Meaning of Living Below your Means

During the past few months of learning about personal finance and money management, I often encounter the saying "live within your means". It was said that if you want to achieve financial freedom there are several things to start with.

One is settle your debts as these eat up most of your income when interests add up. Another one is to add more cash flow by getting a second job or starting your own business. Aside from these two, you can also start investing in the stock market.


However, there is one thing that you should always mind - to live within your means. It is as important as anything stated above. Personally, I suggest that before you do anything stated above, whether you wanted to start investing or maybe you wanted to pay all your debts first, you should parallel it with a habit of just living with what you can or afford.

Challenge yourself to live BELOW your means

For some people, living within their means is just as easy as writing their name. They would just create a budget, then list down the expense and divide their monthly income to each of those items.

But, let's put this to another level. What if instead of living WITHIN your means, you start to live BELOW your means? It's simple.

You just cut a little more from the original budget. Let's say for each month you spend 2000 pesos for your lunch allowance. If you deduct at least a couple of hundreds (say 200), you are now already living below your means.

So, what's the benefits?

For me, this can give two benefits:

  1. you will be more aware on what you spend
  2. you can save a little bit more.


As for me, I am challenging myself now to live below my means, instead of buying lunch daily I now prepare my own packed lunch. Aside from that, I minimize my weekend expense by not going to the malls (at least not every week).

How about you, do you think you can challenge yourself to spending a bit less of what you currently spend? Let me know through comments below.

Mark Hugh Neri

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