Being frugal with your money is difficult, but not impossible. You might have to forget about that expensive shirt you would like to purchase, and you cannot always go to high restaurants. If you live below your means, you can achieve financial freedom and accomplish your goals. Still, more importantly, it might be possible to retire by the time you are 37 years old. In this piece, I’m going to show you a few on how to live below your means, so that you can save some money in the long run. Remember guys, in the game of retiring before 37, every penny counts!
How to Do It
Here are the tips. I used them myself when I was at this stage of my life. And, if you want to know a little secret, they actually worked so well and they disciplined me to such extent that I still use some of them.
1. Keep an accurate budget
You need to know what you are spending your money on. Make a list of all the expenses you have, so you will know where every dime you are spending is going. Include gas, entertainment, food, and bills. Keep track of everything that you spend. You might pay by cash, credit card, check, or debit card. Be organized in how you spend money.
While you are creating the budget, look for ways to save. Make sure you pay your high-interest debt and cut back on expenses wherever you can. Keep in mind that your budget should include some money to save and put aside. After you create a budget, it is important to stick to it. A budget is useless if you cheat. Check your money each week to make sure you are following your budget. You will then see the savings really add up.
2. Save on Entertainment
Having fun is important. However, there are cheap ways to have fun without spending money. You can cancel your gym membership, for example. Go to the track instead. You can also get rid of cable. Use the antennas to watch television, or get Netflix. There are now other ways to watch your favorite shows. Rent a movie instead of going to the theater. Put a stop to your newspaper and magazine subscription. Have a game night at home.
You can also save on entertainment by cutting back on the travel. Remember if you are going to retire by the time you are 37, you will have plenty of time to travel after that. To live below your means, stop staying at hotels or getting airplane tickets. You can look online to see what events are occurring in your area. Find cheap or free events to attend without having to spend a lot of money.
3. Save Money on Food
You would be surprised at how much money you could save by cooking at home. You can find numerous quality meals for a low price. Plan a menu for the week, so you will only need to go to the grocery store once. You might use the same ingredients in several meals you plan. After you cook, save the leftovers for you to eat again.
Getting quick take out is simple and fast. However, it is more expensive. You can also save money by using coupons. Get them online, or get an app that provides coupons. Then you can take it to the store, and save money. You can also save some dollars on food by buying in bulk. Start a garden in your yard, and plant your own vegetables. Try the ones that are simple to grow. This can cut your food bill.
4. Reduce energy bills
Make sure all the lights are turned off when you are not using them. Turn off the computer and appliances. It is even a good idea to unplug the television. Do not leave anything on while you are not using it. Use LED light bulbs. These bulbs are much more energy efficient. Furthermore, you can save by installing a programmable thermostat.
This will permit you to automatically control the heating and cooling of your home while you are not at home or when you are asleep. You can set it to start cooling the home right before you arrive home. This will save you money on heating and cooling. In addition, you can save on your energy bills by air sealing your home. This will prevent cool air from getting out in the summer and warm air from getting out in the summer.
5. Cut Insurance Cost
If you bundle your home and auto insurance, you can save money. Most insurance companies offer discounts for combining your policies. Shop around for policies to make sure you are getting the lowest rates. Compare car insurance rates, home insurance rates, and health insurance rates. Companies will differ on their prices, so make sure you are getting all the discounts you deserve.
On your insurance policies, you might consider raising your deductibles, so your monthly expenses will be lower. By doing this, you will see the savings start to pile up. You can also look at your health insurance to see if you can downgrade it. You might get a lower premium or have a higher deductible. While you are young, you might not need as much coverage. You can think about getting life term insurance. This is cheaper and will save you money.
Living Below your Means to Retire Early
Many people dream of being able to retire early. You can travel, spend time with family, or just relax. Also, you do not have to set an alarm every morning, and you do not have to report to anyone. You can do what you want without having to worry about money. If you live below your means, you can quit your job and not look back.
To be able to retire early, you need to develop good habits with your finances. You need to spend less than you make. When you have the desire to purchase something new, you want to make sure it is really what you need. Do you really need that brand name purse, tie or suit? Is there a less expensive alternative that I can buy instead?
In addition, to live below your means, get rid of the credit cards. They are too easy to use, but the debt will add up quickly. People do not realize how much interest is paid with credit cards and loans. Try to avoid getting loans. Save money and buy an inexpensive car with cash.
It is so tempting to spend money on things we want. If you are careful with your money and live below your means, you can retire by the time you hit the 37 mark. You will then have your whole life ahead of you, so you can do the things you enjoy most.