First you must realize how much money you truly need to survive, and then realize that everything beyond that is just a want, often a superfluous want.The Minimalists
Growing up, I remember always being a “saver”. I was the kid who set aside money from birthdays, Christmases, and any other special occasions that warranted money giving.
I saved while most kids would blow their money on new toys and gadgets. Don’t get me wrong, I saved in order to purchase something I wanted, but I always spent less than what was given to me. Little did I know, I was practicing something that would serve me well as I dipped my toes in adulthood — living within my means.
I’m going to be honest, I was hesitant to write this post. I’m only nineteen years old in college with accumulated debt probably worth more than my home back in Mississippi. Who am I to tell people to start living within their means when I have an area where I didn’t fall through on my own advice? And then I realized that’s only one area, the rest I hold true to my word.
So what does “living within your means” imply? Put simply, it’s spending less than you earn. Some of you probably chuckled at this obviously logical way of living, but according to debt.org the average amount of consumer debt for ages under 35 is $67,400. Can you guess what’s one of the greatest sources for millennial debt? Credit cards. Debt.org says that, “about 40% of monthly income is spent on discretionary costs — clothes, entertainment and other non-essential items.”
There’s no denying the majority of Americans have a hyper-consumer mentality. We want more, more, more. We want bigger and better. We want shiny and new.
That explains why the total U.S. consumer debt is at $13.86 trillion.
So what needs to happen to begin to create new habits in this area? Simplify your life, make a budget and spend less than you earn.
This post isn’t intended as a guide to get out of debt or how to solve a financial crisis (although it can help in those areas), rather it’s to bring attention to a utopian world where it’s okay not to blow your whole paycheck on meaningless non-essential things just to keep up in this consumer-driven society.
Shift your mindset to living within your means and I promise you’ll see a significant difference in your overall well-being, consumer habits and finances.