Budgeting 101 is going great, but I need to interrupt this series for a little PSA peeps. Most of you probably remember (or maybe are currently going through) some lean times. When you’re forced to stop spending by forces beyond your control, it hurts. You may wonder what you will do if you can’t grab a pint, get coffee with the girls or take that awesome vacation you want right about now. And so, you need a mind shift. New habits must be cultivated to keep you focused on those long-term budget goals.
Often it seems that life is all about spending money. Sometimes you might even feel that without blowing a wad of cash, you simply cannot have any fun. We all get used to doing things that cost money, and we have forgotten that there are a lot of other options open to us all. Having cut my budget to bare necessities (a little rough considering I’m sending one off to college, two graduations and a move), It felt weird, but not quite as bad as I thought it would be. By all means, DO NOT think I am depriving myself or my family of the few extras beyond necessity, but know that the wallet strings are tied tightly.
It’s all about asking yourself if you need to spend that money. Is the item you’re shopping for necessary? Is it need or want? And, is that item worth it. Period. It’s all about building and implementing some new habits. Today’s post is all about the habits. Here are three that are easy to take on and keep up with daily, and for the long term.
- Exercise. Ok, so I haven’t started this consistently yet; besides walking the dog I’m still pretty much a sofa slug, but it’s up at the top of my to-do list. So, you are taking away an activity that costs you mucho moola. Replace it with something that makes you feel strong, empowered and awesome, such as exercise. Stop rolling those eyes; I see you (lol). The positive effects besides those happy hormones (that post just keeps on reappearing folks), you can and will look great! Working out relieves stress, gets your heart pumping which means more oxygen; more oxygen more brain cells, more activity, a better you…it’s all good stuff peeps. Some of you may even become addicts because it feels so good to work it. Now don’t go running off for that gym membership. YouTube has tons of FREE exercise videos. I totally love Blogilates, it’s a mix of Pilates and HIIT, but there’s something for everyone. I promise. A free home workout will save you money, travel time, and your problem parts; you choose tummy, bum, or other).
- Reacquaint yourself with your local library. Not only are there tons and tons of FREE books, but the library offers a lot of entertaining programs as well. I am a voracious reader, so for me, the quiet paths between the stacks are like entering a new world. I have found new authors, old classics and self-help and DIY books. My kids love the graphic novel section. Moving beyond the books are the movies. TV movies, new releases, classics – and all FREE for a 7-day rental. You can’t beat that! While you’re checking out, peek over at those flyers â€“ yes, there are guest lectures, craft clubs, book clubs, movies and more. All free if you just sign up. So, what are you waiting for?
- Start spending time with REAL people. You don’t have to spend your life savings to have a great social life. We already talked about socializing on a budget, and that means you can have quality time with quality peeps. You may be (like me) that one friend that NEEDS to prepare dinner, brunch, etc. when you invite friends over. Let me tell you a secret – not necessary. At first, it will be expected if you’ve done it before, but the second time, it will seem normal to everyone. You should never feel pressured to feed the planet. Invite friends over for coffee and make a few place and bake cookies. Don’t go overboard. If you must serve food – I’m telling you here…POTLUCK. Delegate and then chill. The most important part of getting together with friends is the conversation and laughter. So, rent that movie from the library, put up some coffee and invite your besties over.
Stopping to spend can seem overwhelming, but I promise it’s not as bad as it seems. You can have a full, exciting life without spending every penny of your paycheck. The key is building new habits, and training yourself to stick to them. Start investing in yourself over “things,”and begin enjoying life debt free.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕