3 Tips for Living Well Beneath Your Means

Contrary to popular opinion, the key to financial freedom isn’t solely based on the amount of money you bring into the household each month. It’s about learning how to manage your money and prioritize your spending. This is also known as living beneath your means.

Below, you’ll find some great suggestions for living beneath your means in order to build savings. You won’t have to move into a shoebox or completely forgo entertainment and shopping – but the tips below will help you learn how to make better spending choices.

Consider these strategies:

1. Have a slice of humble pie. If you’re constantly in a competition with your neighbors, coworkers or friends, you’re never going to stop spending. In the back of your mind, you’ll always try to “beat” them by having the newest car, biggest house, most expensive clothing, and more.

• Once you eject the competitiveness from your mind, you’ll be able to effectively trim the fat from your budget.

• If you’re a smoker, now is the time to quit. If not for your health, do it for your financial future. In some states, a pack of cigarettes can cost $10. If you’re a pack-per-day smoker, you can save $300 per month by ditching this harmful habit.

• Work with what you have. There’s no need to upgrade your car if the one you’re driving now gets you from point A to point B. If your current home isn’t to your liking, make some updates or redecorate – it’s a far less expensive fix than purchasing an extravagant estate.

    2. Trim your grocery budget. Coupons aren’t the only way to save money on your grocery bills (though they certainly help). You just need to be conscious of your purchases. It’s possible to feed a family of four for under $10 – with a high quality meal to boot!

    • Never go grocery shopping hungry or tired.

    • Three nights per week, cook up something very inexpensive for dinner, such as beans and rice or homemade soup. It’ll be a nice change of pace, without feeling deprived. And of course, the biggest bonus is that you’ll save money!

    3. Make savings a priority. Savings isn’t optional. It’s necessary for financial emergencies – and they always come up in some form or another. Treat it as any other bill each month. Place this, as every other bill, in your budget workbook. You do have a budget workbook, don’t you?

    • If you’d like, break it up into pay periods. In order to save $800 per month in a 2-income household, each partner would have to set aside $100 per week. A $400 goal would be just $50 per week. When a savings goal is broken into manageable pieces, it’s a far less daunting figure.

    • When you’re unable to meet your savings goals, either find a way to make more money or spend less money each month. If you’re able to trim the fat from your monthly expenses, there will always be a way to meet your savings goals.

    • Budget your “fun money” as well. When you budget a set amount for unnecessary shopping trips and entertainment, you can’t shop until you drop. When the money runs out, you’re done.

      Your entire life doesn’t need to change in order to live below your means. It’s all about minimizing your expenses where possible and refusing the urge to live larger – even if you have the means to do so. By implementing these simple tips, you can slash hundreds of dollars – if not more – off your monthly bills and stash it into your savings account!

       

      Healthy Ways to Feed Your Family on a Budget

      Finding healthy ways to feed your family can often be challenging because it’s not always the most affordable option. However, with just a little creativity, it’s very possible to find healthy, budget friendly food choices so your family and your pocket can reap the benefits!

      Tips That Can Instantly Save You Money!

      Consider the following tips that are sure to cater to your wallet and your palate:

      1. Eat out less often. Eating out less often has two wonderful benefits:

      • In one instance, your expenditure on food will be significantly less because eating at a restaurant is often pricier than you might realize.
      • In the second instance, eating out doesn’t allow you to control the ingredients in your meals. Even if you order something that sounds healthy, there’s a strong likelihood that the overall meal won’t be healthy enough for your liking.

      2. Grow your own veggies and herbs. You’d be surprised at how much savings you can accrue if you grow your own vegetables and herbs at home. Even if you have a small home with very minimal outdoor space, it’s still possible to have your own garden in pots.

      • Fresh herbs and vegetables are tasty and healthy, yet quite expensive if you buy the organic versions at the grocery store. By growing your own, you’ll know that they’re organic, picked at the peak of perfection and nutrition, and you’ll save money as well.


      Cooking Techniques That Are Affordable and Healthy

      Try these healthy cooking ideas for a change of pace and more change in your pocket:

      1. Go grilled, not fried. If you have kids in your family, then there’s a great chance that they will want kid friendly meals like fish fingers or chicken nuggets. While those items may not necessarily be very expensive in the supermarket, they’re not as nutritious as their grilled counterparts.

      • It’s easy to avoid the unhealthy way of preparing these things for your kids by grilling or oven-cooking their favorites.

      2. Use homemade condiments. A great alternative to unhealthy store-bought condiments is to make your own relishes and sauces at home. The added benefit is that they’ll be much less expensive than the grocery store variety.

      3. Make your own juices. You’d be surprised at how much sugar or artificial sweetener is contained within many of those “zero sugar” juices on the market. Why not save yourself the extra dollars and your family the extra calories by making juices yourself? Fruits are relatively affordable – especially if you buy them locally and in season – so buying your own and making your own juices is a healthier and more affordable option.

      Many people end up choosing the more expensive and less healthy eating options for their families simply because they assume healthy eating is more expensive. While it can be more expensive in certain instances, a little creativity and imagination can definitely allow you to have a healthier option on a budget.

      So now is the time to put your thinking cap on and find smarter ways to eat with healthier and money-saving outcomes! Your limited pocket doesn’t have to equate to limited nutrition; find creative ways to make “1+1″ equal healthy and affordable alternatives!