A few weeks ago, we made our last payment in our debt free journey. Since becoming debt free, we have taken the time to re-analyze our finances- Particularly, in the area of spending and saving.
I wish I can tell you that it has been nothing but an amazing experience. But truly, I have never felt so challenged in my life!
Immediately, I have come to realize that debt freedom comes with much responsibility and so many options, i.e.
- Continue generosity?
- Save, save, save?
- Spend on anything you want?
With an increasing amount of fancy advertisements, tech updates, and fun trends working to grab your attention, it is easy to get distracted and lose sight of your vision!
Because of this, I have come up with 4 ways to find a balance between spending and saving:
1. Find Contentment
Contentment is impulse spending’s worst enemy. Y’all.. this has helped me say “no” to so many things I thought I wanted and needed… And even better- helped me to celebrate when someone purchases that new car, gorgeous house, dream vacation … without feeling the need to hop on the wagon! It takes practice and won’t come easy, at first, but you will find beauty within your situation know matter the circumstance.
Tip: Start by listing all the things you are grateful for and remind yourself, first thing, every day.
2. Write Down Your Priorities
Is it more important for you to save? Would you like room in the budget to travel? Do you have need for new clothes, finish a home project, etc? Depending on your priorities, save and spend accordingly. Since, we do not use credit cards, it is important for us to build an “emergency fund” as a way to create a cushion between us and the “unexpected expenses.” At the same time, giving, visiting family/friends takes priority, so we leave a portion in a budget for these things.
3. Dream a Little
After creating a list of priorities, you can start to dream a little and imagine what you would like to do with your life. Do you want to be someone who gives generously? Travel around the world? Save up for a house or car? Whether you dream of secretly paying for a someone’s meal as you stand back to watch their reaction (totally a dream of mine!) or travel around the world. Dreaming simply allows for the cash to have a purpose.
4. Create Short/Long Term Goals
Now it is time to put priorities and dreams into attainable goals. Create a budget & plan to incorporate some of the things you would like to achieve in the near and more distant future. Warning: Do not be afraid to spread out some of the plans! When doing this, I found myself wanting to update my guest room, go clothes shopping, and buy a new laptop withing the 1st 3 month (hello unreasonable!). Balance is key!
Tip: Refer back to your list of priorities to align your budget with your vision for your life.
How do you create a balance with spending and saving?