Do you live beneath your means? I know many people are struggling to make ends meet. This results in both financial and often marital stress for couples.
Changing the way that we looked at money was not easy. It was absolutely a challenge. It also did not happen overnight.
When we were digging out from under our debt, we had one income. Fortunately, I started this site and that helped. However, we still had to change the way we were spending our money. Our financial situation forced us to re-evaluate what was important – and what was not.
Part of this process involved us both learning how to live on less than we made. Doing so, not only helped us dig out from beneath our mountain of debt, but also build an emergency fund to a level that makes us both comfortable.
Throughout it all, we learned that it was not only possible, but a must for us to live beneath our means. It’s lessened our financial stress and strengthened our relationship. These are some of the lessons that helped us learn how to live beneath our means.
1. Teaching your children
Kids learn by example. When they see Mom and Dad being wise with money, they pick up on that. In fact, my kids all know about how we use cash and not plastic at the store. They are learning to watch prices and know that we always shop with a budget in mind.
They also know that we save money out of each paycheck. While they do not know the amount, they know the importance of saving money.
Read More: The Money Lessons We Must Teach our Children
2. Reach your goals
Perhaps you want to go on a dream vacation. Maybe you want to get a newer car. Whatever your dream, you can use the money you save towards reaching them.
One of our goals was to take our children to Disney World – without racking up debt. Through our hard work, we were able to make that dream a reality. Now, we have new goals such as a backyard deck remodel and another fun family vacation. Knowing the goals that we want to achieve helps us save the money we need to make them a reality.
Read More: How to Set and Reach Your Financial Goals
3. Being content with what you have
Learning that more is just more and does not lead to happiness is a lesson all of us need to follow. Knowing that you can be happy with what you have allows you to feel content and happy.
Read More: Determining Your Wants vs. Your Needs
4. To give generously
I am believer in the prophecy that you reap what you sew. That is true with the way we give unto others. We can help those in need and find that when we do, we are rewarded ten-fold through other blessings.
I well remember the days of dreading looking at the finances. Fortunately, those days are well behind me. I actually feel good about our budget and seeing us working to reach our goals.
6. To build your emergency fund
If you don’t have one yet, you need one. What happens when the air conditioner decides to stop running. Or, how will you pay the deductible for your vehicle when you get rear ended at the stop light?
This is why you need an emergency fund. You must have money available to cover those expenses, without worry that you will end up further in debt as a result.
7. To save for your future
It is important to get started on both your own retirement savings account and also your children’s college funds. Those events will be here before you realize it.
Smart planning now will set your family up for success when these milestones happen.
8. Reduces stress
Without financial burdens weighing you down, you instantly reduce the stress in your life. If something comes up, there are funds available to cover your expenses. No lying awake at night wondering how you will have to put food on the table.