Money is something that everyone seems to have trouble with now and again. One of the biggest issues is people spending far more money than they have, living lavishly on a budget that is far out of their reach. If this is you, you may want to start living below your means to fix your money issues. But, doesn’t living this way mean sacrificing everything?
That’s where we come into the picture. Although living below your means can certainly mean sacrificing many things you love, it doesn’t have to. Read on to learn how you can live well below your means without sacrificing. We’re positive that, if done correctly, living below your means can bring an abundance of joy. Let us help you out.
Is It Good to Live Below Your Means?
Before diving into living below your means without sacrificing, we need to discuss the topic itself. Is it good to live below your means? You may have seen many people try to save money by cutting out on expenditures, and it may look like they’re missing out on life. While this may be true for them, it doesn’t have to be the same for you.
If done correctly, it’s great to live below your means. Money set aside means you can be ready for the future, both good and bad. You’re okay with what happens because you’re financially prepared for it. Next, we’ll discuss some of the benefits that come with the choice to live below your means to prove that it’s not as bad as many think.
What Are Some Benefits of Living Below Your Means?
Many benefits come with living below your means. If you’re on the fence about making this financial leap, it’s critical to consider all the good that could come from it if you put the proper time and effort into this process. There is a way you can manage your money wisely and get great things from it.
Some of the benefits that come from living below your means include:
- The ability to handle life’s challenges
- Improved mental health
- Debt-free living
- A way to fund dreams and ambitions
We’ll dive further into each of these benefits so you can see how choosing to live wisely can impact you in all of these ways. It may not seem like it, but living below your means opens many doors that often go unexplored when money is the biggest focus on a person’s mind.
You Can Handle Life’s Challenges
One of the biggest benefits of living below your means is that you are better prepared for life’s challenges. If you run into a problem, your means of living will allow you to have a separate fund on the side that can cover the cost of any emergency. There’s no need to scramble to cover the bills.
A few of the issues that can be fixed with some extra cash on the side include:
- A fender bender
- A broken limb
- A flood
- A replacement device
If you run into one of these as you go about your life, you can take it without issue.
On the other hand, if you live a luxurious lifestyle above your means, you won’t have cash left over if something goes wrong. Many don’t think about the pitfalls of life, and by the time they reach a point where payment is needed, it’s too late. Living below your means helps with this extensively.
You Can Improve Your Mental Health
It’s not a secret – money is a huge cause of stress, anxiety, and depression in many adults. One study noted that at least 72% of adults stated that money had caused stress to them at some point. The most stressful thing about money is a lack of it in an account. You don’t need to worry about that with living below your means.
Living well below your means can improve your mental health by:
- Knowing you can handle financial loss
- Allowing security amidst big purchases
- Giving you something to fall back on
- Getting rid of any lingering debt you may have
If you have a financial pillow to fall back on in your life, you can let yourself relax. Lack of stress about money in one’s life is a huge improvement many don’t consider when they’re down in the dumps in life.
If you live in luxury, you get lots of momentary pleasures. These might give you a split second of joy, but you won’t get much beyond that. In exchange for living above your means, you’ll lose financial security and fall flat on your back in the face of turmoil. In the end, those that live below their means will feel mentally better than those who do not.
You Can Live Debt-Free
So many people have debt nowadays. With credit cards, it’s so easy to swipe and think about paying later. Even systems online allow you to pay in fragments, which can become dangerous to those without much management over their money or time. As a result, debt piles on and can drive life into the ground. With the extra money, you can get rid of debt.
Some examples of debt you can pay off includes:
- Credit card debt
- Student loans
- Car payments
- House debt
With some time living below your means, you can take advantage of the saved money and free yourself of debt that may arise.
With no debt, you can carry on with your life and invest in new things practically as they come your way. You can feel like you have control over your money rather than feel your finances are controlling you. Living debt-free is tricky to accomplish if you spend far above what you should.
You Can Fund Ambitions
Perhaps one of the greatest things that come from living below your means is the ability to fund the ambitions you’ve always had. Lifelong dreams can take lots of funding to dive into truly. If you’re spending lots of money without reason, you’ll never support yourself while pursuing ambitions. But if you have enough on the side – the world is your oyster.
Some examples of ambitions you can pursue with a little extra money include:
- Becoming an actor in a TV show
- Opening up a small taco stand
- Grooming dogs for a living
- Writing the next great American novel
With bonus funds you’ve kept saved on the side, you can support yourself while you work to make your greatest dreams a reality.
If you love to dream, you know how critical it can be to make those ambitions into reality. If you intelligently live below your means, you can bring them to life sooner rather than later. You can finally leave behind your old office job and dive into the world of acting or pursue the creation of the world’s greatest toothbrush.
Are There Cons That Come With Living Below Your Means?
Of course, a few cons come with living below your means. Most have to do with the sudden shift that will take place in your life. If you go from living lavishly to spending practically and with intention, it’s natural that there will be some cons. However, if you live without sacrifice, these will disappear quickly.
A few of the cons that can come with living below your means includes:
- Lack of ability to invest in luxury
- Less expensive opportunities available
- Fewer chances to splurge with spending
These are cons because living below your means involves restricting yourself financially. However, you don’t have to sacrifice what you love to save with the right information.
That’s where we come in to help you out. Next, we’ll talk about all the ways you can live below your means without sacrifice. It may be hard at first, but this action is doable for almost everyone. It might involve you living your life differently, but it won’t require sacrifice. Let us help you with this next big step.
How to Live Below Your Means Without Sacrificing
We’ve talked about the pros and cons that arise when living below your means, but how do you do this in reality? Next, we’ll go over some of how you can live below your means by sacrificing the things you love in life. Just because you live smart doesn’t mean you have to live worse.
A few of the ways you can take this on include:
- Creating a budget
- Investing in a home that fits
- Thinking gratefully
- Driving a used car
These are just a few of the available options. There’s a lot of things you can incorporate into your life to live below your means in comfort.
Next, we’ll dive into each of these techniques, along with a few other options you can fit into your life. None of them are too extreme that you will need to sacrifice to make it happen, but all of them will work to save money that you can keep and put to the side. You can do so many things to avoid sacrifice while paying with intention in mind.
Create a Budget
When living below your means without sacrificing, you must make a budget. This action will help you keep in mind how much you have for each aspect of your world, whether that may be fun, eating expenses, or even loan payments. The more you stay on top of your finances, the less you’ll have to sacrifice.
A few of the things you’ll need to know to make a budget include:
- How much you make at your job
- What your average expenses are
- Goals you have for the future
- Categories of spending in your life
These, and more, can be compiled to make a budget. This action will help you avoid sacrificing your life while saving money.
It’s easy to discuss creating a budget, but how do you make one? It can seem so complex to create one all by yourself. We’ll dive into what should be in a budget and how you can make one by yourself to begin living below your means without stressing yourself out about the logistics.
What Should Be Included In a Budget?
As we mentioned above, a few things should be within a budget. All of them are vital to include so you can be as informed as possible on the money that is coming in and the money that will flow out of your account each month. Let’s go over each one so you can better understand a budget.
As mentioned above, some of the things you’ll need to make a budget include:
- What you make at a job: This includes the average yearly amount you make so you can budget for the entire year rather than a month at a time.
- Average expenses: You’ll need to calculate the average expenses to take on each month.
- Goals for the future: You will also need to note goals for the future and how much money these will take.
- Categories of spending: You should note down the categories of spending you have, such as groceries and money for the fun stuff.
These are four major components you can add to a budget that will help you stay on track.
Now that we’ve talked about what goes into a budget, we need to discuss how you can make one. Once you figure out the budget for the year, you can work on what you spend money on to save as much money as you think you can handle.
How Do You Make a Budget?
Now, how do you make a budget? What are the steps you should take to keep track of your finances? It can be intimidating for a beginner to do all of these things. We’re here to help you out so you can start living below your means without sacrificing. Let’s dive into it.
To make a budget, you will need to do the following:
- Gather any financial paperwork
- Calculate income
- Track expenses you pay monthly
- Separate fixed and variable expenses
- Total income vs. expenses
- Adjust expenses
By following these steps, you should make a budget that can improve your quality of life. A budget makes finances easier.
Having a budget makes it simpler to divvy up your expenses and figure out which things you can cut to live below your means. You can set aside a certain amount to save each month, which will quickly accumulate over time.
Invest in a Home That Fits
If you’re living in a giant home with lots of extra bedrooms, a good step to take to live below your means is to move into a home that fits the number of people in your life. This isn’t a sacrifice. You’ll have less to deal with, and you and your family can enjoy the proper amount of space while saving money.
A few of the great things that come with investing in a home that fits include:
- Less cleaning to deal with in a smaller space
- You can save money
- There’s less debt and less risk
- You have to deal with less
Downsizing has many benefits, and all you’re giving up is a few square feet of living space.
If you feel like you have lots of unnecessary space in your home, downsizing may be a great choice to live below your means. You’ll spend less, and you’ll have less to deal with daily. It can be a freeing experience to relocate to a smaller living establishment. Just make sure it’s not too small to avoid severe sacrifice.
How Do You Know What the Right Home Size Is?
We’ve talked about downsizing, but how do you know what the correct size is for your family? It can be tricky to determine if your home is too big or if the one you want to move into is much too small. How do you determine the right size home if you want to downsize?
If you downsize, you can pick the correct size for your family by doing the following:
- Calculate comfortable square feet per person by the number of people
- Research homes in your area
- Note your current home size and work down from there
These three considerations can help you make the correct choice for your next home.
You’ll need to visit the new home and see if you feel comfortable at the end of the day. If it’s cramped, don’t invest in it. Living below your means shouldn’t mean that you’re forced to move into an uncomfortable space. Pick something smaller but just as wonderful to occupy and make your own.
Drive a Used Car
Why drive a brand-new car when you can buy a used car? This simple switch can help you save money and live below your means, all while driving whatever car you want. There are many great options out there that will give you a quality drive for a significantly lower price than a brand-new vehicle.
A few of the benefits that come with a used car include:
- Saving lots of money
- Lower insurance costs
- Pre-inspection and cleaning
- More vehicle for the money you spend
These can help you save money and live well below your means while enjoying the transportation aspect.
We’ve talked about the benefits of buying a used car over a new one, but what are some of the best used cars to invest in? We’ll talk about these next, so you can get a better idea of the type of car you may want to purchase next. There are many choices, and it is vital to have a general idea of what you’re looking for before going to a dealership.
What Are the Best Used Cars to Invest In?
We’ve talked a lot about used cars, but how are you supposed to know which ones are the best to invest in? Which ones will give you the most bang for your buck? If you’re going to invest in a used car, you might as well pick one that will serve you well rather than buying something that will make you unhappy.
A few of the best used cars to invest in for your life include:
- 2015 Toyota Highlander
- 2013 Mazda5
- 2015 Honda Pilot
These will all give you lots of features for your money. You won’t be disappointed if you choose one of these options for your life.
If you’re thinking about investing in a new car, each of these can satisfy a different driver. If none of these are up to your speed, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Make sure you pick one that you will enjoy. Saving money doesn’t mean wasting it on a product you will hate forever.
Be Smart About Trips
Vacations are one of the most expensive things a person typically invests in a year. From plane tickets to hotel accommodations, it’s all too easy to drop far too much money than you need to on a relaxing voyage. If you want to live below your means without sacrificing your vacations, you need to note expenses and be smarter about them.
A few of the expenses involved with the trip include:
- Travel expenses, including luggage fares
- Hotel and accommodation costs
- Touring fees
- Food and drink
These prices quickly stack up on a trip. Before you know it, you can be living far above your means even if you didn’t intend to do so.
Once you note these expenses, live below your means by being smart about the choices you make. Buy groceries, walk when you can, and bring carry-on luggage. Next, we’ll talk about some of the most affordable vacation spots you can travel to in the world.
Where Are the Most Affordable and Fun Vacation Spots?
It’s simple to think about saving money on vacation, but what are some of the best spots that are affordable but still fun? Are there any locations you can enjoy as much as more expensive spots? We can help you find a place for your next relaxing voyage.
A few of the best fun and affordable spots for vacation include the following:
- Carlsbad, California
- Myrtle Beach, North Carolina
Each of these spots can save you money and provide you with a fun vacation spot that you won’t forget.
Typically, the most affordable vacations are the ones you can drive to. All-inclusive resorts make saving money on food simple. You can also think about renting a home, rather than paying for expensive hotel rooms. There are so many options for cheaper vacations that don’t involve giving up your good time.
Don’t Spend on Impulse
Impulse spending happens so often. You see a delicious burger at a stand on the side of the road, and you pull over and buy it. Many impulse buys are easy to fall prey to as human beings. Most of them are on unnecessary things that, if you cut them out, would not be a sacrifice at all. But, you’ve trained yourself to buy them.
Some common impulse buys that people give in to include:
Many see these in stores or on the side of the road, and they immediately purchase them. This could include you, as it does many human beings.
It can be tricky to determine which expenses are worth cutting and which ones are worth keeping in your life. We’ll dive into a few of the excess items you can cut to live below your means without sacrificing what you hold dear.
What Are the Best Excess Expenditures to Cut?
Impulse spending inevitably happens sometimes. If you habit buying things multiple times a week, it might be time to cut them. But, what is the best excess expenditure to purchase? Which ones are sacrificing, and which ones will help you live a genuinely better life?
A few of the best excess expenditures you can cut out of your life include:
- Food: Reduce it to once or twice a week if you can.
- Clothes: Invest in products that will last a long time, rather than ones that will fall apart fast.
- Shoes: Buy shoes that will last, rather than fall apart.
You can invest more money in your savings by reducing these impulse buys rather than throwing them into the void.
You don’t have to cut these from your life completely, but it is vital to consider them thoroughly before buying. Do you need the product? Will it benefit you? Will you regret paying the money later on? Give it thought before you give in to impulses.
Focus on Experience Instead of Products
Products will inevitably break and wear down. Although some can last a lifetime, most are thrown out within five to ten years. To live below your means without sacrificing, focus on your experiences with other people, rather than new products you can purchase.
Experience can help you live below your means by:
- Allowing you to focus on people, not things
- Saving money on wasteful products
- Giving appreciation for your life
These can permit you to live below your means, living with intent and not focusing on things.
Enjoying the moments rather than products is a great lesson to abide by in life. Next, we’ll dive into some examples of experiences that you can cling to rather than tangible objects. Living below your means can mean experiencing life differently.
What Are Some of the Best Experiences?
There are a ton of experiences in this modern world. It’s hard to define which ones are the most memorable and which ones will be worth the money you spend on them. The best experiences are the ones you can enjoy either by yourself or with the people you love, that are worth all of your money.
A few of the best experiences you can enjoy include:
- A trip to a national park
- A night swim in the pool
- A fun trip to the movies
- A late-night dinner adventure
All of these are more affordable than most products, and they can give you genuine enjoyment rather than a wasteful product.
Once you start experiencing the world rather than living through buying products, you will find it easier to live well below your means. When surrounded by people you love, money never seems as critical as it does when by yourself. The moments matter, big and small. Enjoy them.
Splurge Less Often
Everybody splurges. It’s just a matter of being human – we all tend to spend money on things we shouldn’t. If you’re splurging once a week, you’re probably spending far above your means on products you don’t need. If you can reduce your splurge to a few times a year, you’ll save money and still get that spending high when you need it.
Before you go on a spending spree, there are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Will your life benefit from this product?
- What could you spend the money on instead?
- Will this purchase impact a living expense?
- Will you use this item a year from now?
These questions will keep you centered and help you determine if you need to invest in the items you have stacked in your cart.
It can be tricky to avoid splurging as often as you want, but it will help you live below your means, and it will make the times you do splurge more rewarding. Once you get into the habit of saving cash rather than spending it on impulse, it will become much easier to live below your means.
Search for Thrifted and Used Items
Another way to live below your means is to buy thrifted rather than paying to invest in brand-new products. It sounds like thrifting is a sacrifice, but it’s not. There are plenty of quality products you can purchase that will benefit you just as much as the new version of them.
A few of the items you can invest in used for your life include::
- Furniture, such as tables and chairs
- Clothes, such as pants, shirts, and even jackets
- Shoes, including dress shoes, heels, and so on
- Movies, books, and other forms of entertainment
Unless they were severely damaged, many of these products are even better a little worn in. You’re not sacrificing – you’re saving.
It may take a little more effort to search for used items in stores, but the time is well worth it. You can put that extra money to the side for future uses. But, where do you go to search for stuff like this? Next, we’ll discuss some of the places you can go to purchase second-hand products.
What Are Some of the Best Places to Buy Second-Hand?
It’s one thing to say that you should buy second-hand, but where are you supposed to do that? It can be tricky to figure out where the best locations are to invest in second-hand products, but still in great enough condition to serve you well. Where are the best places to buy used products?
A few of the best locations to invest in used products include:
- Thrift stores
You should find quality products here that will serve you well, no matter what your life looks like.
Sometimes, used stores have nicer products than you can find brand-new. You can locate vintage antiques that are worth a whole lot. Some of them, you might be able to seel second-hand to improve your income even more. These places have many hidden treasures if you put the time in to look for them. It can be fun.
Think About Recurring Costs
Recurring costs – it’s something that almost everyone has in their lives. Most of these are luxury goods, but it can still be tricky to give them up. How do you cut some of these expenses without making a sacrifice? No matter what you do, you’ll be losing access to something you’re paying for in life.
A few of the recurring costs that you may have include:
- Channel subscriptions
- Makeup box subscriptions
- Food box subscriptions
- Clothes subscriptions
Each of these items typically has a recurring fee, whether yearly or monthly. It can take a lot out of your savings.
With recurring costs, it’s critical to think them through. Do you need that sample makeup box every single month? Do you need the box of space-themed junk that you’ll probably throw away before the day is over? To live below your means, you should give up payments that bring you less pleasure than the cost you pay to invest in them.
Work on Thankfulness for Your Life
One way to live below your means is to practice thankfulness every day. We all have great things in our lives, and showing appreciation for them will help you realize what you have and what you don’t need. This action isn’t sacrificing – rather, it serves as an improvement to your already chaotic and busy life.
Some ways that thankfulness can help you live below your means without sacrificing includes:
- Realizing what you have
- Putting you at ease with your life
- Helping you think before spending
- Calming nerves related to expenses
The more you realize what you have, the less likely you will make irrational purchases that harm your hard-earned money.
With gratitude, it can help you have some guidelines that will keep you on track, whether you’re practicing in the morning or the middle of your workday. Next, we’ll discuss some practices you can embrace to remember gratitude and keep you on track every day of the week.
Thankfulness Practices for the Everyday
Practicing thankfulness every day can help to have some techniques you can practice every morning and every night to remind you of your position in life. These will give you an outline that you can work with any day of the week, no matter how frustrated you feel with your current living situation.
A few of the thankfulness practices you can incorporate into your life include:
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Sharing gratitude with other people
- Acknowledging the bad that led you to the good
- Savoring the good in your day and previous days
These can help you keep your life in perspective and prevent you from wanting more than you have. The more you’re grateful, the less you will desire more unnecessary items.
These practices are the last suggestion on this list for ways you can live below your means without sacrificing. With these in mind, you can take the necessary steps in your life to save money and improve the way you live by spending less. It can be scary, but you can do this with a little help!
We’ve talked about many things in this piece. From the benefits of living below your means to how you can be smart about how your life plays out, there are lots to consider when you start on the path to save money. Living below your means does not have to be a sacrificial choice if you do it correctly.
We hope that this piece helps you on your journey to living below your means. Saving money is easier than many people think, and it can open up many doors and opportunities that would otherwise be closed if you were worried about money. The more you have set aside, the better equipped you will handle the challenges life throws at you.
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