5 Tips to Live Within Your Means After Moving

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If you have recently moved into a new home, you probably are being faced with lots of new expenses you aren’t used to. This can quickly get out of control if you don’t rein in your spending and adjust your standard of living. Here are some tips for living within your means once you’ve made a move. You’ll be able to achieve financial freedom in no time!

1.  Make a Balanced Budget

A well-balanced budget is key if you want to live within your means. When you use a budget properly and regularly, you can more accurately keep track of your overall financial situation thanks to this roadmap of direction. It’s important to prioritize expenses and goals, which means you need to understand the difference between needs and wants, says Nerd Wallet.

Essentials include groceries, housing, clothing and transportation costs. But don’t forget to pay attention to your overall financial goals, such as saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt.

  • Know what your income is. How much do you get paid every month? What bills do you have to pay? This should be fairly straightforward math, but complexities arise for freelancers, real estate agents or small business owners who don’t have a fixed income every month.
  • List out the essential expenses – things you can’t live without. These include rent or mortgage, groceries, utilities, car payment, and health insurance.
  • List the rest of your expenses in a separate column. This includes entertainment, dinners out, new clothes, coffee habit, and Netflix subscriptions.
  • Compare income to expenses. Add the bottom lines from both columns and subtract from your income total.

Of course, you will want to end up with a positive number, but sometimes the number is more like zero, which means you’re just barely surviving with nothing left to save. It’s doable but not ideal. If the number is negative, you have to make some serious cuts to that budget.

2.  Check Expenses and Make Necessary Cuts

Ignore the “Essentials” column for now, as you need those to live. But all the other expenses can be analyzed and tweaked. Find out where you are spending the most money and where you can save money by making a few sacrifices. You could cut out monthly expenses for things you don’t really use, such as gym memberships and magazine subscriptions.

There’s always one item that seems to drain a big portion of your income. This could be your propensity for going to concerts, or your love for shoes. No one is saying you shouldn’t do the things that make you happy, but you do need to cut back. Maybe only attend one concert per month and one pair of shoes per season. Letting these expenses add up simply because you’re not willing to experience a bit of discomfort will only continue to drain your budget month after month.

3.  Decipher Between Needs and Wants

There’s no doubt that you need shelter in which to live, clothing to wear, and food to eat. These indispensable and fundamental elements are key to survival. But that means everything else can be negotiable. Do you “need” to eat out at fancy restaurants with friends three times a week? Do you “need” the latest model of car to get to work? Do you “need” an 80-inch flat screen TV for your living room?

Probably not. That’s not to say you can’t have these things as goals, but right now when you’re trying to live within your means, they should remain just that – goals. There are ways to cut back on your fun expenses. Perhaps you could invite the girls over for wine and cheese one of those nights instead of spending upwards of $100 on the town.

Maybe instead of dinner and movie with your significant other every weekend, you can get takeout and watch Netflix instead.

4.  Learn How to Save Money

Many people have simply forgotten how to save money and be disciplined because they haven’t flexed that muscle in a while. But you can absolutely relearn how to save, with these tips. Soon, it will become second nature.

  • Eat from home. Bring a brown bag of lunch to work. Instead of hitting Starbucks every morning, brew your coffee at home. Have picnics rather than go to pricey restaurants. Did you know the food you get from the grocery store is up to 70 percent less expensive than prepared food?
  • Cancel memberships and subscriptions you no longer use. Don’t keep paying for those fitness classes if you haven’t been in a year. But exercise is important, so take a walk every day, and use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Shop at thrift shops and second hand stores rather than the mall or outlets. You will be surprised at how many bargains you can find at thrift stores.
  • Wait for sales rather than give in to impulse buys. Just by delaying your decision by a day or two, you will likely find that you don’t really want or need that luxury item. Be patient and give yourself time to ponder.
  • Clip coupons online and in the newspaper. You will find great deals on items you’re probably already buying anyway.
  • Buy in bulk to save money. These household items include toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo and deodorant.
  • Make a list before you hit the grocery store, and stick to it. Don’t get distracted by end caps and unexpected purchases. Ignore stuff at the checkout line designed to draw you in for an impulse buy. Go in, buy what you came for, and leave.

5.  Upgrade Your Income

It’s certainly not easy living within your means. If you’re really struggling with all the above tips, you have one option in front of you: earn more money. Get a higher-paying job or a second part-time job to be able to afford the things you want.

Contact Around the Block Moving Company

If you need help moving to your new home while keeping costs affordable, contact us at 214-433-6764 for a free quote.

 

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