17 Proven Strategies for Living Below Your Means

There is no denying the fact that living below your means is the first step towards achieving financial security and independence.

Ask any self-made millionaire and they will tell you that they got to where they are by keeping their spending habits in check and living well below their means.

Below are 17 strategies that can help you live below your means and save a lot of money.

Cook at home

Data shows that the average American household spends more than $60 per week – which amounts to over $3,000 per year – on eating out. It is not only a waste of money, but is also not good for your health. Instead, cook your own meals and invest the difference in an index fund. If you are too busy to cook every day, cook when you are free, stock them up in your freezer, and eat them whenever you want.

Cut the cord

Stop spending money on cable TV. Choose a streaming service instead. However, do not sign up for every streaming service you can think of. Data shows that the average American watches nearly 30 hours of TV a week, which is a criminal waste of time. Pick a streaming service, subscribe to it, and restrict yourself to one or two hours of TV a day.

Bring your own java

Cut down your monthly expense on Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or whichever brand of coffee you are obsessed with. Make your own coffee.

Snack less

Minimize your purchases of unhealthy snacks like chips, cookies, and soda. Make your own snacks instead. It can not only save you money, but can also help you lose weight and stay in good shape.

Exercise outside

Cancel your gym membership. Jog, run, go for a bike ride, and work out with free weights instead.

Avoid bottled H2O

Stop spending money on bottled water. Install a water filter at home if needed.

Spend well

Avoid impulse purchases. Before you buy anything, make sure you really need it and it is not something that would be nice to have.

Bye-bye plastic

Do not use credit cards. Use cash and debit cards instead.

Save where you can

Use coupons and apps to save money on grocery shopping.

Thrift first

Buy used items whenever you can. You can find almost-new items at a significantly lower price at thrift stores, consignment stores, and online marketplaces.

Simplify your commute

Walk, bike, and use public transportation whenever you can.

Check prices

Shop around to get the lowest possible rates on your auto insurance, life insurance, and health insurance.

Slim your reading

Cancel all the unnecessary monthly subscriptions. Libraries often provide free magazines and of course books galore.

Move

Downsize your home if possible. If you can’t move,  rent out a portion of your home and make some money on the side.

Lighten up

If your home is cluttered with things you do not really need, sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, and put that money into your emergency fund.

Kill your debt

Pay down your debt as fast as you possibly can. Nothing can burn a hole in your pocket like high-interest debt.

Grow your own food

If your house has a yard, you can grow your own vegetables. Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow vegetables indoors. It can not only save you a ton of money in the long term, but can have a positive impact on your health as well.

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