For most people, living well means being able to afford the finer things in life and indulging in luxuries that common folk can’t afford. The majority of young people believe that unless they’re living an Instagram-perfect life that includes luxury cars, enormous mansions, and frequent vacations all around the world, then they’re not truly living the dream.
However, it is possible to live well on less. According to “Brokenomics” author Dina Gachman (via CNBC), one can live a full and happy life without being outrageously wealthy.
“We’d all love free-flowing Dom Perignon…but it’s not about that,” said Gachman. “It’s about surviving and thriving, no matter what your situation may be.”
Here are some tips on how to live well on less.
Live large, but not in a big house
If you happen to have saved up $500,000 to buy a house, don’t go for the biggest house that you can afford. Instead, get a smaller space and add features to make it your own. The good thing about living in a small space is that it’s easy to maintain, and you’ll be spending less on property taxes.
Learn how to haggle
Learning how to ask for discounts can get you more from your money. Gachman said that she haggles all the time “within reason.”
“It’s not about being cheap; it’s about being frugal,” she explained. “There’s a difference.”
Things that are acceptable to negotiate are cable bills, cars, mortgage rates, gym memberships, hotel rooms, late fees and medical bills. The things that should never be haggled are restaurant bills and taxes.
Have a swap party with your friends
This is one way to supplement your wardrobe, housewares, DVD and book collection, and other items without spending a single cent. Simply invite friends over and be clear about what’s swap-worthy.
Parents can also do the same to find what they need for their children. All you have to do is invite other parents to bring clothing, costumes, games, toys, and baby gear that they want to swap. Just make sure that the people in the group have children of different ages.
Choose to be content
Whether you’re perusing a magazine or surfing the Internet, you’ll always get subliminal messages that what you have is not enough. Avoid whatever fuels your feelings of discontent and envy. One way to do this is to unfollow Internet celebrities who are not shy about showing off their wealth.
Count your blessings
If you’re healthy, free, loved, employed, and eating at least three meals a day, know that you’re luckier than most people in the world. Celebrate your riches by continuing to take care of your health, fostering relationships, and doing your best work every day.
For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report on the difference between being frugal and being cheap.