So how do we achieve wealth?
We are told, Make more money, take a second job or Follow some online Gurus strategies to wealth.
I agree with all of the above if you really want that wonderful feeling of financial freedom, making more money is an obvious solution. But here’s another idea…..as a way to accelerate that process what about good old fashioned living within our means?
It’s just not that hard folks!
It’s also another way to wealth. It’s often one people don’t want to hear about because they can’t imagine life without regular takeaway meals and the newest car.
You know you won’t ever hear me talk about how to reduce the cost of meals to one dollar per person, or how to use coupons. That’s not the way I live. But you will hear me talk about going without the latest technology, or trying to keep up with the latest fashion if it is going to cause you to lay awake at night worrying about how to pay the credit card bill that’s due next week.
Call me an old-fashioned girl, but I love paying my credit card completely each month and I love living debt free. Yes, we have been blessed with an amazing online income, but we also spend FAR less than we earn and definitely don’t spend on unnecessary things. The way I make a “game” for myself is simple…..
I am inspired by the idea of reducing my footprint on this beautiful planet and do all I can to make a difference. So with that in mind, it’s actually easier to reduce my spending and not from a place of “going without” but from an honest, heartfelt attempt to reduce consumerism and leave the planet better than I found it. I am a firm believer in reducing consumerism. I will happily sit and watch documentaries about how to reduce our waste (especially plastic and food waste) and then go and apply the strategies they talk about.
I know people that really struggle as soon as they try to reduce their spending, they are so used to buying what they want, when they want it, that it’s actually painful to them to have to cut back, even if they are doing it to save for something they truly want like a house deposit. I know people that just never get the big things they want in life because they just can’t step of the consumer treadmill. They are caught in the debt cycle and think it’s perfectly OK to use finance for their latest toy or holiday because debt is all they know. It is way too easy to get credit these days, so most of us do!!
But to be able to take a step back and reassess and re-evaluate what matters takes courage and commitment.
Having a focus that is something other than deprivation is so important in this game of becoming debt free. My daughter was telling me, she and her finance made a game out of saving for their wedding and I’m sure they will do the same thing when it comes time to buy their first home. Did it make it easier for them to save, you bet.
If living a simple life is something that appeals to you, check out one of my favorite blogs Mr. Money Mustache. He is the absolute master of reducing spending, waste, and living simply. (ha, he can even tell you how to reduce the cost of each meal down to one dollar!) He has a simple strategy to retire young; reduce spending, pay off debt, save a slab of cash to invest and retire!
So what is your game to make extra money, start saving and paying off debt?
Not everyone wants to live simply like us, you may really want to live a different way and have all the toys, so you could follow the advice of another one of our friends, who is an incredibly successful man, Self-taught and self-made who has the attitude if you can’t pay cash you’re not really rich, that goes for everything from his Rolls Royce convertible to his mansion in Las Vegas! But he started small from his parent’s house in sunny Queensland and earned before he spent! Hm, there seems to be a pattern here! I don’t think either lifestyle is right or wrong, but please do it from a place of freedom not being trapped by debt.
Sorry if I sound like a stuck record, but my greatest delight is knowing we can take a day off to go for a great walk or have a catch up with friends or family without having to worry about how we are going to earn money that day. Firstly we actually don’t need to earn that much anymore (ah the sound of being debt free) to meet our needs and secondly, we now have a great leveraged income. Yeah yeah, I can hear some of you saying, “Well, it’s easy for you, you’ve got a good income….etc, etc” but only a few years ago, we had to take stock, find solutions and then prioritize as we started to rebuild our income.
Don’t forget we were way below zero for quite awhile there, so we have done the laying awake worrying at night routine! It was a seriously conscious choice to build our online portfolio after our work day and to reduce spending everywhere we could because we knew what we wanted in our lives and it sure as s…t wasn’t debt!
And here’s the clincher, the less debt you have to worry about, the more headspace you have to get creative about how to earn more money! It’s this wonderful cycle. Start reducing spending to help reduce debt which means more income which leads to less debt which leads to more creativity time for more income and so on! It’s pretty cool to sit together and explore and implement some of the hundreds (thousands) of ways to make money online instead of sitting together trying to juggle cash flow to pay more bills than we have the money for.
So if you are way behind the eight ball with lots of debt and not enough income maybe it’s time to hustle. It might require a bit of pain to get the gain. Can you reduce TV time and start finding ways to make extra cash. Can you start a debt reduction plan, starting with the most expensive debt (normally credit cards) and pay them off sooner rather than later.
I was looking at my credit card details when I was paying last month’s bill and if I had paid the minimum amount instead of the full amount it would have taken something ridiculous like 65 years to pay the balance! Talk about a trap. I wish I could give everyone a glimpse of what it feels like to wake up and get to choose how you are going to spend your day with total freedom, but as I can’t, I guess all I can do is to encourage anyone who has a debt problem or a “not enough income” problem (including a mortgage) to start with baby steps and get on top of it. It’s your life and you get to make that choice. What are some of the ways you reduce debt, earn extra income and live a more fulfilling life?