How to Live Within Your Financial Means Without Sacrificing Your Happiness
When the subject of living within your financial means comes up in a conversation, most people envision a restricted, boring, and unhappy life. However, if you have the necessary knowledge, you will realize that this is not the entire truth.
You can live within your means and still live a luxurious lifestyle. The reason is simple: contrary to popular belief, living within your financial means is a call to spend less than you earn each month, not a sentence to a depressed life. And how you spend your money, not how much you spend, ultimately determines your happiness.
What you spend your money on and why you spend it are important factors in your happiness. However, the importance of being frugal and deliberate with your spending cannot be overstated.
You can live within your means and still live a luxurious lifestyle.
Here are some pointers on how to live within your means without sacrificing your happiness.
Set goals and have a "why" in mind
There is almost no worthwhile endeavour or process that you embark on that does not have a plan, goal, or purpose. There is always a 'why' or a reason behind your conviction and approach. The same is true if you decide to live within your means. Tying it to something keeps you going even when the going gets tough.
For example, if you want to buy a new laptop for your office, setting this goal for yourself will provide the anchor you need to stick to your monthly expense budget.
It’s easier to make better choices when you are working towards a goal, as opposed to just coasting along.
Identify and fix any money leaks
Any sum of money that cannot be traced back to how it was spent is considered a money leak. This usually happens when you keep cash without a clear plan for how to spend it. A good example of a money leak is keeping N5000 naira as pocket money for the week, spending N3000 naira on a couple of items, but being unable to account for the remaining N2000 naira at the end of the week.
To address this issue, make sure that every kobo you have with you has a clear purpose. Resist the urge to carry your ATM card with you at all times unless you have a specific reason to. Develop the habit of being deliberate and resisting impulse purchases.
Develop the habit of being deliberate and resisting impulse purchases.
Identify any service that you are paying for but are not currently using, such as a recurring subscription fee, digital tools, or a streaming service. Separate your 'wants' from your 'needs,' and then prioritize them.
Make a list of your most important expenses and match them up with your available funds.
Learn to be a savvy shopper
Little things like negotiating a price can go a long way toward saving you money. It may appear uncomfortable, but it is worthwhile, and it is preferable to living beyond your means.
Learn to shop from the side of the market where you can get the same quality for a good or service at a lower price. This market segment can be found in almost any marketplace, whether physical or online. For example, you may be able to purchase a fashion item for a lower price from a different segment of the market than you would from a standard boutique.
Do comparison shopping, compare your options, ask for discounts and learn to negotiate where necessary. Review the list of your expenses, find expenses that you can either negotiate or replace for a more affordable option. For example, you can replace engaging a personal physical fitness trainer with a cheaper online fitness course.
Do comparison shopping, compare your options, ask for discounts and learn to negotiate where necessary.
Identify ways to earn more money, invest, and plan for the future
Sometimes, after putting the best financial insights shared here into practice, such as planning with a goal in mind, identifying and fixing money leaks, and becoming a savvier shopper, if you are still living beyond your means, you may need to consider alternative income avenues to sustain you for both the short and long term.
This may include asking for a raise at your current job, taking a higher-paying job, or starting a side business to cover your financial obligations.
Look for investment opportunities to help you grow your money.
For the long term, consider having a pension plan. Allocate a portion of your income towards securing your retirement.
To save for retirement, open a Retirement Savings Account (RSA), and have 10% of your income go into your RSA. Your RSA is money set aside from each paycheck and deposited with a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) for a financially stable life in retirement. For more information on RSAs, contact Oak Pensions via www.oakpensions.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Marketing Manager on 09087448661.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ernest Ademola Ehigie is a Copywriter, Content Developer, Author, Brand Consultant, and Communications Manager with over 5 years in marketing communications. He has written several articles, policy documents, press releases, radio and TV adverts for businesses and organizations. He's the author of the book, "Why You Must Lead" and currently works as a content manager for Detail and Avedia, a leading retail and media consulting firm.