Everyone wants financial freedom. Unfortunately, society is also pushing us to buy more, and often, things that are not within our current means. We then take out loans or mortgages, already spending the money we are still yet to earn.
So how do you get out of that bog of payments? First off, major purchases like a car and a house should be done when you’re ready. Find a mortgage without a down payment or any good deal that could help you pay off your mortgage without having you slaving for the rest of your life. An idiom wisely states, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Have enough savings so you could pay more than the basic down payment for your home. The less number of years you need to pay for it, the less money you shell out in total.
Second, be a conscious consumer. Cut on your unnecessary expenses. Here are the expenditure traps you’re often tempted with.
The Word SALE
Having a sale is part of a marketing strategy. Think of it as getting something for its actual price. The regular price would be the premium that you’re paying to make sure you get it before it runs out. If you put it that way in your head, you would only buy something that you really want and wait for the rest to go on sale. If it has run out before the store holds a sale, it’s fine. You didn’t want it enough.
On the other hand, you also shouldn’t go to a sale just because you think you will be saving. You’ll end up buying things you don’t need and consequently lose money. Go only when you have a practical reason. The first had been to check out if the item you had eyed before is still available. The second reason is to get something you need. If, for example, you need a new pair of running shoes, then you can go and have that goal in mind.
In a year, there are at least four end-of-season sales. Imagine how much you’re spending on things that you probably only wear once. Always remember that sales are traps to make you think you’re spending less when in fact you’re spending for something unnecessary.
Wholesale Over Retail
Maximize wholesale options instead of frequently restocking your supplies. Shop for your basic personal needs only once or twice a year. That way, you don’t have to go to the department store frequently where you would most likely be tempted to add to your cart unnecessary items like a box of mint, a fancy pair of socks, or whatever cute little thing that catches your fancy. These little things could be cheap so you don’t feel it, but if you add up all those things in a year, they could be significant.
The same goes for your kitchen needs. You can stock up on your spices and cooking basics once a month and just get fresh produce weekly. While on this topic, it’s also better if you cook most of the time rather than depend on food delivery or eating out. The pandemic lockdowns gave us the time to learn how to cook, and we even explored international cuisine in our kitchen. Once everything normalizes, continue to practice the skills you learned.
You can eat out once in a while to treat yourself or your family, but it shouldn’t be your daily routine.
Your Daily Caffeine Fix
Unless you’re after the sugar and fats in the frappes and ultra-sweet drinks the coffee shops whip up, make your coffee. This is probably in all the money-saving lists on the net because a two-dollar coffee — and that’s probably the cheapest you’d get — every day will add up at the end of the month. Save those coffee shop expenses for when you need to meet with people.
If you have a grinder at home, buy beans instead of grounds. Why beans? To keep your coffee relatively fresh, it’s better if you grind the beans just when you’re going to brew them. Ground beans become stale faster than whole beans.
It will cut your bragging rights that you’re a member of this and that, but is your bragging worth the money you’re shelling out? Forget about the fancy clubs you’re just maintaining for social status. You could barely afford the yearly membership fee, much less pay to go there regularly. Retain only those that you frequent.
Financial freedom doesn’t necessitate you to overwork. You just need a lot of common sense and practicality. If you can’t be practical then be scared. Be afraid to spend money you haven’t earned yet so spend consciously and spend within your means.