There are many tips on saving money and investing it in the right places on this blog. But, ultimately, if you are seeking financial independence, it’s a simple question of making an overall change to your lifestyle. Some will be dramatic, others less so. But make no mistake about it – they will change your life for the better. Let’s take a look at some of the changes you will need to make if you want to secure your future, and enjoy stress-free finances.
Talk about money
It’s amazing that money is so important to every household, yet so few can speak about it without the situation escalating into argument territory. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the number one reason for divorce is always down to finances. The trouble is, it is critical that you can talk with your partner – and your children – about money in a grown-up, adult way. And it’s all down to you – if you don’t talk about money, your problems won’t resolve themselves.
OK, so this is a biggy – but moving home can often cut significant costs if you play your cards right. Whether you are thinking of downsizing from houses to apartments or moving to cheaper areas, it’s worth your consideration. It’s not like you have to go far, either. Sure, everyone loves having the exclusive, high-end zip code. But when you can access all the same services a mile down the road – for significantly less – why pay more than you can afford? It’s a big step, of course – but imagine your lifestyle improvement if you could shave off $100-200 from your rental or mortgage each month.
Learn to cook
Cooking food yourself is far, far cheaper than buying pre-packaged meals or ordering takeouts every other night. I know it can be tough, as we are all working increasingly long hours and look for the convenient option. But you can cook up a few large meals and freeze them in advance for those busy days, and there are plenty of recipes for fifteen-minute dishes that are tasty, nutritious, and cost you next to nothing.
Get groceries delivered
Grocery stores are smart, and there is a lot of psychology at play from the second you walk through their doors. When you go shopping, there is a good chance that you will end up spending way more than you were planning, on products that you don’t need – or, maybe, want. The good news is that if you live in an area where you can get your groceries delivered, you will never have to deal with all that temptation. Just draw up your shopping list, and reorder when you need it. It will save you a lot of wasted money – and wasted food.
Ditch the brands
We all have our favorite brands – of course. But the truth is that there are cheaper alternatives for almost every product you can imagine. Favorite brands come with a kind of ‘tax’ – you pay for the brand name nearly as much as the product itself. But if you can find alternatives you will often find they are the same, bar the packaging. Again, it’s simple psychology at play, but looking elsewhere can save you thousands of dollars over the course of a year.