How to Live Well on a Budget

How to Live Well on a Budget

How to Live Well on a Budget

In a perfect world, living the good life is something that just happened. We’d wake up, love our jobs and do all the fun things we enjoy on the weekend. Sounds pretty fabulous, doesn’t it? Whether you’re trying to save money or simply want to live with less, there’s plenty of ways to live well without a lot of money.

Find Financial Balance

You don’t have to be rich to live well. To the contrary, some of the happiest people aren’t rich; they simply have financial balance. Without a set budget, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going in and out of your account each month. And if you’re one of millions of Americans with student loan debt, then you know every penny counts. Take a look at your monthly finances and see where your money is going. If some of your monthly payments are too high, like credit cards or student loans, there are things you can do start saving.

Reach out to your credit card lenders and ask about balance transfers. You should also ask if it’s possible to lower the interest rate on your cards. It’s not uncommon for credit card companies to reward a good payment history with lower interest rates. If you’re having trouble paying your student loans, you should look into refinancing. Utilizing Earnest student loan refinancing can lower both your monthly payment and interest rate. You do need to have good credit, and your loans also need to be in good standing. A private lender can help you with the application process and tailor your repayment options. Your goal should be living within your means and still having enough money to do the things you enjoy.

Eat Better on a Budget

Healthy eating begins with meal planning. Even if your food budget is less than ideal, you can still eat well-balanced meals. In addition to clipping coupons and buying in bulk, you can eat better simply by eating at home. Eating out may be a welcomed change from cooking, but it’s also expensive. On average, restaurants charge triple the amount it actually costs to buy ingredients and prepare your meal. Even just meal prepping one meal a day can help save money on lunches throughout the week. It might feel like it’s only $5 here and $10 there but that can add up quick over the course of a week.

Does this mean you can never eat out? Absolutely not. However, with a little planning and being a bargain hunter, you can probably make your favorite meal at home for a lot less. To make eating at home special, you need to recreate your favorite restaurant’s ambiance. Light some candles, put on your favorite song, and use fine China to make the meal memorable. You should also stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market. Biting into a freshly picked apple tastes far different than one that’s been sitting in the market for weeks on end.

Spend Time in Nature

Feeling content can be as simple as sitting in the sun or taking a leisurely stroll. Spending time outdoors, and being nurtured by nature is a natural stress reliever. Away from the hustle and bustle, you can spend time with loved ones, read your favorite book or even lay out a soft blanket and nap in your backyard.

Grind Your Own Beans

You don’t need to give up gourmet coffee just because you’re on a budget. Most supermarkets have a gourmet coffee section where you can buy beans. So, instead of dropping five or more dollars on a large coffee, you can create the ultimate coffee lover’s experience and grind the beans at home. The coffee will taste better, and your home will be filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. You can even teach yourself how to make fancy coffee drinks at home with only a few ingredients and utensils. 

Travel Smarter

Traveling while saving money doesn’t mean staying in a seedy motel. There are plenty of affordable, not to mention cozy, alternatives to choose from. In addition to Airbnb, you can swap homes with someone who wants to visit your city. You can also find last-minute deals on same-night reservations at your favorite hotel. Most hotels slash room prices by 20 to 50 percent on same-day bookings. It just depends on where you’re traveling and the time of year.

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