Live Within Your Means Quotes - Can You Handle This Type Of Living?

by frugalrvers

Live within your means quotes might seem simple on the surface, but can you really do it? Living within your budget can liberate you, so what are you waiting for? No more debt...

Living within your means...sounds like great advice. I took this advice, getting rid of nearly everything, owing nobody anything anymore, buying only what I can afford. I can tell you that it is absolutely invigorating.

But is it easy? Absolutely not. I was raised in the era of the almighty credit card - pretend money that created the illusion I can have that $500 laptop, new sofa and more. I was also raised in a time where loans were dished out like candy, and I gobbled them up. House? ya go! New car? Absolutely!

But listen to afraid as you might be of letting go of the debt and overspending, if you aren't paying cash, YOU DON'T OWN IT! You truly don't, I'm sorry to say. It belongs to someone else....

Live within your means and experience, in my opinion, what life was meant to be.

Live Within Your Means Meaning To Us

Live within your means meaning...what does it mean? It is quite simple, actually. You work with what you have, you stay within your budget, you don't use credit cards or take out loans to satisfy the desire to "have" or "want" something.

In 2009, I was panicked. My house payment got harder to make, insurance on my cars got tougher, the car payment felt like a boulder on my shoulders. Oh, and the credit card bills to fill my big mountain home with "stuff" was overwhelming...couldn't let all of those rooms sit vacant, could I?

Boy have I changed. My husband and I talked one day and said "we don't even use/care about this stuff...what are we DOING?" Why are we buying it? Because we could, because we wanted the stuff was the best we could come up with.

One time, to save on gas, we actually spent a whopping $800 on a third old, junky Honda, so he could travel the 100 miles round trip each day. We did this to alleviate wear and tear on our precious 4x4 that we were making payments on. But you know what? THAT CAR was the best investment we ever made! It cost nothing in insurance, never needed a repair, paid for in cash and if it broke down, we could do it all over again and get a few hundred at a salvage yard...ahh, THAT was the key! Plus it saved a fortune on gasoline costs. Oh, it wasn't pretty...but we named her "Lulu" Hondalulu" and she was our warrior, guaranteed.

So our prized purchase was what was useful, not pretty and slick (we would freak out whenever the truck we owned on got a scratch...huh? That was important or mattered?). We were proud of that beater because it saved us a fortune on gas and caused us zero stress.

That was our first taste of what living within your means could feel like. If you lost it, no worries. But you truly owned it, 100%...unlike most of the other items in our home.

We walked away from it all in 2009 and never looked back.

Live Within Your Means Quote On A T Shirt

Do You Currently Live Within Your Means?

The Hard Truth - Spending Beyond Your Means Has To Stop

Spending beyond your means is the common denominator for most people who aren't able to live within your means. Now I've heard many, many excuses (yep, I've said them myself, so you are preaching to the choir!) as to why it is unrealistic/impossible to try living within your means. The following list are common protests, with some answers from someone who has been there, done that.


Let me tell you about the used cars I've been privileged to have. The Honda I mentioned for $800, a Jeep Cherokee bought off Ebay for $1700, an old Bronco I bought for $2500. These cars were the BEST cars I've ever owned. But I've also owned new cars...with payments near $400/month and astronomical insurance rates, too. One "blew up" on the highway only after a few thousand miles. One had at least a dozen repair needs and a bad tranny (again, NEW cars). There is no guarantee. Really? $25,000 worth of car? What about finding a great body on a used car and putting an engine in it for...oh...$6,000 total? Is this about safety, luxury or keeping up with the Joneses?


Not if you are in a constant state of anxiety to pay for it in addition to the upkeep. Lawn care? Repairs? A mortgage that will keep you working until you are 80? If you can find a house that costs less than renting, then it is a good investment. Sometimes commuting 30 minutes and finding an old, modest home in the country costs less than renting an apartment in the city. But if a sudden illness or job loss would take away that house, you cannot afford it! Also, as long as you have a mortgage, the sad truth is that it isn't really your house...a hard fact I learned to accept.


Often need and want get blurred. You can survive with a discounted laptop, last year's model of cell phone, shampoo that doesn't cost $10/bottle. When you start paying only cash, you will be amazed at how soon you discover need/want are completely different...and you can be just as happy with an "older or cheaper" model/brand. Every time you are about to make a purchase, even if it is paper towels. ask yourself if you need it, want it, have been conned by advertising get the idea. Dollar stores are my friend. I can honestly say that I buy almost everything there (dishsoap, napkins, garbage bags, etc.). To date, zero complaints.

I'm BROKE! Spending More Money Than You Make

One size certainly does not fit all when trying to live within your means. I spent years as an executive director at food banks, and I absolutely understand when some people feel they have no means to live within.

The first rule is to not beat yourself up...these are hard times. Do you think the US government has "live within your means" inspirational posters up? Doubtful.

That said, to survive you absolutely have to start thinking outside of the box. Forget "norms" in our society and step back in time to how things used to be. Families stayed together. It isn't failure to ask for some breathing room, a soft place to fall, when times get tough and you sort it out.

Try your best to not see yourself as a victim, even when everything feels hopeless. Nothing is more paralyzing than feeling out of control of your life, hopeless, doomed/cursed. If you need more income, go out and get it and consider it only temporary until you are back in control of your life. Barter/trade for child care. Share lodging with another struggling family until on your feet, etc. It isn't "pretty" but there is a solution for everything...even if not "perfect" by society's standards. We've had much success, when looking for rv lodging, just advertising our situation on craigslist! You'd be amazed at what you can accomplish once determined to survive and find a solution.

I've seen those with absolutely nothing get themselves back on track, I've seen those with every comfort and luxury depressed over debt. There is a solution for everyone but it involves stepping out of the comfort zone.

Living Beyond Your Means Is Unhealthy!

We found a great book from a recent study on families and possessions.

To summarize briefly, people today have too much stuff and it is actually bad for them! Having so much to maintain creates a never ending cycle of stress. People put money they don't have into decks and patios they never take time to relax on (but they look nice). They stockpile at clubs like Sam's. 75% of Americans cannot fit a car in their garage due to "stuff."

We are out of control in our spending and it is taking its toll financially and mentally.

Updated: 09/29/2018, frugalrvers
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frugalrvers on 01/30/2013

Brenda, you always strike me as one living within her means and so smart (not being fooled) with finances...even our rv surprises us with repair bills (yuck) but if they ever exceeded a certain dollar amount, we could just go get another used rv :)

BrendaReeves on 01/30/2013

I am so with you on this. I have a mortgage and the payments are cheaper than any rent I would pay, and it won't go up every year. But those repair bills are a killer.

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