplace and Instagram to name a few, where there are more potential customers than ever before!

How to get your life together?

Organize your life

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 that fall on everyone from time to time. The best thing you can do is learn how to unplug from social media. 

This also gives you more than enough space to focus on the things that truly matter and prioritizing your spending plan into fewer categories. 

Having a lavish lifestyle certainly has its perks, but it can be stressful to decide if you’re going to buy something or not.

When you’re not comparing everyone else’s highlight reel.

Get rid of clutter in your life

Create a system where you can easily identify what is clutter and throw it away. If you see something that doesn’t belong, get rid of it!

Have an organized space for each item in your house so nothing gets lost or forgotten about.

The key to your life’s happiness is in the palm of your hand. All it takes are some simple steps, and you’ll have everything under control!

Take care of yourself by eating well and exercising regularly.

The best way to get things together is by taking care of yourself.

You’ll feel better, have more energy and be able to deal with the day-to-day tasks in a much easier manner when you’re eating well balanced meals.

 Popping something unhealthy into an already full stomach because let’s face it – that doesn’t really help matters at all does it?

It just makes things worse!

Breathe new life into old routines: Mix up what time lunch gets eaten everyday – try having breakfast before noon or dinner after 8pm so they become less of a rut than routine. 

Keep track where we know exactly how many times per month certain events will happen…trust me; I’ve been there.

Spend time with friends, family, and loved ones

The best way to get back on track is by spending time with the people who care about you.

It may seem like an exhortation, but it’s really just advice for those of us looking at our phones wondering how long ’til this whole thing ends!

These days there are so many distractions—work deadlines that feel impossible; social media feeds, filling up on junk food; TV channels constantly cycling through reruns… These are unhealthy habits.

But none of these can compare when compared against having no one else around except yourself. Just pure isolation without even escape.

Find a hobby or pleasurable activity to do when you’re bored (examples include cooking, reading books.

How to keep from falling apart.

Sticking to a budget
Challenges of sticking to a budget

Live Within Your Means: A daily routine

One of the best ways is by finding an activity you enjoy and incorporating it into all aspects of your daily routine.

This will help regulate any mood swings or emotional outbursts that come with being bored!

Cut down on screen time – put away the phone and get outside more often.

When you’re feeling stuck, it’s important to take time for yourself and cultivate the outdoors.

Get outside as often as possible so that when work starts feeling too stressful or demanding on what little free time we may have left.

Our minds can rest easy knowing they aren’t being neglected because of an over saturated digital world full of dreary screens!

Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day

In order to get your spending set and living within your means, it is important that you do not over indulge in drinking alcohol.

One drink per day for adults will limit the effect on both mind and body when trying resolve issues of drinking to much.

It can be tempting but try limiting yourself only one beer at dinner instead of three glasses like usual!

Related: 16 Expert Tips For Reducing Your Alcohol Consumption

The best way to live a healthy is by living within your means.

This can be easier said than done, but with a little planning and discipline you will be on the right track.

You’re much closer to achieving wealth when you live this way compared to spending your money however you like it. 

How To Live Within Your Means 

If you’ve decided to live within your means, the first step is to have the mindset to go through with it.

 Not everyone can pull this off as it’s so easy to spend on the things you want, especially with the consumerist world we live in today. 

To live within your means, you need to prioritize your needs, which are your bills and your necessities primarily. 

The things you want will have to wait such as those shoes you’ve been checking out.

Related Article: How to make money online for beginners?

Side Hustles
Exploring Unique Side Hustles

Build Your Monthly Income 

One of the best ways to easily live within your means is by building your income. 

If your expenses are at the bare minimum and you’re still spending more money than you make, then you may need to boost your income. 

If you typically get a tax refund, you may be able to adjust your tax withholding to get more money in your paycheck. 

You should also make sure you’re signed up for the right health, disability, and other company-provided benefits. 

Finally, you may need to get a higher-paying job or even a second job to help make ends meet.

However, the second aspect to this is that you must ensure you do not increase your spending habits dramatically. 

Many times as people increase their income with a higher paying job, so do their wants like a bigger home, luxurious cars, and just more frivolous spending overall. 

This is called lifestyle creep and you’ll quickly realize even with more income that you are living beyond your means.

Be grateful for the simple things, like having a shelter over your head or having food on the table, and recognize that you don’t always need more material things to be happy. 

Sometimes, having a down-to-earth attitude can be the biggest improvement you can make! 

Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get your financial house in order so that it doesn’t hinder other aspects of your living within your means, check our latest post for some helpful articles we’ve written!

Free Monthly Budget Planner
Take control of your finances with our Monthly Budget Planner, a free downloadable PDF. This user-friendly tool empowers you to track income, expenses, and savings goals, ensuring you stay on top of your financial game every month.