Is stress keeping you up all night? Are you stressful to think always not enough to pay bills and food. Are you living with the fear of car break down, rent overdue, job insecurity, getting sick or fear of mishap. All these affect your daily living, not able to enjoy what you desire and constantly penny-pinching. With some diligence and practical knowledge, you can improve savings and when directed to the right place, yourself… no, not to indulge in yourself but to invest in yourself. You are the greatest and most expensive asset with a great potential.  

Three key principles you can apply today and start to save money for a greater cause.

Believe that you are the greatest asset in the universe. You are placed on earth to be successful and to help others. A seed has all the potential to become a fruitful fruit-bearing tree that multiplies and fill the world with its uniquely tasty fruit for the world to enjoy. Likewise, you have the same potential to thrive as much as you work on developing your valuable contribution to the society.

See your future. What you see will shape your future.  Take a piece of A4 paper and divided into half without drawing the middle line. Write on your left the NOW and on your right, the FUTURE. Draw or cut and paste any pictures of your current now situation. The clearer you can describe the pain and challenges, the more committed you are to work. On the right, draw or cut and paste any pictures of your future. Don’t extrapolate too far away. You might want to focus on the goal getting out of debt pictures, probably a holiday destination to celebrate the endeavor.

Now write in the middle at least 3 things that you believe in yourself like I’m valuable, I’m an Asset, I’m smart, I’m hard-working or I’m precious.

Set Goals. Write your 3 goals you want to achieve this year, one of which should be getting out of debt. Place that artwork in your personal desk area or a place that you can constantly gaze on it. By doing that, you’ve already set yourself mentally for success.

Imagine yourself running out of water and wandering in the hot desert. You know you have very limited water reserve (your income). What would be your motivation to seek help and survive?

Debt is like a slave master constantly demanding your time and energy in exchange of temporarily rewarding pleasure. It slowly drains your life away, as you pile more debt in pursuit for a promise of better living. By the time you realize what had happened, you are already approaching 40 years old.

A rich person rules poor people, and a borrower is a slave to a lender.

For a change to happen, one has to acknowledge the bitter ‘NOW’ reality and adopt a completely humble attitude to learning through deep observation. Your current lack or debt situation is a temporary setback but your future is bright and is predictable by your action you take today.  

Cut your ‘slave’ umbilical cord

The main way to stop a financial bleeding is to cut up, yes, that’s correct, all credit cards. We are so accustomed to trusting credit cards to meet our needs, especially when the going gets tough. That is the exact reason why so many people get deeper into credit card debts. This will not give any room for error as you strategize to defeat debt completely. If you’re currently deep into your debt, is best to get a professional help.   

Reprioritize your income spend

Your money that you currently have is the most important tool to invest in yourself, mainly health, right knowledge to increase your value you can provide in your workplace and getting more popular now, sharing your interest or expertise through a blog to generate a more sustainable long-term income globally.

Health is Wealth

First is to invest in your health, no, I’m not referring to only eating organic, pesticide-free foods, which are mostly beyond reach to most people reading this. As someone passionate and believes that a healthy body will allow you to live an abundant life, keeping yourself full of energy and with mind clarity are crucial for your success.

The simplest ways to save money and restore body and unleash creative mind are to avoid process foods, drinks, and meats, including junk foods, sugary drinks, and sausages. Buying whole foods even though not organic, is still far better than any processed, factory made foods that have high sugar, saturated fats and trans fats and virtually no significant beneficial nutrients. I personally use a nutrient-dense supplement to boost my energy and mind clarity.

My purpose is not to be a policeman telling you what you should or should not do but to give you some ideas and suggestions I find helpful to myself so you can make a wiser choice, one step at a time, without making you feel miserable. When you’re living with just enough or some say paycheck-to-pay check, spending money on things just to get approval from others is just not wise.

Reducing significant expenses – I personally find helpful

1. Downsize your mobile phone plan or choose pay as you go plan with only essentials and small size not more than 2BG of data. I prefer the unlimited calls and text and with 1.5GB.

2. Remove any unnecessary subscriptions – magazines, Netflix, Foxtel, cable Tv. Invest your time learning from youtube.

3. Choose a reliable and cheap unlimited internet plan. Check for good reviews on the reliability of the internet service provider.

4. Dine out less often or choose a less expensive outlet. I only dine out on a special occasion like friend’s birthday party and company events.

5. Have less frequent takeaways. I had successfully reduced my takeaways from 4 times a week to once or twice a week. I do occasionally dine out with friends but is not my weekly activity. I’m able to do this is because I learn cooking and improvising wholesome meals from youtube and online simple recipe. I often use a slow cooker to cook a 3-day meal for myself. I would chuck the meat with bones and veggies in a slow cooker in the morning and have my dinner straight away when I get back from work, later in the evening. My simple slow cook meat dish recipe.

6. Get your coffee from your workplace or if you love and drink coffee often like I do, get your own coffee machine (DeLonghi EC155 15 Bar Espresso and Cappuccino Machine I personally used – good and reliable).

7. Rent consumes the biggest portion of a person income. Getting a temporary place with cheaper rent while you work on getting your finance afloat is a smart way to keep your stress level down and give more room for you to breath. Try to choose the place with included electricity, water, and internet bills. Moving closer to your workplace can save you money and time. Consider the convenience of getting public transport or parking place.

8. Cut down personal spending on clothing, fancy food, accessories, personal care, electronics, shoes, car accessories, concert tickets, video games, music & movies. You’ll be surprised that you can save tons of money.

I tend to prioritize the essentials – buying books of my interest and passion and hardly spend on myself at this moment. In return, I invested the money in education and online businesses that slowly generating income. By saving a cup of coffee a day, I also managed to pay for my online education and business.

Scenario 1

A man is working 9-5 job trying to live paycheck-to-paycheck. He squandered his pay by the end of the week with little or no savings. He complains that he doesn’t have enough and hates his job but he doesn’t invest time and money on self-development because he doesn’t have time or money. Compared to…

Scenario 2

A man is working 9-5 job and invest time consistently into his passion working from home blogging (or wherever he wants) doing the things he loves. His passion is his work, and he still has sustained income and doesn’t have to worry about money. Slowly his work developed into a more sustainable income and now he can work part time job while enjoying what he loves doing from home and have more time to spend with loved ones and friends.

These are, hopefully, just a temporary inconvenience that will pay off when you invest your money and effort into yourself and become great at what you love to do most. Your accumulated multiple efforts at getting educated and pulling in money to survive, then thrive, will then demonstrate your tenacity, resourcefulness, and competence. It is even better if you have an online project like an online entrepreneurial endeavor.

How do you save money and invest for a better cause?  

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