Nov 11, 2009

Worth-It Wednesday: Living Beneath Our Means


One of the lessons that my mom drilled into me growing up was to always live beneath my means. My parents practiced what they preached and I have seen the many ways that it blessed my family growing up.

As an adult (am I really an adult? I still don’t feel like one yet!), I was introduced to Dave Ramsey, who put a whole system to what my parents had taught me for years. Dave’s book The Total Money Makeover has been a huge help to those who are trying to live beneath their means.

Still, even with the great example my parents set, we made several mistakes in our early years of marriage that caused us to go into debt and made it difficult for us to climb out of it. Thankfully though, we are now out of debt and have been able to apply these principles to start saving (instead of just working our way out of debt)!

So what can living beneath your means look like? Here are a few ideas that come to my mind, but it will look different for everyone (remember, these are ideas, not set-in-stone rules!) 🙂

  • Skipping out on the big vacation in lieu of a more localized one (you’re kids will still remember it with joy & you’ll be out much less cash!)
  • Being able to afford a more expensive house, but getting one for a lower price than the mortgage company says you can “afford.”
  • Being able to afford going out to eat a few times a week, but choosing to only go out once (or not at all).
  • Staying away from the the mall! Whenever I go to the mall I feel the pull to buy things, but when I stay away the pull stays away too! 🙂
  • Remembering that you can get a percentage off everything you buy and still go more into debt. Make a budget and stick to it religiously.
  • Not making impulse buys! If there’s something that I think I need (or want) I put it on a list and leave it there for a while so that I can think about it and come back to it later to see if it’s something I still need to get.
  • Putting all the money that you are NOT spending into getting out of debt or savings! Easy enough, right?

You can get more ideas as well as a step by step plan from Dave’s book The Total Money Makeover.

Living beneath our means is WORTH-IT for us… do you think it’s worth-it as well?

I only put a few ideas up here & I’d love to hear more from you guys! What do you think? What are some ways that we can live beneath our means so that we can save and give more?

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