Here’s the eternal dilemma: how do you enjoy life while still saving money? It feels like you have one of two choices. You can either enjoy it completely, but always feel like you’re waiting on your next payday. Or, you can be responsible and “sacrifice” your fun to reach all of your financial dreams. Sounds like you’re doomed either way, right? But here’s the trick, Sis: you can save money and live better.
Let’s get one idea out of the way: money isn’t the be-all, end-all of goals. Your life won’t improve because you have more money. Instead, you can use your money to improve your life. With enough money, you can buy a bigger apartment, a nicer car, and fancy dinners every weekend.
But not everyone has the money to improve every single facet of their lives. And that’s fine! You don’t need everything in your life to be expensive to feel fulfilled. You just need to find what fulfills you and prioritize spending money on those things.
Saving money and living better is a balancing act of giving up some things to experience something else. For example, do you want to go on an out-of-town trip sometime soon? Maybe it’s time to skip the $7 coffee for a few months and start brewing your own.
You don’t want to think about this as “sacrificing” your happiness. Instead, think of it as trading one part of your life for something more fulfilling. That way, you’ll feel more excited about what you’re about to gain rather than sad over what you’re giving up.
You can always make some kind of change to improve your life. Here’s how to do it:
Do you want to make some changes in your life today but don’t have the money yet? Flipping your money is one of the fastest ways to earn even more of it.
Flipping is the act of buying and then selling things. You can flip anything; old phones, books, mugs, collectibles, and more. This might be one of the fastest ways to turn whatever’s collecting dust in your house into $1,000 or more.
The biggest improvement you can make in your life is to have a safety net. As much as you can try, you can never predict the future. In the blink of an eye, you could be in an accident or lose your main source of income.
An emergency fund will ensure you can keep your head afloat no matter what happens. Ideally, this should be about 6 months’ worth of expenses, which averages about $30,000. This is a good baseline for an emergency fund. But the actual amount can be lower or higher depending on your expenses.
If you really want to improve your life, you’ll think about your future as soon as possible. Investing for retirement means paying your future self and allowing yourself to enjoy a comfortable, work-free life.
In fact, with the right strategies and investments, you can retire early and stop working sooner!
If you want to save money consistently, make it easy. That’s why automating your finances is one of the best things you can do for your quality of life. Setting up automatic bank transfers and bill payments will free up a lot of time and energy.
Sometimes, fulfillment comes from flipping your mindset. Often, your bad experiences with money and, in general, can make you view the world in a more negative light. By changing how you view your life and finances, you might find yourself living better.
The best way to save money and live better is to detach the idea of having fun from spending money. These two things don’t have to be related since there are dozens of things you can do to have fun for free. That way, you can have fun without needing to empty your wallet!
Who knew that saving money could taste so amazing? When you cook your own meals, you save money on all the little fees like tips, parking, and transportation. The best part? There are dozens of recipes that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
If you do want to eat out, try to time it when the restaurant has a promotion, like for birthdays. That way, you can treat yourself to a nice meal without the guilt of having to pay a big bill!
Traveling is expensive, but it can greatly improve your quality of life. By traveling, you’ll be exposed to all kinds of stories and experiences. If you want to see the world without seeing your bank account empty, you’ll want to budget for travel. Setting aside a portion of your income purely for traveling fees and expenses will increase your ability to enjoy your travels.
Not in the mood to travel but need to destress? Have a staycation instead! Put on some nice music, order your DoorDash favorite, and treat yourself to a lovely afternoon at home!
Going out with friends can be expensive and not to mention physically exhausting. If your friends don’t mind, you can order out and hang out at home. This might sound like you’re spending just as much money, but you’re actually saving quite a bit. For example, you won’t need to spend on transportation fees. You’re also less likely to get distracted by other things you may see when outside.
Local events can be great ways to experience the culture of your city or town. Many small restaurants and cafes can have open mic nights and band nights, especially in cities like New Orleans.
Libraries, especially those in bigger cities, are a resource that you likely aren’t using. But they’re a great place for learning new skills and just killing time with a good book. As a citizen, you’re paying for their maintenance, so you might as well reap the benefits and check them out.
You might find fulfillment in giving back to your community. Besides the hidden costs like transportation and food, volunteering itself doesn’t cost anything. But you might find that these smaller costs are worth giving your time and energy to people who need it. And that can be how you use your money to improve your own life.
Balancing saving money and enjoying life is a continuous process, so you’ll always want to learn more tips and tricks. That’s why you should join my money squad to have the tips sent straight to you! It only takes a few seconds, and the weekly life advice you receive will help you grow rich. Sign up today!
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Dollars Makes Cents by Shaquana, Financial Coach and Wealth Expert, resources helps professional millennial women of color with the tools and skills they need to eliminate their debt, amplify their savings, and build generational wealth — without having to compromise their lifestyle.
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