5 Ways to Live Within Your Means (Easily)

Posted in Lifestyle on August 21, 2021

You don’t need to be an expert in all things financial to know that you should always be striving to live within your means. In other words, you don’t want to spend any more on bills and extra expenses than you earn each month. At first, this seems like a simple enough idea. You know how much you earn, so you should be able to handle your monthly costs too.

Unfortunately, it’s easy for you to lose track of your expenses after a few months of irregular spending. A little extra cash on a takeaway from time to time might not seem like a big deal, but it could easily lead to you breaking your budget.
So how do you make sure you’re effectively living within your means?

1. Look at Your Income and Expenses

First, if you want to live within your means, then you need to be realistic about what you’re earning and spending on a regular basis. It’s nice to tell yourself that you earn “about” a certain amount a month, but if you actually end up with less in your bank account some months, then you’re instantly putting yourself in a dangerous position by sticking with the same budget.

If your incoming cash is usually the same every month, then you’re in an easy enough position. All you need to do is see how your outgoing expenses match your incoming cash. If you have a more changeable income, then you may need to adjust your budget each month, based on what you earn.

2. Be More Informed

One of the reasons why so many people struggle with money these days, is that they don’t know what kind of products they can actually use to help themselves out of a tough spot. A lot of people still assume that if they need money for a last-minute expense, they need to jump through the hoops of getting a personal loan or taking out a credit card – but that’s not always the case.

As the marketplace continues to evolve, there are a lot of banking and financial companies out there that can offer you a range of different tools, from short-term loans, to something specifically intended to help you out if you don’t have the best credit score. Do your research so you can get plenty of help going forward.

3. Learn The Difference Between Wants and Needs

Once again, this might seem like an obvious suggestion at first, but you’d be surprised how many people confuse the things that they want with the things they need in this modern world. For instance, while it’s true that you need food to survive, that doesn’t mean that you should be eating at a fancy restaurant every night. You do need food, but you want fancy meals.

Knowing how to separate the things that you can’t live without in your budget from the things you actually just want, can help you to make better decisions for your financial future. Don’t make the mistake of convincing yourself that you should be spending a fortune on luxuries just because you feel like you “need” them.

4. Stop Competing

Despite what you might think, most people aren’t comparing your income and belongings to their own. If they are, that’s not something that you should be worried about anyway. Ultimately, we all have different opportunities in life. Your neighbours might make it seem like they can afford everything they ever want, but the truth could be that they’re in a lot of debt.

Living a happy life isn’t about having the same or more as everyone else. Stop thinking about what other people might think about you, and start focusing on getting the things you actually need out of your income. The quicker you stop competing, the easier it will be to accomplish your savings goals.

5. Have an Emergency Fund

Finally, make sure that you’re always prepared for the unexpected. No matter how well you create your budget, there’s always a risk that you’ll end up spending more than you can reasonably afford on something one month, such as an unexpected bill, or a broken appliance that you rely on in your home. Having an emergency fund is how you avoid losing control of your budget when issues arise.
Your emergency fund will be more than just a handy source of cash when you’re in a difficult position. This money can also be a much-needed source of reassurance too.