You might feel like it’s more challenging than ever to live well on a budget, given how expensive healthy foods and comforts often are in 2021. On top of that, everyone’s definition of “living well” might mean something different, so you worry that your idea of living well is out of reach.
Regardless of what it means to you, living well and within your means might take some creativity and extra research, but you can do it and love every minute of it. Sometimes the more effort it takes to live a frugal but fulfilling life, the sweeter the reward.
Here are three ways to live well on a budget in 2021 and forward.
1. Plan and Prepare Meals in Advance
Eating out and ordering in is delicious, but it’s also expensive. The truth is, you can make delicious meals at home while maintaining your budget goals and without cutting into your busy schedule. All it takes is some determination, healthy ingredients, storage containers and a block of time once or twice per week.
Meal planning has become a popular trend for the budget-minded among us. The Simple Dollar suggests never going to the grocery store without a well-planned list of ingredients you plan to use. Then, set aside a day and time to schedule your cooking, packaging and storage of your meals so you can reach for the container in your freezer before heading out to work. Even better, you won’t need to deal with any decision-making fatigue that comes with trying to figure out what’s for dinner when you’re already tired.
2. Create and Maintain a Budget
Whether you like to use traditional budgeting tools like a notebook, pen and calculator, or you’ve embraced mobile app technology to support various life tasks, use what works best for you. While you might dread the task of sitting down and looking at all your expenses, you’ll feel better and more relaxed once you’ve done it and created a financial roadmap. Ignoring any financial constraints you have, or simply not taking a closer look at them, can make them worse than they already are. How Stuff Works recommends that you take time to assess your finances, create a budget and stick to it. It’ll make it much easier to avoid spending excess money if you know what’s at stake.
3. Protect Your Financial Accounts
You might worry that you can’t afford special account monitoring services that help safeguard your personal information, scan your identity for misuse, track credit reports and scores, and much more. Fortunately, some services offer discounts for first-time users. For instance, when you research what LifeLock costs, you’ll find that the credit monitoring service is offering a 25 percent discount for new subscribers. This is one of the most worthwhile investments you can make should an emergency occur. Protecting your identity is an essential part of maintaining good financial standing.
Identity theft can cause havoc in your records, leaving creditors wondering if you are a risk through no fault of your own. With LifeLock, you’ll have a team on your side, monitoring your accounts 24/7/365, giving you peace of mind to focus on reaching your personal and financial goals.
Living Well on a Budget Takes Creativity and Commitment
Financial freedom is invaluable to most people in 2021, perhaps more so than ever before. You can enjoy a life with less financial worry by focusing on a combination of little things like cooking at home and meal planning along with bigger picture tasks like maintaining a finely tuned budget and investing in identity monitoring services.