(Update: I fear it may have sounded like I am blaming the financial misfortunes of others on themselves. This was not my intention. While some financial hardship is some self-inflicted, but much is just unavoidable. With this post, my aim is only to encourage and offer advice, not judgment.)
I know so many people who are struggling financially and my heart breaks for them. One of my goals with this blog is to show you how to use your money wisely and make your household budget stretch further. My family has been blessed with a sound financial picture, but we have also been diligent in practicing good financial habits. Since we have been married, my husband and I have always sought to live beneath our means, spending less than we earn.
When I started my home business, we lived on one income until the business was established. This was a tight time for us financially but we managed to stick to our budget and not go into debt. Now that we have sold the business, we are again living on one income, but this time around it’s much easier. We are used to being frugal, even though we have 3 more kids than the first time we were a one-income family!
Here are my favorite 8 reasons to live beneath your means financially:
- To build an emergency fund. If you don’t already have one, get one! $1,000 is a great start.
- To save for the future. Retirement and college costs will be here sooner than you think.
- In case you have to cut your budget later due to unexpected circumstances, if you are living frugally, you might not even feel the pinch.
- To set a good example for your kids. When they leave your home for college or the working world, they probably won’t be able to afford the same lifestyle they enjoy at home. When you demonstrate financial restraint, you are encouraging them to do the same.
- So you can pursue your dreams. Stephanie Langford and her husband are spending an entire year traveling the globe with their 4 young children! This would not have been possible for them without a lot of sacrifice and frugality.
- So you can give generously. Crystal Paine and her husband have financed an entire Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic because they were frugal starting early in their marriage and scrimped and saved their way to financial stability and incredible generosity.
- To practice contentment. When we continually want the best and greatest (phone, car, wardrobe, vacation) we can afford, we will inevitably be disappointed and unhappy when something better comes along. Have you ever noticed that you can never truly be satisfied with things? It’s true. Instead when we decide we have enough, we can experience contentment right where we are. And that’s a beautiful thing!
- To be good stewards of our money. I believe we are called to use our money wisely. And when we do, all of the other things in this list open themselves up to us.
Are you able to live beneath your means? What are your reasons?