User Post: Learn how to live on less

Everyone is stressed about money. But instead of always worrying about how to make more, I always try to remind people that they have a second option: learn how to live on less. I'd like to share what I have learned along the way and also hear what others do to make ends meet. I know not everyone has the option to sacrifice what I do, but it's still a good reminder that money isn't everything.

1. Not every person needs their own 4 wheeled vehicle. Some people even own 2 or more! It's kind of a waste of money and resources. Try public transportation, car pooling, or if you live in a warm climate like me, get yourself a little two wheeled scooter or motorcycle.

2. Share the rent and bills with a roommate. Living on your own is so incredibly expensive. I just imagine how large families in other countries will often share one room with no running water, I can share an entire apartment with one other person.

3. Instead of cable try Netflix and Hulu. Many network stations will post their most popular shows on their website the next day so no reason to miss 30 Rock or The Office. Try the library or Half Priced Books for reading material. I still love my magazines and they're really not too expensive if you get a subscription. And budget theaters only costs 1 or 2 dollars to view a film.

4. For exercise you can work out at home. Netflix has some really good work out videos as does your local library. Many communities have groups that get together to play sports. But if you still like the gym try the YMCA. They offer financial aid and discounts based on your income.

5. I love trying home remedies. Health insurance and prescriptions aren't always affordable so I like to scour the internet for some tips before I go see the doctor. I'm also a firm believer in taking multivitamins, drinking lots of water and exercising to keep yourself well. As long as your not putting your life or health in danger, try seeing what home remedies are out there.

6. Learn to cook at least a little. Even if you hate cooking, everyone should know how to boil noodles, rice and cook meat and veggies. Or if you love cooking like me, I get affordable versions of all the basic food groups plus one or two expensive items like goat cheese or fresh herbs to make my dinners taste gourmet.

7. Thrift stores are always a great place to buy clothes or household items. But the real gold mine are the hand-me-downs from family and friends. Its amazing how many people have extra coffee makers, bowls, pots, pans, or cups just sitting in their basement or attic. Same thing with clothes. Luckily for me I have a friend who is a shopaholic and when an item doesn't fit or she just doesn't want to wear it anymore she donates it to me. So if you have a friend with similar size and fashion tastes, try sharing your clothes with each other.

8. Mattresses are really pricey so I sleep on a futon mattress without the frame. In fact, I always thought bed frames are pointless to begin with. What's the difference between sleeping 6 inches off the floor as opposed to 3 feet off the floor? As long as your comfy and sleep well that's all that matters.

How do you live on less?