Emulate Someone Who Earns Less Than You: Strange Ways to Save Money

No matter how little money you earn, there is almost always someone, somewhere (likely in your own area), who is managing to live well on less than what you make.

Now, by living “well” I don’t necessarily mean having a three thousand square foot house, a Mercedes, a cruise every year, and a housekeeper. I’m speaking more in terms of having basic needs met such as shelter, food, utilities and maybe a couple of extras. They’re in no danger and they might even be happy with their lot.

The point is that people manage to live well at almost all income ranges. I’m related to some people who manage to live pretty well on ten thousand dollars a year. They grow the


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5 Responses to Emulate Someone Who Earns Less Than You: Strange Ways to Save Money

  1. patientsaver says:

    Nice story.

    You can’t really downsize from an $80,000 a year lifestyle to a $70,000 a year lifestyle unless you track all your expenses. If you try to cut back on expenses without really understanding how it’s affecting your bottom line, then you’ll soon lose motivation and feel like it’s pointless.

    Carefully tracking your monthly income from all sources, ans well as every dollar spent, requires some effort at first but soon becomes an effortless habit that reveals quite a few things about your personal spending habits, weaknesses and tendencies.

    If you plan to live on $10,000 less a year, come up with an automatic way of banking that $833 a month.

  2. Kate says:

    My husband always believes that if only someone would die, all of his (and my) finances would be fine. I always try to find ways to show him that what we have, sorry to put it this way, “ain’t that bad.” I think in order for him to see this, I will emulate someone who does earn less, save up the money, and show him that we have plenty to live happy on. I think tracking our income IS a great way to start. I do not think we can bank $833, but I think we can try for $400 and go from there!

  3. Gail says:

    The more you make, the more you pay in taxes as well so having a smaller income can with frugal living equal more income than earning $10K more. I’m always surprised by the people that insist they can’t live without cable, cell phones, daily activities for the kids (all that cost money) etc. If push came to shove you would find out that you can live without all that. My son (who has cable) tapes the show Downsized and comes over and watches it with me. Although this is supposedly a family that is trying to make do on less, they don’t seem to use much common sense at all with their finances. I think that is one of the basic problems with folks that ‘can’t’ live on their income, is the don’t use common sense. If they are making $50 less each month than their expenses, then they need to chop out $50 of expenses whether they think they can live without the item or not.

    Watching your neighbors, I doubt, is that good of a way to think about your finances. It isn’t about them, it is about you and your family. Now if you know for sure that they are being frugal, then ask them for hints, but what you may see as frugal living is them getting $10K deeper in debt each year.

  4. Cindy says:

    I am a single mother with two kids at home, ages 13 and 15. I make 40K per year not including child support. I clip coupons, shop at thrift stores and clearance sales, and save every penny.
    I have managed to save over $8000 this year, which is in a savings account for when I need it. The best part is that I have designer clothes from the thrift shops that retail for over $200 that I paid under $10 for. I go to work looking like a million bucks and my co-workers think I may be over paid! My teenage kids have all kinds of nice things, also courtesy of the thrift stores, some of them brand new with the original tags on them. We have a very nice lifestyle with no debt due to the shopping habits I have. Everyone should try this.

  5. Tammy says:

    To really cut back and live on less, a plan needs to be formed. You need to know where money is going and what items can be cut back. If a family is use to having certain things like the best cable package available, steak dinners every night and vacations every year. A plan needs to be put in place that everyone can adhere to.

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