Your ultimate goal is to be financially successful when you look at your life in the long-term. In order for you to reach your financial goals, you need to know what you want today and tomorrow and spend accordingly. Decide what it is that you want, what you currently value, and the feeling you want to have after each purchase. Do you spend your money on items or experiences? What are you willing to cut out or do less often? Save as much as possible to free up money to spend more on things you currently can’t afford but would like. So to put it in simple words, Save money first and spend intentionally and Love What You Buy Every Time.
With anything you want to change or grow in your life, you must be intentional. Have a plan. First, look at where your money is being allocated, and then move it around to fit your wants and needs better. Pay yourself first, then put automatic pay on your needs and savings.
Here are 5 ways you can enjoy your money now and love what you spend your money on.
- Save intentionally
There is no way you can spend consciously each day without having some sort of savings, whether that is an emergency fund, 401k, or a savings app like Acorns. This is where paying yourself first comes in. For any sum of money you receive, take a percentage you are comfortable with and save it. If you are a tither, then of course this will come second. Next, pay your bills, then whatever is left you can spend on whatever you like. You have taken care of responsibilities of saving for a rainy day and your immediate needs. Now it is time to spend guilt-free on the things you enjoy.
2. Spend money in real time
We are in a culture of spend now pay later. Credit cards can be very beneficial to you when used responsibly, but for most of us, this is not the case. Avoiding debt as much as possible is best when trying to create good spending habits. Credit allows you to live above your means when you should be living below them. Spending from cash or your debit cards will minimize overspending. You will do your best to spend your money only on things that bring value to you. It helps to think twice before purchasing something. Think, “how can I do this or buy this with little money as possible or for free?”
3. Track what you are spending your money on now
Do your bills take up all of your funds, so you have to use the credit card to supplement? Try calling the companies to see if you can lower your monthly payments. Figure out what bills you can eliminate. Are you spending your money on the latest clothes, going out to eat at expensive restaurants frequently, or are you a traveler and that is where your money is going? All of the above are great things that you can enjoy now, because let’s face it, tomorrow is not a guarantee. In order to love what you buy, you need to track how and what you spend your money on and prioritize accordingly. Learn how to go without at certain times, and learn when it is time to splurge. Set reasonable financial goals and stick to them. Wait for a sale to shop, eat out just on special occasions, and try not to travel to during peak seasons. This will take some thought and creativity, but it is worth it.
4. Free up your money
Where you can cut costs, do it! This will lower your monthly bills, and after you have paid yourself with the savings account, you have more to spend on the things you love. Think of services that you pay for that you can do yourself, like getting a carwash, or hiring a dog walker. If you have no money to spare, then focus on saving until you do.
5. Buy what brings value to your life
Understanding why you spend money and what you spend it on is important. It answers the question of what you value, or maybe what you should value. We buy things to get a feeling, or to meet a need if you are really disciplined. We seek the feeling of fulfilment, status, or indulgence. Regardless of the reason, it is your reason and it’s important. Spend your hard-earned money on things that bring value into your life. Ask, “is it life giving? Does it help or hurt? Will it bring joy or pain?”
Being an intentional spender is rewarding. You are being responsible and taking control of your life by getting ahead of your finances. Stop the cycle of overspending on things that mean nothing to you. Spend for today while setting your future self-up for success. You can have both with a little thought and creativity.