You don’t have to spend a lot of money to live a happy and fulfilling life. There are many small life changes you can make that will help you live more comfortably without ruining your budget. Keep reading to find out six smart ways to live comfortably without busting your budget.

1. Know your Spendable Income

If you want to live within your means, you need to know what those means are. Simply knowing your annual salary is not enough to help you determine your spendable income. You need the net income, which is what you can spend after accounting for expenses.

In other words, it’s not just about simply knowing how much you earn each month – it’s also about the amount you spend.

2. Find and use Budget Tools

For whatever reasons, many people do not plan around their personal finances. And just as in companies that don’t plan, people who fail to plan, fail financially.

To avoid this and to make the most of your income, you have to create a budget.

Unfortunately, budgeting personal finance can be a tiring exercise. But as with any other long-term project, budgeting is fun if you set goals and achieve them, and see the income in your current account growing.

Also, the savings you will make by exercising delayed gratification as a result of your budgeting will more than make up for the discomfort. There are dozens of budgeting tools to make your job easy. Find one that works for you and use it to create a budget system for your personal finances.

3. Reduce your Expenses

To live comfortably without getting into debt, look for ways to reduce your expenses and save money.

Remember that comfortable living doesn’t just mean wasting less money or having limited resources. Rather, it means learning how to use money wisely.

The most important thing is to know what luxury is. You have to define it yourself.

For some people, flying first class is luxury, for others, it’s buying that designer shirt.

You should be clear about your definition of luxury and comfort so that you can plan properly.

Remember, however, that what you wear or where you live does not determine who you are.

4. Grow an Emergency Fund

Having savings for emergencies means you will not be tempted to use credit cards for emergencies and land up getting into debt.

Use your budget to figure out what you can afford to save each month. Anything from £100 to £200 per month will occasionally help with emergencies that might happen.

5. Make Self-care a Priority

Whether you spend time with friends or go to a spa, it is important that you set aside some time to take care of yourself.

Even if you can’t afford a day at the movies or the spa, be sure to give yourself some downtime after a hectic week, even if it is simply spending some time in the park or at a public gallery.

Give yourself something nice every month. Or do something that you like every week.

What makes you confident and happy should be a priority.

6. Increase your Income

Finally, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to increase your income.

Whether it means getting a side gig, exploring tax refund options or taking advantage of company benefits to reduce spending, the key is to look for ways to make your income exceed your expenditure.

You should also make sure that you are enrolled in health, disability and other benefits offered by the company.

Remember that the goal is to live within your means comfortably, avoid debt, and gain financial freedom.