How I Live Below Your Means & Why You Should Too

Shireen Fitzgerald
by Shireen Fitzgerald

Ever wondered how you go from broke to having more money than ever? Today I share a few things I do to hopefully inspire you to live well below your means. These tips have saved me about 10% at a minimum and curbed some of my spending habits.

I work towards always creating a bigger gap between what I get as an income and what I'm spending. Because the bigger you can make that gap, the easier it's going to be down the line. Here's my advice on how to live below your means:

1. No interest

To achieve a monetary goal, such as buying a house or paying off a debt, the first thing I recommend is to avoid paying interest because that is a waste of money.

Make sure you pay your loans and credit cards on time and in full, try consolidating your debt, and if you can, make an extra payment. Research the various ways you can avoid interest payments to help you live under your means.

2. Using credit cards for frequent flyer miles

I like to get credit cards so that I can obtain more frequent flyer points, but I don’t want to pay an annual fee. Instead, I wait around and see when there's a card coming up that has no annual fee and gives a decent amount of points so that it's worth me bothering to apply. That way I get free flights and I save them for when I want to go overseas.

Making sure to pay bills on time

3. Pay on time

For me, the worst thing is getting a late fee, so I make sure that I pay on time. However, I never pay for things straight away. I hold the money in my account and pay as close to the due date as possible. I set up all my accounts so that payments are automatically paid by the due date.

I even set up ones where the account will just take the money themselves making it their responsibility if they mess up. You just need to make sure that you have enough money in the bank account, if possible, add a little more for a buffer.

4. Checking my accounts regularly

I always check my accounts regularly. I don't want to have any surprises. By frequently checking your accounts, you'll catch mistakes or find things that you're paying for that you actually don't want to be paying for.

5. Shop for the best price

As a habit, I shop for the best price, and I compare all the time. I make a list of the things I want, and I marinate over it for a month or so. During this time, I find the best price for the product, and if I still want it after that month of research then I buy it. If I know a sale is coming up, I wait until the sale to buy the item.

6. Ask for a discount

Now the other thing I do is I'll always ask for discounts. You need to know which shops you are able to ask for a discount. Department stores are not going to give you a discount, but unique boutique stores might.

Knowing where you can go and what you can get discounts for is good. As far as department stores, if there is a particular item you need, wait for sales.

Revising health insurance to save money

7. Revise health insurance

My last bit of advice for how to live below your means is to always revise your health insurance. You could possibly find another that is better. Here in Australia, health insurance can be used as a tax deduction, so again that’s a saving.

Be mindful of where you are putting your money

Now that you have used these tips and saved all this money, you now need to be mindful of where you will save it. I have decided that at this moment I will be putting it all into my retirement funds.

Where I live, if you put a certain amount of money in annually, you get a good tax-effective break. For me, it could be a tax break of 34.5%. So that's how much money would come back to me for putting that money in there. If you're in a different country, then you might have different arrangements.

But a lot of the retirement funds are set up to give you different perks. So, looking into that is one of the ways that I maintain living below my means.

How to live below your means

Those are my tips. I hope they have inspired you to try living below your means and save money. I would love to hear if you have any other ideas. Leave your comments down below. See you next time!

Join the conversation
  • Ellen Beener Ellen Beener on Aug 18, 2022

    One good way to save is if you like to go out to not go very hungry ...have a snack before you go. I know this sounds silly but it works.

    Do not get soda get water .

    share an entre with your partner

    You can still enjoy being OUT without the expense .

    Another way is to use your local thrift stores , they have so much to offer.


  • Par66743653 Par66743653 on Aug 18, 2022

    Buy only what you really need/what you dont have.