If you’ve been following my advice, by now, you should have a nice nest egg saved up.
However, the discipline required to make smart financial decisions requires sacrifices that may also have you feeling a little deprived. For example, I suggested you limit nights out in order to save money, but that would’ve meant turning down invitations to meet up with friends for meals or drinks. Maybe you’ve discovered truths about your financial situation that keep you awake and worrying at night.
Feeling blue or worried is not what I want for any of my clients because I know you can’t sustain fiscal fitness if it makes you feel blue or worried. That’s why this month, I’m spelling out 5 ways to relieve your stress about your finances without undoing all your progress.
- The next time your friends suggest meeting up for dinner, try inviting them over for a potluck meal. You’ll accomplish the same goal of getting together with friends without spending big bucks in a restaurant. As a bonus, you may discover your best friend has been hiding her great aunt’s fabulous enchilada recipe.
- Find a few friends also tightening their belts and plan a few nights in. If you take turns hosting, then you each get a night out. The host provides inexpensive snacks and drinks while you enjoy a game of cards, some recorded music, or a flick on your favourite streaming service. You may even find you enjoy the conversation more when you don’t have to yell over the high-power speakers of the house band.
- If your friends don’t want to stay in, then do your research and find the best happy hour in your area. Skip the alcohol and order fancy, sparkling water. You’ll save calories and cash. Take advantage of reduced prices on appetizers and order all your favourites. You can enjoy the company, atmosphere, and food for a fraction of the late-night prices.
- If you’re missing salon beauty treatments, then Google “beauty schools near me.” Schools often offer reduced rates for everything from manicures and pedicures to massages and waxing services. You’ll enjoy a small indulgence while helping a student hone his or her skills.
- One more thing that helps ease the strain is seeing the progress you’re making. You need long-term goals but set smaller goals along the way. It helps to see -- and celebrate -- as you make progress. Don’t wait until you have $10,000 to invest. Instead, invest $100 today and start immediately collecting interest. That interest will get you to the $10,000 faster, plus you’ll immediately start realizing the benefits of an investment strategy.
In conclusion, being responsible and building a healthy relationship with money, doesn’t have to come at the expense of building healthy relationships with people. In the best-case scenario, both things should go hand in hand with each other. Get creative with your social life, find friends who are also working towards improving their money habits, take advantage of free services in your neighbourhood with a simple browser search, and set small achievable goals for yourself.
Remember, if your financial happiness isn’t in line with your inner happiness, you’re probably doing it wrong.