You’ve likely heard the Great Financial Edict before: Thou shalt live below thy means. What does that mean, though? Generally, it’s simply to spend less money than you make. We’ve pulled together 10 tips to help you live below your means.
Know Your Means
Tally up all your sources of income minus any taxes and business-related expenses (where applicable). These are your ‘means.’ It’s the target number that you’re attempting valiantly to love below.
Know Your Budget Bins
What’s necessary? What’s good to have? What’s frivolous? Ranking the ‘types’ of spending you do makes it easier to figure out what you can cut down on or cut out if you’re struggling to make ends meet.
Evaluate Your Current Equation
Is your income minus your expenses a negative number? Time to cut some expenses! Is your income minus your expenses a positive number? That’s great!
Find a Home for Excess
Extra money isn’t automatically spending money, especially if you make that spending a habit. There may come a day in the not-so-distant future where you might not have so much extra.
Pay Yourself First
Get that money into savings as soon as you get it. Before you buy groceries. Before you even pay your rent. Worst case scenario, you have to dip into savings. Best case scenario, you get into the habit of spending less.
Try One Income Living
This is a lofty goal for many, but see how close you can get to living off one income between you and a partner.
Make a List
Write down the things you value. Compare to your bank statements. How do the two line up? If they overlap quite a bit, you’re doing a good job spending money on the things you actually value. If they don’t…it might be time to take another look at how you choose to spend your hard-earned dough.
Evaluate Unchanging Costs
Your rent or mortgage isn’t going anywhere if you don’t. Do you live in too expensive of a place? You might be surprised at how happily you could live in smaller spaces.
Turn Payments Into Savings
Have you paid off a car? Take what you would have spent on that each month and put it away to pay for your next car. You’ll either get to take out a smaller loan with a hefty down-payment, or you may even be able to buy it outright!
Avoid High Interest
If you’re paying interest on any of your credit cards, you might want to check out how much of your paycheck is going to that to light a fire under you. Put that interest payment side by side with your entertainment splurges and think about how many video games you could buy if you weren’t paying credit card interest each month.