How to Live within your Means

I am often amazed at people who claim that they live within their means, yet do not.  Living within your means means saving for the luxuries you want,  not wasting money,  and not spending so much that you get into debt.  Yet a lot of people completely disregard this, spend their money quickly, sometimes before they even earn it and have it in their hand,  and then complain that they have problems.

Necessity is the mother of invention. When you are on a very low income and you have no savings and no help from anyone you learn how to be frugal and wise with money,   you have to, you have no choice. If you do not do that you end up with horrendous financial problems.

There was recently a case of a man who won approximately fifty million pounds on the lottery, a huge sum, yet this man gambled it, gave it away and wasted it and then blamed the money for his unhappiness. The truth is that a sensible person would have been able to live very happily and comfortably on a lot less than that for the rest of their life.  Quite often people who are not good with money blame their earnings and say that if they earned more they would not have a problem.  Yet sometimes they earn twice as much as someone else who is more careful and fairs far better, proving that it is not how much they have coming in that is to blame, it is the way they handle it.

Sometimes people are obsessed with instant happiness and gratification and believe they are entitled to do things that they cannot afford.  They hear that their family and friends are off on another holiday and many of the people they know have lots of holidays and live in a lovely big house,  so they believe they are entitled to lots of holidays and a big house too, even if they do not earn enough to pay for this, or they spend a lot of their money on other things.  Someone who is careful would wait until they can afford a holiday, not borrow to pay for it.  They may also feel they are entitled to nights out,  drinking sessions, jewelery, nice clothes, a flashy car and other things they cannot afford, simply because it is what most people have.

Living within your means would mean that you spend only on essentials, stay out of debt and only spend on things like evenings out, a big car or a holiday when there is money to spare.  Of course, if you do not have a big income you have to be more careful.  Then it might be wise to be extremely careful whilst looking for ways to increase your income too.