When someone says that you should try “living below your means,” most of us immediately think that we need to simply stop spending money, buy things only on sale, and put away quite a bit while trying to live just above the poverty line. The fact of the matter is, that isn’t exactly the way to go.
Here are a few ways to live below your means while still maintaining stability and high-quality life.
The quickest way to lose a lot of money is to start buying things that are cheaply made that you’ll have to replace within the next month or so. While buying higher-quality products seems to be more expensive at the time, investing in the product with the better quality will definitely pay off in the long run. For example, if you were to purchase a pair of running shoes that were on sale at your local bargain mart you would be saving money on them in the short run.
While this might seem to keep extra pennies in your pocket, if you run continuously the shoes will wear down within a matter of weeks because of the cheaper material used for the shoes. And you’ll find yourself spending more money in the coming months just to replace them. However, if you were to spend your money on a pair of shoes that were made of leather and high-quality rubber with a sculpted instep, you’ll be granted comfort while running and the shoes will last longer.
While taking a multi-vitamin might seem like the most ideal thing to do to help you stay on top of your health, it isn’t always easy. First, you need to find the vitamin that gives you the most nutrients and that’s readily absorbable by your body. Second, you’ll need to find a brand that uses natural and GMO-free ingredients. Finally, you’ll need to maintain the regimen.
Buying cheap vitamins can be a lot like buying cheap shoes: you get what you pay for. Sometimes, the cheaper vitamins do more harm than good. If you purchase high-quality vitamins, you can easily maintain a comfortable level of health without spending copious amounts of money seeing a physician every time you get sick.
Often times, people hear the word “generic” and dub it with a bout of negativity that you wouldn’t believe. However, if you’re in the market for medications, you’ll want to look into generics. This is one area that’ll allow you to spend less at the time and keep spending less every time you fill a prescription. Most pharmacists will be more than willing to provide you with a list of medications and their generic alternatives. The better part of that deal is that most insurance companies will help you pay for the generic medications as well as the name brand.
Your car is your friend; your computer is potentially your lifeline; and your kitchen appliances have been there for you since you started your work as an undergraduate. What better way to keep a little extra money in your savings than to maintain what you already have. Take your car in for regular service and checks to ensure that your faithful steed lasts you through the years without incident. You might be surprised to find out exactly how long your engine will last you if you do your tune-ups on time and potentially switch to the next gas level up. Make sure all home appliances are well cleaned and in working condition.
Not only will this one save you from buying a whole bunch of new-fangled things, but it could also help keep your electric bills in check. By making sure that your microwave, coffee pot, or other household favorites are maintained, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re using the proper outlet wattage and that your appliances aren’t over exerting themselves. Your electronics are no different. Make sure to run regular scans on your computers, tablets, and phones. This will keep you from falling prey to the expansive world of viruses and malware running amok on the Internet.
Just because you have a huge limit on your favorite credit card doesn’t mean that you should max it out. In fact, most credit card companies would prefer that you stay around the 30 percent mark on your cards. This doesn’t mean that you should never use them. When it comes to your credit, learn to use them on things you were going to purchase anyway and pay off the balance when you get the chance. This includes groceries, gas, and other non-credit card related bills. This will help you build your credit and keep yourself out of the poor house.
These are but a few ways to live under your means while still living comfortably. You should still put away about 10 percent of your pay check into a savings account as a way to create a buffer for those rainy days. But for the rest of your hard-earned cash, try these tricks and see how quickly your stash grows.
What are a few other ways that you’ve used to live under your means while building your financial base?