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Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
— Oscar Wilde.

What does living within means mean?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

In this context, means refers to a person's assets and/or income. So, to "live within your means" refers to not spending out of proportion with your income.

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Not to be confused with the Ways and Means Committe of Congress, which always lives outside its means. –  Robusto Dec 8 '10 at 0:52
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Ask a literary-inspired question, get a literary answer:

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.

(Mr Micawber, in David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens)

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