The answer is to live WAY below your means - DUH! The trick is to figure out how to do it. For me, the freedom from money and the worries surrounding it has a three-pronged solution. First I begin with minimalism. I want less, I buy less, I drive less (and bike more!), I have less and my life is much simpler, cleaner and more satisfying because of it. Two of the resources I used to learn more about minimalism are Marie Kondo and Miss Minimalist. But minimalism only gets you so far. You can be a minimalist and drop $5k on a capsule wardrobe from Madewell and sure enough money problems will still haunt you.
The next step is frugality. When I need to buy something, I do my research and make sure I'm getting the best deal. I use coupons, shop sales, work Craigslist like nobody's beeswax, and I'm a thrift store queen. I have looked through all my expenses and slashed and burned as much as possible - I cut the TV cable bill (and use Netflix, Amazon Prime, and TV antennae instead), ditched the landline, I shopped for cheaper insurance for the cars and house, and I cut my grocery bill in half just by shopping the sales and coupons at Fred Meyer. I also now drive like a grandma so that my 2001 Civic now gets about 38 mpg. But frugality alone also has it's pitfalls. Think extreme couponers who have hoarded enough laundry soap to wash an entire army's fatigues. Or the person who buys 5 of the same shirt because it's on sale. Without the other two prongs, "frugality" can leave you with less money and a bunch of stuff you don't need. For inspiration in the frugality department, check out the Non-Consumer Advocate and Mr. Money Mustache (this guy is hilarious and inspirational).
The final step is proper budgeting. I have for years used Quicken and then Mint to budget. But those never actually changed my spending behavior. Month after month I'd get the alert "you're over budget in Coffee Shops category" or any of a number of other categories. There have been months where the only category I was not over budget was the Charity category. Yes, I
And that's all I have to say about that. So here's my Venn diagram for