Ten Ways to Live on Less

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014

10 ways to live on less

If you are like me you are always looking for ways to save a little more green without sacrificing comfort or sanity. So here are some tried and true ways to live on less.

Make a Budget: This sounds super simple, but many people don’t do this. Sit down with your bills and a calculator (or spreadsheet, etc.) and write out what is coming in and what is going out. Then see what is left to use for groceries, gas, etc. Put any extra in savings or toward debt. Then STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! It will be hard at first, but the payoff is totally worth it.

Say no to Cable (or downgrade to a lower plan): We recently signed up for a free trial month of Netflix. And have been really impressed with what is available. It has inspired us to downgrade our satellite service to the lowest possible plan while still keeping DVR (This is my MUST). This is going to save us money every month without us sacrificing any of our favorite TV shows. You can easily do something similar. Or, to save even more get rid of satellite or cable all together and do nothing or pay $8 a month for Netflix.

Pay Cash: If you pay cash for everything you buy you are less likely to overspend. Even using a debit card sometimes makes you spend more. Because you don’t have a specific amount allowed. If you have $50 to spend on eating out for the month and you take that out in cash you are going to think twice before grabbing that breakfast burrito.

Buy Secondhand: Everything does not have to be new. Figure out what is and isn’t okay to have used for you and your family and then look for deals. Need a stroller to cart your kiddo around? Check out a local thrift shop or an online yard sale group. Most of the time people can’t give them away, which means you can score one for next to nothing! Plus, people often donate brand new or almost new items to thrift shops. Which means you can save big without sacrificing at all.

Go Homemade: Lots of things are cheaper (and taste better) when they are homemade. Make cookies from scratch, buy fruit when it’s on sale and make freezer jam, give heartfelt, homemade gifts to friends, neighbors, and teachers for holidays and special occasions. All of these will save you cash and fill your heart.

Plan Ahead: This one can be HUGE. Make a list of those you need to buy gifts for in the next few months and keep an eye out for clearance deals and sales while out shopping. Then you can snag some great gifts on the cheap and save them for when they are needed. I absolutely LOVE the Target toy sale that happens in January and July. It’s the perfect time to stock up on gifts for my kids as well as the friends of my kids for parties and such. I also like to keep a few generic gifts on hand for when they are needed for a friend. And, of course, I snag these gifts when I can get a killer deal.

Embrace the Coupon Way: This is a no brainer, right? Coupons can save you hundreds of dollars every month. I used to spend about $600 a month on groceries. Since using coupons I have cut that down to $200 a month. That’s almost $5000 a year in savings! You can do it too. Or, if that sounds too daunting, just use coupons for things you already buy to save a little here and there. Those small savings will still add up and can bring your total outgo down more then you think.

Research: In the market for a new baby swing? Before running to Walmart to grab it (because OF COURSE they have the best deal) spend a few minutes on the internet. There are often coupons and I have found amazing deals online when looking. I probably buy online 80% of the time for bigger ticket items since that is where the best deals are.

Set Goals: This is often one of my favorite things to do. Think of things that are realistic and make a plan to attain them. I have found that putting pictures of vacation destinations, dream cars, etc. on my fridge or wall will help me to stick to my budget and remind me of why I’m doing the things I am. Keep your goal in mind and you will be more likely to spend less.

Make a Decision: Sometimes this is the very hardest part to live on less. You have to make the decision to do it. If you haven’t fully committed then no matter what plan you set out, it isn’t going to work. So make sure before you do all the work to make a decision in your head. You and your spouse need to be on the same page, but once the decision is made then anything is possible.

What are some of your ways to live on less?


  1. Lots of great Ideas Jacki! Thanks for sharing, we have incorporated a lot of these ideas!

  2. We have been on a slow start but this gives me so many more things to do. Hoping we can make this year easier.

  3. Brooke S. says:

    I love all of your posts, but this one really caught my eye. As always, it’s well-written! I love it.