In January 2015, the Wall Street Journal released a report by Bankrate that stated three out of five Americans would not have money in their savings to pay for an unexpected car repair or medical emergency.
Although many Americans say they have a budget, results like these show that many don’t live by their budgets. If you’d like to earn more income to meet your family expenses, I offer an alternative.
The number one alternative if you cannot earn more money is to adapt your lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions for how a person or family can adapt their lifestyle:
You may want to downsize where you live or move to a more economic city. Reducing your home expenses can be critical to your budget, as home expenses typically consume the majority of a budget. I know that is a lot to handle, but for some it may be the best thing to do.
Go through your home (top to bottom and left to right) and find items that you don’t need or no longer use. If you come across something that you haven’t seen in a year or more, sell it!
How do you sell it? With technology today, it is easy. Use your camera phone, take a picture of the item, and sell the items via eBay, Craigslist, or OfferUp.
Being frugal isn’t being cheap. In my opinion, being frugal is being smart. In order to adapt your income to your lifestyle, living frugal is important. I must admit, frugal living does take some time and creativity, but there a lot of things that we can save money on if we put our minds to it.
One of my mentors always says, “Don’t buy what you don’t need and don’t spend what you cannot afford to spend—live beneath your means!” Being frugal is living beneath your means.
Debt is not your friend. I repeat, debt is not your friend! Because it isn’t your friend you must eliminate it as soon as possible. Hopefully you are looking in your home to find out what items you don’t need or not longer use, to sell them on eBay. You should use a third of those funds to pay down your debt.
You will want to take another third of your revenue from sales to invest. When you invest, you don’t want to limit it to simply securities or just “real estate.” You will want to invest in IPAs (Income Producing Assets). I wrote a free e-book, Income Producing Assets which has some investment ideas for you.
The International Coach Federation says “professional coaching brings many wonderful benefits: fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence.”
A finance coach can help you make difficult finance decisions and ease excess pressure from you. In the right environment, a coach isn’t a financial decision, it’s a necessity.
In conclusion, 3 out of 5 Americans not being in a position to sustain an emergency is not a good percentage. We need to do something and the answer to this issue isn’t saving money like our parents and grandparents did. In my opinion, it is about living within your means, investing and living frugal. Our mindsets have to change. Another flat screen television, luxury vehicle, elegant dining, extravagant clothing will not benefit you. But adapting your lifestyle to your income or vice versa will!