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Living within one's means is easier said than done. These resources - calculators, articles, and tools - will help you save money and spend less so you can live within your means.

You know that you need to live within your means to save money and meet your financial goals. But knowing it and doing it are two different things.

This list of resources could be exactly what you need to help you live within your means. Here, you’ll find calculators to use, budget forms to consider, and articles to read from some of the top personal finance blogs.


  1. Basic Family Budget Calculator – Get budget recommendations based on your family size and location from the Economic Policy Institute.
  2. How Long Will it Take to Save for a Goal? – Bankrate.com helps you calculate how long it will take you to meet a financial goal.
  3. Student Loan Repayment Plans – Cutting back on minimum student loan payments for a time could help you meet more pressing financial needs. Find out your repayment options here.
  4. What Will Your Loan Payment Be? – Figure out your payment on any loan to make sure your borrowing is on track.
  5. Should I Rent or Buy a Home? – A FoxBusiness calculator to help you compare renting with buying.
  6. How Long Until My Loan is Paid Off? – Figure out how long you’ll be paying on any loan.
  7. Debt Snowball Calculator – Figure out the best way to pay off your debts so you can be debt free more quickly.
  8. How Much Home Can I Afford? – Make sure you can still live within your means once you buy a home.

Articles to Read

Frugal Living Basics

  1. How to Develop the Habit of Spending Less than You Make – This Dough Roller post will help you get started on spending less than you’re bringing in.
  2. 5 Habits of Financially Successful People – Put these five practices into place, and you’ll be living on less than you earn and building wealth in no time.
  3. Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck – A basic guide from Kiplinger on escaping the hand-to-mouth scramble.
  4. Spend Less Than You Earn – This link post from JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly talks about the basics.
  5. Talking About Money Issues without Fighting  – Having trouble getting your spouse or partner on board with your financial goals? This article may help.
  6. Evolve Your Money Management Beyond the Budget  – If you have trouble with complicated budgeting, use this simpler method from WiseBread to manage your money.
  7. Building Your Financial “Safety Net” – Living within your means is easier when you have backup funds in place for emergencies.

Frugal Thinking

  1. Frugality Binge  – The Simple Dollar talks about the importance of making financial choices that are sustainable.
  2. How do I keep myself satisfied ’till I reach my goals? – This Q&A from Budgets are Sexy discusses how to stick to the long-term financial goals you’re reaching for.
  3. 5 Surefire Ways to Stop Thinking Your Paycheck is Never Enough – Changing your thought process is half the battle to living within your means.
  4. Would You Rather Earn More or Spend Less? – An interesting question that’s worth thinking about.

Ways to Save

  1. How to Refinance Any Debt – Reduce your debt payments to trim your budget by refinancing any of your debts.
  2. 95 Painless Money Saving Tips – A classic Dough Roller post that includes tons of easy ways to save. (Check the comments for more ideas.)
  3. How to Save Money by Switching Electric Companies – In many states, you can save a fortune every year by choosing a different electric company.
  4. 15 Ways to Slash Your Cell Phone Bill – If your cell phone bill takes up a huge chunk of your budget, this article could help you save big.
  5. 14 Ways to Save Money on Your Commuting Fuel Costs without Giving Up Your Car – Commuting is a huge expense for many, so this article could help you save a fortune.
  6. 10 Library Freebies You Might Not Have Known About – Save big on everyday entertainment by taking advantage of your local library.
  7. How to Find the Cheapest Flights – Save big on travel with this advice from 20something Finance.
  8. Simple Ways to Get the Healthcare You Need Without Overspending – Health care can take a huge amount of your income, but managing spending will help contain costs.
  9. 7 Websites You Must Visit When Buying a New Car – Before you buy a car, make sure you get all the facts.
  10. 31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget – This Money Saving Mom series will help you spend less on food and plan your grocery spending more intentionally.

Making More Money

  1. A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money Online – Bringing in extra income is a great way to live within your means without reducing expenses.
  2. Start a Business: Monetize What You Know – This post from Investor Junkie explores how you could start a full-time or side venture based on what you already know.
  3. 40+ Passive Income Ideas and Ways to Make Extra Money – Excellent advice on passive ways to make money.
  4. 52 Ways to Make Extra Money – Lots of moneymaking ideas from the PT Money blog.

Tools to Consider

  1. 60 Free Tools for Everyday Savings – From money management websites to money saving apps, this list will give you the tools you need to live within your means.
  2. Free Budget Templates and Spreadsheets Roundup from Budgets Are Sexy – Looking for a budget template? There’s a huge list here from Budgets are Sexy.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 279
Abby is a freelance journalist who writes on everything from personal finance to health and wellness. She spends her spare time bargain hunting and meal planning for her family of three. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and lives with her husband and children in Indianapolis.

Article comments

1 comment
Rudy Perez says:

Just want to catch up on my bills