One thing you learn very quickly once you become an adult is that it doesn’t mean you suddenly understand the ways of the world, or how to best handle things like finances.
If there’s one thing that’s very clear, something your budget should always include, that you don’t often hear about, is joy. Here’s how you can truly purchase happiness:
It’s easier said than done, but one way you can save money over time is to find a job that you truly enjoy. Being able to throw yourself into your work and actually enjoy it means you’re less likely to spend money as a distraction from your otherwise mundane day-to-day.
Whenever you make a purchase, try to remember how much time you spent in order to obtain the amount you just spent. Was it worth the trade?
When you put money into savings, look at it as an opportunity to buy freedom. Although it’s hard to delay gratification by saving money, always keep in mind what having savings can mean.
If you find yourself in a bad relationship, it can provide an escape route. If a family member falls ill, you can buy a plane ticket. If your tire busts on a highway, you’ll be able to afford a new one. Having a safety pillow to enable a softer landing when bad things happen is always a smart move.
You should always include ‘happiness’ on your budget if you’re able to. Spending money on experiences and on those you love can add up to a lifetime of fewer regrets. The younger you start, the better.
But, how can you save enough money to actually make that happen? Here are a few tips:
Save Any “Found Money”—if you’re gifted with money for any reason, instead of splurging, try holding on to it instead. You might be surprised at how quickly it might add up, and the younger you are, the more often you’re likely to receive such gifts.
If You Travel, Travel Cheaply—when traveling, it’s more about the sights and experiences than where you actually stay. Think about it. When you travel, what matters more? Staying cooped up in a hotel room, or getting out and exploring the new surroundings?
Try to Live on Less Than You Make—it’s amazing how quickly basic expenses can add up over time, so try your best to live on less. See what we did there? Try to find a comfort zone that enables you to be happy enough where you are, without spending so much that you aren’t able to save money over time.