smart spending

6 tips to spend less, save more to achieve your financial goals

How to live below your means
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How to live below your means | Photo by Rafa Elias/Moment/Getty Images

How to live below your means

If you wake up determined to save some money every day -- and return to bed later that night having failed miserably -- you are not alone.

Last year, a poll by Pew Charitable Trusts found that in a typical month, 55% of Americans either spend all the money they make, or are forced to live beyond their means.

That reality prevents tens of millions from saving, and foils key financial goals, such as:

  • Building an emergency fund.
  • Buying a home.
  • Sending kids to college.
  • Saving for retirement.

The temptation to spend is everywhere, says Clarissa Hobson, a financial planner at Carnick and Kubik in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"We are very much living in a 'microwave' society, where people want what they want, and they want it now," she says.

But with a little planning, you can reverse this spendthrift mindset, and put yourself on the pathway to financial independence.

Following are 6 tips to help you finally realize the dream of living below your means and achieving your financial goals.

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