Financial insecurity is going rampant in a lot of the worst, and although this isn’t the case for everyone: the people it affects are at high risk for a lot of trouble. Instead of facing these concerns, there are several ways people can learn to live off their current income. Here are the top three Ways to Live Within Your Means, these can be combined and bent to fit whatever your goals are, but you should try to follow at least one of these plans.
1. Lay Out Your Expenses
Look at your current financial situation, and track out every cent you have coming in and every cent that’s going out. Don’t leave out small things, like a coffee here or there, or a movie on the weekends. Everything needs to be counted and accounted for. If you’re unsure how often you buy something or use something, you can pull up your bank or credit card information to track it. Once you’ve compiled this list of the ins and outs, go over how much you usually have left.
If you have less than ten percent of your paychecks left, something has to give. Saving money is vital to becoming financially independent, and a house payment calculator isn’t going to provide you with good news if you spend over ninety percent of your income.
2. Find Places You Can Save Money
If you already know you’re in financial trouble, chances are you’re not the kind of person who goes out and buys Starbucks every day. Still, it can be useful to trim the fat. Look at things like streaming services and other small items that eventually add up. You can also switch your phone to a cheaper carrier like StraightTalk or Mint Mobile, which both are incredibly cheap. This switch might not be a great idea if you’re in a contract, but if you’re not, it may be time to swap to something less expensive. If you already have a home, consider refinancing your mortgage out over a more extended period so that you can pay smaller monthly payments. You don’t want to be house poor, having a lovely home but nothing in it.
3. Don’t Starve Yourself of Joy
Although you may be going through a rough financial patch, you shouldn’t keep yourself from finding happiness. Sure, all we need to live is food, water, and shelter- but that’s no way to live. You should pay attention to your emotional needs as well. If you’re in America and on Medicaid, you can find free or heavily discounted mental health professionals, as well. Give yourself off days, treat yourself to good food every once in a while, and make sure that your life is still one you enjoy living. These small treats along the way will help you to refocus on what your goal is and find a better way to live. Eventually, either through paying off debt or by getting better employment, you’ll find yourself in a better financial situation. Unfortunately, you have to be patient until you get there.