Living Below Your Means Does Not Mean Living Poorly.

It’s all in what you make of it, really. As I am sure you are aware of, there are plenty of people who live below the ridiculously low poverty line (both here in the U.S. and the rest of the world) that are very happy; and there are also incredibly wealthy folks who are miserable as all hell. Money does not make a single person happy. You may think it does, but it doesn’t. Because if you are not reasonably happy with yourself in the first place, all money does it try to plug a hole that will eventually open up again – leaving you unhappy once more. Many people without money make due however they can; by sharing bedrooms, driving beat-up old cars, not ever going out to eat. But that doesn’t mean they are living poorly at all. They are living within their means, which for some actually means they are comfortable with where they are in the social strata.

Now granted, you could be living below your means AND be living poorly, for sure. By never spending a penny on anything fun in life, you could be living well below your means but not having a great time. We all work so we can pay our bills…and hopefully have a little fun along the way. Being a penny-pincher to the point of never doing anything can be just as sad as not having the money to do those things in the first place – you have to find a balance between “your means” and “your lifestyle”.


For those living the high life on credit (like I used to do), I have advice for you – stop. Just stop. Life can be quite fun when you live within your means! You don’t need to make a ton of money in order to have a comfortable life. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to use money to fill some sort of a hole…and you don’t need to fall for it. There is nothing wrong with making a lot of money, so please don’t take what I am saying as meaning that. But having to “make money” as the goal to make you happy and to lead a comfortable life is, well, a mistake. No matter your income, you can usually live a content life while living within your means. It does not mean you have to live poorly…not by any stretch.

Photo from Shutterstock


Best Places To Start A Business.

I just finished reading an article over at CNN/Money about the 50 best places to launch a business and thought I would point it out to those of you thinking of doing the same. While some of the expected locales are listed, like NYC, Charlotte NC and Connecticut, there are a ton of places on the list that I had not even ever heard of! The cities and towns are organized by size – Top Large Places, Top Mid Places, Top Small Places. So what Top 10 large cities made the list?

1. Oklahoma City, OK
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Raleigh, NC
4. Houston, TX
5. Hartford, CT
6. Washington, DC
7. Charlotte, NC
8. Austin, TX
9. New York City, NY
10. Baltimore, MD

Yep, Oklahoma City, OK is the #1 large city in America to start a business. You learn something new every day! If you want to read the rest of the lists and why each place was chosen, check out the article. Here is a map overview of all 50 places:



My Biggest Money-Saving Tip About Moving…And More.

Save your moving boxes. That’s it! I have used the same moving boxes for my last 3 moves and will be using them for my move coming up here in a few weeks. While most people can get boxes for free by looking at Freecycle or Craigslist, quite often you end up having to buy some – and they aren’t cheap. Moving a house could cost you hundreds of dollars for the boxes alone! That is why, after each of my moves, I have just unassembled the boxes and stored them somewhere out of the way. Once folded flat, they barely take up any space and they save you from spending yet another fortune on boxes the next time you move. I know I am glad I didn’t throw mine away!


Looking for other tips on saving money when moving? Check out these posts from my friends for even more:

Ten Things I Learned Moving ““ And Tips

How We Saved Money when Moving

What Your Moving Company Won’t Tell You Until You Sign The Paperwork.

27 Last Minute Considerations Before Moving Across The World

Frugal Moving Tips

Photo from Shutterstock


27 Ways To Save Money On Your Utility Bills.

In about 3 weeks, I am moving away from New Mexico to Denver, CO. I will be leaving behind a house that provided virtually free AC and heat (being a passive solar home), pretty cheap “high-speed” internet (for New Mexico), incredibly low taxes and assorted other things that come along with living in one of the poorest states in the country. Colorado, on the other hand, costs more to live in. Way more. My rent, my utilities, my taxes, and my insurance will all be going up come November. I am NOT looking forward to that part of moving, but am looking forward to the opportunities I will be gaining for a new start. (More on that later) But because my expenses will be going up, I started looking into ways to cut my utility/monthly bills in my new home — and came up with way more than even I can use. So I figured I would share them with you guys in case there were any you had missed in your quest to reduce your monthly expenses!

  • Replace your water-intensive lawn with xeriscaping
  • Fix a leaky faucet
  • Call and ask for a discount. I plan on doing this to both Qwest and Comcast to compare internet rates
  • Up the deductible on your home and auto insurance policies
  • Buy regular gasoline instead of premium. Most cars run fine on it
  • Ditch the phone company and get a VOIP phone
  • Line dry your clothing
  • Drive smoothly, not stop and go
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Unplug unused appliances
  • Caulk leaks and cracks around doors and windows
  • Pay your bills online
  • Install a rain barrel to collect rainwater for watering
  • Only wash full loads in the washing machine
  • Get your family on a family plan with your cell phone company
  • Use weatherstripping around your door seals
  • Get rid of a home phone completely
  • Install faucet aerators (only like $2 and well worth it)
  • Turn off heat and/or AC to seldom used rooms
  • If you have an iPhone, install Skype and use it at home for all your phone calls.
  • Hang thermal drapes during the winter to keep the cold out and the heat in
  • Slow down your high-speed internet to a cheaper tier. Chances are you won’t notice
  • Keep a log of car services you have done, such as tire rotations/oil changes
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees. Anything more than that and you are wasting money
  • Buy generic/store brand drugs when you can; usually, they are just as good as name-brand
  • Get rid of credit cards that charge an annual fee, unless you are getting something amazing out of the rewards that might go along with the fee
  • Make your own cleaners and laundry detergent

Because I am only talking about utility/monthly expenses, I didn’t mention things like “give up lattes” or “stop going out to eat”. I wanted to focus on reducing the cost of the necessities in this list. What would you add to it? Maybe I could use your tip in my new home!


Money Quote Friday – Empty Heads Edition.

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Hope you guys have a great weekend. I’m looking forward to some more packing!

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