Finance The Life You Want
You work hard for your money, so it makes sense you should be able to treat yourself to a bonus fun purchase from time to time instead of only buying the bare necessities. When you think of the things you needlessly spend money on, if you restructure your spending habits, you can find the money to budget for the little luxuries that make life a bit more enjoyable.
Indulgences are as personal as the person who wants them. It doesn’t have to be justified or approved by your friends and family. You are entitled to like what you like and want what you want. Some may feel like having private plates for their car, you can buy private number plates from a dealer if you want to start personalising your ride. Making your main mode of transportation special and one of a kind is a well sought after luxury, in fact the aftermarket auto parts industry was measured at over 70 billion dollars as recently as 2018.
Needs vs Wants
No matter who you are, everybody has needs and wants. It is important that you can differentiate between the two. A need is defined as something you must have to be able to live and work. Things that fall into the category of needs are things such as housing, insurance, food, utilities, and transportation.
Wants, on the other hand, are those things that are indulgences. Entertainment, stopping for coffee on the way to work, designer clothes, and vacations are all things that you may want but not necessarily need. Once you can establish the difference between the two, you can start to plan for how to enjoy both.
In order to have both what you want and what you need takes a bit of work to achieve. The first thing you have to do is track your spending. Make yourself accountable for how you spend your money; it’s the only way to figure out how to spend your money the way you want to.
Notice how much you spend frivolously or without thinking about it. If you were able to set aside all the money you spend mindlessly, how much closer would you be to financing something you’ve been wanting but couldn’t afford?
Examine your monthly expenses. How much are you spending on energy consumption at home? Utilities are accountable for a big chunk of your living expenses, so if you can free some of that up, you will be ahead in the money game. Look into changing utility providers to see if another company has a cheaper rate. Dry your clothes on the line instead of running the dryer in the warm months. There are countless little things you can do to free up some of your cash.
Sit down with your bills. Calculate the amount of money you are spending on interest in the long run on outstanding loans. You may be better off refinancing loans and saving on the cost of interest with your current loans.
Create a budget and stick to it. You can save hundreds of dollars per month by simply not eating out or canceling your cable. With all of the streaming services available, cutting the cord on cable is easier now than it’s ever been.
Don’t use credit cards to finance the things you can’t afford; they are a false sense of security that can cost you dearly in interest. Pay off your credit card debt and once you do, only use them if you can pay them off in full at the end of the month.
If you take control of your spending, instead of it taking control of you, you will find you can have both the things you want and the things you need.