Adjusting to life on a smaller income can be extremely difficult for some people, especially after having reached a certain level of financial success and freedom. When the necessities of life were at one time all a person was concerned with having and the things that were once classified simply as wants become more abundant and easier to obtain, it can be very hard to adjust to a lifestyle that allows less than what you are accustomed to. It isn’t impossible however, it only takes a bit of sacrifice, some humility and acceptance of this new financial situation, a tight budget that you must learn to adhere to, and a desire to cut some nonessential items from your life. Whether you changed jobs, took a salary cut, or perhaps lost your job altogether, regardless of the reasons why your income has decreased the solution is still the same, spend less and try to save and conserve more.
When a person begins making more money than they are used to having they tend to spend more; added financial security can increase your quality of life, make your family and those around you happier, and most importantly, it makes you happy. When forced to adjust to life on a smaller income think of the things that you spend money on now that you didn’t before, and whether or not they are truly essential or if they are what could be considered a luxury item. These “luxury” items must be the first to be eliminated from your new budget, which is a great place to start when making this adjustment.
When sitting down to form a new budget for yourself think of the things that you need first and foremost, and if there is room after your needs have been met, think of the things you want last. You may find that there are many small items that you can cut from your daily or weekly spending without being missed. The accumulation of cutting many small items from your budget can ensure that you have more money in your pocket on a day-to-day basis. One example of this may include a reduction in how often you eat out, whether it be for lunch or dinner, another to consider is renting movies rather than going to the theater.
Making a new budget will help you to start from scratch with your new plan of action, but it may be necessary to look at your old budget (if you had one) in order to figure out what things you spent the most money on. Once you discover where the majority of your money was going you can approach that topic all on its own, determining for yourself how best to curb that cost. You may find in the process of examining your finances that it may be necessary to change the places where you shop for groceries or clothes, this may seem like a minor change but it is one that could result in saving hundreds of dollars per month. If you didn’t already do so, perhaps it’s time to start looking for sales or special offers, or coupons and saving clubs, all of which are offered at most grocery store chains and shopping centers.
The most important thing is to change your way of thinking about money and your lifestyle, and strip your budget down to focus more on your needs rather than your wants. You should also examine how you live and how much of what you do or spend money on is truly essential to your happiness and personal well being, after all, you shouldn’t be drinking champagne when living on a beer income. It may seem inconsequential but maybe you could go four weeks without a haircut rather than two, you might also save money by looking at your current insurance plans (including medical, home, and automotive) and trying to find a better deal. A lot of small reductions in your spending habits can add up quickly and save you a lot of money in the long run. You simply have to focus on changing your lifestyle and cutting out whatever you can in order to make your new, smaller income more than adequate for this new way of life that you are entering into.