Three Signs You Are Living Beyond Your Means

June 14, 2019

We all want to have enough money to cover necessary family costs while also being able to buy a few personal “wants” now and then.

For many of us, resisting discretionary purchases can be tough, especially when they seem smaller and less significant. However, if you’re struggling to keep up with your bills, it might be time to make a change to your spending habits.

Here are three signs that you are living beyond your budget, and some tips that may help.

1. You’re stuck in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle
If payday arrives and your income seems to disappear instantly, it might be time to review your expenses. Start by reducing unnecessary costs such as premium cable subscriptions and daily coffee-shop runs. For loans and bills, find out if your lenders, creditors, and insurance providers will let you space out your due dates throughout the month. This will ease your cash flow.

2. You never complete important projects
You may have been promising to remodel the bathroom or replace the carpet in your home for years, but for some reason, you never get around to it. Even when you receive a bonus or a substantial income tax refund, the money goes towards something else.

Take control of your goals by breaking them into easy steps. Using the carpet example, whenever you receive income, buy a box of carpet tiles. Pretty soon, you’ll have enough to cover an entire room. And once you take the first step, it will become much easier to keep buying additional supplies.

3. You have a lot of stuff, but no money
If you enjoy the finer things but struggle to pay the water bill, it might be time to make some lifestyle adjustments—starting with selling things that you no longer use.

You don’t have to have a yard sale and give away that $300 purse for a quarter. There are plenty of websites where you can sell your gently used clothing and accessories to customers at a reasonable price.

Also, try shopping around at thrift stores. You never know what designer labels are hidden on those racks! You can also find great deals on electronics and toys.

It isn’t going to be an easy road, but learning how to manage your budget and live within your means is the best thing that you can do for yourself, your family, and your financial future.