This is a guest post by Jack Reed.
Do you often have expensive dinners with your friends? Do you have a fetish for costly and branded outfits? Do you never keep track of the money you spend? If the answers to all the above questions are yes then you have reasons to worry because you might not be living a financially sustainable lifestyle, and you might not be able to maintain your luxurious lifestyle after your professional career.
This carefree lifestyle will eventually increase the number of financially struggling retired people in the U.S., so it’s highly important for you to live a balanced life and manage your money in a prudent way so that you never need to look for debt relief services. Here are a few things you should consider if you are contemplating a decent and sustainable lifestyle:
Analyze your expectations and make plans accordingly
Most people aim for a lifestyle that is beyond their means. If you want to buy a house that resembles an exotic palace with a modest salary, then you are either too eager for a heartbreak or you are planning to drown in debt. That, however, does not mean you need to live a life without aspirations. In fact reasonable aspirations can lead you to your realm of dreams. If you are aiming for something a bit more than you can afford, then make sacrifices and manage your finances accordingly.
Stop buying junk
Almost all of us buy things which we don’t need. Maybe we are too vulnerable to the seductive advertisements which tempt us 24 hours a day. A perfect example of irrational buying habits is at the local garage sale. You’ll be surprised to find stuff here which the owners thought important at one point of time but now consider trash. Consequently, they sell items for damn cheap in these sales. The lesson is that you should think, think, and think again before buying something.
Happiness comes from within, don’t seek it without
Why do we keep on buying unnecessary stuff? Is it because they enrich our life in some way or the other? Not really. Actually, buying new things satisfies our materialistic ego. It artificially gives a boost to our self esteem. Buying new stuff keeps us temporarily happy but we soon get bored with it and realize that we have just wasted our money. However, most of us do not learn from our experience and indulge in this kind of poor spending again.
Your consumerist mindset will urge you to think that buying new products will make you happy. In fact, the advertisements bank on the consumer’s sense of dissatisfaction towards life and offer a solution. Don’t fall for it because no product, however charming it might be, can create happiness. You need to understand that if you are aiming for a sustainable lifestyle then you do need to say goodbye to this kind of habit. So stop purchasing products to be happy for a fleeting moment. Save that money for your future.
A few instances of sustainable lifestyle
- Life without a car may seem to be an absurd idea, but understand that using public transport, however unattractive it might appear, can save you a lot of money and pay off in the long run.
- While you don’t need to starve, avoid eating out frequently. Homemade meals can save your neck in a big way. If you’re single, consider living with your parents or sharing apartments with your friends. This will cut down the money you need to spend on your housing.
- The cost of higher education is soaring, so work part time to fund your studies and avoid student loans which can affect your finances significantly.
- Drugs and alcohols can ruin you in terms of health as well as money. It’s just too easy to develop a total dependence on narcotics and liquor.
- It is understandable that you want to be fashionable. However, if you develop a habit of buying branded and expensive clothes regularly, then you are asking for monetary trouble.
There are certain paths which you need to take and there are some tricky roads which you must avoid. At the end of the day, life is what you want to make it through your choices. So be cautious, be wise, be smart, and try to embrace a lifestyle which you can maintain throughout your life. Remember that we all want to live king-size, but most of us just manage to sink ourselves in a sea of debt before turning our dream into reality.
This is a guest post by Jack Reed. He is a financial writer with Oak View Law Group and writes on a variety of financial topics with a special focus on debt consolidation and bankruptcy issues.