How to live within your means

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Being able to live within your means refers to the condition where you can comfortably spend less in a month or at least equal to the money you make.

However, many people out there find themselves with more month than money.

Our love to shop may lead us to impulse buying, which often translates to overspending. Unfortunately, this kind of consumerism is not sustainable and may eventually catch up with you if you fail to correct that habit.

It is never too late to change for the better, below are tips that will help you comfortably live within your means and enjoy life.

Know your income

The first thing you need to know is what you means are. Making a list of all the income you have from your occupation, side hustle or pension is important. Also, define and monitor their frequency to know how often you are paid, is it daily, weekly or monthly.

Track your expenses

Once you know how much you make, you can easily track your expenses hence work on reducing spending. Making a budget is among the best solutions to enable you live within your means.

Also known as a spending plan, a budget lays out exactly what you plan to spend hence you can track your money as you spend it.

Differentiate between needs and wants

During shopping, clearly separating wants and needs will help you avoid impulse shopping and overspending in general. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you sincerely need it. If the answer is no or you are not sure, it means either you really do not need it or you can wait.

You can use the 48 hours rule to help you. If you see something, you want to buy but you do not think you absolutely need, wait 48 hours before buying it. If it is not very important, you will end up changing your mind.

 Do not try to compete or keep up with others

Resist the immense pressure to have the same or better things as the people around you whether they are family, friends or even movie stars and musicians. Avoid falling victim to the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality.

Some people are able to use credit cards and loans to portray wealth that is not genuine for a short period. You are not in a competition with anyone so do not follow the group off a cliff of financial misfortune later on.

Supplement your income

If your expenses are at a minimum level but you are still spending more money than you earn, it clearly means that you are earning less than you need to and you need to supplement your income.

There are many ways to supplement your income; from side hustles to selling some of your things or even turning a hobby into a business. You can also find out more on SunLife and see how much your house has made you and the value of it.


It is not hard at all to live within your means and still have a comfortable life. By adhering to the above tips, you will be able to substitute imagination for money and find a way to get what you want for less.