Balanced Budget: Happier Life
iSavta | 21.05.2020
Have you ever thought to yourself how life can be better lived? How can one truly live a more fulfilled life? Have you ever imagined yourself having a sustained joyful life, now or in the future? When should we truly enjoy life and does money really matter?
Many of us brave foreign lands, unparalleled adventures of leaving their homeland, leaving family and friends, sometimes even facing painful adversities, because of economic reasons. We work abroad, live abroad, and even immigrate - to find greener pastures, to live more comfortably, to be able to afford a better lifestyle for us and our loved ones. And though this is a tough decision with the best intentions, many of us have actually failed to balance life - most of the time resulting in frustration, misery and depression.
Have you ever heard of the quote: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Does this mean we should not earn money anymore? Does it mean we should never desire to prosper? No, it simply means not to love money by giving it more importance than things it cannot afford like manners, morals, character, common sense and integrity. Demonizing our desire to earn money to provide for our families should never be the case, as long as it is money we’ve acquired honestly and through our sweats, there is nothing to fear.
Having money is not just practical, rather, it is simply the way to buy & sell. There is no other way to live on earth but to use money so we can buy our needs and wants, or to provide for our family members, or even share with other people or charities. Whether we like it or not, money still makes the world go round. Even King Solomon that many people consider to be the wisest man said: “Money is the answer to everything.”
It is the reason why the subject of money is very important, and its right use actually leads to a meaningful life. While many of us have heard of doing good stuff in order to have a satisfied life; the intelligent use, distribution and multiplication of our hard-earned money in order to solve many of life’s current or potential problems, absolutely results in life's fulfilment.
Fulfillment, when defined is: “the feeling of being happy and satisfied with your life because you are doing interesting, useful, or important things.” Seems like a simple definition, it is! But there is a secret in order to be happily satisfied doing valuable things, it is when you’ve balanced the use of your money in a way that you have less worries, more purchasing power, and are productive even during your golden age.
So how do we balance our earning and spending? What are some important factors we have to remember?
Ants are the best examples of the wisdom of saving. We were probably toddlers when we were introduced to ants. We see them storing food, even when there’s still plenty, because they know, there are different seasons, and there will come a time when they can no longer gather food. This is very similar in our lives. As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great lesson many have learned the painful way. Many people lost their jobs without having enough savings (or no savings at all.) As a lesson from ants, it is really easier to survive the different seasons of life when there is enough that has been saved in the storehouse.
If you have already started saving, just continue with it. For those who want to start saving, start by setting apart a small percentage of your income, 3-5% of your income would be a good start. When you have some more, go on and save even more!
SPEND ON NECESSITIES
When we are abroad, we tend to think that we can easily recover money that we spend, so many fail to have a budget. This is when the temptation to spend on unnecessary things begin. Businessmen have studied the purchasing attitudes of people, and they know the right time to put up the sale. Many who work abroad have relatively good purchasing power, so when the sale comes, our money begins to fly in order to buy the expensive, luxurious stuff that is now on sale. Worse, if we use our credit cards just to catch the item on sale.
We need to define the most basic things - food, clothing & shelter. This doesn’t mean eating in fine dining restaurants everydays, nor wearing designer clothes all the time, nor splurging on mansions. This does not necessarily mean buying the most ordinary as well. It depends on what is comfortable both to your lifestyle and your budget; but again, you need to have a budget and stick to it! These things are only good when we have so much extra to afford those after we have set aside a good amount for savings and investments.
Investment and Savings are similar in a sense because both would mean we have stored something out of our income. Investment however, should really be given a different budget aside from savings. This is the money you will use as a seed to grow something. Investment comes in different forms - monetary, emotional, health and even leisure.
Since there are many categories to consider in investments, you may set a general budget for this and allocate again for each. Monetary investments could refer to business or money instruments - we use our money to grow more money. In this way, we set aside a budget to start another income source. While all kinds of investments have risks, studying whether the business or money instrument (bonds, stocks, etc.) that we are investing in, truly have a very good return or not, would be a wise thing to do!
Don’t forget to invest in other people too. When we give love & respect not only to our family members, but also to our friends, it will return to us, maybe in the present, but most likely in the future.
Investing in our health is very important too. The only real asset that we have is our healthy self. So don’t forget to take some rest, drink lots of water, and eat healthy food. Also, never forget to have yourself insured, we all get sick, we don’t want all our savings just to be drained by hospital bills.
Doing things that make us happy is actually another type of investment to our emotional health. There is no point in having too much savings when we can no longer enjoy it when we’re too old, so setting aside a budget for leisure isn’t bad at all. Just make sure, it is within our budget.
Always remember, we don’t have forever to work. So while we are still able to earn money, we need to start making a budget plan so we could start saving and investing. Money is always the cause of many heartaches and stresses among family and friends. Money too brings a lot of solutions and happy experiences. Lesson? Start creating a balanced budget, it will lead to a happier life.
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