Do you ever want to upgrade, but you can't figure out how to fit an upgrade into the budget? Maybe you want a new car, or a better apartment, but you just don't know where the money will come from.
Believe me, you're not alone! The good life seems so close, but yet just out of reach. But after today, you won't have that struggle anymore. Today, we're talking about how to make sure you can afford the things you really want.
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I want to introduce you to Christian. She's no ordinary lady. Instead of letting her budget limit her life, she found a way to make her budget work for the life she wanted.
Here's her story:
Christian lived in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment with a roommate. That roommate was ready to move out, and her new roommate was moving in and bringing a cat.
Now, cats are fabulous furry friends, but they also come with litter boxes. And sharing 1 bathroom where the litter box would likely be was not ideal.
Christian found a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment in the same community, and it would be a great fit, except the problem: it was more expensive. In fact, it was $45 more expensive per person.
$45 per month, or almost $550 per year can make a big difference in a budget. But the 2 bathroom apartment was alluring.
Instead of giving up and saying she couldn't afford it, Christian looked for how to fit an upgrade into the budget. And dug deep in her budget to see where she could cut down some monthly expenses. Here's what she came up with:
- Reduce the gym membership from 3-gym locations to just the 1 she uses. Savings: $10/Month
- Cut the cable and get a new internet-only plan. Savings: $6-12/month
- Cut the Starbucks bill in half by waking up earlier. Savings: $17.73
- Remove duplicate coverage from auto insurance, and extended warranty policy. Savings: $12/Month
Total Savings: $45.73
By making a few tweaks and being smart about where she wanted to spend and save, Christian was able to re-balance her budget and afford a much better apartment!
See, a lot of people just get down in the dumps when it comes to having the things they want. They think “I'll never make enough money to afford that”.
Well, the truth is, you probably make enough money to afford the things you really want right now! Even the most lean of budgets have room to cut out things you don't need, or wouldn't get the same amount of joy from as the thing you're adding.
Here are a few of my favorite places to look, or check out my 18 Favorite ways to Save Money Each Month:
Gym Memberships, box-of-the-month, magazines, movie services, even cable wants us to sign up to pay every month. I don't know about you, but I am really picky about the monthly subscriptions. I will only sign up for monthly subscriptions if they will save me money or if they are something I LOVE.
See if detoxing from monthly subscriptions could save you money. Are there any duplicate services or unnecessary expenses that you don't need to be paying for?
Restaurants and Food
Food is something that's really easy to overspend on. People who get “hangry” are willing to spend for food on the spot. “Foodies” are willing to spend for especially tasty grub. And many people think of eating at restaurants as their social outings.
The truth is, cooking for yourself at home is almost always way cheaper. But it does require energy and planning. I love The Dinner Daily because they give you complete weekly meal plans for dinner for just $5 per week.
How long has it been since you cleansed your contracts for things like Cable, Cell Phone, and Insurance. I discovered last year that my cable company had been charging me for a modem that I had never rented from them. Look through your contracts to see if there are any hidden expenses.
You can even take a two-fold approach. First, try earning a little bit more money by adding a side hustle or negotiating a raise. If you're looking for tips on how to negotiate a raise, check out my step by step guide on how to ask for a raise.
Once you've tried to max out your income, start to re-balance your existing spending. With more cash available, it will stretch further to cover the things that you get the most joy from.
How have you made your budget work for the life you want? Leave your answer in the comments!