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Budget is a word so many people dread. For them, having a budget feels so restrictive and no fun. However, financial experts agree that you need a budget to put your financial house in order; keep your bills manageable and be on top of your own money.
While budgeting seems like a daunting task most especially for those with a small income, it is most imperative for a great financial life. And living life on a budget doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, you can live a good life while keeping a close eye on your finances.
Here are four things I do to still enjoy life even while on a budget.
1.Surround yourself with positive and frugal people.
One of the best things I’ve learned in the recent years is learning who to hang out with. If your friends are always eating, partying or drinking out, their expensive habits are likely to rub into you.
Whether you’re budgeting out of frugality or just because finances are tight, it’s good to surround yourself with people who are likewise frugal and have positive perspective about money. You might agree on potluck dinners at home instead of dining in expensive restaurants or you can take turns baby- sitting each other’s kids to minimize the cost of daycare bills.
2.Substitute high cost habits and expenses with low cost ones.
Are you regularly dropping $60 twice a month for a mani-pedi and few more dollars for hair styling at the salon? These expenses can add up. Perhaps you can do it yourself at home or have a friend do it for you at a lesser cost. You can also reduce the cost of movie tickets by opting for Netflix and Hulu at home. If you don’t find your cable or magazine subscription worthwhile anymore, it’s time to cut them off from your life and use the money for better things.
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Check out this post on how to save $3000 in 5 months.
If at the back of your mind luxury will always be nights spent at luxurious hotels, cruising to exotic islands and shopping in outlet stores, you might have to scale back and redefine it. You could spend the night in less expensive resorts or boutique hotels, go to the beach and shop at less expensive places and still have fun. You don’t always have to blow ridiculous amount of money or break the bank to enjoy life. Aim at the quality of the experience rather than on the cost.
Related Post: How Minimalism Can Change Your Life and Finances
4.Keep your eyes on the prize.
Are you being frugal so you can finally purchase your dream home, a new car or save up for retirement? These goals will give more meaning to why you’re on a budget and motivate you to see through it. Whether you’re being frugal for a reason or by nature, living life on a budget will help you be on track with your financial goals.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be very demanding or consuming. You just need to allocate a few minutes each day or week to draft your budget and follow through it as you make financial decisions day after day.
It is unavoidable to be tempted by things outside your budget, like a shiny pair of stilettos, a pretty dress or a new gadget. You can always make room for them in your budget so you can spend money without guilt. However, if your budget is currently too tight, you can make cuts elsewhere to free up money or simply wait until you’ve saved up funds to avail those things without ruining your budget. Enjoying life on a budget means being content with what you have right now while keeping your sights to your financial goals.
Do you have any tips on how to enjoy life on a budget?