live within (one's) means

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live within (one's) means

To spend less or only as much money as one is earning or is able to pay in order avoid exceeding one's budget or going into debt. You need to start living within your means and avoid making so many frivolous purchases. Being so poor during college taught me how to live within my means.
See also: live, mean, within

live within one's means

to spend no more money than one has. We have to struggle to live within our means, but we manage. John is unable to live within his means.
See also: live, mean, within