Simply put, donâ€™t spend more than you make. To accomplish this, put the credit cards away. Many well-meaning people resort to living off of credit when facing a financial crisis, digging an even deeper financial hole. Instead, try living on a cash basis. People who do this typically spend 20 percent less, and they do it without feeling deprived. They buy what they want, but since their level of awareness has increased, they donâ€™t spend as frivolously.