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Want More From Life? Here’s How To Afford It

In absolutely everything we do, money is involved. It’s a quiet grumble among the masses that to achieve anything – from a solid pension plan to a debt free existence – money factors somewhere in the equation. When you have to plan your present and future, you have to think about how cash is going to affect your day to day life. This type of planning can be exhausting, especially if you aren’t a fan of living to any kind of ordered budget! Being clever with the finances that you have can make such a difference to your entire life and give you the things you want without having to go without.

Many people make financial trade-offs to afford the things they want. Everyone has a bucket list of items that they would like to own one day and being savvy with cash is important. Reaching financial independence is a pipe dream for some, but once you get there the options ahead of you can explode. There are some simple lessons in finance that extend to lessons in life, and we’ve got our favourites listed for you here.

 

You can afford anything you want.

It sounds like a reach, doesn’t it? However, it’s true. Anyone can afford anything they want, if they learn how to manage what they have. If you don’t believe you can afford to save up your spare cash each month, and yet you’ve got a heavy social life and love buying designer brands, then the issue here isn’t the lack of money but how you spend it. Of course, there’s nothing overly wrong with a very active and happy social life, nor is there anything wrong with indulging in designer brands. But if you’re asking yourself how you can manifest more cash while refusing to see the changes you should be making, then there’s an issue! Ask yourself how you afford everything else you buy, and open your eyes to your own spending habits. Getting smart about where you spend your money can make a huge difference to whether you are making good decisions for your future. Those designer handbags are a lovely treat, but if it’s going to stop you spending money on furthering your education and upping your salary, then those treats need reducing!

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Your salary matters.

When you went to college and did your undergrad degree, you likely spent a lot of time daydreaming about moving into the workplace and gaining financial independence from your parents. It’s a dream that most students have and it’s one to strive for. Now you’re in the workplace and you are earning money, you may feel like you still haven’t quite reached your financial potential, so further education is needed. Rather than sit and wonder what can I do with a master’s in psychology, why not save up and take that extra step? Your salary is going to matter in your future – both for retirement reasons and in how you mature as an adult. The salary doesn’t just pay for vacations away and fun, it pays for your potential children, new car and mortgage when the time comes about. If you can maximise your salary by furthering your education, take that chance with both hands and roll with it.

Money buys choices.

Money matters – we’ve established this. People say money cannot make them happy, which is a noble and yet baffling belief! Money may not make people happy, but it’s far easier to be happy when you have cash enough to avoid stress than being without funds. To be able to understand better, the phrase needs to be changed. Money does matter, but buying fancy diamonds does not. It’s not what you earn it’s how you spend it that’s going to help you go further in life. If you’re saving your money for a deposit, it’s going to matter far more than whether you have five diamond encrusted necklaces in your possession, isn’t it? With the right salary, you can give yourself more choices in life. You can choose a different but better home in a nicer neighbourhood. You can choose a more reliable, family-friendly car. Your choices are no longer limited when you have the salary that you crave. You still need to live to a budget for the most part, so that you can afford your bills, but that no longer means scrimping and saving.

Put money front and centre

When you go to high school, you’re asked as a teenager to decide what you want to be in life. The choices you make in high school can have a direct effect on your money management and availability later in life. If you want more from life – the $15,000 new car or the mortgage on the house in the nice area – you have to plan your career around that. You can’t expect to have those bucket list items if you choose not to work hard to achieve them. It’s important to remember that you can always go back to school in later life, so there is no ‘missed chance’ that can affect what you do. You could be in a job that you hate with a low salary and still manage to afford the big-ticket items in life. Juggling your finances, making sound comparisons for your utilities and groceries and making good decisions about where you invest your money are all ways you can still have the things you want. Putting money at the forefront of your career choices can ensure that you are aiming for something that sees you as solvent.

Money management isn’t about being rich

For the most part, school will prepare you to learn that mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, but won’t teach you how to balance your finances or pay your bills. Money education is seriously lacking in the school system of today, and many young adults go out into the world not having a clue how to save for a deposit; they get their salary and blow it every month with only a delayed concern for their actual expenses. You don’t have to be fabulously wealthy to have a good grasp on how you should manage your regular expenses. The super-rich among us tend to manage their money by having advice and help from external agencies like accountants and dedicated financial advisers. The rest of us? Well, spreadsheets such as these along with a grasp of what money comes in and out of the account every week is a good place to start.

Savings can change your life

Okay, so you may not be particularly good with your money, but knowing that saving even a small amount each month can make a difference should count. Look at your overall budget and look at the luxuries you have in your life. Those Starbucks runs twice a week? That money can start to make a big impact on your regular savings account if you start making your own coffee at home instead of buying while out. Emergency expenses – from car repairs to medical bills – crop up far too often and if you aren’t prepared for them you can find yourself in debt that you hadn’t planned. By ensuring you have a savings account regularly topped up and well managed, you won’t have to worry about taking out a loan or a credit card to cover you when things get difficult. There are many ways to challenge yourself to save more, from adding 1, 5 or even 10% of your earnings onto the current amount that you save to skimming your bank balance every week. You can read here about skimming and how you can save a lot of money doing it!

Basing your life on the things you can afford can often make you feel like you don’t have enough. Striving for more is the goal for almost everyone, but living on what you already have is important and learning to manage what you already have can make a huge difference to the way you budget. Budgeting is not an enemy and whether you are on a minimum wage as an income, or you are earning a lot each month.

There’s no rule that says you have to live frugally when you can afford more than that, but getting more from life is the goal here and a frugal lifestyle can help you to achieve the things you want an awful lot quicker than you expect. Setting your own expectations of what you want from life is important, and you should have these expectations from the outset so that you can make career choices based on those. Your financial affairs are always going to impact your life from college all the way to retirement. You don’t get too many chances to make the good choices, so the earlier you work on those the better off your later years will be and the more you’ll get out of the money you have.