4 Ways to enjoy life on a budget
There is no denying that life can be a little tough on a budget, particularly if you are new to the whole budgeting thing. It can bring on feelings of being deprived, like life is all work and no play. Fortunately, being on a budget doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy life.
Budgeting is a fact of life. Sure, you could go back to living week to week and enjoying spending every last cent of your pay, but you are going to feel even worse if your car breaks down needing thousands of dollars worth of repairs, but you blew your last $100 on clothes you didn’t need in the first place.
It’s all about balance, and finding ways to enjoy life without it costing the earth. Believe it or not, it is possible to enjoy life without spending a cent, or at least while spending very little. These 4 ways to enjoy life on a budget will help keep your budget on track, and have you enjoying life just as much as pre-budget, perhaps just in slightly different ways.
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Surround yourself with frugal and positive people
It’s extremely hard to stick to a budget when everyone around you is encouraging you to spend like there is no tomorrow. If your friends and family keep suggesting outings to expensive cafes and restaurants, despite the fact they know you are trying to save, it’s time to find new people to hang out with.
Sure, it’s fun to eat out every so often, but nothing will drain your bank account faster than eating out every day just to be social. There are plenty of other ways to socialise without blowing the budget. You could pack a picnic and take it to the beach, or take turns visiting everyones houses for a meal, where everyone brings a dish to share.
Surrounding yourself with frugal and positive people will do wonders for budget. These are the types of people who you can openly share your journey with, and who will support you every step of the way.
Switch expensive habits to cheaper ones
Being on a budget doesn’t have to mean you miss out on things entirely, it just means you might have to find a cheaper way to do things. Depriving yourself won’t get you anywhere, so try switching your more expensive habits and expenses to cheaper ones.
For example, if you have a regular pedicure each month at a cost of $50 per month, try buying a few nice nail polishes and foot care products and give yourself a pedicure at home. You still end up with beautifully pedicured nails, and save a bucket load of money in the process.
If you visit the cinema a few times per month, try a Netflix subscription instead. You then have plenty of movies to watch at home, and can skip the expensive cinema snacks.
If you enjoy eating out, try re-creating your favourite restaurant dishes at home. It’s great fun to try out new recipes and see how close you can get your version to the real thing. You might get to the point that you prefer the taste of your own home cooked meals to restaurant versions anyway.
As you can see from the examples above you can save some serious money by changing your spending habits, and that money can then be put toward better use.
Change your idea of luxury
While luxury might be nice, chances are it’s something you can’t really afford, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. I always thought I was a hotel only kind of girl, but since we purchased an old caravan last year I have discovered that a weekend away in our caravan is just as good as a weekend away in a luxury resort, yet it only costs us around $100 for the weekend, kids included.
Despite the fact that a weekend in a caravan park has nothing on a five star resort, I still come home feeling relaxed and as though I have had a good few days break. By taking our caravan away instead of flying to overseas destinations we are saving some serious money, yet we are still having great family time together and making some seriously amazing memories along the way.
The same can be said for shopping. Chances are that $50 handbag is going to give you much the same thrill to purchase as the $500 version. Enjoying life doesn’t have to mean spending insane amounts of money, it really can be done on any budget.
Keep your eyes firmly on the end goal
No matter what your reason is for sticking to a budget, keep your eye firmly on the goal, no matter what you do. Whether it’s finally paying off that debt, saving for a new car, a holiday or purchasing a house, keep that goal in mind.
There is no better motivator to stick to your budget than to imagine just how it’s going to feel once you achieve your goal. Paying off your debt will mean you can spend that money on more meaningful things, and there is no better feeling than buying a new (to you at least) car, and not also being a proud new owner of a car loan in the process.
Never forget why you are working so hard at saving, and remember life can be enjoyed on any budget. Don’t let saving money get in your way of having fun!