The Real Key To Personal Financial Fitness
To get in better shape financially, the usual advice centers around spending less. But when it comes right down to it, the amount of money you can save by spending less is certainly going to be limited. After all, how many lattes can you drink in a day?
And what the experts don’t mention is that cutting back on the simple pleasures that make life worth living is a tough way to improve your financial situation. It’s like going on an endless diet to lose weight. After awhile, it becomes more difficult to stick to your diet and continue to lose weight.
Trying to improve your personal financial fitness by spending less on the things and activities that you enjoy can get old pretty quickly. Depriving yourself in this way is not going to work in the long run. Sooner or later trying to find creative ways to save a few dollars is going to lose its appeal and when it does, throwing in the towel won’t be far behind.
And the badge of honor that those who are devoted to frugality as a way of life hold up with pride, will only get them so far when it comes to having extra money at the end of the month. Now there’s really nothing wrong with being careful with your money, avoiding unnecessary expenses and even living frugally.
‘Earning More’ Compared To ‘Spending Less’
But if your goal is to accumulate more money, there is a far better way. Unfortunately though, many people don’t even consider it as a viable option. Maybe it seems more controllable to rein in spending than to increase earnings. If you hold this opinion, there are a few good reasons why you may want to rethink your options.
First of all, as already mentioned, you can only save so much money. Some expenses, and these are often the big ones like mortgages or car payments, simply can’t be cut. That leaves money needed for other essentials like food and clothing. After that you’re tapping into your discretionary spending used for extras, like those lattes, or pizza and a movie for the family. When you add all those together there may not be a whole lot left to cut back on.
But, on the other hand there is no ceiling on how much extra you can earn. You just need to figure out how to do it. (And it may not be as difficult as you think – more on this later.)
If you were to focus as much attention on figuring out a way to earn more, as you do on how to spend less, you’d be further ahead than the majority of people.
Most people think it’s too hard to earn more money and so give up before they even give it a try. But it’s worth devoting some time to, when you consider all the benefits that earning more money can bring.
For one thing, there’s the obvious reason that you’ll have more money to spend. But maybe more importantly increasing your income can also provide peace of mind, as you’re not putting all your eggs into a single basket.
Diversifying the ways in which you have money coming into the family coffers is kind of like having insurance. If something terrible happens, like losing your job for instance, you’ll still have a source of income.
Even though they say the economy is getting stronger, there is no guarantee that your job is going to be there in the future, or that you will be getting a wage increase when your contract expires. Like they say, the only sure things are death and taxes.
So, if you have an extra source of income, you won’t have to worry about potential problems like that or about cutting corners. And you’ll still be able to enjoy those simple pleasures that make it worthwhile to get out of bed in the morning.
What Extra Money Can Do For You
It’s a lot easier to make ends meet, pay off debt and have money for some of the things you enjoy. Those things that seemed unreachable are suddenly attainable when you have extra money at your disposal.
If you have a family, you would probably like to be able to make some memories right now. If you wait too long you’re going to miss out on some amazing experiences. A family vacation to Disney World loses some appeal for your kids if you can’t afford to take them there until they’re teenagers.
Then there’s those once in a lifetime opportunities. Like that summer sports or science camp for your son or daughter that’s only available for a certain age group.
Or how about being able to put money away in an education account or saving for your retirement? It’s pretty hard to reach those goals by living frugally.
And what about yourself? Don’t you have dreams that you’d like to fulfill? Unfortunately many dreams cost money. Chances are that you aren’t going to be able to fulfill those dreams just by saving more money in your day-to-day life. Realistically, what needs to happen is that you find a way to earn more money.
And that’s good news because it’s much easier to earn more than it is to save more. And it can be a lot more fun to come up with ways to increase your income than it is to try to cut down your expenses. There’s a reason why budgeting is something that most people avoid like the plague.
How To Live Within Your Means
Of course, it’s important to live within your means. Not having enough money is a very stress filled way to live. But wouldn’t you rather be “living within your means” by making more money instead of by having to spend less? There are a few ways to do that, some better than others.
If you have a decent job you could ask your boss for a raise. If you get paid commission, you could try to sell more product. If you have the opportunity to work overtime, that will put more money in your pocket. You could even go out and try to get a second job.
In each case, you are basically trading time for money. Yes you’ll earn more, but you’ll have less time to enjoy the extra money and less time to be with your family.
There is a better way and it’s a way that more and more people are turning to. It’s no secret that running a home based business is becoming a realistic option for many who want more out of life.
If you’ve never given this option any thought, you may right away come up with a few reasons why you wouldn’t be able to pull it off. For instance, the stumbling block for some is the perceived cost of getting a business up and running. Still others think they don’t have the time. For some it may be figuring out what kind of business to run.
The Home Based Business Solution
Let’s take a look at these apparent problems.
Cost doesn’t have to be a factor at all, depending on the type of business you decide to set up. Now if you’re planning on opening a storefront, then it could get pretty expensive what with rent to pay, employees to hire and stock to purchase.
But those costs don’t come into play if you operate a simple home based business. Here’s why:
1. You won’t need a storefront because you’re operating out of your home.
2. You can start off running it yourself. By the time you get busy to the point where you need to hire someone to help, you’ll be making more than enough money to pay them.
3. Many online home based businesses allow you to sell products without having to stock and ship them yourself. (Choosing a business like this can be a real time saver too because you don’t have to package up the items you sell and then mail them yourself or arrange for shipping.)
Along with the fact that there are few upfront costs when you operate a small home based business, you can work on it as time allows. It doesn’t have to be all consuming, filling up all of your free time. It’s quite possible to successfully run a small business in only a few hours a week and allow it to grow gradually.
Coming up with an idea for a business is the most challenging part for many people. But you probably can’t go wrong if you can find something that you enjoy doing and start doing it for others.
For instance, if you like social networking, there are always people who will pay for someone to take on this task for them. Or, if you enjoy shopping, you could offer a service to shop for those who are pushed for time.
Using and then selling specific products is another way to create a small business. For example, if you are health conscious and use a specific supplement you could share your enthusiasm with family and friends and then perhaps sell them these products.
Not only will you earn some extra money, you may find it to be personally fulfilling too. It could even become a family affair. The real key to personal financial fitness isn’t saving more – it’s earning more. And running a home based business may just be the best way to go about doing that.