You may think living within your means equals depriving yourself. But it’s really not. It’s about improving your spending habits so that you have more control over your money instead of it having control over you.
Foe example, making lunch at home instead of ordering take-out isn’t going to have a negative impact on your life. Nor does having friends over for a potluck instead of going out to an expensive restaurant.
Here are some proven ways to live within your means without feeling deprived.
Create a budget (and stick to it)
Creating a budget will help make sure that every dollar is accounted for. It will also give you a clear picture of where your money is going. Just make sure you create a budget that works for you and your lifestyle. It will make it easier to stick to.
Cut unnecessary expenses
You may be surprised at how much you spend on things you don’t really need. Are you eating out too much, paying for memberships you don’t use or subscribe to boring cable channels? Eliminating costs that don’t matter free up money for things that are a priority.
Build an emergency fund
If you happen to have an emergency and you aren’t financially prepared, you can easily get into debt. It may a plumbing issue or a problem with your car, but they do happen and we have to be prepared. It is recommended that you start with a $1,000 emergency fund.
Pay off debt as soon as you can
Credit card debt is a huge waste of money. The money that you spend on interest and fees can go into your savings instead. And once you pay it off, become determined not to rack up anymore.
Use cash for purchases
This is probably the most important key to living within your means. Using cash help prevent you from creating more consumer debt. It’s also a proven fact that you’ll spend less when you use cash. It hurts when your hard-earned money leaves your hand. It makes you think twice when you hand it over to someone.
Learn a new skill
If you want to save money, it’s a good idea to become handy and resourceful. Of course, it’s super convenient to pay someone else to do something for you, but the amount of money that you can save by doing things yourself will outweigh any small inconvenience. There are so many tutorials online—many which are free—where you can learn almost any skill, that will help you save money and maybe you’ll even find a fun hobby.
Separate wants from needs
Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you really need it. If you don’t, wait to buy it. You may even want to try using the 48-hour rule. Before buying something you don’t really need, wait 48 hours before buying it. You may find that, more often than not, you’ll change your mind.
1. Have fun for free
Living below the means doesn’t mean you have to out fun from your life. There are so many free and frugal activities, there’s no reason to spend a lot of money for entertainment.
Go online and find local free events in your area, such as a festival or concert. Check out local parks and hiking trails where you can go bicycling hiking or have a picnic.
Boost your income
By increasing your income, your budget becomes less restrictive and you’ll be able to save more and pay off your debt. You can increase your income by asking for a raise, do some overtime or find a side hustle.
With the Internet, it’s become much easier to make extra money in your spare time. There are so many side hustles that can help you make some extra money. Here are a few to consider:
So, as you can see, living within your means only takes some simple adjustments which will ultimately help you take control of your financial future.
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