Financial freedom and stability is something we all strive for. Though the road to accomplishing these goals is often a long and calculated path, in the end it works out for all involved. That being said, we’ve all heard the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
The truth of the matter is that if we’re always beating ourselves over the head to erase debt and become financially well off – we can burn out easily.
Failure to take time out of your life to enjoy it and the people around you can really put a damper on your goal to become financially secure. So we recommend that you periodically give yourself a little treat.
How do you treat yourself when you don’t necessarily have the financial means to afford what you want? You think outside the box.
5 Ways to Afford the Luxuries of Life on a Shoestring Budget
Below are five ways you can afford some of the luxurious things life has to offer without necessarily having the budget to afford it:
1. Reassess Your Needs
Everyone has been guilty at one time in their life of living beyond their means. In other words, we’ve made some purchase or incurred some expense that wasn’t necessarily in the budget simply because we felt it was a necessity. Whether it’s a four bedroom house, a larger car, or an upgrade to your cell phone data plan, it all adds up.
So ask yourself, “Do I really need it?” Are there ways around the expenses you’ve incurred in your life? Can you downsize to a two bedroom house and let the kids share a room? Can you ditch the data plan and just utilize Wi-Fi connections? If you can make adjustments to the things you assume you need, you may find that there is a LOT of money that can be used.
2. Ask Friends and Family
Your friends and family are valuable resources that you can use if you’re looking to afford something that is out of your price range. Now I’m not suggesting that you ask to borrow money, but asking them to pitch in for their own purpose may prove beneficial.
For example, if you were interested in purchasing a boat, but didn’t think you could afford the boat finance option on your own, you could ask a friend or family member if they’re interested in going half on the boat with you. They would cosign the lease with you and you’d split the payments in half and set up some form of agreement on when each of you could use the boat. This would cut the cost of the luxury in half.
3. Save Your Coins
Sometimes if you want to enjoy the simple luxuries of life you just have to apply patience. Whether you want a new wardrobe, to get away on vacation, or to purchase a new vehicle, if you don’t have the money for it, your next best step is to wait it out. Get a total or estimate for how much it will cost and begin saving your coins. Setting up a visual goal board would be a great way to keep you motivated. Whether you’re simply saving a few coins in the coin jar or you’re going to designate a certain portion of your paycheck to the cost of the item seeing how close you’re getting to your goal will make it easy for you to keep saving.
Are there things that you could do yourself but you’ve been paying a professional to do it for you? While you should never try to attempt anything on your own that has a high risk of danger (i.e. fixing electrical wiring around the house), if it’s something fairly simple that you can learn on your own – why not acquire a new skill and save yourself some money? For example, changing the oil or tires on your vehicle, doing your own hair and nails instead of paying a salon, or cleaning the gutters instead of contacting a roofer can save you hundreds of dollars so that you can afford other luxuries.
A lot of times consumers miss out on savings simply because they don’t ask. The truth of the matter is that many companies offer discount programs and sales opportunities, but they don’t always advertise them. Why? Well, because they’re in the business of making as much money as possible. If you ask a service provider about coupons or upcoming sales, they’re going to guide you right to them because they’d prefer you to do business with them than someone else. So before you make a purchase, ask if there’s another way you can save.
Though this list might not help you eat at five-star restaurants and drive the meanest sports car on the daily basis, it will help you to afford those simple luxuries that you’ve been longing for. Sometimes it simply requires re-evaluation and other times it calls for a few sacrifices. However, by following the list of advice given above, you’ll learn to enjoy life a lot easier as you continue to work at meeting financial milestones.