You’ve heard it before. Living within your means is good. But living below your means is better. I have been living within my means for as long as I can remember. And I found out it’s doable. But living below my means???
When I started having solid “financial goals” this year, I thought about trying to live below what my income can afford. You see, the hubby and I keep our salaries to ourselves and we just share in our household expenses, mortgage payments, and other bills. (This setup is subject to change any time
we I deem it necessary.) The exact percentages I cannot divulge here, but let’s just say he’s a real gentleman.
Personally, these are the things I do as I try to live below my means:
1. I have a weekly budget which I follow strictly. (Weekly, because we get our salaries four times in a month.) There are times when I get to overspend on a particular week, but I make sure it gets deducted from next week’s budget. Talk about offsetting!
2. Whatever I get to save from my weekly budget goes to my spare cash/miscellaneous fund. I keep a separate wallet for this and this is where I get money whenever I need to spend on something I like for myself (usually food!) or for the house (additional cooking or baking supplies).
3. The money I earn from my very part-time job at this restaurant goes straight to our emergency fund. Isn’t it amazing how small amounts of money grow over time?
4. Instead of accumulating stuff, I try to dispose or give away items at home that I don’t find any immediate or future use for. Normally, I give them to my parents, siblings, friends, or relatives. As for the personal stuff I have received from friends during my shopping fast, I’d like to think they will be useful to me for a long time so they don’t count in my no-to-accumulation-of-stuff drive. Haha.
5. I value every peso I earn. I think having this mindset allows me to stick to my goal and not get sidetracked. It’s easy to overspend as it only takes heeding the urge within yourself or simply giving in to temptation.
6. I reward myself for trying to live below my means by paying myself. Another P1,000 to add to our stock investment can make me giddy already. Same thing with a dinner to some resto I’ve been itching to try.
7. I try to influence the hubby to do the same things I do. I have no doubt that if I can get him to live below his means himself, or at least get him to be practical (i.e. to not buy an iPhone 6!), we could achieve our financial goals sooner than later. Good luck to me on that because as I have said before, he’s too generous and spendthrift for my liking.
It’s true that as we age, our perspective broadens and our responsibilities increase. It also becomes imperative that we give our life some sort of direction. Having financial goals becomes a must, too. We’re not getting any younger, anyway. Errr, physically yes, but psychologically, no. Age is just a number, after all. Agree?
I also realized that the more I simplify things, the better I feel about doing and finishing my tasks. The more I live simply, the better I appreciate my life. The more I try to live below my means, the better I feel about our finances and our future.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, friends!