5 Ways to Be Happy with What You Have (Live Within your Means)
It is quite common for people to feel like they would be happy if they only had a bit more cash on hand. Interestingly, even after professional progress and raises, this feeling persists for many people.
However there are a number of tricks to living happily within your means that can dissolve this feeling and make raises feel more like financial bonuses instead of feeling like a step towards eventual financial happiness.
Trick Number One: Make Budget
The simple act of making a budget is one of the best ways to "find money" that you didn’t know you had before. Instead of paying through the nose for dry cleaning, for example, you might decide to start caring for your wardrobe at home. While ironing might be a bit of a burden, you can enjoy the process all the more by doing it while watching movies on that great flat screen television you were able to purchase with the savings.
Trick Number Two: Set Goals
Setting short term, mid term, and long term goals is a great way to maximize the amount of money that you are making today. Want to take a dream vacation next year? Start saving now. You can boost your savings by swearing off certain conveniences such as lattes and takeout for a month or two. Use this same sort of method to plan for financial goals that are only a few weeks away as well as those that are many years away.
Trick Number Three: Treat Your Car Like a Member of the Family
You can buy a really great car without breaking the bank, especially if you plan on keeping it for a long time. Purchase a car that you really love and take exceptional care of it so that it will last in the long run. Taking good care of your car may mean that it will last a very long time, hopefully for many years after you’ve made your last payment. Search for great new car deals to get a good price, but be sure to buy something that you love, and love it for a long time.
Trick Number Four: Small but Special
Don’t buy a house that is bigger than what you really need. Instead of thinking big, think "ample". How many bedrooms do you really need? Not only will this practice keep your mortgage payments reasonable, but it will also cut down on heating and cooling costs. And with those savings you can remodel!
Trick Number Five: Remember to Have Fun
Saving for your kid’s college tuition, developing an emergency fund, and planning for a comfortable retirement are important, but so is enjoying your life now. But once you have a budget established and have found ways to cut your costs, set aside a little mad money. And make a rule that this money is only to be used for fun.
Everyone, no matter their income level, can find ways to live within their means. In the long run, cutting out some take out, or keeping the house a little cooler to save some money is not too difficult, or too much of a burden.
Annie is a frugal and eco-conscious blogger for Sell My Timeshare blog, the best free resource for frugal travelers.