Living Within Your Means
It seems to me living within your means should be a simple thing to do. However, I struggle with it, as do many people. How can you live a frugal life without feeling deprived? I have done some research and compiled some useful tips.
Start with Some Truth
Before you can figure out what within your means is for you, you need to know how much money you have to work with. Your income is your paycheck, not your salary, not your credit cards, savings, or loans. Be honest with yourself here, your financial future is at stake! Now you know the number, lets figure out how to spend less than that each month!
Be a Minimalist Without Depriving Yourself
A few weeks ago, I read something about lifestyle creep. That means your definition of what items are necessary to live increases as your income rises. For instance, you can live just fine without expensive clothes, but once you make enough money to buy some nicer things, they feel necessary. I’ve said it before, consider some form of a personal uniform for work. If you are meeting the standard at your workplace, it really doesn’t matter if your closet only has variations on the same outfit, nobody really notices what you wear, just that you look nice.
Some Quick Tips
- Save up for large purchases. In the past I have kept a spreadsheet for things I wanted to buy, and allocated money to each item. It was fun to watch the total approach so that I could pay cash.
- Cut back on splurges. Instead of a daily fancy coffee, try a plain cup most days and just have the fancy one on the weekend when you have time to savor it. Your wallet will appreciate it.
- Sell your extra things. I tend to just give things away to get them out of the house but should start selling instead. Taking the time to list on eBay or other resale sites is worth it, especially if you have a lot of items to sell.
- Buy on used sites. While I am unwilling to sell many things, I love buying on eBay, Craigslist, and Poshmark. I’ve found bargains on things I need, and by being patient, I have saved a lot of money.
- Really think about wants vs. needs. You need a working phone, but you want the newest version. If you are committed to a new cellphone, wait for a sale or trade-in event to get the best price.
- Plan your grocery trip. Meal plan, make a list, try to use things in your pantry, and don’t forget to look for coupons. The Krazy Coupon Lady site has great tips and weekly deals so you don’t have to search a lot of different sites.
- Don’t keep throwing money at a failure. What I mean is, don’t fall under the sunk cost fallacy, just because you have already spent money on something doesn’t mean you have to continue to. If you have subscribed to a recurring expense of some sort like a craft kit or recipe binder, don’t feel like you have to continue until it is complete. It’s perfectly acceptable to quit now if it isn’t adding to your life!
Minimize Fixed Expenses
This is where BillCutterz comes in. Negotiating the best rates on fixed monthly bills is what we do best! Cell phone bills, internet bills, cable/satellite TV bills, and more. Our Savings Experts will take the time needed to ensure you are getting the best possible rate all the time. They even keep track of when any discounts will expire so you can continue to get the best rates! So take a few minutes to sign up and submit your bills, then sit back and enjoy saving some money.