Don’t mess around and let Lil Duval or Wiz make you blow all your money.
While #LivingMyBestLife can feel free-spirited and carefree, it can also tank finances.
It’s ok to want to eat what you want, see what you want, and experience what you want, but my goodness be smart about it.
I don’t want you going “back and forth” with folks, and I also don’t want you living paycheck to paycheck, either.
So, here are a few tips to keep you from going broke while living your best life.
Find your Best Balance
There’s a fine line between living your best life, and living your best lie.
The line gets crossed when you allow yourself to get so out of alignment of your true self, that you start living an unbalanced lie.
By true self, I mean that we are not one-dimensional creatures. We have needs, wants, desires, goals, motivations, visions, and the occasional “I don’t care about anything” moments.
Balance occurs when we intentionally make space for all of these elements, without letting any one element pull us into an extreme.
To find the balance, you first need to figure out what “living your best life” even means to you.
By exploring this, your path to finding balance, and thus a “best life”, will begin to reveal itself to you. Once it does, you can financially plan to achieve it.
- What’s most important to you?
- What brings you joy?
- Do You Have financial goals?
- What type of lifestyle would feel comfortable now?
- How close are you to reaching that level of comfort?
- How do you want to live in the future?
Discover Your True Values and Focus on That
Don’t go trying to spend on all the things; focus on what aligns with you.
In order to do that, you must discover your values.
It is our values that influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with money.
In other words, when you spend or want to spend, it’s always connected to an underlying value.
The trick to really building a healthy relationship with money, is understanding what those values are, and how to achieve them without hurting yourself.
Take me for example: I LOVE to travel. But when I really thought about why, I realized it’s because I value new experiences.
I love the feeling of being a tourist, and the thrill of being in a new setting.
By identifying this, I can seek additional ways to satisfy my underlying value of wanting to enjoy new experiences that don’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg:
- Taking short road trips: I recently drove 1.5hours to Gettysburg for a couple days. It was a cheap weekend in a new place.
- Exploring my city: There’s so many museums, neighborhoods, cafes, parks, and events I don’t even take advantage of in my own city! Most are not even that expensive.
And of course, I go on major trips too, but it doesn’t have to be the ONLY means of tapping into my value of wanting a new experience.
Even with identifying the underlying reason behind my values, that’s only *one* layer of the onion. The next layer is understanding where and why I developed the value.
A few of my major influences:
- Family: Growing up, we vacationed each year. Visiting new places became “normal” for me.
- Experiences: I’ve always had positive travel experiences which in turn, reinforces my desires to go again.
- Personality: I am naturally inquisitive, so seeing and learning about new places aligns with that.
So, spend some time figuring out what really makes you tick, and why. Then, brainstorm and exploring options to satisfy that value without breaking the bank.
Learn to Control Your Credit Card Impulses
In reality, you should be controlling your impulses in general. But if your impulses involve using credit, definitely pay special attention to that.
Credit card debt can sneak up on you REAL quick if you aren’t in complete control of your financial behaviors.
And the convenience of credit can make it a little too easy to rack up debt all in the name of “living your best life”.
A few credit reminders:
- It’s not free money: A credit card is a tiny loan in your pocket. One that you pay hefty interest on. Your available credit is not free money.
- Rewards are not a reason to spend: Unless you are doing some type of nifty travel hacking, charging up your card with unnecessary BS to earn “points” is a recipe for debt disaster. It’s a net loss to earn 2% cash back on something you didn’t even need.
- Diminishing value: At the very least, I hope you are paying off your credit card balances in full. But if not, each month that you carry a balance, you are just paying a fee for whatever you bought. That “thing” may already be gone (food), or losing value (clothes). Yikes.
Stop Living for Instagram
I absolutely love social media. But let’s be real here, 70% of it is filtered bullshit.
And I’m not even talking about face filters, I mean the lifestyle filters.
A lot of what you see your friends doing and experiencing is being financed.
In other words, don’t get too upset if you feel you aren’t “keeping up” with how they are living. It’s very possible they don’t even actually have the money, but charging it and going into debt for it.
Personally, I would think coming home to a major credit card bill can be quite the downer after a financed vacation. And I’ve never had a fancy meal that would be worth an additional 20% credit card interest charge.
But hey, that’s just me!
Any way, before you run to try to keep up with your financing friends, keep this in mind:
- There’s always context missing from what you see: Maybe they charged it, maybe they didn’t. Either way, don’t get frustrated over an assumption that you aren’t doing as well as those you follow.
- Stay true: Never lose sight of your values, goals, and motivations.
- Stop trying to do what they do: Try not to get derailed by how others are living. You don’t need to replicate their life, you are on your own path to financial freedom.
Put your blinders on, stay in your lane, and remain focused on building the life of financial comfort and happiness that matters to YOU!
More on social media and money:
Embrace The Budget and SAVE!
Unless you got Lil Duval money, you should probably be on a budget.
And since he emphasizes his #RichBroke lifestyle, even he probably lives on budget of some sort.
But don’t get scared, I am not pushing you to use a tool of deprivation. A budget is simply a spending plan.
A spending plan that can help you organize your expenditures, but also gives you *permission to spend* in the areas that make you happy.
You can achieve this by simply preparing in advance and saving the money for what you want.
Think about it: if you have a consistent picture of just how much you have available to put towards living your best, you could eliminate any chance of going backwards-financially.
Wouldn’t it feel great to afford what you want without the stress or guilt of overextending yourself? Ahh, yes, it would.
So, after you’ve spent considerable time discovering what will truly add value to your well-being, financially prepare for it! Identify values, budget, and then save; that’s all you have to do.
A Straight-forward approach to budgeting:
- Round up your necessary expenses: Do you actually know how much your necessary expenses are? No, not Friday evenings out. I mean rent/mortgage, heat, water, insurance, cell phones, and food to nourish you.
- Compare your income: Compare your income to the expenses you MUST pay. Are you covered? By how much?
- Allocate money towards goals: After your NECESSARY bills are paid, start allocating funds towards the goals that will move you forward. That could mean emergency fund savings, investments, and clearing out old debts.
- Have fun with the rest: Assuming your day to day obligations are handled, becoming debt-free, and saving towards the future, you can then do what you want. Within reason, of course.
For real, you can create a budget you can be happy with and that will clear the path to reaching financial flexibility. Oh and look at that, I actually wrote about how!
Please, don’t get caught up into living a life you can only barely afford, or can’t afford at all!
I want you to thrive, and you will, as long as you take this journey a step at a time.
Don’t forget: you are in full control of the life you want.
Just seek awareness, balance, and accountability, and you will truly be on your way to living your best life without going broke.