I am trying to come up with a word or words to describe someone's financial situation that is not too low or too high. In other words, they can afford nice things (not low end), but they don't have or want to spend a lot of money on over-the-top, high-end items. I don't want to imply they have little means or are cheap.

I am writing a blog on interior design, cooking, and lifestyle. On my "About Me" page, the first paragraph states the following:

Creating a rich lifestyle on a modest budget can be challenging but also rewarding. I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a well-designed home and pleasurable experiences you love sharing with family and friends. Inspiration and ideas are everywhere -- at a museum, outside in nature, online, in a book or at a restaurant.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Hellion, JJJ, Chappo, K J, Davo Jun 6 at 12:13

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    What don't you like about modest itself? – Jason Bassford Nov 29 '18 at 22:15
  • If you made your description more clear, you might more help on a site dealing with writing… – Robbie Goodwin Nov 29 '18 at 22:29
  • To me modest says: 1) just adequate; 2) okay, not great; 3) bargain basement. – C. Lane Nov 30 '18 at 18:04
  • Well, here's my take: Creating a fulfilling lifestyle on a limited budget is challenging but also rewarding. [Normally, I charge for that.] Also: moderate budget – Lambie Nov 30 '18 at 18:13
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    Thank you, all, for your comments and suggestions. I have decided to use "moderate budget." Thanks, Lambie! – C. Lane Dec 5 '18 at 20:55

Go for something more creative and metaphorical. All the expressions like modest budget are over-used and make people fall asleep. For example:

...create a filet mignon lifestyle on a roast beef budget...

...live a Godiva life on a Hershey's salary...

You get the idea :-)

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    I really like your thinking, Johnny! Very creative and memorable. Thanks for the input. – C. Lane Jan 3 at 18:20
  • Really, this question is asking for writing advice, and I rarely upvote answers to off-topic questions. But this deserves an upvote. – Edwin Ashworth May 30 at 12:10

As the question has been rephrased, I think it stands well enough as redefined, since most people would be happy to see:-

"on a modest budget"

If you need a similar acceptable form an equivalent is

"on a limited budget"


consider a thrifty budget. Vocabulary.com

mindful of the future in spending money; careful and diligent in the use of resources

As is this website: Fashionable Gear on a Thrifty Budget

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    A person may be thrifty but I would not say a budget is. – Lambie Nov 30 '18 at 18:14

I know where you coming from with your intention of describing a budget. But you can't describe a budget using a description of a person if you know what I mean. I would describe as "smart" a person that has the money to buy things or do things but doesn't want to spend money on high-end items. In other word, it means a person that spends his/her money wisely and knows how to prioritize where his/her money goes. The only word I can think that would fit this would be "smart budget". It would mean to use your budget wisely but it doesn't mean the person is cheap.

  • jimm101, this is a really good take on finding a word I was looking for! I think I will use your suggestion. Thank you! – C. Lane Jan 3 at 18:24

If "on a modest budget" sounds too restrictive to you, then you might consider just "on a budget", which implies that there's a limit — we're not talking about super-wealthy, money-is-no-object types — without necessarily implying that it's a particularly low one.

  • This is true, Ruakh! I didn't think to look at it like that. Thanks. – C. Lane Jan 3 at 18:21

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