How can that be? It’s actually very easy to do and it can happen to the very best of us. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how the spending habits of the past you can help the saving plans of the future you.
Live like you’re a broke college student
Lifestyle creep—when spending increases with your income—can be a wealth killer. While on paper you may be making more, if you have more expenses sucking up your funds, you’ll likely end up in the same place. While you don’t have to live like a broke college student, doing so will help you save for things you really want. You can find clever ways to eat in for less, or share your living quarters with a roommate.
Even though you can technically afford to move to larger digs or trade in your beater car for a fancier set of wheels, if you keep your expenses level—or even less—when you get that raise, you’ll have the freedom to tuck your money toward the things you really want.
Make full use of what you’re great at
What are the things that you were super good at when it comes to saving? Are you great at coming up with hacks on saving money on groceries? Can you make 20 dishes with just five ingredients? Put these skills to use in your everyday life, and you’ll be able to level up your savings.
Conversely, you can also look at how you raked in extra cash when you were younger. Maybe in the past you earned money putting together furniture for your friends, or were a whiz at finding the shortest bike route between any two points in your neighborhood. You can put the skills of the you of yesterday to use to make extra money and save for whatever you’d like to do in the long run.
Get rid of your junk
Besides the physical stuff that no longer has much use, there might be other things that you spend money on because you’ve been on cruise control about it for so long. Maybe you’ve recently gotten deep into CrossFit or built a home climbing wall, and that gym membership is no longer necessary.
Think about how you used to live five, or even 10 years ago. What did you not have? You most likely were just as content not having these things in your life. People will often hold onto things just because they make them comfortable; sometimes it takes proof that you no longer use something to show you that it’s OK to let it go. If you want proof of how often you use a certain amenity, check the tracking on fitness apps or the last time you checked in to your gym. Or, if you have an account with Simple, you can see how often you spent money on something by using our reports feature.
By looking at your past habits to help build your future savings, it’s really not about depriving yourself, but about being resourceful and getting creative at finding abundance in places you might not have thought of before. Do some experimenting, and have fun!
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