Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Living Below Your Income?
Living beneath your means or within your means simply means to spend a lot less than what you earn. In order to live frugally you really have to get control of your spending habits. At first it will be hard but when you maintain a steadfast determination to control your spending habits you will reap good rewards.
I remember when I was a little girl, things was more simple than they are today. Back then a 16oz soda used to cost $.25 not like today when a 16 oz soda cost about $1.25 to $1.79. But even today you can use your money wisely. For instance why spend $1.79 when you can spend $.99 to a $1.39 for a 64 ounce soda. For a 16 ounce soda you have spent $1.79, when you could have saved yourself $.80 by purchasing the larger 64 ounce bottle and gain a lot more soda for a much lower price. Now, I know you not stupid, but I am just saying it's the smart thing to do, it may not be a convenient thing to do at the time. But you have saved $.80 and you received 48 ounces more of soda. So now you have more drink to give others in your family or household. See how simple that is, and all you need to do is purchase a thermal cup to use anytime you get thirsty.
That applies with everything you do in life. Car repairs, house payments, or rent, cable bills, water bills, electric bills, they can all be reduced if you learned to use less than what you earn.
How? Let's take the water bill for instance. You know how we all feel when it comes to the water bill. Its hard to believe that we use so much water. "Why it so high" you say? Well let's look at it this way, many of us brush our teeth while the water is running, gallons of clean water is escaping down that drain. Instead of using a little water to get the brush wet before we applied the toothpaste, we allow the water to run on and on. And while we are brushing our teeth the water is still running. Then while rinsing out the brush more water is wasting down the drain.
The practical course would be to wet the toothbrush, turn off the water apply toothpaste, brush your teeth, use 1 cup with water to rinse your mouth out well. Then put some water in your cup to rinse your toothbrush. Wa-La!! You brush your teeth with less than two cups and a half of water, instead of 2 to 3 gallons. Now let's calculate the fact that this is a daily thing, can you amagine how much money you are losing? It is somewhat the same with taking a shower.
My son's best friend came up to me and ask what does it mean to live beneath your income.
I guess it is kind of confusing for a 10 year old. So I tried to tell him in a way that he will understand.
Let say you were given fifty dollars, and you purchased a video game. After which, you have nothing left. That is considered living above your means.
But lets say you ventured into a discount video game store instead. Wow, you walk out with the game you wanted, but with a bonus of thirty dollars left over. You are living below your income.
Now, that thirty dollars that you skillfully save, can be used for another day. You put that in your money jar at home. You are now living below your means." Then he said "But what if they don't have the game?" Then I told him," Then you just banked yourself a fifty dollar bill." The end.
Be highly conscious of what you are doing. Think of ways you can still get the item you want without spending too much, then bank the rest.
Do not view it in a negative way, look to see how it benefits you. Managing your money doesnt have to be tedious. It can be very enjoyable.
Instead, consider it a challenge for yourself. Numerous financial consultants have stated that when individuals gain control of their funds, they gain power over their own lives.