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20 Reasons Why Being Broke Can Be Happy And Fun

20 Reasons Why Being Broke Can Be Happy And Fun

Unless you’ve been really lucky, or somehow managed to land an amazing job right out of school, you probably know what it feels like to be pretty flat broke.

You know, scraping by to make rent, buy groceries, pay off student loans, and still have a tiny, tiny amount to live like a normal person.

But you’ve gotta admit: there are some good parts about being broke.

Don’t believe it? Check it out.

How Being Broke Can Be Pretty Sweet

1. When it comes to having fun, you get creative.

Who needs to spend a ton of money at the club when you can do this:

jim-carrey-tape-o

    2. When you do go to the club, your friends often offer to buy you a drink…

    alcohol

      3. …because they know when you’re doing well financially, you’ll return the favor.

      Any time you’re out with friends and you don’t have to worry about the bar tab, this is you:

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      gatsby

        4. You appreciate the pure beauty of thrift stores.

        macklemore

          Seriously, Macklemore’s got it right. It’s so much fun!

          5. And you totally rock the look you’ve got, because you’re no walking billboard.

          Don’t need any Prada to strut your stuff!

          giphy

            6. Sale at your favorite store? Drink specials? Free Ritas? Yeah, you already know about all that.

            yes

              You are the queen / king of coupons. You know, since you kinda need that extra money for, like, sustenance and stuff.

              7. You treat the possessions you do have with so much care.

              When you finally manage to save up enough money for a working computer, that sucker will last.

              pleadingcomputer

                8. You’ve learned to cope with stress.

                You don’t mind being busy or balancing a billion things, just as long as you’re not checking your bank account balance. Because when you do, you generally react like this:

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                bank account

                  9. On payday, you feel like this…

                  treat yoself

                    …even if “treating yourself” means buying takeout for dinner that night. This lo mein tastes like victory.

                    10. Speaking of food, you appreciate everything that’s not rice or Ramen way more.

                    mac and cheese

                      11. And when you only have a few things left in the fridge, you make it work.

                      When someone tries to explain that you can’t make a meal out of ketchup, tuna, and Saltines, you’re like…

                      challenge

                        12. The dollar menu exists, and it’s a wonderful thing.

                        mcdonalds

                          Well, at least it is for the first three minutes, until you’re like this:

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                          dying

                            But let’s just take that as it comes.

                            13. That moment you find a twenty in the pocket of your old pants…

                            …pretty much pure bliss.

                            dollar

                              14. Your willpower is unbreakable.

                              You’ve got a budget, and you’re sticking to it!

                              no

                                 

                                Mainly because you’re slightly afraid of what would happen if you didn’t, but shhhhh.

                                15. You know that when you do make the big bucks, you will know how to manage it.

                                You’ll see your friends buying $8 coffees at Starbucks, and you’ll still be like:

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                                nooo

                                  16. But you know that money isn’t the important thing.

                                  You’ve learned how to have fun and love life without a ton of it.

                                  fun

                                    17. For example, who needs a gym when you can go outside and soak up the sun?

                                    hot babe

                                      18. And who needs a fancy wine and cheese night when you can have a Netflix and pizza night?

                                      tv

                                        So much more fun. (A huge thanks to that friend whose Netflix account you’ve bombarded.)

                                        19. Because you know that you appreciate what you can afford a million times more…

                                        You don’t take life for granted. Every time you get something nice, even if it’s little, you react like this:

                                        overjoyed

                                          And life is way nicer that way.

                                          20. …and you have learned what is really important.

                                          friends

                                            Featured photo credit: Sharon Drummond via flickr.com

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                                            Published on May 7, 2019

                                            How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                                            How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                                            When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

                                            Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

                                            Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

                                            You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

                                            Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

                                            1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

                                            Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

                                            But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

                                            • Will you spend more time with your family?
                                            • What does retirement mean to you?
                                            • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

                                            Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

                                            Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

                                            2. Figure out When to Invest

                                            “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

                                            It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

                                            The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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                                            A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

                                            Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

                                            3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

                                            Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

                                            Why?

                                            Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

                                            Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

                                            Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

                                            Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

                                            4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

                                            Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

                                            If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

                                            You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

                                            1. Vanguard
                                            2. TD Ameritrade
                                            3. Charles Schwab

                                            5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

                                            Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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                                            Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

                                            That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

                                            Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

                                            A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

                                            6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

                                            The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

                                            Robo Advisors

                                            Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

                                            Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

                                            Bonds

                                            Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

                                            Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

                                            Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

                                            1. Treasury bonds
                                            2. Government bonds
                                            3. Corporate bonds
                                            4. Foreign bonds
                                            5. Mortgage-backed bonds
                                            6. Municipal bonds

                                            Mutual Funds

                                            Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

                                            One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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                                            Real Estate

                                            Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

                                            Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

                                            This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

                                            But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

                                            Savings Accounts

                                            Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

                                            7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

                                            Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

                                            So how can you master delayed gratification?

                                            By building your discipline.

                                            Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

                                            Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

                                            8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

                                            I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

                                            It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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                                            More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

                                            But, how can you invest yourself?

                                            Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

                                            Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

                                            But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

                                            Retire Happy with Excess Money

                                            The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

                                            It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

                                            I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

                                            Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

                                            One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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                                            Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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