This “6 Ways to Living Comfortably on a Tight Budget” describes the ways that a person can do to live comfortably even when tightening the belt is in forced. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
When the going gets tough, you need to tighten your budget and make it work. This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of trying to make ends meet.
I know many will say that it's impossible to live comfortably on a tight budget. My answer is that it is doable but not impossible.
My family has been in situations in the past when we had to get a good grip of our finances. One of the things we had to do was to completely revamp our budget and made it look like only one person could live with that budget. Having said that, we made the budget worked.
Granted we had to sacrifice a lot but we managed to live a comfortable life. In many cases, you can't have both a luxurious life and a tight budget.
So, how do you still live a good life despite budget restrictions? Let's jump right to the answers.
5 Ways to Living Comfortably on a Tight Budget
When I was the only one working for the family, I used to wonder how would I be able to provide our necessities and still live comfortably.
As the bread winner, there's a strong sense of wanting and needing to make a great life for my family. Here are some simple actions that we did to live a good life while on a strict budget.
1. Set your goal
In general, when you want to do something, one of the first things you need to do is set a goal.
You need to answer the question of why you are squeezing your budget? Is it because you want to save money so you can pay off your debt? Or you want to buy a house in the next few years and that's why you want to go on a budget? Or something else?
These questions will lead you to your goal.
It will feel easier to tighten your budget when you know you are aiming for something. When you exactly know why you are squeezing money here and there, you will feel better doing it.
2. Create a realistic, working budget
Don't just create a budget just for the sake of having a budget in place.
Why is this important? It's important because a budget is not just a piece of document that you create and forget about it.
A good, working budget even a tight budget is one that is executable and realistic. Holding other factors constant, if you want to save $1,000 but your income is only $2,000 and expenses are $1,500, there is no way you will save $1,000.
When you make a budget, you need to understand what or where you can cut down to save money. You need to identify how you can effectively allocate your income to meet your expenses and reach your goal.
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3. Be flexible
For me, being flexible is one of the ways to living comfortably on a tight budget.
Having a tight budget and living through it, at times, is hard but doable. I remember during the first few months of executing my family's budget, we kept going over the budget or, when we tried to stick with it, we failed to keep our necessities fulfilled.
But time taught my family to be flexible. Let me use branded and store-brand products for example.
I used to think that branded items were superior in quality and lasted longer that their generic/store brand counterparts. Because of that, I would buy those branded products at premium prices.
It's by being flexible that I realized that the store brand products provide the same quality at a fraction of the cost of the premium ones.
The idea of being flexible extends far beyond buying products.
I think flexibility is key to living in comfort and that's exactly what we did. We became flexible enough to change our lifestyle and to find alternative ways to satisfy our necessities without denting our budget.
We learned to go back to the bare minimum to ensure that we satisfy our debt requirements, income limitations, among others.
Our society's has become a society of consumerism and it's easy to get sucked in and spend more than what one should.
With tech gadgets and countless and endless products being advertised every day, many people have had the difficulty distinguishing the differences between necessities and wants.
As such, they tend to buy more of what they don't need and less of what they really need.
As a family on a tight budget, we prioritized what is important. We prioritized our money for our food, utilities, and other basic necessities.
We ditched going and eating out and resorted to visits to the park and cooking in our small kitchen. We prioritized saving for college education rather than buy tech gadgets that seem to become obsolete faster than a blink of an eye.
One of the things I learned is that we realized what really is important to us and what is not. It is during a tight budget situation when we truly figure out what makes us fulfilled and happy.
By prioritizing, we have become happier and more content than ever before.
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5. Get educated in finance
I have a background in Economics and independently studied finance. Even with those backgrounds, I had to keep studying and learning the street version of finance.
I guess I was more knowledgeable with academic finance than with street finance. I took the time to learn and study what other people's experiences were in relations to my situations.
I applied the lessons I learned from them and their experiences became my foundation to straightening my budget and living comfortably.
Without such education, I wouldn't easily find the ways to living comfortably on a tight budget.
You don't have to be a finance guru to know that properly managing your finances is a necessity. I always believe that there's always a room for improvement and that constant education and training should never stop.
One of the reasons I failed to manage my finance before was that I stuck with what I learned in school and never attempted to continuously learn and acquire new knowledge.
I learned from that mistake. Now, our finance is in its proper place. I believe that getting educated has been a blessing to and for my family.
6. Breathe from time to time
Putting budget at work is really good but sometimes it can burn you out. We learned it the hard way.
We used to just keep sticking with our budget that we neglected to indulge on some not-so-expensive stuff. Since ice cream was not in our budget, we didn't buy ice cream for a long time but we knew we wanted ice cream.
Though my example is a shallow one, what I'm pointing out is that it's not a sin to indulge on something you want. After all, too much of something is bad and the same reasoning applies to budgeting.
Sadly, not a lot of people have access to thousands or millions of dollars, inheritance left by their loved ones, or piles of money thanks to the lottery.
Most of us live in a very tight budget with no wiggle room for small luxuries. Most of us live within our means and some below their means. My family is no different.
Sometimes, effectively executing budgets and living comfortably, at the same time, is more about attitude. There really are countless ways to living comfortably on a tight budget. My family's way is to inject some good, old attitude into the recipe.