A budget is an important tool in gaining financial independence and leading a responsible and conscious lifestyle. And while most strive to keep their budgets as low as possible in every category, that’s not always the best or quickest way to pay off debt and reach a stage in which you are living within your means. This doesn’t mean that your budget should go out the window, however you might want to consider shifting a couple of things around so that you can get more in each of the follow categories:
You only get one body, and therefore it’s essential that you treat it well, starting with what you fuel it with. Though some worry that buying fresh, nourishing food can threaten their budget, most will find that by cooking meals at home with quality ingredients, you can actually successfully adhere to the budget while treating your body as it needs to be treated. Your health category should also cover necessary supplements like vitamins, as well as the service of wellness professionals like nutritionists, massage therapists, and chiropractors. It’s an investment in your body and well-being. A category you could potentially merge into this one as well could be hygiene and cosmetics. You’ll find that with prolonged use, it’s totally worth purchasing high end organic cosmetics, using only pure, natural and highly effective ingredients. You’ll spend less on facials, foundation, and similar products and services if you actually treat the problems your skin is experiencing instead of just dealing with the consequences.
When you’re on a tight budget, it might seem like fitness is your absolute last “need”. However, it is a necessity for a healthy body and a clear and focused mind. If you are looking to increase your personal potential and achieve some established goals, instead of eliminating your fitness budget, we advise you to increase it. Motivate yourself by the results you gain from your fitness regimen, whether that means doing more laps at the pool, running further than before, or lifting a weight that you never thought was possible. You will gain more than just muscle from beefing up that budget category.
- Debt Repayment
If you think that you can just keep paying the interest rate on your loan instead of tackling the capital, then you need to reevaluate your budget and how it’s set up. If you continue to live in a way where you can only make minimum payments on your loans, you should consult a financial advisor. The way you are set right now, you will end up paying a lot more to the bank over the long term than if you started to pay off the capital loan as well as the interest. Rebalance your budget so that you can attack a little bit of the capital loan behind your debts every month, even if it’s just 1% of the total. You’ll feel better knowing that your “problem” is actually being dealt with, not just treated with a band aid solution.
Education is a popular method to attaining a better or different job which will provide you with greater life satisfaction and usually a better income. Whether this means a post-secondary degree, trade school certificate, or industry-specific training, it’s a step towards gaining the skills and knowledge you need to get your foot in the door. Skip your movie night outing for a workshop with a local craftsman, or register for photography lessons at the local art school instead of blowing all that money on a weekend trip to Vegas. Don’t be afraid to raise your budget in the education category if you feel like it’s a real investment in yourself and in your future.
Restructuring your budget to something that you are comfortable may take several months or even years. Don’t be afraid to tweak it so that it reflects what’s important to you: your health, personal growth, and stepping towards financial freedom.