Personal Posts

Living Beneath Your Means

My bride and I were once talking with a young engaged couple and the subject of finances came up. I shared my thoughts and seemingly gave them something to ponder.

I said that most people in the US live beyond their means. They live paycheck to paycheck, are overextended, and one little glitch sends their world crumbling.

A few people in the US “live at their means.”

That is, they spend their money wisely, save for a rainy day—which will eventually happen, don’t try to keep up with everyone else (who are actually living beyond their means), are careful using credit, and make careful investments.

In short, they live fiscally responsible lives.

My goal, however, is to “live beneath my means.” That is, to live more simply than what I can afford to.

This certainly doesn’t imply that I’ve taken a vow of poverty or anything of the sort—I have been too spoiled to attempt that—but I have sworn off extravagance and am largely content with what I have, be it home, car, clothes, and other possessions.

It is most freeing to be not always wanting more and yearning for what is unwise or unwarranted. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals—I do—but they aren’t materialistic in nature.

I’ve learned that possessions can weigh you down and often make demands of you: be it time, attention, more money, or worry; plus you really don’t own them anyway—they often own you.

So, let’s keep it simple; it’s much more prudent and a whole lot less stressful.

Do you like this post? Want to read more? Check out Peter’s book, Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide: Discovering the Spirituality of Every Day Life, available wherever books are sold.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.