As quite possibly the world’s biggest fan of living below your means and the benefits it can bring, I’ve decided to end the debate today on whether living below your means is a good idea or not. The truth is out and living below your means just happens to be one of the best things a person can do to change their life for the better. To prove this point, I’ll be calling on some of the wisest people out there on the internet: You, the incredibly wise group of Create My Independence readers, which unfortunately is still only a small fraction of the total population.
Here’s how this is will work. First, I’ll list a hundred or so benefits of living below your means that I have discovered. Next, you will add to this list by adding additional ones in the comments below. Yes, this will require some effort from you, but remember, we’re ending this debate, once and for all. If you’re a blogger and have value to offer around the topic of living below your means in a post you’ve already written on your site, please link to it below. If you’re not a blogger, but know of a truly useful resource (or several) for helping to prove this point, please refer us all to it by adding a link in the comments. This is going to be the one stop shop for learning the truth that living below your means is the only way to live.
One, two, three, GO. Living below your means kicks serious butt because:
1. Less Stress – You’ll be less stressed out, knowing you have less money worries.
2. Less Anxiety – You’ll be less anxious about losing your job, knowing you will have time to figure out your next move.
3. Lower Weight – You will be eating out less often and therefore will likely lose weight.
4. Clearer Arteries – Your arteries will be less clogged due to staying out of fast food restaurants.
5. More Attractive – You’ll look better and be more attractive to others since you’re now eating healthier from cooking meals at home and packing lunches.
6. Better Tan – You’ll have a better tan since you’ll be outside walking, riding bike, going to the beach more often to take advantage of the free entertainment.
7. More Popular – People will like being around you more because of the forward progress you’re making in your personal life.
8. Less Smoking – You’ll find it easier to quit smoking since you will now feel optimistic about your ability to change for the better.
9. Less TV Watching – You will watch less TV since you no longer have cable or satellite and therefore will get back into better hobbies you enjoy more.
10. More Relaxed – You’ll be more relaxed at home due to it being less cluttered by having bought less stuff.
11. More Money for Debt – If you have debt, you’ll start being able to pay it down.
12. Debt Will Disappear – You’ll eventually pay off your debt completely, likely within just a couple years or so.
13. Wealth will Accumulate – Once you’re debt free, you’ll start accumulating wealth like you never thought possible.
14. Less Likely to Have Debt Again – You’ll likely never get yourself into a debt hole again.
15. Better Future Buying Decisions – You will buy your next home much more conservatively and therefore will be more likely to actually enjoy it.
16. Less Likely to Have Mortgage Problems – You won’t be upside down in your home because you will have bought conservatively and will also have money in the bank to cover any difference.
17. Less Likely to Have Credit Card Problems – You will get yourself out of credit card debt.
18. Better Habits with Credit Cards – You will either stop using credit cards all together or you’ll only charge balances you can pay off every month, just to collect reward points.
19. More Excess Income – You’ll find yourself will little or no payments each month to creditors, leaving you will a big chunk of your income to do anything you’d like with.
20. Less Care About Credit Score – You will be paying less and less attention to your credit score, knowing that it really doesn’t matter to you anymore how good people think you are at borrowing money.
21. You’ll Have Money – You’ll find yourself actually having money to invest for quite possibly the first time in your life.
22. More Fun Decisions – You’ll get to make fun decisions like, should I buy stocks or real estate with all this capital I have?
23. Emergency Fund – You’ll find yourself with an emergency fund and the peace of mind that comes with it, knowing that whatever happens to your income, you’ll be find and dandy.
24. Earn Interest – You’ll start earning interest, instead of paying it.
25. More Knowledge – You’ll get to learn about the tax advantages of earning dividends and capital gains versus earning your income through your job.
25. Less Demands of You – You’ll get excited about the possibility of employing your dollars to go out and work for you instead of physically using yourself to earn that money.
26. Investing Knowledge – You’ll learn all about the difference between index funds and actively managed mutual funds.
27. More Fun Decisions – You’ll get to contemplate the fun decision of whether or not to reinvest dividends and whether or not to invest in dividend stocks or not.
28. Set Money Goals – You’ll start setting financial goals for your future, knowing that you’re going to have a lot of money someday.
29. More Giving – You’ll have money to give to people or organizations you believe in.
30. Tax Knowledge – You’ll likely get to learn how to do your own taxes since you have all this money to protect.
31. Afford Unpaid Time Off – You can afford to take unpaid time off at work.
32. Afford Summers Off – You can afford to take summers off, if allowed, or if you are a teacher.
33. Afford Time Off Between Jobs – Between jobs, you can take 6 months, a year or a few years off to enjoy things like slow travel.
34. Afford to Stay at Home with Kids – You can afford to have one parent stay at home with your kids.
35. Afford to Work Part Time – You can afford to cut back to part time during certain parts of the year, or year round.
36. Afford Extra Time Off – You can afford to ask your boss for more time off than typically allowed, knowing that whatever his answer, you’ll be just fine.
37. Afford to Retire Early – You can afford to retire earlier.
38. Afford to Live Here and There – You can afford to live part of your time here in the U.S. and part of your time in another country.
39. Cheaper Traveling – With more time, you’ll be able to find cheaper vacation options during off-peak times.
40. More Time with Family and Friends – You’ll have more time to spend with your family and friends, those who mean the most to you.
41. Ability to Start a Business – You can afford to start your own business on the side.
42. Eventually Quit Job to Work on Business – You can eventually afford to quit your job to take your business full time.
43. Track Record of Success – You actually have a success track record with money that you can use to help others do the same.
44. You’ve Achieved Something – You will be looked at as someone who achieved something and changed your life.
45. Demand for Your Advice – People will come to you for help and look to you as someone who can help them.
46. People will look up to you.
47. More Self Confidence – You’ll have the confidence in yourself to know you can accomplish bigger and better things, now that you’ve completely changed your financial situation forever.
48. Bigger Ideas – Your mind will be able to come up with huge ideas for what you can accomplish in your future.
49. More Energy and Motivation – You’ll have the energy and the motivation to want to chase your dreams.
50. Inspiring Others – Others will be inspired by you.
51. Purchase Options – You’ll be able to buy anything you want (even though you likely won’t).
52. Location Options – You will be able to move anywhere you want in the country, or even the world.
53. Car Options – You will be able to drive any car you want (even though it will likely be a cheap one).
54. Timing Options – You will be able to up and move anytime you see fit without having to wait for anyone or anything.
55. No Permission Needed – You won’t need anyone’s permission to do anything.
56. Career Options – You will be able to start a business or a non-profit.
57. Giving Options – You will be able to help those in need.
58. Choice Options – You will be able to do what you want, when you want, how to want.
59. Endless Possibilities – Your possibilities will be endless and you will love every minute of it.
60. Complete Freedom – You’ll feel completely free.
61. No Annoying Bosses – You won’t have to deal with a boss you can’t stand.
62. No Annoying Friends or Family – You won’t have to deal with friends or family members you can’t stand.
63. No Unsolicited Advice – You won’t have to listen to other people’s advice if you don’t want to hear it.
64. No Bad Financial Advice – You won’t have to listen to financial advice from anyone.
65. No Scary Bills – You won’t get bills in the mail that you’re scared to open.
66. No Begging for Work – You won’t have to beg for a job that you know you won’t even like.
67. No More Faking It – You won’t have to fake it to make it.
68. No More Carelessness – You won’t ever have to apply for a job you don’t care about again.
69. No More Being Stuck Somewhere – You won’t have to stay at the place you live if you don’t want to.
70. No More Crappy Jobs – You won’t have to stay in your job if you don’t want to.
71. Same Amount of Fun as Others for Less Money – You’ll have just as much fun, if not more, as your friends without spending all your money.
72. Still Get from Here to There for Less Money – You’ll get from Point A to Point B just as quickly and comfortably as your friends without being broke.
73. Still Have Shelter for Less Money – You’ll have a roof over your head just like your friends do without being stressed about it and stuck there.
74. More Work Enjoyment – You’ll likely enjoy your work even more than your friends, knowing that you’re choosing to be there.
75. Enjoy Inconveniences – You’ll actually enjoy minor, everyday inconveniences, knowing that it’s allowing you all sorts of freedom and options.
76. More Friends like You – You’ll make friends with other people like you, many of which are from all over the world.
77. More Meaningful Conversations – You’ll start to have real conversations with friends and family that matter, instead of what happened on the latest popular TV episode.
78. Better Road Map for Future – You’ll start to define out a road map for where you want to go in the future.
79. More Goals – You’ll start to set big goals.
80. Ability to Write a Book – You’ll eventually have accomplished so much that you can write a book.
81. More Likely Professional Success – You’ll likely find professional success naturally after having set up your life in a way that almost ensures it.
82. Work on What You Care About – You’ll be able to work on only what you care about.
83. Work on What You Enjoy – You’ll start to really love what you do every day.
84. More Purpose – You’ll find yourself wanting to accomplish big things, therefore will find purpose in your life.
85. Less Life Balance Issues – The idea of work life balance won’t really exist anymore because, it will all be the same.
86. Forget the Crappy Commute – You can escape the crappy commute to work.
87. Ability to Stop Working – You eventually can stop working if you want, even though you may likely choose not to.
88. Less Exposure to Advertising – You won’t really see much advertising in your life, therefore will not be reachable by most corporations, and will be happier because of it.
89. Better Impact on Others – You’ll teach others to accomplish what you did.
90. More Personal Happiness – You’ll be happier for knowing you helped others improve their lives.
91. More Happiness for Others – Other people will be happier, therefore this world will be a better place.
92. Lower Culture Consumption – The culture will be impacted by not needing to buy as much, therefore consumption will go down as will pollution and scarce resource consumption.
93. Better Earth Treatment – We’ll start treating the earth better.
94. Healthier Ecosystem – The plants and animals will be healthier.
95. Healthier Humans – We’ll all be healthier due to less pollutants.
96. Less Problems – A bunch more of our problems such as obesity, drugs and crime will decrease.
97. Cheaper Living – We won’t have to pay as much for healthcare, environmental cleanup and taxes and will therefore have more money.
98. More Happiness for All – We’ll all be happier.
99. More Contentment for All – We’ll all be more content and will love and care about each other more.
100. Better World – The world will be a better place.
Now for more even better points from our wise readers. What else kicks serious butt about living below your means? I need your help showing the world why living below your means is SO MUCH BETTER. Step up, fill out the not so complicated form below, and TELL THE WORLD WHY!
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Category: Living Cheap