Budgeting in general will always be tough. There are your regular expenses such as food and shelter, plus your responsibility towards retirement savings and paying off any of those loans. And while it can feel like there is no wiggle room in your budget to save more, here are our tips for getting out of the rat race and on the road.
Picking up a part-time job can be a great way to ramp up your savings. However, finding ways to “earn” more without collecting that W-2 will be the most beneficial. Will your land lord let you mow the lawn or paint the building for reduced rent? Can you start a garden to save on groceries? How about cutting firewood to save on your heating bill? Anything you can do to offset your monthly expenses through hard work will compound your savings, since you will not have to pay Uncle Sam a portion of your “earnings”.
Find ways to pay yourself first and focus on buying assets versus liabilities. See your possessions as tools to serve a purpose. Do your clothes keep you warm? Does your car get you from place to place? Does your phone allow you to communicate? Chasing the latest trends and fashion will keep you in the rat race. You must focus on buying assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.), with you disposable income.
Going Once…Going Twice
Sell things you don’t need and especially items which are depreciating, need maintenance, or aren’t being used.
Find ways to spend your time, not your money. If you like dancing, gymnastics, hockey, theater, skiing, beer festivals, considering becoming involved at a higher level. Coaching can be a great way to continue to do the things you love, without having to pony up the doe yourself. How about volunteering for event staff at that concert you really wanted to attend? Feeling the need to cut all the fun out of your life to begin saving and growing your portfolio, is a crummy way to go through life. Start digging and be creative. Chances are you will end up having a worthwhile experience and meet some fantastic people along the way.
Never Stop Learning
Remember…”If you think you’re tops, you won’t do much climbing.” Only 5% of people know how to manage money. Do you understand interest rates, bonds, equities, risk, ETF’s, personal mortgage insurance, tax rates, etc, etc, etc? Should you buy that extended warranty? The answer is no. Here is a hint, they don’t teach you this stuff in school and chances are your parents didn’t either. You will never get rich working for wages. You must put your money to work for you.
Below are a few resources to get you started. Study, study, study and think of it as a part time job you don’t need to pay taxes on!