Living comfortably on a budget is easy, because a budget can be any amount, and I am sure most of us could live comfortably on a budget of two hundred thousand per year. This article, however, gives tips on saving money and how to live within your means. It does not especially mean, “living comfortably” in the popular sense of the phrase. But, it does mean suffering less, and most people who are forced to live on a budget are no strangers to a little bit of suffering. Hopefully, some of the tips and advice on this article will help to ensure you suffer a little less.
1. Learn the Value of Saving
People on a budget are often on it because they have financial planning troubles. People are not taught to save from an early age. They are taught to spend, spend, spend. And, now we have a countrywide credit black hole that the taxpayer has to pay back. All you need to do is learn the value of saving. The knowledge that you have money in the bank waiting is a massive comfort and worth more than anything you may buy can offer.
2. Save for Specific Eventualities
Saving is often a way of creating a lump sum for you to go out and spend. If you actually save for a certain eventuality, then your lump sum in the bank will become less and less enticing. You will find that if you save for specific eventualities such as your power bills, then you will find it easier to stick to your budget.
3. Lock Your Money Away if It Helps You to save
You may do this around the house, but it may be better suited in an investment scheme where they make you wait a fortnight or a month before being able to access the funds. Also, schemes where you may only access the money for a limited number of days per month are also a good means of helping you to save and stick to your budget.
4. Use a Budget to Get a Realistic View of What You Are up against
Creating a budget is not like creating a diet. With a budget, you are better able to predict your outgoings and incoming for the months ahead. This process alone is often very eye-opening, as you slowly come to terms with just how little money you have and how much you are going to struggle. It will help you to become more prudent with your money early on, instead of later when your bills are due.
5. Never Lend Money Unless You Are Willing to Write It off
Part of sticking to a budget is being careful with your money. Do not lend people money that you have budgeted for another purpose. Even if you are sure they will pay you back, you must not do it. You must only lend people your disposable income, and when you do, be sure to write it off. That way if it does come back then it is a bonus.
6. Do Not Borrow Money from Anybody
If you lend it from a bank or financial institution then you will be in debt all your life and you will lose a massive amount of disposable income every day you are in it. If you borrow from people then you will lose friends and their respect. Find other ways of getting the money, and if the expense is an unneeded one, then simply go without.
7. Sell Items before You Borrow Money
You probably have something around the house that you do not need anymore. It is better to sell that item than it is to borrow money. Websites such as Craig’s List and eBay are ideal for selling second hand goods, and will provide you with a little bit of disposable income in emergencies too. If you want to be shrewd about it, then try to make a profit on your items, buy the item second-hand again and keep the profit.
8. Sometimes Going without is Better
You may find that sometimes, the items you thought you really needed, you can actually live without. Plus, a lot of the time you have been marketed to and do not know it. With the exception of food (unless you are an over-eater), you should wait seven days before purchasing something. Keep the money in your account for it, but wait seven days. If you have spent the money before that time, then ask yourself if you really needed the item. Plus, was the week you have just spent intolerable? If not, then ask yourself if you truly need the item you have just spent a week without.