Shame you aren’t a robot
In a perfect world, we can set a budget that is completely unselfish- we stick to just our essential expenses, limit spending money on frivolous items, and have fantastic savings goals. In the actual real world, we are human, and we just can’t live life without… well, being able to live life.
Sometimes dinner out with friends and fantastic conversation is actual essential- you feel connected, it makes you happy, you gain immense pleasure from eating a really delicious meal, and it gives you something to look forward to.
There are also times when purchasing something that you don’t necessarily need, but you really want is a way to treat yourself. You choose to give yourself something that you find beautiful, that makes your life better in some way (even if just for its usefulness), or that you just straight out enjoy, plain and simple.
Yes, you could reach your savings goals so much quicker if you didn’t choose to indulge in these little extras on a regular basis. Yes, in order to stay on track with a budget and get ahead in life you do need to be sensible with your spending. But life was made to be lived, and all work and no play is not only not sustainable, but it’s also not good for you.
The truth is counterintuitive
If all you are doing is working, saving, and placing restrictions on yourself, you are in fact sabotaging your chances of long-term success. Why? Because the more deprived we feel, the more likely we are to throw in the towel. When we feel like we are living in abundance, the opposite occurs.
The trick is to redefine what abundance means to you- it could be enjoying the most delicious high-quality coffee. Making the smart choice to purchase a good coffee machine could seem like an unnecessary expense in the short term, but if you compare this to purchasing a cafe coffee daily and average this out over a year or two it’s usually the case that actually buying a coffee machine saves you in the long run.
If abundance means not having to worry about money and having money set aside that is dedicated to enjoyment, then you can make this happen too. Automate your bills. Set a sensible budget that gives you a set amount of spending money that you will feel comfortable with.
If you limit yourself too much, you might find yourself dipping into your savings anyway on a regular basis and then feeling bad about it. Instead, be overly generous with yourself. Saving a little bit less every week or month, but being able to sustain this spending behavior long term is a far better alternative than setting unrealistic budget goals and then constantly deviating from them.
What does adbundance mean to you?
Abundance might mean earning more than you are capable of spending. If this is the case, one strategy is to start funneling savings into investments that offer a passive return on investment rather than just keeping your funds sitting in a bank account.
Understanding why you are saving, why you are budgeting, and what enjoyments you can get out of life that fit in with your ideals of abundance can be a very successful strategy. If you are struggling with sticking to your budget, either you are too restrictive, your spending money isn’t being directed at activities or experiences that are truly making you feel happy, or your savings goals aren’t in alignment with your values.
Love to travel? Then travel is a worthwhile goal. Love to learn? Then studying is a worthwhile goal. Adore being at home? Then renovating is a worthwhile goal. Love spending time with your family? Then reducing the hours you need to spend at work is a worthwhile goal.
What’s most important to you? Makes you happiest? Makes you feel the most fulfilled? You might just find that when this is your savings goal, it’s so much easier to get there.