Are you looking for ways to live your best life for less than what you’re currently living on? I’m in my 40’s and we’ve been implementing a lot of these tips for years. We have always wanted to live on less than what we make and make sure we put back into retirement and savings. Check out these simple tips on how we live well on less!
1. Make retirement your priority. If you or your spouse are working at a company that matches then you need to sign up for their retirement plan. My hubby has always worked at the same company for the last 26 years. He’s been using the match program since he started there. When you get used to not having that money then it’s not a big deal. You just learn to live with that. So we put in 3 percent and his company matches 3 percent. It’s a win/win in saving money and retirement. Once you start putting it away then do not go into it unless you absolutely have too. You have to think of it as out of sight out of mind.
2. Shop at yard sales and thrift stores. I tend to get most of my clothing and housing items at yard sales and thrift stores. My daughter loves to go yard saling with me. We have so much fun together. We went this past week and my 13 year old even bought something and got the bug. He was so excited to see that the $30 pillow he’d been wanting we found at a yard sale for a dollar. We then came home and wash and dried it immediately and he loves his favorite pillow!
3. Always be planning ahead for what you’re going to need. We are wanting an above ground pool. We just moved and are too tired to get it this year. So our plan is to watch the sales this winter and purchase one in the off season when they are getting rid of last years model. This way we save fifty percent off or more. It takes a little planning but we’ll love a cheaper pool as well as we would have loved an expensive one! Similarly I also buy all the kids school supplies at the beginning of the year. That’s when the sales are so that’s when I buy. We have a small school supply closet.
4. Cut your expenses so you can put a little bit back every week. We put back about $20 a week. We save it and call it our rainy day fund. We try really hard to not touch it but if we need it it’s there. If that means you have to cut cable, lunch out or your $5 coffee then do it. Having the peace of mind to know that you have a little bit put back will help you not overreact to minor inconviences like a doctor’s appointment or dishwasher repair.
5. Pay extra on your house if you can. We have refinanced our house (before the move) and we were sending an extra $200/month to our house. Our goal is to have it paid off before we retire. I want to retire and travel not worry about a house payment! We couldn’t do this when our kids were little. I get it if you can’t. But as you get raises slowly start implementing these and get used to living on less. It will make you happier to know that you are prepared for what life has to throw at you. I know that there are things you can’t take into account (car accidents, sickness, etc). But let’s plan to succeed so that we don’t plan to fail. Putting one of these steps into action when you are able is a great way to take control of your life and your finances.