Beyond the Grasp of Greed: Living Within Your Means
As we think back to the days when getting cars, houses, and jobs seemed pretty easy we may often wonder, "What happened?!"
It is almost disheartening to think about all that has been lost as the economy has worsened and we have suffered from not having the many lines available to purchase the things that we want. Now we must focus our energies on making things work, but how are we supposed to do that?
It is true that many Americans today are curious on how to live comfortably within our their means, but the question on everyone's mind is: What does that even mean and how do you make it happen?
- Step 1: Understand Your Bills
Now I know this may seem like an obvious step, but it is often one that gets forgotten. You must take into account your expenses because this is going to determine what is left over (if anything) from the money you make. Now when I say study your bills, I do not only mean to study how much is due each month.
What I mean is to sit down and think about how much you regularly pay, when you pay them, are you charged penalties, and if you are often scrambling at the end of the month to come up with payments.
The reason I suggest this is because what tends to happen is by the time the end of the month comes, we've already spent our money. Here is a quick tip: Find out how much you pay for each bill at the end of the month and save a little bit of money from each paycheck to cover those expenses.
- Step 2: Understand Your Personal Buying Power
I first want to make it clear that I do not mean what you can buy on credit or from money that is loaned that you have to pay back. What anyone needs to understand about their buying power when it comes to living within their means is how much can you afford directly from the money you make.
This ties in with studying your bills because what you can afford is the money that you have left over from paying all your bills. Do away with all the store credit cards. Here is a rule of thumb: If you do not have the cash to pay for the item, do not buy it on credit either.
- Step 3: Avoid Temptations!
This task is easier said than done because temptation is everywhere. Try staying away from the things that make you purchase impulsively. Whether it is taking a certain route and passing a certain store or even certain aisles in the grocery store. Stay strong and be firm.
Ultimately, living within your means can be easy once you have taken into account your bills, your buying power, and what tempts you.
A good way to start spending less is getting a credit card that YOU load. That means, you only spend money you have, and can't spend it if it's not there. The 1st Platinum Plus credit line card does just that.
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