Living well on less money means that you can still get the same desired quality of life while spending less money. This is one of the keys to saving money for a healthier financial lifestyle and future. There are various ways through which you can live well on less money:
Buyt during the low demand seasons
Most of the time, prices go up when goods and services are in high demand. For example, at the beginning of winter, you will pay more for jackets, sweaters, coats and other winter items. But you will pay less for similar items if you buy them in summer, because their demand is extremely low around this time. So, be a smart shopper and think ahead; don’t wait when everyone is looking for a similar product, which will be pricey, for instance, try to purchase winter stuff during summer and vice-versa, or school supplies when everyone is in school (unless there is usually a back-to-school sale in your local stores).
Use cash instead of credit cards.
When you use cash, you feel the effect of that money as you pull it out of your wallet or purse. This is not really the case with swiping a card. So, carry cash with you when you are going to the store. Or at least use a debit card, so you can avoid the temptation of falling into debt that will take up some of your money in interest charges.
And do not count the saved money as part of the amount available for you to spend. Set up an automatic recurring transfer from your checking to savings account or have the money directly deducted from your paycheck (if you are not self-employed). Train yourself to act as though this saved money does not exist and make a budget based on what is left.
Avoid spending on items and services you don’t need
If you look around your home, there are probably a lot of expensive items that you don’t really use, or there are extra services you are currently paying for, yet you actually don’t utilize them or they are entirely not useful at all. For instance, the extra subscription on your cable service, the unlimited minutes on your cell phone plan, etc, may just be a waste of money. Cutting down on these could save you money while you are still getting the same quality services.
Look for sales, discounts and coupons on items that you need.
Determine what you need and check to see if you can find sales and coupons around your area. If items are carried in different stores, check to see if any of them have any of the items at a discount. Why spend more at one retailer when you could a similar item at a different one, for less?
There are lots of products which you can buy used, yet they are still of great quality. One good example is a vehicle. You can get a vehicle that has been driven for two years and is still in excellent shape, but almost half the price of a brand new one. If you are in college or your child is, you can get used books for much lower prices.
Eat more at home than restaurants.
You can make a healthy meal at home for much less than what you would spend in a restaurant. So, buy your own groceries and prepare most of your food at home. Of course you can still visit the restaurant once in a while, but don’t think of a restaurant whenever you are hungry. If you work outside home and you need lunch while at work, carry food and drinks from home.
Refinance at a lower interest.
If you have a loan (such as a mortgage, auto loan, or credit card), do some research to find out if there are any financing companies that could offer lower rates on your existing balance. A lower interest reduces the overall cost of the loan, which can enable you to either pay off the debt faster or reduce your monthly payments.
Maintain your vehicle.
If you own a vehicle, keep it in good condition. This will save you on gas and the costs associated with repairing a car when it breaks down. So be sure to follow the regular maintenance schedule in your handbook and you will be on your way to living well on less income.
But store brands or generic products. Some generic products serve the same purpose as name brands. So, try out a few and you could be spending less.
The list above is not exhaustive. Just get creative all the time and think of anything you can do to give you the same quality of life you desire, while paying less for it.