The goal isn’t more money. The goal is living your life on your own terms.Chris Brogan
Saving money has got to have a purpose. If you don’t use it for anything, it is going to make you unhappy and miserable. Money is a means to live a life that you want. Being conscious of where the money is going will really help you dial down things that you don’t want/need. This will free up that dollar to be spent on things you do want to do.
2019 and 2020 have been the years for us where we dialled down every single expense to focus on buying our dream home. To save for our house deposit, we reduced everything else to a bare minimum including takeouts, subscriptions. We made sure we were looking for houses in our current budget (not how much our income will increase to in the future). We also accounted for additional costs that accompany owning a house. We could comfortably buy all new furniture, cover moving costs and still plan vacations when and where we wanted to.
For us, our happy and successful life is having the time and money to spend on things we love. Not only for when we retire, but also now. If we don’t enjoy our life right now, when we have the energy to be active, we will be living a miserable life until retirement. We follow a modified version of the Barefoot investor strategy. We save money every month to automatically go into bills, mortgage, other variable expenses. We also have an emergency savings account (fire extinguisher) and a long term savings account (investments). This allows us to be completely worry free when unexpected expenses come such as car’s tyre replacements, or medical expenses.
- Live your successful life – We earn money for a purpose. So we can live a comfortable, secure, safe, and healthy life. We generally live a minimal life, but we have things and experiences that bring joy to us. We spend on travel. We got a dog into our lives 2 weeks ago. My entire thought process changed to being in the moment with him. We love spending time with him. He brings us so much joy.
- Have goals and stick to them – We have short and long term money goals. Every month we spend 5 mins to look at our accounts and make sure we are saving as planned. It is hard sometimes to not spend on everything, thinking about long term goals really help in aligning your goals.
- Eliminate expenditure that doesn’t bring your joy – Why would you spend on something that doesn’t bring you joy. It is that simple. Be critical, review your expenses, remove unnecessary expenses and think about the value it is bringing into your life. If it is failing to spark that light then elimination is the best strategy. What brought you joy in the past may not bring the same value now. It is okay to change your financial priorities over time.
Whatever your definition of successful life is, live it now. The sweet spot between ‘you only live once’ and ‘happy comfortable relaxed retired life’ is the balance you are aiming for.