Living below your means isn’t that hard to do, if you know how and why you should.

This article provides a lot of insight into the concept and exactly how you can live below your means, regardless of your situation, income or even age.


What It Means to Live Below Your Means

Living below your means simply means living below the income you earn.

If you previously live on two or more incomes but now live on one income then you could be living below your means.


How To Live Below Your Means (10 Best Tips To Help)

There are tips you can apply to live below your means successfully. This article provides you with the 10 best tips for living below your means.


1. Know Your Income and Expenses

First of all, you must understand your income and expenses before you can get hold of your expenses.

Get a sheet of paper (or your computer/mobile device) and list all of your income and then your expenses within specific timeframes.

For guidance, make a list of all income from your job, side hustles, pension, or any other way you receive income. After doing this, then make a list of every bill you have.

This will include expenditures such as rent, food expenses, car payments, school fees, utility bills, and so on.

You can use one of the best money saving or budgeting apps to help you keep track of all of your expenses and income.

While listing your expenses, ensure you itemize your fixed expenses and separate them from your variable expenses.

Fixed expenses are those spending that are constant and don’t change. You don’t have control over them.

The difference between your income and fixed expenses is what’s left for the expenses you can control -which are your variable and discretionary expenses.

Variable and discretionary expenses changes with the level of transactions.


2. Separate Your Wants From Your Needs

A lot of times, what we want may not be the best for us. So, it is important to avoid them and instead go for what we need.

Yes, what you need is more important. Separate what you want from what you need and live better.

Understand the difference between what you want and what you need when you go shopping.

This will help you spend on only important things and stay out of debt.

Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you need it. If you can do without the item, forget it.

Related: I Seriously Need Money Quickly – tips to help!


3. Track Your Expenses

To live within your means, track your expenses to know exactly what you are spending – down to the very last penny.

I know this might sound extreme, but it’s very important to know exactly how much you are spending and exactly what you are spending your money on.

If nothing, this will help you to understand where your money is going.

Get to know how much you spend and on what item you spend it on.

Also See: Food Tasting Jobs That Pay You To Eat.


4. You Need to Have a Spending Plan

Write down all of your expenses, categorize the different types of spending you make, add them up, make comparisons, and take better decisions based on what you have.

These days you can use the right online budgeting services or apps to track your expenses easily. It’s all about being frugal without being cheap.

Related Articles to help with being Frugal:


5. Keep an Emergency Fund

Unpredictable events do occur in life. These we cannot control.

Natural disasters, a sudden change in government policy, fire outbreak, car accident, stolen vehicle, ill-health, the untimely death of a loved one, are examples of events that could become unpredictable.

To get hold of these events, you may need to keep an emergency fund. This is the fund you can draw from when you are faced with some unpredictable emergencies.

Keep your three to six months’ worth of your expenses saved up as an emergency fund.

This is important as it will help you take care of expenses without borrowing money.

If you have an emergency fund, you will always live within your means with ease.


Living Below Your Means


6. Save Money Wherever Possible

You must save money whenever and wherever possible. Every time you have an opportunity to save, do so.

This action can save you from getting into financial problems. You will not be overextending yourself financially.

The following are tips that will help you save at every opportunity.

  • Take advantage of bulk purchases at stores and save money. Use a shopping list to ensure you shop for items you want. Don’t buy on impulse but only through the list, you have made.
  • Make a budget and track your spending.
  • If possible, bring lunch to work. This should be preferable to going to the restaurants to eat. Alternatively, if you must go to the restaurant, choose less pricey meals.
  • Avoid entertainment that could cost you more money. If that hobby or entertainment is not necessary then do away with it, and save money. If you must go, avoid frivolous stuff.
  • Go for secondhand or used items if you cannot afford completely new ones. There are lots of stuff you can buy secondhand. These include second-hand clothes, shoes, cars, and so on. The point here is that secondhand items are cheaper than new ones. So, you will save more with them.

Below are some articles on second-hand or used items, to help you:


7. Cut Down on Unnecessary Expenses

You can cut down on your expenses if you want to live within your means.

Of course, now that you have decided to live within your means it simply means that your spending will be based within your means.

You can take a look around and cut down on some expenses. For instance, you can cut down on cell phone bills, cable TV, movie tickets, concert fees, gym memberships, shopping trips, and so on.

Cancel subscriptions and memberships you don’t need frequently. This will help you save money and live a better life.

Also See: Free Giveaway Sites to get Carters Coupons, Free Coupons and other Freeies Online.


8. Live Off One Income

To live within your means, you can live off just one income. This will apply especially to families that earn more than two salaries.

You can use just one salary to run your costs and this can help stop money fights in your relationship or marriage.

The purpose of a budget is very important, so make sure you budget your lifestyles based on how much one salary can bring to you.

Anything beyond this will be spending more than necessary. So, arrange all of your spendings to cover just one salary and live within that income.

You can use the other salary for savings and investments.  If you apply this tip effectively then living within your means would become easier.

Also See: How to Save Money from Salary and How to Drastically Cut Expenses.


9. Buy Things Only When You Have the Cash

You can live within your means when you buy things only when you have the money to pay. If you stick to this tip, you will avoid the trap of falling into debt.

Don’t use your credit card to buy things you cannot pay for immediately.

Save up enough money to buy what you are supposed to buy.

Don’t gratify your desires if you don’t have immediate cash. You will live within your means if you stick with this.

Also See: What is the 30 Day Rule for Saving Money?


9. Find More Ways to Boost Your Income

You can boost your income to live within your means. Improving your financial earnings will help you earn more money that can cover your expenses. There are ways to do this.

These include a better-paying job, getting a raise from your boss, starting a side hustle where you get to render services online or offline.

You can also sell your kinds of stuff or rent them out to get extra money. Thanks to the Internet today you can do lots of things to make extra money working from home or in your free time.

Below are some of the ways to earn extra money online:


10. Do Things Yourself Instead of Hiring

You can live within your means if you decide to do things by yourself.

Instead of hiring and paying others to do tasks for you, you can take charge and do it by yourself.

There are plenty of things which you can learn to do by yourself. These may include painting your house, mowing your lawn for free, fixing your plumbing, fixing your furniture, and so on.

You can save a huge amount of money doing things by yourself. Today, you can learn a lot of things through the Internet.

YouTube and other online media publish different types of videos for learning things you are passionate about.



As this article has shown, it’s not that hard to live below your means if you know how and why you should.

This article went further and provided a lot of insight into the concept and exactly how you can live below your means, regardless of your situation, income or even age.