Maximizing the Abundance You Have or How to Live on a Budget

Money GoalsThere's a saying that goes something like, "It's not how much money you make, it's how much you keep." It's simple advice, but so few of us really know exactly how to do it. How does one cut down on unnecessary spending? How can you save more of the money that you make?

In my studies of millionaires and billionaires I discovered that many of them are actually penny-pinchers. I don't mean that in a bad way, like they hoard money, but they are very wise when it comes to spending money.

Part of being an abundant person is knowing how to manage your money, so I thought I'd share some tips from my own experience on how to live on a budget:

* Cut down on eating out. We live in a fast paced society where people think that they don't have the time to cook dinner. However, this is probably the number one expense where people tend to overspend the most. There are tons of dishes that take only 30 minutes to cook if you're pressed for time. Also, bringing a lunch to work helps in cutting down costs on food. Most people spend between $5-$10 on lunch. Multiply that by 20 and that's $100-$200 a month on lunch alone!

* Live with roommates instead of living alone. You can save a significant amount of money by sharing rent with someone else. Imagine only having to pay $500 for a shared 2 bedroom apartment instead of paying $800 for a one bedroom apartment. Granted, you won't have as much privacy as you would get if you lived by yourself, but just remember, the arrangement won't be forever!

* Shop around for mortgages. Mortgages are the biggest expense for most people. If you own your own home and have an ARM (adjustable rate mortgage), now is the time to shop around for a fixed-rate mortgage and lower your interest rate. You can get free advice and rate quotes at websites like MoneyMagic.

Money Inspirational Quote* Take public transportation. This may not be feasible in some areas of the country, but for those of you who live in the city, why not take public transportation a few times a week? You can also carpool with a coworker who lives in your area. If you have a SUV, maybe it's time to trade it in for a more economic car - even a hybrid car?

* Never pay retail for clothing. Department stores usually have sales on the weekend, so shop during those times or find an outlet mall where you can find bargains galore. Also, stay away from the mall if you can help it. Most people go to the store or mall just to "look around", however, that is too much temptation to spend money on things you don't need.

* Cut down on the electricity use. There are many ways to save on electricity: Shut off the lights when you leave a room. Don't use your blow dryer everyday. Use major appliances like the washer and dryer in the evenings. Cut down on the TV watching. Use energy-efficient light bulbs like CFL's (compact fluorescent light bulbs) instead of the old standard incandescent bulbs.

* Save on entertainment. Yes, part of life is going out and having a good time, but you don't have to go out every weekend! Instead of going to the movies where you pay $10 per ticket, why not rent a movie from the video store instead? Instead of buying books and magazines at the bookstore, why not check out books from the library?

* Always have a list when you go shopping. Whether it's going grocery shopping or heading to the big box retail stores like Walmart or Target, always make a list of things you need - not things you want - before you go. Don't veer off that list and don't try to talk yourself into thinking that you need another pair of jeans if you have five pairs at home!

Cutting down on living expenses will take a little bit of time and discipline to implement, especially if you're someone who never gave much thought to where your money goes. Even if you just saved $1 each day, that would be $365 you could have at the end of the year that could go towards retirement, a down payment on a home, or even a much-needed vacation!

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