Here are some smart tips to help you live below your means.
Story: BE Conrad
It does not matter if you make $30,000 a year, $300,000 a year, or $3 million a year; if you spend more than you make, you will end up in financial distress. And while making more money does provide additional flexibility and freedom, even high-income individuals can find themselves in bankruptcy court.
If you need proof that income and financial wellness are not always tightly correlated, look no further than the National Football League. These talented players earn enormous sums of money, but their careers are generally short. When those careers are over, some players find themselves back where they started, and bankruptcies are not uncommon.
Even lottery winners can end up back in the poorhouse. There have been many high-profile cases of former lottery winners who regretted buying those fateful tickets, and while that is not the norm, it certainly is a cautionary tale. So, whether you are a former NFL player, a lucky lottery winner, or an ordinary worker, the key to financial security is learning to live below your means. Here are some strategies to make it happen:
Be confident but realistic
Confidence is a key component of financial security and a characteristic that most financially secure men and women have in common. These confident individuals know how to create, and stick to, a household budget. They are savvy enough to pay themselves first, prioritizing saving and investing.
Their confidence extends to the investment arena, where they seek out the best and lowest-cost vehicles for preserving and growing their wealth. But they also know what they do not know and they are not afraid to seek professional help and guidance when they need it. This balance between confidence and overconfidence is a key underpinning of financial success and a skill that can be cultivated.
Wear social blinders
No matter how much money you make, there always will be someone who is making, and spending, more than you do. Social envy and the desire for status can derail even the smartest budget, so put your social blinders on and be happy with what you already have.
The financially secure are less concerned than most with social status, and seemingly untroubled by envy. Instead, they are happy to be where they are, knowing they are living within their means and saving money for the future.
Focus on value, not just price
Bargain shopping is one way to squeeze more out of every dollar earned, but it is not always the best choice. The financially savvy know that true value often means paying a bit more for top quality, and they know the difference between a low price and a real value.
People who consistently live within their means also recognize that buying quality used products can do more than save money. From quality antique furniture to amazing vintage clothing, used items often rival, and exceed, comparable products in terms of both price and value.
When it comes to getting out of debt and growing wealth, spending less than you make is definitely the place to start. Actually, it is easier said than done, and requires a change in attitude, the adoption of new habits, and the cultivation of new strategies. These strategies can help you become more financially secure so you can start building a better future.