Living Within Means: Changing Your Perspective on Spending

by - February 09, 2018


Living within your means means more than just having enough money to spend. It also means being aware of the difference between what you need and what you want. You need to learn to find a way of the kind of spending perspective that works for you -- not for your neighbors or best friends. Living within your means  requires you to be mindful of how you spend your money,and if you do it correctly, you won't actually be depriving yourself of the things you really need to be happy.


 Need versus want

Sure, you may think that you really "need" a huge HD TV, but would you really suffer if you got a TV of a smaller size, or stuck with your old for a while, instead? Do you really need designer shoes or sunglasses, or would you be just as happy with a cheaper pair? Do you need to spend $90 every time you go out to dinner with your beau, or can you go somewhere a little bit cheaper, or have a romantic night cooking at home instead? Realizing that you don't really need all those things you think you need will definitely help you live within your means.

It's okay to splurge on something you don't really need once in a while, but you shouldn't make a habit of it. And when you do splurge, you should be conscious that your life would be just as good without that thing.

 Don't covet your neighbour

So maybe your neighbors just got a swimming pool or built an addition onto their home; but they may make twice as much money as you do. If you get caught up in trying to keep up with everyone around you, then not only will you never be happy, but you will also never be able to live within your means because you'll be too busy trying to maintain a life that is not yours. Be happy for whoever those people who can spend on things because they can actually afford it. It means that they've worked their way into it. Be happy as well at how much you can spend, or save at the moment, it will humble you and inspire you to live meaningfully. Remember that jealousy is guaranteed to make you an unhappy person -- and to never be satisfied with what you have.

 All in the mind

Being rich doesn't have to mean you have more than enough cash to spend, and exhaust every holiday vacation; it can mean having enough money to keep your family happy, funds set aside for fun, or travel, or the feeling of security that you're family will be provided for with their needs -- not just in the present but also in the distant future. Once you see that this can be your own definition of "rich," you will be able to relax and stop worrying so much about how other people perceive your wealth.
Know that spending less money will not decrease your quality of life.
So you invite some friends over for some wine instead of spending money at a crowded bar. You and your significant other take a road trip instead of flying to your next travel destination. Does this really decrease your quality of life? Absolutely not. You'll still be doing the things you love -- you'll just be doing them a bit differently. In fact, spending less money can increase your quality of life, because doing so will make you less stressed out about wasting money, and you'll feel more at peace with your decisions.

 Be grateful

Instead of focusing on what you wish you had focus on all of the things you are lucky enough to have. Make a list of all of the things you do have, and don't just limit the list to the material things -- you may be grateful for an amazing significant other, wonderful children, or the amazing place where you live. Being aware of all of the things that you do have will make you less likely to spend impulsively to make up for anything that you feel is lacking in your life.

An action plan is a failure if you fail to actually change your perception on how you spend your money. We change our perspective of your earning and spending perception.


lisa marie.

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