Are you living within your means? With so many bills and day-to-day spending, it can be difficult to understand what this looks like for you and your family. We are here to help! We have outlined tips on how to sort out your income and spending so you can calculate the realistic number you need to work towards to actually live within your means. 

Ensure Your Essential Bills are Covered

Calculate all the bills that must be paid each month. This can include your mortgage or rent, auto loan, insurance, memberships, healthcare, utilities, and subscriptions. This list will cover all the essentials for your home, work, and family needs. 

Tally-up Variable Spending Costs

Since these types of spending can vary week to week or month to month, determining this can be tricky. The best way to do this is to track the last 3 months on these types of spending and come up with an average for each. Variable items could include food, entertainment, retail purchases, hobbies, and interests. 

Factor in Non-Monthly Expenses

Things like life insurance, car registrations, quarterly tax payments,  hair cuts, and new computers are payments that regularly come up but do not show up each month. Take these costs and divide them up to determine what the monthly savings should be to pay for these items on their due dates. Another item to add to this list is essential to travel. If you know you will be traveling for holidays or special occasions make sure to incorporate those expenses as well. Include these non-monthly expenses in your “living within your means calculation” so they are not overlooked and surprise you when their due dates arrive.

Fund Your Emergency Savings

The rule of thumb is to save 3-6 months of your expenses in case of an emergency. This can cover unexpected healthcare costs, home repairs, or daily expenses in case there is a change in your employment. 


We know not everyone can hit these goals right away. But starting this process can get you on the right path. You can begin living within your means while saving to fulfill future dreams and aspirations. 


If you have any other questions on how to better manage your money, call a Member Specialist today at 800–422–5852. We are here to help!