My first-hand idea of living above your means comes from reading “the smart woman money,” and maybe knowing a friend who does. In this context, living above your means of spending to buy things your income can’t afford you. 

It appears that living beyond one’s means isn’t all that difficult these days. We seem to be living in an age of consumption and “things,” with YOLO (“you only live once”) and FOMO (“fear of missing out”) mindsets becoming increasingly prevalent. In an age of social media, spending and living above means can all be easy to fall into.  

Sometimes, living above your means or spending can often sneak up on us without us recognizing it. It all starts with a new couch, and then it’s on to a new phone, or as extreme as paying rent you can’t afford in order to keep up with your friends. Then, in order to keep up with our work schedules, we start eating out every day. Those small expenses add up, and before you realize it, you’re spending more than you can afford.  

Simply, living above your means, is that you are spending more than your budget allows or you are not putting enough money aside to meet your important payments.

If you’re starting to question whether you’re living over your means, we’ve got some instances to assist you to figure it out.

4 Signs You’re Living Above Your Means


You Live in an Apartment Your Three Months Salary Can’t Pay For: 

Something I do often before getting an apartment, considering if my three months salary can comfortably pay my rent. The general rule of thumb is simple; not to let your rent be more than 28% of your annual income.  

If your rent is too expensive, you may want to consider downsizing or finding a means to earn more money. Having a side hustle could let you breathe easier while spending inside your budget. As a result, rent will not be too much to handle, which leaves you with enough money to handle your other bills and not to be in a tight spot financially.  

Enjoyment comes before Savings or Emergency Funds:  

An instance of living above your means is prioritizing enjoyment over savings or emergency funds because of FOMO(fear of missing out).  

It is expected that you set aside at least 10 to 15% of your overall salary for savings. However, if you can’t save at least 5% of your income, it may indicate that you’re living over your means. 

Even if you are always broke or never have money to pay for unexpected or inevitable expenses like car repairs, or medical expenses, it also indicates you are living above your means.  

Examine your monthly expenses, particularly your everyday spending patterns, and make any necessary cuts. 

Start by canceling any subscriptions you don’t need and shopping more carefully. You could even go a step further and sell your pricey car and replace it with an older model. 

You are Trying to Match Your Friend’s Spending Habits: 

The pressure to keep up with a luxury lifestyle is greater than ever thanks to social media’s hyper-sharing culture. You’re probably spending more than you can afford if your financial decisions are affected by your friends’ extravagant lifestyles.

If you’re overspending and start comparing yourself financially, keep the following in mind: 

  • Try to ignore what others have and stick to a budget. 
  • Recognize that some of these people are either in financial distress or are heavily in debt. 

You have no money left after the end of the month: 

If you are living from paycheck to paycheck, which could be as a result of not having a budget and splurging in the way you want to. Sit back down and consider where your money goes. You are likely to discover expenses that might be reduced in order to save money. Then create a budget and stick to it. 


It is up to you to start living within your means. Determine how and why your spending habits have gotten out of hand, and get advice from a financial specialist if necessary to get back on track. Keep track of your finances and hold yourself accountable.