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10 Incredibly Easy Ways To Live Better While Spending Less

10 Incredibly Easy Ways To Live Better While Spending Less

You don’t have to break the bank and live paycheck to paycheck, spending your hard-earned cash on things… just to enjoy the good life.

A few alternates you can choose from include:

1. Define Your Goals

What is the good life for you? Having more money so you can afford to stay at home all day, Netflixing and eating whatever you want, whenever you want?

One of the toughest things for me to figure out, has been this: what the Hell am I working for?

If I was working myself to the bone for food… Food came and gone. My life isn’t happier for that. So it’s not food.

Was I working for the weekend? Being able to hit bars, drink myself stupid, and spend the rest of the weekend sleeping and watching TV?

Every time I did that, I felt like I was missing out on SO much more life had to offer. Not to mention, hangovers hamper my creativity – and this creativity I cherish above almost anything. So I didn’t want money to party more.

Why you want more money is a hard thing to figure out. Some say to travel more. Where? Why? To see the sights? What is it about the sights that fulfills you?

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Find out what it is.

2. Grow a Garden

Aside from saving gas on trips to the grocery store, buying your own seeds and planting your own crops cuts down on pollution.

Not to mention that, because you’re growing your own, you don’t have to worry about pesticides and GMO chemicals most commercial farms put in their junk.

Another plus is you can grow exactly what you need. Everything we buy in stores has such a pricey-tag because (oh no!) it had to be cut before being packaged. The horror.

3. Carpool

Aside from that one person we can’t stand – the only downside to carpooling is some people have such small cars.

But for cutting down on gas and spending time with good people, certainly makes a strong case for carpooling.

It’ll also give you time to get to know more about people, things you didn’t know beforehand. Remember: everybody has a story, even if they themselves aren’t sure about that.

4. Declutter Your Home

I don’t know about you, but I always feel rejuvenated when my home is nice and clean and not a war zone.

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The key to living a better life is managing your life. There is no other place in your life you can completely control than your home. So why not take control of your life and maintain your dominance?

People also say that, when you’re depressed or sad, cleaning helps boost your spirits and health, as well. Another reason for keeping your home clean is, for me at least, it makes me feel more professional.

Who doesn’t want to feel like a professional while walking around in their underwear?

5. Swap Clothes

When it’s time to buy yourself or your children new clothes… there is no cheaper option than trading clothes with a neighbour or Tradezone.

Not only do you get new clothes (well, new to you), you save $10-40 that some store clothes go for. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to get some face time with strangers – and what’s life if we don’t make the most of each and every experience?

You’ll never know who you’ll meet in the course of a day.

6. Barter Better Rates

Bartering is a skill, a world-class skill that separates people who talk… From people who “talk.”

You’ll also learn more about how to persuade people, and how to wear a more confident face when you’re dealing with people. Name one person those benefits won’t work for.

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Let’s face it: sometimes, people are stubborn and you just want them to see your way. Not to agree with you, rather… Showing them your point of view. Bartering with cashiers, who hold onto their money like an iron monkey death grip, are a tough crowd.

Wack five or ten or twenty bucks off their original bid, when you’re selling, and you’ve learned the first rule of salesmanship. (I can’t tell you what that is – only people who have been there will understand. So get bartering.)

7. Host a Family Dinner

Unless you’re a black sheep of the family, or ostracised from members for whatever reason – family time goes by like no time at all. It truly is the most cherished, wonderful time for creating memories that will never be the same.

So, prolong the good times (and create new ones!) by letting your fam know that you’re going to have a dinner at your place.

The catch?

It’s a potluck. Everybody brings their own special, unique dish that they and only they are known for. (Mine would happen to be Indian Fry Bread.)

8. Save Raises

When you get a raise, save half of it. Be sure to do the same with each and every bonus you get. The time for satisfying your instant gratification by blowing it on “what you want,” is over. Paying bills and living life become a lot more bearable when you aren’t buying in bulk at Costco and the Price Club.

You’ll never get anywhere if you keep doing what you’re doing. Start with your wallet.

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Plus, with all that money saved, you can go on a budget family vacation much more often.  You can share the cab and even hotel rooms with your family – all you have to do is plan in advance and make necessary arrangements/bookings at least a month before so that you can get better prices.

9. Make Breakfast Early

Like, the day before early. For me, waking up in the morning is pure Hell. Having to make coffee, clean up the house from the night before (we have a terrible tendency to not put away dinner plates and go straight to bed)… and waking up in general… is like trying to calm down a dragon by handing it a dish rag.

It just doesn’t work. On top of all that, I’m supposed to make breakfast? Forget that.

Simple solution: make what I want to eat, in the morning, hours before I go to sleep. Pop it in the fridge or freezer – bam. Instant breakfast.

10. Cherish Experiences

This is the most important key for a better life: invest in experiences, rather than things and items. George Carlin said it best when he said, “A house is just a box of stuff with a roof on it.”

We don’t need fancy stuff. What we need is shared time together with our loved ones – the ones who make us happy. A fulfilled life can’t be quenched to its core, by expensive cars or other goodies.

“We buy things we don’t need with money, we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” – Ed Norton

Final Words

Only you can choose to be content – nobody can choose it for you. You have to find your sweet spot in life, manage your time wisely (we all have only 24 hours), and pursue the best things in life. For yourself, for others, with others. Together.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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