Living Below Your Means

If you are looking to save money or get out of debt, one of the most obvious methods is to live below your means.  That is a suggestion that has many meanings.  The key to realizing this idea however is to understand that status in life is about presenting an image and true financial freedom is the ultimate status symbol. 

You can spend a lot of money on a car and house that will impress your neighbors and friends, but you've actually made yourself less secure and less wealthy.  All those trappings that are intended to make you feel wealthy are actually making you poor.  That car will lose value every year.  That house payment is very likely paying for space you don't need.  Why pretend to be rich, when you can just become rich instead?

Once you have established some money in the bank and your money is working for you, the world looks very different.  When you splurge, there's no pain associated with it.  You've earned what you're buying and you know you can afford it.  No guilt and no fear come with the purchase.  When you buy a car you can't afford it's a millstone, dragging you down.  When you put that money in the bank, it's suddenly your ally, working with you instead of against you.

This is even truer for those of us who are in debt.  In fact I would argue if you're already in debt, you can't possibly live below your means.  You've already lived beyond your means and it's time to start paying the piper.  You've dug yourself a hole and it's time to start digging your way out.  Start really assessing why you buy the things you buy.

If you really start looking at your life, you'll see how few things you actually need.  In America, we are a very wealthy nation.  Very few of us are overly concerned about food, clothing or shelter.  We're looking at buying granite countertops or an impressive car.  Those are not needs.  They are in fact a trap, being set for you by your innate desire for status. 

We're all programmed by our genetics to want status.  People want to be important and well thought of in their tribe.  This is fine, but ultimately the real respect will grow from the inner confidence that comes from security.  It doesn't come from the trappings of pretending to be something you aren't.  Stop worrying about what others think and worry about what you feel.  When you do this, what you'll find is that you've gotten the best of both worlds.  The status that comes with symbols and the bank account that makes you secure.

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To learn more about saving visit There you can learn about how to make the most of your money, including safe locations for your savings like the government bond market.

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