We live in a society where working long hours is expected and taking a vacation can be seen as lazy. I have worked with numerous companies in which the longer the hours you work the more likely you are to advance. Meaning, I’ve watched co-workers killing themselves to get that promotion by working at all hours of the day/night and not taking any time off to prove how much they care about their job. The result, is they normally are promoted and they get that fat raise. However, is it really worth it? What’s the point of life if all you do is work?
I have never fit into this type of workplace culture as I am a huge adovcate of the expression, “I work to live, I don’t live to work”. I am a hard worker, growing up on a farm and still living on a small farm, but when it comes to choosing between living life and working at a desk – you will see me peacing out and opting for living life over the fat paycheck.
Well how do you live life without the paycheck? Quit spending money that doesn’t need to be spent. Live frugal and know where you can splurge. Start budgeting. It is that easy. Set a budget and stick to it.
The More You Make The More You Spend
I need to make more money. This thought plagues most of us, but the reality is you don’t actually need to make more, you need to be more aware of where your money is going. The fact is the more you make the more you spend. I get so tired of hearing the statement, “living paycheck to paycheck”. If you are living this way, that is because of choices you are making or have made in the past. If funds are tight you need to take some ownership and take a hard look at your finances – where is your money going? Seriously, track every damn dime you are spending. In doing so, you likely will see how many non-essential items you are splurging on, but then complaining you have no money.
You are the reason why you are broke. Now, I may sound cold-hearted, but this is a reality check most of us are in need of.
I am Broke Because…
Problem: My rent is super expensive and eats up most of my paycheck
Solution: Sorry hun, but you chose to move there knowing how much the rent was. Maybe your career changed after you moved in affecting your ability to afford your digs, but if that’s the case you need to consider your options of moving, subletting, or getting a roommate.
Problem: Self care is important – I need to splurge on myself
Solution: Yes, self care is very important, but self care doesn’t have to cost a thing. Here are just a few free ways to care for yourself; hot relaxing bubble bath, daily mediation, go for a run or bike ride, take a nap, binge watch a show you enjoy, etc. Self care does not have to cost money – quit making the excuse that you need that $50 facial or $100 massage.
Problem: I have an extraordinary amount of debt
Solution: If you are carrying around a lot of debt it can be really hard to pull yourself out of it, however, the only way you will get your debt paid off and quit racking up more, again take a hard look at where you are spending money. You need to construct a budget and stick to it.
Ways to Live on a Smaller Paycheck
Okay so now that we can all take ownership for our spending habits, let’s talk about how we can live more frugally but still comfortably.
Reuse – No brainer. Quit throwing things away that can be reused and ultimately save you money. Like what? Glad you asked. Here are just a few things you can start reusing:
Ziplock bags -There is absolutely no reason not to reuse these. You can simply wash them like you would any other type of dish, hang them to dry, and reuse.
Containers – Everything comes in plastic containers these days and they are all reusable. Skip the expensive tupperware and reuse items you already purchased.
Garbage bags – Literally anything can be used as a garbage bag. Plastic or paper bags from the grocery store for example.
Skip the Paper Products – Skip the disposable napkins and paper towels and invest in a set of cloth ones. These do the same job, but can be reused over and over. A small investment upfront, but you will never have to buy disposable again.
Buy Used – Buying used is almost always cheaper than buying new and it’s good for the environment. You can find just about anything used these days online or in thrift stores.
Limit Going Out – This is a big one. Once you take a hard look at your spending habits you might notice that a good chunk of your money is going towards eating out or just going out. In our household we aim to only eat out one meal per week.
Shop Around – Avoid impulse buying and take your time and shop around. Be a bargain hunter – always looking for the best deal!
Coupons – Ain’t no shame in using coupons. You can find coupons for just about everything, including gas!
Work Less and Have More Money
You are responsible for your financial situation and making more money does not equate to happiness. Stop killing yourself for a fat paycheck and learn to live on less. Work less, but feel like you have more money.