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How To Live Below Your Means For Security: Practical Guide

How to live below your means

How to live below your means

Picture this! You’re cruising down the highway in your dream car and a house on the hill waiting just for you.  Sounds perfect, right? But then reality hits you.  These big-ticket items are breaking your bank.  So what’s the secret to having it all without sinking into debt?

Living below your means.

Sure, it sounds boring and restrictive.  But imagine not whining every time bills arrive or feeling trapped by payments.

Can’t see how that’s possible.  Ok, how about this?

Let’s dive into ten impactful strategies that can make managing big expenses like cars and homes more manageable, trim needless subscriptions from your budget, curb impulse purchases, save effortlessly with tech-savvy tools, strike a bargain with service providers, spend wisely while saving cash in the process, boost your income through various avenues and get on the road to wealth-building.

Did I say enough!  Well this leads me to my first tip, Be Frugal with Major Purchases!

Table of Contents:

Be Frugal with Major Purchases

Often when people make a move to make major purchases like houses and cars they can feel the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.  It can be that pressure to have it all so fast but I say go at your own pace.  Everyone has different goals.

If you’re trying to live below your means, it’s crucial to be smart about major purchases like cars and houses. Rather than succumbing to the temptation of a luxurious purchase, it is prudent to be mindful when considering major expenses such as cars and houses.

Be Frugal with Major PurchasesHave you ever heard that cars depreciate the moment they leave the dealership? Yes, unlike homes cars are not as valuable as houses.

They will get old far quicker making them not as valuable.  For this reason, I think buying used cars can save thousands of dollars. You still get from point A to B but with more money in your pocket yet at a cheaper price.

As for housing, many folks spend up to 30% of their income on rent or mortgage payments. But if we follow financial guru Dave Ramsey’s advice, this number should not exceed 25%.


For more in-depth tips on financial success, you may enjoy my previous articles 
How to Live Cheap
Frugal vs Cheap: Understanding the major differences

Finding Affordable Housing Options

When buying a home, look beyond just the price tag.  Consider property taxes and insurance costs too. Many people get so stuck on the price and do not take into account other expenses such as the maintenance of a home.  If these are high, even an affordable house might become costly.

Tips on how to live below your means

  • Opt for smaller homes that require less maintenance and energy use.
  • In popular cities where real estate prices skyrocket? Consider nearby towns as alternatives that may offer cheaper properties yet maintain accessibility to city amenities.

Saving Money On Car Purchase

You don’t need a luxury vehicle when a reliable pre-owned model will do the job just fine. Choose vehicles known for longevity.  Websites such as Edmunds, provide detailed reviews on used cars. Don’t forget to negotiate.  Car prices are rarely set in stone.

Remember, being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap.  It’s about making smart decisions with your money and focusing on what really matters and that is Financial Independence.

If you ever want to be in a better financial situation you must take your personal finances seriously and live frugally. This even means cutting unnecessary expenses.

Frugal living isn’t about being cheap.  It’s smart money moves. Opt for used cars, they get you places without draining your wallet. Don’t let housing costs exceed 25% of income. Remember, financial freedom is the real goal. #SmartSpending #Financial Click to Tweet

Cut Unnecessary Subscriptions and Memberships

Are you paying for a Netflix subscription but only using it once in a blue moon? Or perhaps there’s that gym membership gathering dust.

Maybe you’re shelling out bucks every month on DoorDash when your kitchen is fully equipped to whip up some great meals. These are examples of areas where we often overspend without realizing it.

Have you noticed we live in an age of subscriptions?

Everything from music streaming services like Spotify, to digital newspapers, software packages, beauty boxes, the list goes on.

It can be easy to forget about these expenses because they automatically are deducted from our accounts each month.

The first step to trim expenses unnecessary costs is taking stock of all your current subscriptions and memberships.  Apps like Truebill can help identify recurring charges and even cancel unwanted ones for you.

Tackle Digital Entertainment Costs

Digital entertainment platforms, such as Netflix or Hulu, are quite popular today. But if several months have passed since you last binge, watched a series, or caught up with the latest movies then it might be time to cut them loose.

Cut Those Gym Memberships And Fitness Expenses

Fitness enthusiasts often find value in their gym memberships. But if yours is unused more than utilized, let’s get rid of it. There are always cheaper (or free.) ways to stay fit: jogging outdoors or using fitness apps at home could do wonders.

Eating Out vs Eating In

Last but not least, consider food delivery apps.

If DoorDash seems too convenient leading to overuse, remember cooking at home saves dollars while also being healthier.
Studies have shown that cooking at home can be up to five times cheaper than ordering delivery.

Remember, every dollar saved from cutting unnecessary subscriptions and memberships is a dollar added to your savings. Start evaluating today.


Living below your means is all about cutting down unnecessary expenses.

Look over and get rid of unused subscriptions, such as Netflix or Spotify, that quietly pull money from your account each month.

If your gym membership is gathering more dust than it’s building muscles, let it go and choose free fitness options instead. Lastly, switching out DoorDash for home-cooked meals.

A choice that’s better for both you and your wallet.

Avoid Impulse Buying

Impulse buying is like a sneaky thief, silently draining your wallet.

It’s the candy bar at the checkout line, or that pair of shoes you didn’t need but were on sale.

We’ve all fallen prey to impulse buys now and then. But let’s put a stop to it. Not only does this habit dent our savings, but also clutters up our lives with unnecessary stuff.

The 48-Hour Rule

Next time you’re tempted by an unplanned purchase, pause for a moment and think.  Take a step back and assess whether the purchase is truly worth it before you commit.

The 48-hour rule, as suggested by many financial experts, can be an effective strategy here. Simply wait for two days before finalizing any nonessential purchase.

For more in-depth tips on making more money, you may enjoy my previous articles 
How to Create Multiple Streams of Income
How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Create A Shopping List And Stick To It

To further avoid impulse purchases while shopping, especially grocery shopping.  Always make a list beforehand and stick to it religiously.

I never leave home without a shopping list.  The benefit of having one is that I don’t go over budget and secondly, I cut my shopping time down.

Now when I go into the grocery store I no longer spend more than 30 mins shopping for groceries now.

This helps because when we shop without one, we tend to pick up items based more on wants than needs—a recipe for overspending indeed.

Beware Of Online Shopping Traps

In this era of digital convenience where everything is just one click away—the temptation is real. So how do we resist?

A simple trick could be unsubscribing from promotional emails which lure us into sales and offers.

Another tactic? Logging out of online accounts after every purchase. This way you’ll have to log back in for the next one—a small barrier that could give you pause.

Remember: Every penny saved from avoiding impulse buys is a step towards living below your means and achieving financial freedom.

Curb impulse buys to save more. Use the 48-hour rule for nonessential purchases and stick to your shopping list. Log out after online shopping—it’s a small step towards financial freedom. #MoneySmart Click to Tweet

Are You Using Automated Savings Tools

If you’re looking to live below your means, automated savings tools can be a lifesaver.

These handy apps and services work quietly in the background of your financial life, helping you stash away money without even noticing it.

Automatic Transfers: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

You know what they say, “Out of sight, out of mind”. This rings true when we talk about saving money too.

Setting up automatic transfers from checking to savings accounts lets us do just that. Most banks offer this feature free of charge so make sure to match yours.

A good rule is automatically setting aside 10% from each paycheck into a separate account for rainy days or big purchases. Over time, this small portion adds up and creates an impressive safety net.

Negotiating Bills & Services?

Getting a handle on your bills and services can seem like a tall order. But, you possess greater sway than you may realize. One smart way to live below your means is to negotiate these costs.

Know What You’re Paying For

Analyze your current services and their associated costs to determine if they still meet your needs. Make sure each one still serves its purpose in your life. This may include things like cable TV, internet service, or gym memberships.

Shop Smartly

Shopping smartly isn’t just about snagging the best deal. Making wise choices regarding what is necessary and how to obtain it without overspending can be just as important as getting a good deal.

Coupons are Your Friend

Don’t underestimate the power of coupons. They can give serious savings, especially when used with sales or clearance items. Websites like provide printable coupons for a variety of products.

You might think that clipping out paper discounts is outdated, but trust me – there’s nothing old-fashioned about saving money. The key here is organization: keep track of expiry dates and terms so you’re not caught off guard at checkout.

Earn Extra Income

Stretching your budget doesn’t always mean cutting back. Sometimes, it means adding more to the pot. Earning extra income can be a game-changer for living below your means.

Freelance Work

If you possess sought-after abilities, freelance labor is an excellent option for bringing in some additional funds.

Websites like Upwork and Fiverr, let folks hire you for project-based tasks.

This isn’t just about writing or graphic design either.  Think bigger than that, ok.  Are you good at organizing? People might pay for help tidying up their digital files or scheduling.

Sell Unwanted Items Online

Your clutter could be someone else’s treasure. Platforms such as eBay and Poshmark make it easy to turn unused items into money-making assets.

Bonus: decluttering also helps keep stress levels down by making your home a more peaceful place.

Rent Out Your Space or Skills

If you have an empty room or property not being used, consider renting them out on sites like Airbnb.

Similarly, if there’s something unique about yourself that others may find valuable – say teaching yoga classes online – leverage these skills with platforms like Teachable.

Remember though; all income should align with local laws and regulations.

Stretch your budget without the pinch. Freelance work, selling unused items, or renting out spaces can be game-changers. Remember: more income doesn’t always mean less living below your means.” #MoneyHacks #BudgetTips Click to Tweet

Track Your Spending

To effectively manage your finances, you need to understand where your money is going.

Let’s start by tracking your spending. It could be intimidating, but with the assistance of budgeting applications, it can become simpler.

A budgeting tool such as Mint, can give you a clear picture of what comes in and goes out every month.

By categorizing each expense, these apps allow you to see how much money gets spent on groceries, rent, or utilities for example.

Why Tracking Expenses Matters?

Knowing where every penny goes helps identify areas where cutbacks are possible. If coffee shop visits eat up too much cash monthly?

Brew at home.

Seeing those numbers add up gives me motivation to make changes that save money over time.

The more detailed this process is, the better equipped we are for making smart financial decisions down the line because understanding our expenses allows us to allocate funds effectively.

Create A Budget That Works For You

Making a budget isn’t just about cutting costs; it’s about creating an actionable plan that reflects real-life spending habits while leaving room for savings and investments.

This balance ensures not only survival today but growth tomorrow – crucial elements when living below one’s means.

Tailor-made Strategies To Curb Overspending

Budgets aren’t meant to be restrictive; they should empower us instead.

Identifying problem areas leads directly to strategizing solutions uniquely suited to individual needs and preferences which can include everything from meal prepping instead of eating out or using public transportation versus owning cars etcetera.

The key lies in consistency: small actions done repeatedly lead to significant results.

By keeping a keen eye on spending, it becomes easier to live within your means and start building wealth. So let’s get that budget in place.

Another important thought: 

First off, keep tabs on your spending to understand where your cash flows. Leverage budgeting tools like Mint for a hand with this.

It’s key to know exactly where every cent is going so you can pinpoint areas for smart cutbacks and savvy financial choices.

Craft a realistic, actionable budget that aligns with your actual habits and lets savings bloom it’s vital if you want to live within your means.

Spot those tricky spending hotspots, then strategize.

How to Live Below Your Means for Security

FAQs about How to Live Below Your Means

How do I start living below my means?

To start, focus on tracking your spending. Cut back on unnecessary expenses like subscriptions and memberships, then think twice before impulse buying.

What is the 50-30-20 rule?

The 50/30/20 rule splits income into three categories: needs (50%), wants (30%), and savings or debt repayment (20%).

How to live on very little money?

Living frugally involves smart shopping using coupons or sales, saving money, trim expenses, negotiating bills, earning extra income where possible, and saving automatically.

How far below your means should you live?

You should aim to spend less than what you earn each month. This leaves room for unexpected costs and helps build wealth over time.

Wrapping Up How to Live Below Your Means

Mastering how to live below your means doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. It’s about smart, intentional choices.

You’ve learned the importance of being frugal with major purchases.  Remember that cars and houses can still be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

Stripping away unnecessary subscriptions or memberships could lead to surprising savings money over time. You now know you don’t need them all!

Avoid impulse buying and instead, think twice before parting with your hard-earned cash.

Saving becomes effortless when using automated tools while savvy shopping techniques save dollars in unexpected places.

Earning extra income boosts your budget and tracking spending keeps you accountable.

So let these strategies guide you towards financial independence, where money worries become a thing of the past!

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