#Goals2017: Stop Spending! How To Start Living Within Your Means

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Enough with the spending already. Seriously, do you even know how much you have in savings? Or, do you even have savings? We can all agree that 2016 wasn’t exactly the best of years for most of us, but the dawn of 2017 is a excuse to start fresh – and it begins with consolidating your finances. Consoli—what?! Nope, you don’t have to use big words to understand basic accounting. Here, Updated Trends gives you tips on how you can stop spending at start living within your means starting NOW.

Start Slow

Baby steps, they call it. Being able to completely stop online shopping (yes, been there, done that. The way that online stores advertise “Free Shipping” is so sneaky!) or swiping your credit card every chance you get is not going to happen overnight. But you can always do it in increments. This month, set a target – say, you will shop only once a week and spend only a certain amount each time. If you’re dying to purchase something off the internet and feel like you just need to have it, there is always the “Save For Later” option or “Wish List”.

Create a Budget

Do you even know what you spend the most on each month and how much that is exactly? Try budgeting. For example, as soon as your salary comes in, set aside the amount you will need to spend on utilities and bills. Next, save something. It’s called “investing in yourself”. It could be the smallest amount ever, but hey, something is always better than nothing. Next, think about how you plan on spending your money – for nights out, clothing, gifts, etc. By doing this, you have a clearer outlook on what your expenditure for the month is going to look like.

Do You Really Need It?

Look at your current lifestyle. In majority of the cases, people are living over and above their means. It feels great to own a designer bag or don a pair of expensive shoes and accessories, but can you really afford it? Getting honest with yourself, curbing your spending and using your money for the right things will go a long way. Sometimes we get pulled into the commercial gimmick of spending because of greed, more than need. So, every time that you feel like buying something on a whim that you hadn’t budgeted in the beginning of the month, ask yourself this straight question: do I really need it?

Diversify

There are multiple meanings to this one word. It could mean investing your money in different assets to balance out the risk and returns. What is also means is spreading your wings and expanding your mind to find more lucrative ways to bring in extra cash. These days, millennials have multiple incomes, because who doesn’t like a little extra money? If there is a hobby that you can turn into a profitable part-time job, then why not go for it? The internet is open to so many opportunities, you just need to go find what suits you and go for it!

Do What’s Best for You

Each person has their own way of earning and spending. If you blindly follow an advisor’s advice, you may find yourself feeling frustrated and not enjoying the whole process of saving. Understand what interests you, educate yourself further and do things that at the end of the day you enrich your life further. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself in the end. For example, if you managed to save a few extra bucks because you didn’t swipe your card to buy that new makeup palette, you can probably treat yourself to your favorite dessert. After all, happiness is in the little things.