This month on the Illumination Wealth Blog, we’re talking about how to find financial balance. It’s all about ways to enjoy your lifestyle now while still saving for your future. It sounds simple, but it is often easier said than done. Bad habits when it comes to spending money can find you wasting a lot of it on things you don’t really need or value.
In this article, we’d like to focus on positive and intentional spending. These are worthwhile expenses that can allow you to have a more enriching life. In other words, these are things you can feel good about spending your money on.
The truth is, many people who make good money tend to spend it on things that are really not that important and not in alignment with what’s truly valued. We’re talking material possessions (luxury cars, clothes, jewelry, etc.) or spending that give us a sense of higher social status. These might be things like going to a fancy restaurant or staying in a luxury hotel suite to make travel more “comfortable.”
The goal with your spending is to identify expenses that will actually make a difference in your life, not just your lifestyle. First, it helps to understand what is most important to you. What makes you feel fulfilled? Is it travel and unique life experiences? Is it your health, fitness and other forms of self-improvement? Is it your relationships? Is it charity? Is it education?
Financial guru, Ramit Sethi, calls these Money Dials. The basic concept is that when you focus your spending on things that will be more fulfilling to you, then it’s worth it. Otherwise, the excess money spent on the Money Dials that are less important to you might be wasteful. If it brings no real sense of fulfillment, then it’s not really worth it. That money could be put toward better things such as retirement savings, investments or more practical expenditures within your higher-up Money Dials. When done right, you can still spend some excess money on the things that you enjoy most now while continuing to put away for your future—a future that ideally includes achieving financial independence and an early retirement.
In addition, it helps to look at expenditures that will be truly beneficial to you physically, mentally and spiritually or investments that will ultimately improve your financial well-being. Some examples include:
Even something like investing in a better mattress can be worthwhile. You spend a third of every day in bed, so why not be as comfortable as possible? You can get a great night’s sleep that will allow you to get the most out of each and every day that follows. Doesn’t that sound better in the long run than using the same amount of money to buy something frivolous? It may not be quite as fun, but it sure is a lot more practical and beneficial to your life. When you spend money on things that will positively impact your life and the lives of those around you, it’s hard to ever feel like you are wasting money.
Ultimately, this way of thinking will help you find a better balance between your current cash flow spending and your long-term savings.
For help in managing your cash flow, investments and retirement savings plan, contact Illumination Wealth today. We’re here to help you get the greatest positive return when it comes to your lifestyle and your finances.