Since 2009, I’ve been searching for the secret to living richly on a budget.

Hence, the blog name “Living Richly on a Budget.”

And just like the search for the fountain of youth, it eluded me.

I knew there were times when I was happy, truly happy even on a budget, but I simply couldn’t pinpoint what it was.

After writing my third book Budget Made Easy, I’m happy to report that I’ve finally figured it out. And no, I won’t be cruel and make you buy the book (which is coming out next week) to find out.

At first, I thought it was being happy with yourself and being thankful for what you have, no matter how little (or a lot). That is part of it.

But the second part, the secret, is… focusing your budget to reflect your personal values. By personal values, I mean, what makes you truly happy.

secret to living richly on a budget

So think about it. What truly makes you happy?

Is it visiting new places and traveling to Europe or Asia? Is it watching the newest episode of Game of Thrones? Is it something as simple as enjoying your favorite mocha from Starbucks every day?

What I’m saying is, it’s OK to indulge in what you truly enjoy, as long as you focus your budget that way. That means you’ll cut in other areas to put more money into the things you truly enjoy.

For me, I don’t care as much about cable TV or my iPhone. OK, I do miss my iPhone a teeny bit. =(

We lowered our cable bill to basic cable in order to watch live sports. We also switched cell phone carriers and gave up our iPhones for Androids.

What my husband and I truly enjoy is eating really good food. And that means splurging on food truck food once a month or every other month.

Alright, the cat’s out of the bag now. I’m one of the few personal finance bloggers who will openly admit that I enjoy eating out. There, I said it.

I cook a lot at home to save money but I love eating out!. It inspires my creativity and fills that part of my soul.

In The Rock’s (aka Dwayne Johnson) autobiography (yes I read his book!) he and his then wife were on a super tight budget when they were newlyweds. But they splurged on going to the movies every Friday night.

It’s OK to splurge on what you really like as long as it fits in your budget. So do what you can to cut expenses you don’t care as much about in order to fit the splurge into your budget. That’s what will keep you happy, sane, and feeling “rich” while on a budget.

Want more budgeting tips? Check out my new book Budgeting Made Easy.

4 Comments on The Real Secret to Living Richly on a Budget

  1. We go to the shore to be with childhood friends in a tiny cabin..It is scorching hot here in Washington state worst and largest drought in 100 years, like California only no ski season, the farmers are worried badly, the grape harvest for wine threatened..We try to budge but really no one is going to live forever and to tell you the truth if one cannot have a tiny luxury it costs ones soul..The shore is cool and the friends from childhood make it wonderful, if people cannot appreciate human beings and food from the sea in retirement when are they going to do anything..gasoline is ridiculous but we go with our friends sometimes in a prius but mostly in our tiny car with our kitty cats too..We love that it is always cool, in the winter raining and really cold, inland it has been nearly 100 for many weeks, we don’t own a/c and our home lights up like a firecracker despite our best efforts, we drink lots of water and eat fruit & veggies and go to cheap movies when we get home the big fans come on and our pets are okay, but we don’t go out in the heat of the day and no pop or anything salty! Aloha!

  2. I meant to say budget, but no one is going to live forever, living closely to the largest cemetery and mortuary/crematory in a tri-county area..I am reminded daily of the big profits this place charges for funerals which I adamantly disapprove, we also have natural funerals here, people are put into the earth, the cast or lack thereof saves the afamilies and mourners thousands and who pays for a big funeral anyways..>I say live happily for the short time one actually is on this terrestrial and be peaceful and kind to aloha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. We saw Jurrasic World it was great on a 97 degree day, we got in late but the movie had not started the fellow knows us charged us only $5.00 and got a big bag of popcorn with butter for free..Wow whee I thanked the fellow after the movie was over and will bring him pineapple cut up nicely when we go next Tuesday he adores Pineapple and I get them for a buck and cut them up and we eat then with wild abandon..Being nice and sweet to others pays off in good karma, I think most people don’t get it, we are here for such a short time, why be a sourpuss and obnoxious it just ruins ones soul..Lots of sweet stuff happens to us cause we think of others and we are not greedy self important human beings! ciao and aloha, Hawaii a place we would love to visit esp. Maui but cannot afford the food over there, lodging is great we have friends there, but we don’t have the money to stay food is just toooo expensive so we go to a beach in our state and enjoy our friends and the food from the sea..ciao!

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