I can almost guarantee most of you who are reading this have heard the phrase “live below your means”. A simple concept that is not so simple after all. Not so simple because we live in a country where it’s normal to work, get a paycheck, pay bills, spend, and then wait eagerly for the next payday. A continuous rat race that doesn’t look like it will end any time soon.
Why is It Important to Live Below your Means??
Who wants to live a life of always living paycheck to paycheck? Not me! There is no fun in that, as a matter of fact, it causes unnecessary stress and reckless living! The goal should be about financial freedom….free to do whatever you want, whenever you want without the burden of financial distresses. And let me tell you, living at or above your means never works out!
What does Living Below your Means Look Like?
It’s simply spending less than you make. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well…may not so much. People are in the habit of making a living only to hand their earnings over to someone else. By the time they are done paying everyone else and personal spending, by the end of the month there is never any money left. Savings is nonexistent.
The first step of living below your means is to learn how to pay yourself first. This means taking out a portion of your income before anyone else calls dibbs on it, and setting it aside for you! After you get your portion, everyone else will get theirs. I like setting up direct drafts from my paycheck where a percentage goes into a separate account (away from my checking) before I even see it.
I’ll be honest, at first you’re going to feel a little pinch as your finances learn to adjust to the new system. I suggest you start off small and work yourself up. Begin putting aside 1% of your income and each month (or every other month); increase that amount by 1%.
It doesn’t stop there! Next you want to see what you’re spending on your monthly expenses. Look at your cars, home, recreational spending, luxury items (cable!), and see if those expenses are hurting your ability to live below your means. If you can’t afford to save at least 10% of your income, you need to take a hard look at what you are spending. Being successful with money is about what you SPEND, not HOW MUCH you make!
Simple Steps to Take to Live Below your Means
Quick and easy steps you can follow today to get you on the right path. It’s things you probably already know, so I won’t go into detail…be like Nike and JUST DO IT!!!
- Stop borrowing money.
- Get on a budget. 1st thing on your budget spreadsheet should list YOU as the biller. Pay yourself FIRST!
- Find ways to reduce monthly expenses. Every dollar counts!
- Stop watching the Joneses and trying to be like them. They’re broke.
- Be consistent. Learn the word “no”.
Hope you got something out of this. I could continue with my list of what to do’s…but I’ll go easy on you this time (lol). In all seriousness, these are great steps you should start today if you aren’t already. Like I said above, living below your means is actually simple, not easy. If baby steps are taken, the aches of financial maturity won’t be so bad.
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