How to Live Within Your Means
By: Pastor Greg Baker

ACCEPT YOUR LIMITS

This is not to say that if you don’t have a job, you shouldn’t look for one. Of course you should get a job. But the majority of people, who read this, have a job, makes some amount of money-and just aren’t satisfied with it.

There is nothing wrong with striving for promotions, or a pay raise. But until that happens, accept the means that you live in.

Interestingly enough, most people who get a raise find that the extra money actually doesn’t solve a single money problem they have. The reason for this is that as soon as they get a raise they go out and purchase something that eats that money up immediately. If they were struggling before, they continue to struggle.

Learn to accept the limits of your income. Live within that limit and be content with what it provides. Many, many people wish they could make as much money as you do.

DON’T USE CREDIT CARDS – PAY WITH CASH

Now, I use a credit card for everything, which may seem somewhat of a contradiction. However, I use a credit card solely in conjunction with a budget. Without the budget, the credit card would be incredibly dangerous. I use it like a check. As soon as I purchase something, I go home and deduct it from my budget. This way I never overspend and always pay off the credit card. In essence, I use it like cash.

However, most people use credit cards to live outside their means. This is a mistake. It will haunt you.

To use a Christian analogy, credit cards are like the devil. Get instant gratification now and pay later. And only pay the interest, please, so that you pay and pay and pay. Cash up front is like God. You pay the price now, and enjoy the benefits thereafter!

If you don’t have a budget, can’t control your spending, or are too tempted by the next gadget and gizmo, then tear up your credit cards and get rid of them!

TAKE OUT LOANS ONLY ON LONG TERM INVESTMENTS

As mentioned, we live in an age where we promote: get it now, pay later! This attitude has put more people in debt than I even want to consider.

If you must take out a loan, take it out on something that will either appreciate in value, or you can sell to rid yourself of the loan in its entirety. I’m not necessarily against purchasing a new car, but if you finance the entire thing, you’ll find out that as soon as you drive it off the lot you’ll never be able to sell it to pay off your loan! That, in my opinion, is a mistake and living outside your means.

A house is usually a good investment. You can sell your house and pay off your loan-assuming you got a decent loan.

Don’t get caught up in the fervor of instant gratification. Save up money and pay cash if you can!

HAVE A BUDGET

This is essential to living within your means. Without a budget you’ll never know what you can or cannot afford. A budget gives you instant knowledge of how much money you have, what you can spend it on, and when you can spend it.

You need to develop a budget.

It’ll tell you where you need to cut back, how you can save, and how to plan for the future.

Living within your means is many things, but in essence it is knowing what you have and what you can do with what you have.

Author Resource:->  Greg S. Baker is a Pastor, Counselor, and Author specializing in building and strengthening relationships.

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