Only about 41% of the population say they use a budget to determine their spending. This lack of discipline often leads to overspending and poor wealth management, which can take people down a path of financial insecurity. Being able to enjoy the finer things in life does not mean you need a huge bankroll, but does require you to make smart financial decisions. The first step to this is knowing how to manage money in a responsible way. When you set aside extra cash for travel, fun, and thrills without dipping into money reserved for basic living, you will be able to have your cake and eat it too.
The Art of Avoiding Debt
Americans average about $33,000 in student loan debt. This staggering number is a result of skyrocketing education costs that leave recent graduates in a financial hole from the moment they get their diplomas. While acquiring this debt is unavoidable for most people, the good news is it’s possible to pay it off quickly with proper budgeting. Setting aside a certain percentage of your paycheck to go towards reducing student loan debt is a smart and responsible way to manage your money.
The same practice can be done when saving up for a vacation, new car, or any other luxury in life. After some time spent saving, this money will allow you to afford virtually whatever fun life activity you desire. In fact, many people stress that traveling on a budget allows you to see your destination from a more realistic, wholesome point of view, which can be much more rewarding. Of course, fiscal responsibility is still important while on vacation. It’s important to evaluate your credit options before you start swiping away in foreign countries. Some cards offer cash back perks and low transaction fees for frequent travelers, so take advantage of any perks that banks offer to help you save money.
Off the Beaten Path
The old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” could never be more true for people who are trying to enjoy their life on a budget. Of course, traveling comes with endless options to save money if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort on your journey. But even eating out at fancy restaurants, or buying a flashy car have budget friendly options for those willing to do a bit of work. When it comes to food, generating a decent following on a food-related account can garner free meals from top-end restaurants. Make yourself valuable online and businesses will take notice, making it common to receive free perks in exchange for some exposure on your accounts.
Additionally, you can save money buying a nice car through a number of different avenues. Some include choosing last year’s model, shopping around for the best deals, or simply buying used/leasing. Doing a little extra leg work to enjoy the activities you like most will surely be worth it in the long run, and you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank in the process.
Maintaining a quality lifestyle on a budget takes a good deal of planning and discipline, but with practice, it’s totally possible. Identifying specific goals worth saving for is a great way to help restrain you from impulsive spending by keeping your focus on the car, meal, or travel destination you want to experience. And despite the debt you accrue in college, there are endless options to pay it off without sacrificing your fun and entertainment in the process. By implementing some of these strategies, you can be well on your way to living life on your terms – all while practicing fiscal responsibility.