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10 Amazing Things You Gain By Spending Less

10 Amazing Things You Gain By Spending Less

Our lives are consumed by constant sense of worth through material items. Do you have the latest TV technology? Do you drive a brand new car?

We are led by our money. We feel that we need money, to buy these material items, in the hope that it will lead us to happiness. I can tell you now, you are wrong. You don’t need money to be happy and spending less will actually relieve you from the stress. Here are 10 amazing things you will gain from spending less.

1. You’ll have a reduced-stress retirement 

Are you in your work pension? Do you ever worry what you are paying in won’t be enough? Do you worry your current spendings will mean a low-budget retirement? But spending less will ease that stress. Remember retirement is about taking it easy, not about appearing wealthy. You have done your years of working hard and saving (for that TV, that car, that house). Now is the time to unwind and to spend time with family and friends. Your stressful days are done.

2. You’ll be free to do what you love

Do you ever feel that there is not enough time for your hobbies? I know I do. I keep thinking, “Oh, I’ll take some photos on my DSLR tonight.” Tonight comes and I become busy working out my finances and worrying about what I need to buy. Next thing I know, it’s nearly bed time and all I want to do is watch TV.

Freeing yourself from money worries will open the door to new possibilities. Stop spending your time thinking of things that you need. You don’t need new surround sound, or to replace those salt and pepper mills (because they don’t match the rest of the kitchen). Free yourself from those worries and spend the time doing the things you love. Say, “No, I have finished work for the day, now it is me time”. Spend that time on whatever you love, whether it is painting or reading a book. Whatever it may be, the options are in your hands.

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3. You’ll be free to prepare for emergencies

Disaster strikes and with it your bank balance drops drastically. And those car repairs or vet bills cannot wait for a more convenient time. As a result your overdraft, credit card and future bills are left in a confusing and catastrophic state.
Spending less means that you have the opportunity to put away savings. That way, when disaster strikes, you won’t be left penniless. You feel at ease knowing that you have those savings set aside should you need it.

4. You’ll have less clutter

Do you ever look around your room and think, why did I buy that? Or perhaps you have glanced at the endless items you have in storage and wondered why you bought it.

If you are spending less, that clutter won’t accumulate. Imagine the relief from having only items you need, not a mountain of junk. This can be very stress reliving as you will have less time needed for de-cluttering.

5. You’ll be free of debt

The credit card statement has come through. The amount of debt is frightening and you wonder how you will pay it back.

Wouldn’t you feel better if there were no debts to worry about? Of course you would. Freeing yourself from constant spending will make it easy to become debt free. Focus less on the ‘wants’ in life, which snatch away your money. Choose to cease spending and use your money on things you need.

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By becoming debt free, you will take the pressure of yourself. You won’t be frequently worrying about how you are going to pay it back. Another benefit of this is your credit score will not be affected.

6. You’ll be free to travel and see the world

Your mind is wandering again at work. You imagine how blissful it would be to be free to travel, to see the world. If only that was reality. But it could be with the correct approach.

Spending less opens you up to new opportunities, including travelling. If you can learn to spend less, you are more than capable of exploring the world. Not only will you have the money set aside (see point 3), but you will have the right attitude for travelling. Travelling is about exploring other cultures, with food and shelter being the only necessity. You will find yourself experiencing different lifestyles, not wasting time on going shopping. Remember, you should spend money on experiences, not on material items.

7. You’ll have happier relationships

Ever had a row with your partner because he spent money on the credit card? And the argument just seems to keep going, spiralling out of control, until you have forgotten what you were arguing about.

Money puts a strain on our relationships. We shouldn’t let it affect our relationships, yet it does. We all fear being financially unstable and not being able to afford things. Unfortunately we tend to vent out of worries and frustrations on our un-expecting partners. However, if you are spending less, making you financial stable, there will be less strain on your relationship. You can’t argue if you aren’t constantly spending. This results in happier relationships.

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8. You’ll learn new skills

Do you feel like you never have the time to learn a new skill? Have you always been meaning to learn a new language, but never got around to it?

Spending less money will free up your time. Just think about how much time you spend on useless money spending; searching online for a new wardrobe, finding the latest gaming gadgets, bargain hunting, the list goes on. With all this free time on your hands, you can finally learn that new skill. You can learn a new language or learn DIY tricks, whatever tickles your fancy.

9. You’ll be healthier

Finances restrict us. They take up our time, our energy and resources. You may feel that you don’t have time to work out, or you’re so stressed you need to pig out. As a result, your health takes a hit.

Spending less will greatly boost your health. It will take away your stress as you are no longer fretting over finances. That spare time you have gained will allow you to work out. You will have your full attention on your eating habits and be less likely to stress eat.

10. You’ll enjoy life

Our day-to-day lives are fairly manic. We get caught up in life’s motions that we forget to enjoy the moment. Among these culprits is money spending. It is regularly on our to-do lists; buy milk, find Hayley a cool birthday present, buy new yoga pants.

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This is where the true beauty of spending less comes to play. Our focus on money takes away life’s joys, straining our lives and turning our focus on material items. Spending less teaches us that we don’t need these things to be happy. It allows us to look at the current moment we are in, to appreciate what we have and to experience life.

Life is too beautiful to spend it worrying about material things.

Featured photo credit: sufinawaz via freeimages.com

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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