3 Habits that Help me Live Well on a Budget

live well, budget, debt free

I am intentional about living well on a budget. This means that I ensure all my basic needs are taken care of and some of my wants as well. I prioritise my wants after taking care of my needs, line them up and address them bit by bit over a period of time. Balance is  a big part of my life and this helps me to stay on budget, live well and enjoy a debt free lifestyle.

To some, just the sound of the word budgeting is akin to being put into a straight jacket. Budgeting is personal and when we share about this topic we have to be careful not to come off as know it all. That is never my intention. I hope these tips will help someone who, doesn’t see how he or she can live well on a budget, to envision this.

I Make Room in my Budget for my Wants

I sure do. I like certain things that are not necessities. Things like eating out, travelling, shopping and so on fall in this category. You get my point. I put aside money in my miscellaneous category to sate my cravings from time to time. I know if I do not do this, then it will all crumble at some point. I shop a few times a year to add pieces to my wardrobe and such. I also like knowing that I can eat out when I feel the calling. I know that this is something that I enjoy so I cater to this want.

Travelling is a major want that I cater to in my life. Since, I am fortunate enough to have funds to dedicate to this, I put money away bit by bit over time, so I can travel. I, however, do not stay in high end accommodations and do expensive tours and such, which I am not interested in. This means I spend less while doing something I enjoy – win win. This helps me to live my life well and be debt free, which is a big priority.

How do you cater to your wants and stay on budget? Please share.

I Practice Being Content with what I Have

This sounds simple but it is not very easy for everyone. I have had my moments where I was so busy focusing on others that I lost my joy. There is nothing that will blow a budget like trying to do everything to please others. I commit to the things I can afford and try not to surround myself with people who try to pressure me to do things.

For example, I have an Ipod classic that works well as is the case with this 10 year old MacBook I am typing this post on. I do not feel the need to upgrade to a new model, no, if it ain’t broke I ain’t buying another. I am saving up for when that happens, until then I am content and living well with these things.

I am a budding blogger, do I need a bunch of fancy stuff to get great pictures and such? I probably do but I have two cameras that serve me well and I am fine with what they produce. I love my 9-5 so feel no pressure to do any and everything to make this blog a ‘success’. I am content, debt free, living life on a budget and loving it.

I Make Sound Financial Decisions

What do I mean by this? I am not a financial guru or anything of the sort. I am just a person who grew up with a father, who practiced good financial planning habits, to care for his family on a small salary. This is not about investing. It is about something we can control.

For example, I choose to rent a small apartment that is way below what I can afford so I can have more money for my savings and travelling. This is something I can control unlike something like how much I pay for tax. I can live within walking distance of work and pay 300-400 dollars more or commute for 40 minutes to an hour and save that amount. This works for me because work covers the commute.

I live in Tokyo which has a great transportation system. A car would be nice for road trips but that would add 200 dollars in parking fees to my rent each month plus taxes associated with the car. Thus, I have no interest. If I did need a car, I would buy a used one in good condition and pay cash.

I use a debit credit card. I am not sure if these are available worldwide but they are awesome. I can only use it when I put the money I need on it. It is great at giving me access to things I need a credit card for and it helps me to be debt free. It is easy to get sucked into credit card debt as we all know.

In Summary…

It does not take a mastermind to live well on a budget. It requires a few good habits and acknowledging what our wants are. We often forget that it is ok to want things and totally mess up by ignoring these. I think budgeting well includes planning for these as well.

Here’s to living well on a budget, staying debt free and being content.

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  1. It is good to be content with what you have in life rather than constantly wanting more. I am happy with my life, it may not be fancy but I am comfortable and can still afford little treats from time to time.

  2. This is some great advice. I struggle with finding room in my budget for “extras” and I really enjoy reading others financial advice.

    1. I do understand that struggle. Some people earn enough for just their needs and only generating more income can provide money for wants.

  3. We also budget for the unexpected wants! It makes things easier. And there are few things I upgrade out of want rather than necessity. My MacBook is almost 5 years old and still works perfectly fine!

  4. I am still learning how to save and live well on budget and my first step is to to be happy with what I have. Some days I feel I am going to buy everything I want but I don’t really need, and so far I have a great progress while I resist to the temptation!

    1. Awesome, resisting temptation is major, you are doing well. I really isn’t easy but like all habits it gets better with practice.

  5. The practicing being content is very important. We often ask ourselves if what we are buying is a want or a need. Great advice

  6. Love those 3 tips but especially love number2 : about practicing being content with what you have. After choosing to live minimally, my life has been so much better. There’s a genuine kind of joy in living simple. 🙂

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