With times getting harder for everyone I thought it would be apporiate to write a article about living within your means. First let me state that to live within your means is simple to understand but not all of us know how to do it. What you need to do is write down all the income you have coming in every month. You are welcome to do this weekly or even biweekly I prefer to do it on a monthly basis since most bills need to be paid every month. By all income I mean child support, earned and unearned income as well. Also I personally would not count other income that varies such as self employment or side income. If you are only self employed than count it but if you income is up and down take a average. To take an average times the amount that you have received in say six months and divde by six months. For example lets say you got, 55.12, 75.55, 85.12, 22.85, 100.00, 64.23 add all those amounts together which would be = 402.87 and divide that by six your average would be 67.14 a month.
Now once you have your monthly income amount, add all the bills you pay and put them in needs and wants. This is how I break down what is a need and what is a want. To live somewhere is a need so I would always add rent or a mortage payment. Now this is where and how you can live within your means, If you are bringing in say 2,000 a month in income, and your rent is 1,800 month than you are living beyond your means. I see a lot of people doing this and this is a no no. If you want to get ahead I say good luck to you, paying peter to rob paul never works. Cut down where you can, I am not suggesting you rent instead of buying but if you house payment is above 30% of your income than you could be putting yourself in a bad situation. Try and cut corners always can help you live within your means too. If you have a cell and a home phone why not shut off the home phone. I know a lot of us want it all but in the end saving that 30 or 50 bucks every month might come in handy when you lose your job or your hours are cut at work. To help higher the budget you could also do babysitting, start a small side business or even go back to school to increase your knowledge. These are all ways to live more within your needs that way when the hard times get here or get worst you can be me prepared to get over the hump.