The 5 Steps to Living Money-Stress Free

iStock_000016440747XSmallDo you barely survive, living paycheck to paycheck? Does all your income just pass through your hands and nothing is left? Do you feel afraid that when disaster or emergency strikes, you won’t be able to handle the expenses? Do you think that your income is just not enough and that maybe you need a second or maybe a third job just to make ends meet?

If you feel that what you are earning is not enough or if you do not have enough left for luxuries or for emergencies then maybe you should start studying the way you spend. Many people look instantly at their income as the source of their problems as soon as they are tight on money. What many do not realize is that, many times, the income they are earning may just be more than enough if they spend some time trimming their expenses and doing some lifestyle changes rather than breaking their backs with work but still failing to spend wisely. Frugality may be just what most of us need. If you are spending more than what you are earning then try going over your lifestyle and see if you need a financial overhaul. Here are five simple steps to achieve frugal living.

Master the Art of Budgeting

Budgeting is simply spending just within your means. It involves prioritizing the more important expenses. Spending more than you can afford will definitely put you either in grave debt, or it can even make you bankrupt at some point. Allot a specific amount from your income for expenses. Since you allotted a specific amount, it is easier to keep the expenses at a minimum.

Trim Your Expenses

List out all your expenses from groceries to utilities. Remove all the unnecessary expenses, or the things that you can-do-without. You will be amazed at how small changes, like changing the brand of your detergent or bath soap or avoiding wasting water and electricity, can make big changes when it comes to how much you spend. Avoiding the unnecessary things like extra trips to the store can help you save on gas or transportation expenses, and limiting the times that you eat out can actually do a lot for your finances. Check for the extra expenses that you do not need like extra cable service, membership to a gym or spa that you do not use, or a subscription to magazine that you rarely read. Remove all these extras that you do not need.

Avoid Wastage

The best way to save is to avoid wasting anything. Using much more than what you need results in overspending. Probably the largest part of your income goes to your primary needs, which includes groceries and utilities. Wise use of gas, heat, electricity, and water coupled with buying just enough food can help you save a lot of your hard earned cash.

Save For The Future.

Your goal should not be limited to earning just enough to get by and supplying for your daily needs but also to save a part of your income for the future. Keep in mind that saving is a big step towards financial independence.

Shop Wisely, Spend Wisely

Learn to balance between need and want. Prioritize those items that you truly need. Going on a spending spree is the fastest way to flush money down the drain. Always make a list when you go to the grocery store. Check your pantry and prioritize your list from the most needed to least needed. With this way of handling it, you can be assured that you will be able to supply for your immediate needs first, and then you can check to see if you can still afford the extra items that you want.

Although a second job or earning extra from a side income is a good way to save and ease your financial burdens, you should remember that it does not really matter if you earn a thousand bucks instantly if you spend a thousand and one just as fast. There will be nothing left with that way of spending.

How do you spend your hard-earned cash?


Comments

The 5 Steps to Living Money-Stress Free — 12 Comments

  1. Very nice! People often make things so complicated, but it really is just as simple as this. 🙂

  2. These tips are very clear and easy to understand for most people. It is the implementation and practice where a lot fail. I think my wife and I have slipped a little in the past several months but hopefully back on track.

  3. I would add: be intentional about finding things that bring joy, but don’t cost a lot of money. Once you have a list of, say, five things that you can’t wait to do (for free or close) it’s amazing how the temptation to waste money shrivels away…

  4. those are what we really need to do if we want to live stress free, but most people will agree with me that it is not easy to do, because it is really very gratifying to spend money especially when we spend it on something that we deprive ourselves of for a long time. I guess the way to do it is to start small then make it a habit until we get used to following all of the advice mentioned here.

  5. Budgeting is like dieting. You can’t call it dieting. You have to call it a way of life. for example I wish I could eat everything my heart desires. If I did I would be chunky to say the least. I also would love to spend money like a little boy in a candy store (from time to time)… However if I master the life change I can get past the stigma of being on a diet and a budget.

  6. I keep a low profile lifestyle, but I do not feel deprived at all. We socialize, go to the movies, dine out and take vacations. We even travel overseas. We just spend money on the important things. It helps that we have very little debt.

  7. Great post! I shared it on my FB page to see what my fans have to add. I think this is one of those posts that motivate people to think about what they are doing with their personal finances.

    Our money is all budgeted and going towards paying off our mortgage next month, while investing in our future. We enjoy our life, buy what we need but we budget for these expenses so we can pay cash for them. It’s worked out great for us but we’ve learned alot along the way. Without having designed our budget we wouldn’t be where we are today, debt free and next month mortgage free. No money stress is a great feeling and I hope we can inspire others to jump on board. Cheers!

  8. Hi! Mr CBB sent me and I just wanted to suggest that the saving part of the budget should come first. The temptation to live beyond our means is much higher when saving comes in at the bottom of the list when many are already out of cash. If we pay ourselves first, it’s very clear what we have to live on & just how much we need to cut in our fixed and variable expenses to keep food on the table and still have a few dollars available in the bank account on the last day of a pay period. That’s my other point… don’t budget to the last dime. Make sure there is a small surplus in each pay period. Things do and will come up, prices will increase etc so it’s smart to build in a little wiggle room for yourself. 🙂

  9. Hi! Mr. CBB sent me and I just want to say that definitely calling it a lifestyle vs. a budget makes it easier to swallow (as someone else suggested similarly to a diet).

    Also look at what you can do for Free or for very little money in your own community- for example, the Library has books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs that you can borrow for free.

    Also, use reward programs- We just cashed in some Airmiles to get free passes to the movies (allows me and my husband to go out on a date for free)

  10. Hello, I’m another one from Mr CBB… Some very good ideas here and I will give them some serious thought. Currently we are dealing with a reduced income due to my hubby being ill and I’m caregiver so I’m the one that keeps track of everything and does all the driving and such. We will get through this… Right now it’s one day at a time. We use the library for what we can, including finance books, and movies. We also went to the library’s semi annual book sale the other day, I was staggering on the way out with my bag of books….. All for $20.00. My treat for the next few months…. When they said it was stuff a bag I did just that!!,

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