Published On: Thu, Oct 5th, 2017

What Does Living Within Our Means Really Mean?

It is pretty certain that we will all have heard about living within our means. But what does the phrase really mean, and how can we apply it into our lives? In short, living within our means is spending less on our lifestyle than we earn from our income. Our ‘means,’ is our income. If you apply this, then you spend less than you earn, meaning you have money left over each month. But in reality, this can be easier said than done, though sometimes, no fault of our own.



To start with, you may work freelance. It can be a hard slog and waiting for payments can feel like they’re taking forever sometimes. So in times like that, you know you have money coming in, you just don’t physically have it then. So living within your means can sometimes be impossible. Which is why people turn to things like credit cards or paycheck loans, similar to ones like Rightly or wrongly, they do serve a purpose to give you cash when you need it. The key thing is to only be spending what you can afford, and what money you have coming in. It requires self-discipline, which is why many people do struggle.


If you’re in the latter camp, then you could look at a site like, for instance. You want to get out of debt, so sometimes, consolidation can be the key to reducing how much interest you are paying off overall. But it will depend on the existing debt you have and your lenders as to what the best deal will be for you. It may not come as a surprise to you, though, that the majority of Americans were found to not be able to come up with an amount like $500 for an unexpected expense without having to get themselves into debt, at least temporarily anyway. So why do a lot of us have the problem of living within our means or even saving for the future?


A lot of people argue that income is to blame, and in many cases, it might be. But even for homes with high incomes, they can still find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. Even if you have more money, it seems that you have more to spend it on. You’re likely to vacation more or buy expensive cars. So the spending may not be on the same things, but living within your means can be tricky for many, many people. So should we be talking about living within our means at all, and rather, talk about prudent spending? Are we only spending money simply because we have it? There could be other factors that affect how we spend our money; from depression to being emotionally unstable, we can spend our money for many different reasons. So really, living within our means should be buying what you need. When we realize that there are plenty of things that we don’t need to buy, it can make a difference to how we feel.