In this day and age it seems most of us need to tighten our purse strings a little (or a lot) to deal with the economic stress. Most of us need to live ‘within our means’ as difficult as that can be at times and that usually means a limited budget (for most.) Since the dreaded recession in 2007, the number of Americans living below the poverty line has increased significantly (as well as within other countries.) More and more families, singles and couples have had to start learning about budgeting and putting what they’ve learnt into practice. Many people that hear the word ‘budget’ automatically think of living uncomfortably and in stress. It doesn’t have to be like that – you can still enjoy your life, live comfortably and without stress. Here are our tips for living comfortably on a budget.
Watch out for ‘Frugal Fatigue’
The meaning of ‘frugal fatigue’ is the exhaustion associated with constantly calculating every purchase one makes. Frugal fatigue can take a toll on you emotionally and mentally. What can usually eventuate from frugal fatigue is splurging and buying unnecessary items. The first step to combat frugal fatigue is actually recognizing that it’s happening to you. Once you’ve realized that this is happening to you, do something fun for you and your family and ‘splurge’ but be smart about it – look on websites such as Groupon that have excellent deals for restaurants, activities etc and treat yourself without spending a huge amount of money. Engaging in a fun activity/going to a restaurant once in a while can save you from frugal fatigue and splurging unnecessarily
Consider your living situation
If you’re living alone and struggling with paying high rent, then considering getting a roommate – it’s an excellent way to split expenses (rent, water, electricity etc) and not be so stressed out about money. Living with a roommate can actually be really fun and a great way to save money. If you’re living with your family and have a spare room, why not consider taking in a boarder? You can meet some lovely people and make a bit of extra money on the side to help with expenses. A great site to use to rent out an extra room is Airbnb – here you can get to know the potential boarder before they will come into your house, so you’ll feel a lot more comfortable.
Use budgeting tools
Starting to budget alone with no prior experience can be an overwhelming task. Luckily, there are many helpful tools you can use for no cost online. They can teach you a lot about budgeting and money, and can be extremely helpful to your budgeting efforts. Once something is written down in a highly organized fashion, it’s a lot harder to stray from the plan. Budget tracker is an excellent free resource to use.
Those are just a few of our tips for living comfortably on a budget – do you have any tips to share?