Have you been tracking your money? And budgeting? Probably you’re finding a lot of money that’s going toward stuff you don’t need. One way to get that money back and put it to work for you is to change your lifestyle.
What is your lifestyle? Put simply, your lifestyle is your set of behaviors that govern your daily existence, your manner of living.
A few simple lifestyle changes can result in more money at the end of the month. This is more money for your savings goals, or to put toward that big purchase you’ve been dreaming about. If you change your lifestyle, you will also reduce your debt, helping you to meet another one of your financial goals—debt reduction.
To Change Your Lifestyle is not Easy
The truth is, we are creatures of habits. There are good habits and there are habits that are harmful. Our lifestyle is a system of habits that have become comfortable to us. If you want to meet the goal of living within your means, so you have more money to save and put toward debt reduction, then the first place to look is to change your lifestyle. Because your lifestyle, or those things you love to do, could be the very reason that you are trapped in a paycheck-to-paycheck existence.
Here are 6 Lifestyle Choices that Might Be Costing You Money
Perhaps a latte is not your drink, but the point is if you love to stop at the café for your favorite coffee before work, during lunch or on the way home, you are losing money every week that could be feeding your financial goals. According to an Acorns study published in 2018, the average American spends around $92 per month on coffee drinks.
Today, you can find an espresso machine to rival your favorite coffee house. Wake up earlier, and before rushing out the door, make yourself your favorite brew. Take the time to plan your day, and connect with your inner, quiet self. This is one change that will not only improve your performance but also save you money.
Buying What You Can’t Afford
Okay, sometimes those sales advertisements are too good to resist. And, for sure, if it really is a sale (meaning that you have done your research) then it is worth it to buy the product right away. But most sales are not really sales.
If you can’t afford the product, trip, or entertainment excursion, then skip it for now. This lifestyle habit—instant gratification—is one of the biggest debt traps. If you need to put the purchase on your credit card, and you cannot pay the bill in full when it arrives, then don’t buy it.
Change Your Lifestyle and Eat Healthily
If you tend to eat fast food or junk food, change your lifestyle to a healthy one. You will save money on medications, trips to the doctor, lost days at work and peace of mind. When you feel physically, emotionally and physically strong, you will have the power you need to meet all your life goals.
You might say that it costs more to eat healthily. This is partially true. Shop at your local farmers’ markets, buy local and look for sales at your supermarkets. Be sure to only purchase what you will use because throwing away food, which is another lifestyle, will cost you money, not save you money.
First of all, is there something wrong with the water coming out of your tap? If so, then you need bottled water. More often than not though, we have been tricked into believing that we must drink only bottled water. Check the water coming from your tap. Perhaps you just need to add a filter or an ionizer. If you do need bottled water, you don’t need designer labels. Buy good-quality bottled water from a trusted source (be sure to read the label, sometimes the bottled water has come from the tap).
Carpool or Use Public Transportation
A more challenging way to change your lifestyle, depending upon where you live, is to give up your car and use public transportation, ride-share programs or carpool. We love our cars. It costs a lot of money on fuel and upkeep to use your car every day, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. With the proliferation of ride-share programs today, you can easily shave some money off your monthly expenses.
Another option is to move closer to work. You can ride your bike or even walk. Not only will you save money, but you’ll meet your fitness goals too.
Divorce Yourself from the Price tag
If you can divorce yourself from the myth that the more expensive an item is the better the quality, you will find that you have everything you need, plus money to put toward your financial goals. There are some items that are worth the extra money. But, don’t let the price tag be what guides your purchase decisions.