When someone mentions to you that you should live below your means, what does that make you think? Many people tend to get a vision of deprivation. Most of the time, these are typical images when you think of creative people such as writers, painters, artists who are bearly able to make a living.
When you are a hard worker, the last thing that you want to feel is that you are deprived of anything or that you are financially handicap. It is normal to want to enjoy the fruits of your labor with not feeling guilty.
Over my lifetime, I have heard the saying, “you get what you pay for.” More times than I would want to. A great example of this is you can buy a house, a car, clothes, and other items, as long as your careful and do not purchase more than you need. You still have the capability to watch movies and sports without having the 400 additional channels that you never seem to watch.
My family has often told me that a dream without a plan is just a wish. And when I think about finances and living below my means, that doesn’t mean I am missing out on the best things that are for me. It just not might stick out to what society thinks I should be buying.
Another way to live below your means is to prioritize what get’s paid first. There is no questions that your mortgage, rent, utilities, and car payment should be your top priority. If you don’t pay those things, then you could end up losing assets and services that are critical to your work and life balance.
After you have covered all of your top priorities, then you can see what other purchases are possible that month. The scary part about credit is that you can make those purchases so easy without ever thinking about your budget and what you can actually afford.
The best approach is not to just browse a store or surf the internet if you are not someone who is well versed in understanding your budget and being able to stick to it.
Money is frequently positioned as the key to success, and the act of spending money on yourself is a way to make you think that you have made it. Sure, an overpriced cup of coffee every day is the easy option, but if you can take the time to make a cup just as good if not better at home.
Once you realize that spending money isn’t what makes you happy, and it doesn’t even begin to create happiness. You might find that other things are more important than money, and many times don’t come with the price tag. You might see that spending the day at the park, beach, or even at home watching a movie with friends or family is where you get most of your value from. The experiences that we provide ourselves are things that we can remember throughout our lives, and it is what drives us for the next adventure.
Everything starts with you at home, when your kids grow up do you want them to be focused on money or would you prefer that they took the time to spend time with people and learn new things like baking cookies from scratch instead of going to the store and buying them. Teaching life lessons as you spend time together.
Living below your means does not mean you are worthless, but rather that you are saving for a future that might mean more to you as you get to experience so much more.