I know I live on less money than many people believe possible. My past and my way of life for years has enabled me to do this. I do have a decent income with SS and PERF (hub's retirement). I have really started saving more - which was truly surprising to me.
I don't necessarily save to just have it - but to live in case of emergencies or need for spending on big projects. I also like having extra to donate at times.
I pretty much live on less than one of these checks per month.
My biggest save is the house! It is PAID for. We bought a very inexpensive home, smaller than most might want and worked hard to pay it off as soon as possible. That is a blessing now. My property taxes are very reasonable. Homeowner's insurance costs far more than anything else I pay - as I cover myself for for any problem that may arise. (called an Umbrella). I pay that insurance once a year and it is NOT included in my monthly budget $. It comes from savings.
Next I stay home and do NOT shop very often. I know people who feel the need to go to stores of some sort every day!!!! Not me. Staying home and not spending is a huge money saver.
I often make plans to go out shopping and then talk myself our of it!!!! I really need nothing. Why should I go out and tempt myself?
I don't grocery shop every week. No need. I have a very ample pantry and deep pantry. If not for pets and animals I wouldn't need to spend much of anything for a LONG, LONG time.
I can eat a very varied diet for a long while and not shop. If I would run out of fresh - I can canned and frozen. I could survive quite well.
I grow a garden - not huge - but ample. It could be more if I so desired.
I USE up everything. I use all leftovers in some way - whether another meal, re-inventing into something new, or freezing for the future.
I wear my clothes for a long time - I don't dress fancy, so no need for fancy clothes. I spend most of my life barefoot or in flip-flops! I do have good shoes!! LOL
I do NOT shop online. Nope!!! I just don't. I want to see what I am buying.
I have lowered my basic bills as low as I can. I am now in the process of lowering a couple of bills that will add up to about another $100 a month that I don't have to spend. You can call places and ask for lower rates - many times they say yes (especially if you threaten to leave!)
I don't buy a lot of gifts. I give homemade items and gift cards for most. Little kids get stuff - but I watch for deals and sales.
I use what I have. I cook from home and don't go out to eat (unless it is with a gift card). I experiment with food - so have variety. I can make things. I am handy around the house and yard. I can repair many things myself. IF I can in any way do it myself, I will. I have and know many family, friends, and neighbors that are in various trades - and I would rather help them with my business than strangers.
My monthly budget DOES include all utilities, Medicare and supplemental insurance, life insurance and household expenses.
I do vehicle insurance 2X a year, car registration 1X, property taxes 1X (I pay all at once) and homeowner's insurance 1X a year. These all come from savings (part of why I save).
Mainly, I have ENOUGH!!!!! I don't need big and fancy. I don't need new and improved. I don't need gadgets out the wazoo. I can make do with what I have and that is MY choice. I am blessed in so many ways. There are so many people in the world who would feel rich with what I have. Many would feel rich with what you have. Sure others would feel poor - but I do feel sorry for those people.
People have become accustomed to having SO much - to excess. It isn't needed and doesn't make you any happier (some may argue that).
Now I realize that there are many who have medical problems and need to spend funds on supplies and medications. Those can be huge.
I am content with my life and with what I have. I could have more and bigger - and maybe I will at some point - but I don't have to. I have enough.
Learn to live BENEATH your means and you can live well. Don't fall for the temptations of others and for the need of stuff. You really need very little to live a happy life.
I hope this makes someone feel OK that they don't have big, new, expensive and fancy stuff. It is OK. You live you! I live me! We don't have to be the same. We don't have to agree.
We just need to be true to ourselves and plan a little bit for the future. Things happen and come up. We DO need to be prepared for those.
Be happy with what you have - you are far "richer" than most!
Remember "rich" really has nothing to do with $$$$$$.