I am an extrovert. I also like to travel. And, ultimately, I love food.
In other words, I have a life. And sometimes, having a life can drain your wallet.
I see lots of financial experts out there that talk about cutting out outings with friends, making sacrifices and avoiding lattes.
I think this is bullshit.
At the end of the day, life is meant to be lived. If you like your morning latte then drink your damn coffee. It is possible to enjoy life on a budget.
As we Cubans say, “No cojas tanta lucha con la vida.” (Translation: Don’t make life more difficult than it needs to be.)
That being said, life does cost money. Additionally, if you’re climbing out of a situation – like being tens of thousands of dollars in debt – then making temporary sacrifices is necessary.
I’ve made plenty of sacrifices on my financial journey due to the fact that I was unemployed, then underemployed, and then decided to turn a blog into a business.
I lived at home for a while, didn’t really buy anything for myself for a couple of years and didn’t really go out when friends were at bars. I also missed a friend’s wedding in the Dominican Republic because, at the time, I needed to play it safe with my money.
These didn’t really feel like sacrifices though. Sometimes it was frustrating, but it wasn’t like my life totally sucked.
Additionally, I did have a ton of fun. In my case, it looked like taking random trips just because my schedule allowed it.
Fast forward to now and I’m having a lot of fun while still being pretty financially savvy. It just looks different than it used to because I’m in a different stage in my life.
This begs the question – how can we be financially savvy and enjoy life on a budget?
Have a vision.
As I mentioned, I’ve made plenty of “sacrifices” to get to where I am in my business and my financial life. I also mentioned how, while frustrating at times, it wasn’t really that big of a deal.
One of the reasons is because I knew what I wanted and was willing to make the necessary choices to get it. If that meant I couldn’t go out partying as much because I was starting a business from scratch, then so be it.
Having this vision kept me focused. It also helped me when the inevitable bouts of FOMO appeared.
The problem I see a lot of the time is people don’t know what they want in life. They don’t even think about it. As such, they have no direction for their money.
Have a savings account for fun stuff.
I was recently approached by a business buddy to attend a mastermind retreat in the Catskills in May. We’ll be staying in a mansion for a few days to work on growing our businesses. I immediately said yes.
The reason I don’t have to think twice when these types of opportunities come up is because I have a savings account specifically for these things. We’ll get invited on trips and outings. We’ll want to try new things to make our lives fun. It’s just the way life is. To enjoy life on a budget, you actually have to take the time to ENJOY life.
That being said, if you know these things are happening, then plan for them. I personally use the Qapital app which saves small amounts of money for me each week. It’s a 100% free savings account and I currently have almost $1000 in there.
This is how I can pay for random trips to the Catskills or trying out new SoulCycle classes. While I haven’t had to withdraw from the account because I’m earning more than enough money, the money is in the account should I need it.
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Look for free stuff to do.
I live right smack in the middle of a bustling city. Is my rent higher? Yeah. But I also have access to a ton of FREE stuff to do so it evens out. I’m certainly not bored and it doesn’t cost me much (if anything) to be entertained and hang out with friends. I get to enjoy life on a budget, and have a ton of things to do on any given day.
A few weeks ago, I attended a freelancer meetup, a happy hour sponsored by Heineken, a beach cleanup, a party for an eco-living campaign, a grand opening for a cafe and a networking event at SoulCycle – ALL 100% FREE.
It even turned into a thing on my Instagram where I kept documenting all the free events I was attending throughout a two-week period.
This makes my financially savvy extroverted heart very happy.
Make more money.
If you’re only focused on managing money, then you miss all the opportunities to make more money.
Is managing money important? Absolutely. However, speaking from experience, when you shift your mindset to how you can earn more money, everything gets easier.
Here’s what happens when you focus on finding ways to earn more money:
- Saving and investing becomes easier
- You can go out for a meal with friends and not worry about it
- If shit hits the fan you know you’ll be fine. For example, my fridge broke and it took a while for it to get fixed. This means I was eating out a lot for a few days. Did I freak out when I saw the credit card bill? Nope. Because I earn more than enough money.
- You create multiple streams of income which is just smart.
- It’s easier to invest in things that will take your career further.
- You can take advantage of opportunities – like my trip to the Catskills – without worrying about where the money is going to come from.
We’re living in a day and age where it’s easier than ever to find some money. I started as a blogger, but there are tons of other things you can do as well. Like, selling used stuff online, which I’ve also done.
Sometimes earning more money can also be as easy as just asking for more money for the things you already do. That’s what happened to one of my students in my Persuade to Profit program. After overcoming some money blocks, she was able secure 30% more money from clients.
Being financially savvy doesn’t mean you need to stop living. This is an assumption many people make which leads them to fail when it comes to financial goals – and to be honest, I can’t blame them. Why be miserable, right? You can still enjoy life on a budget!
The good news is you can simultaneously be smart with your money and have a good time. It just requires you to be a little bit more conscious of what you want, some creative solutions and shifting your focus to earning more money.