Apart from things we like to have around, there are basic needs that every individual has: sustenance, shelter, security, and relationships. All of these, whether directly or indirectly, require you to spend money. These are non-negotiable expenses which are the basis of our budgets, sometimes leaving nothing or little over that for self-actualization in the form of interests, hobbies, travel, and more.
Though we all try as hard as well can to make the best living possible for ourselves, we often find that our needs match, if not over exceed, our means, especially in places with either low living wages or an expensive standard of living.
One way to tackle this problem is to lower the expenses associated with our needs in order to have a greater “self-actualization” budget.
Depending on where you live, downsizing might actually come at a greater cost, ex. if you are moving from a house in New Jersey to a condo in Manhattan. However, if you plan in staying in the same area, more often than not, the difference in listing price or rent comes down to square footage. It might seem difficult leaving your spacious apartment or house in exchange for cozier accommodation, but it will most likely mean a decrease in monthly payments like utilities, rent, or mortgage dues. One thing you will have to invest in is storage, as you will need to keep all your belongings in a smaller space. Save up to 70% of your storage space thanks to a large variety of industrial shelving available in the market today which can easily be installed in a small storage locker, garage, basement, or storage room.
- Start Cooking
When you cook at home instead of eating out, not only are you more likely treating your body to more nutritious meals, but you’ll be saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month which you could use for pottery classes, that new camera lens, or a trip to Rome. There are many online and print resources available to inspire interesting and delicious food choices which you can easily make at home with a handful of ingredients. This way, you are still satisfying a need, however you lowering the initial cost of it.
Meeting and socializing with people is an important part of being human, whether it means spending quality time with our families, or joining a book club with friends. Though there is clearly much to gain from relationships, including self-worth, love, and joy, it can come at a great cost. Regularly meeting out for meals, outings like movies, or expensive trips can mean that there is very little left for you and your personal desires. In attempts to balance both the budget and expectations, why not explore the myriad of low-cost or free things to do around where you live. You might find that you actually like picnic-ing in the park, going for a bicycle ride, meeting at libraries, or having dinner at home more than the alternatives you were used to. If you are having a hard time switching completely, strive to make at least half of your engagements low-cost and indulge at the other times.
All of us face reoccurring costs in our daily lives, and sometimes they can be overwhelming. If you want to breathe more easily and perhaps have room to try something that will make you develop as an individual, you might want to minimize your base costs by downsizing your home, learning to cook, and finding less expensive ways to bond with your friends and family.