Are You Paying Too Much For Your Lifestyle?

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Right now, it’s far too easy to get wrapped up in an ideal. You know that you want to live well. You see your friends living big, you see celebrities living big, and you want to live big too. So, you go for it. You spend more. You get those possessions that you think you need to feel good about yourself. But then you’re left feeling nothing short of empty – in every sense of the word. Because your bank account is empty and you’re feeling stuck financially. It’s okay to have a nice car and lead a lovely lifestyle, but only if it’s within your reach. Having extortionate car payments, a hefty mortgage, and ridiculous monthly expenses is only ever going to leave you feeling sick and stressed out. If you feel like you’re paying way too much for your lifestyle, now’s the time to make a change.

If you’re in debt, you’re overspending, and you really don’t feel financially free, the chances are that you’re not happy either. No matter how much stuff you have around you, you will feel in a bad place. The worries and financial burden that you have just isn’t worth it. Instead, you have to think about the kind of lifestyle that you should be living – the one that you can afford. And, at the same time, working to get yourself into a better financial position so that, one day in the future, you will have the life you want. So let’s take a look at what you need to do to get yourself into a better place.

Break Down Your Income

To get you started, you need to be really aware of what you earn. So right now, you think you earn a set salary each year. But how much do you really earn? After taxes and benefits and different payments, you may earn less than you think. So the first thing to do is really break it all down. Ideally, you’ll do this with both yours and your spouse’s incomes. That way, you’ll be able to work out what comes into the household each month.

Write Down Your Expenses

Next, you need to be really transparent with the monthly bills that you have. So write them down. Really dig deep and work out what bills you pay each month. From your mortgage to your water bill, include it all. Anything that goes out to pay for the house or your personal lifestyles should be included here. Even if you have regular purchases, such as salon visits or a members club, this all needs to be written down.

Cull, Cull, Cull!

Now, you’re probably going to be incredibly shocked by what you see. And that’s normal. Because we never really know how much we spend each month until we see it in front of us. You may even realize that you’re spending way more than you bring in, and it’s going to stress you out.But only for a second. Because now you’re going to slash it all in half! You’re going to be drastic and cut your expenses so much, removing anything that’s not a necessity, so that things are looking a little more flattering.

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Create A Budget

The next step is to set up a budget online or in a spreadsheet. And be tough. Doing this is the only way that you can have any kind of control over your money. Allocate portions of money to your bills and different spending areas, then stick to it.

Track Your Spending

To complement your budget, you then need to track your spending. Keep your receipts and log them. If you can plug something into your bank account, then do it. But just make sure that you are honest and you’re tracking things accurately. This is the best way to make sure that you’re bringing the cost of your lifestyle down.

Shop Around

From here, you’re then going to want to work on bringing your monthly bills down. Shop around and use a site such as moneypug to save money. Compare energy options, get a better deal on your broadband, and reduce your insurance premiums. Do what you can to really reduce what you’re paying to keep your home running.

Downgrade

Next, you need to think about how you can control some of the payments that it’s not so easy to shop around for. If you know that you have a huge mortgage on a house that is probably a bit too aspirational for you now, downgrade. Find something more affordable and move. As drastic as this may seem, you know it’s what you need to do. And do the same with your car lease. Change what you have for something more practical and affordable.

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Change Your Circles

If you’re worried about what people will think of your drastic lifestyle change, then it’s time to change your circles. When you change your friends, you change your life. If the people you socialize with are bad influences, they put pressure on you, and you feel like you need to keep up with the Joneses, it’s time to let them go. True friends won’t care what you have, they’ll only care about the kind of people that you are! This will also help you to stay on track with your new frugal lifestyle.

Think About The Future

Now, you’re then going to want to start thinking ahead. You need to be sure that you are able to put a plan in place for where you want to be in five or ten years time. Right now, you don’t have the lifestyle that you want. You may have faked it and felt like you had it, but it was damaging you financially. So now you need to work out what you need to do to actually get there.

Go All In

Finally, to help you do that, you need to make sure that you’re going all in with an actionable career plan. You have to work out what you can do with your career to increase your income and really create that style of life that you want. It will take work, and you’ll need to make sacrifices, but if you give it your all, you know you can make it work.

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