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Should You Enjoy Your Life or Save Money?

smiling woman wearing orange holding a credit card and laptop

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Can you live your best life AND save money? Is this a question that you ask yourself? Listen, you can do BOTH. It does take some planning but I know you can save (and even pay off debt) while still spending on things you value.

1. Redefining “Living Your Best Life”

What does it mean to you to live your best life? What do you truly value? Your best life could be having experiences and traveling to new places. Being happy in your relationships might be enough to give you a great life. Do you want to be able to pick your kids up from school? Want to splurge on vacation? Spend more time with your family and/or friends? Money doesn’t have to be the only measure of living your best life. Take some time and write down what you truly value so you can decide how you should be spending and saving. 

2. The Myth of Sacrifice

I know you have all heard that you should not spend on anything that gives you joy until all of your debt is paid off or even a savings goal is reached. Let me tell you a little secret…That is NOT TRUE! You can still enjoy your life while saving money and paying off debt. Your morning coffees or one date a month are not ever going to add up enough to pay your mortgage or car payment. It can even be counter productive to be so frugal that you never enjoy your life. Think about it if you are on a diet and you don’t eat those chips you love, when you finally eat them you binge and eat way too much. That’s what can happen with money too. You aren’t spending on going out to eat or grabbing your favorite drink and then you just break and over spend. Give yourself the flexibility within your budget to buy what you need. Account for it and then you won’t feel bad next time you are sipping that coffee. 

3. Prioritizing Financial Goals

If you have 1238012 goals you want to save for, you need to take time to prioritize them. You must set clear financial goals so that you know where you need to budget your money. If you want to go on a vacation next year that you know will cost $5000 then decide how much money you will need to put aside each month to get you to that goal. You can even break it into smaller goals if that helps you feel more successful with your goals. Are you unsure how to work on multiple goals at one time? Check out my workshop Managing Money Goals (get 60% off right now!) to help you decide exactly HOW to prioritize goals so you can pay off debt, save, AND spend at the same time. If you are just starting out saving money, start with doing an automatic draft to your savings every paycheck. Even if you can’t put as much money as you would like, start with something so that you get yourself into the habit of always putting away some money for savings. Building habits is an important part of being able to follow through with your financial goals. 

4. Mindful Spending vs. Frugality

When you think about spending frugally, what do you think? Are you seeing yourself never buying anything or having to buy everything second hand and from thrift stores? There is nothing wrong with that but it is not for everyone. Instead of thinking about spending frugally, think about spending mindfully. What does that mean? You are making a plan for your money and YOU decide where it goes. You know where every dollar is going so you know how much money you have to spend and decide what you want to spend it on. It is not never spending but spending intentionally and making sure you are balancing your spending with saving. 

5. Building a Budget That Works for You

You must have a budget that works for you. My budget is not going to look exactly like your budget but I know my budget strategies work (they’ve helped over 100 people). Once you do a money audit and set your goals, then you can create your budget. Your budget for one month or one paycheck might not look that same as the next month. It’s okay! Budgets should work for you. Make sure that you are tracking your expenses so you know how much you have to save for emergencies, vacations, or any sinking funds that you have in place. Don’t think of a budget as being restrictive but it is a tool to help you achieve your financial goals. 

6. Embracing Minimalism and Quality Over Quantity

We have all heard about keeping objects in our homes that give us joy and ridding our homes of things we don’t like or never use. It is so easy to accumulate stuff that we don’t really need. So, before you go buy something, think: is this something that you need and that you will use or is something that is going to be in the back of the closet before the month ends. Instead of acquiring things, what if you spent your money on experiences? Think about what fun memories I can make. Are you a foodie? There might be a cool restaurant you would like to try instead of buying something you  might not really need, use that money for a great meal. 

7. Generating Additional Income Streams   

It seems like these last few years, side hustles and passive income are the buzzwords. They are everywhere because people are trying to find ways to make extra income. It is never a bad idea to have multiple streams of income. If one stream of income ends, you always have another stream of income to help you be more financially stable. Are there some things you could do to make more income? Can you babysit, be a dog walker, tutor online, create logos or other digital products? There are so many ways to make money online now that if you want another stream of income doing a little research might not be a bad thing to do. 

8. Cultivating Financial Mindfulness  

Making financial decisions when you know exactly how much money you have and where you want your money to go, will give you such a peace of mind (and you’ll probably sleep better too). I know it is scary if you haven’t checked your account in a while but you need to go all in and take action today. Don’t be afraid of your finances. Get in front of them and decide where you want your money to go so that you are in charge and are able to spend your money how you want to spend it. 

If you have a realistic plan, you CAN save and spend. Making memories and saving money will help you to have a balanced life and find more enjoyment doing what you love. Need help creating your realistic plan you can actually stick to? It is time to join my Flourish FinanciALLI program. I will work with you to create a budget that will help you live your best life!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alli Williams

I’m the CEO of FinanciALLI Focused LLC and our mission is to you get rid of financial anxiety, build wealth & reach your big money goals. You can pay off debt, save, and spend at the same time (I’ve done it, you can too). 

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