Can You Really Afford The Lifestyle You Want?

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Live the life you want but getting your financial planning right. 

Most of people hardly know what kind of lifestyle they want. In most cases, they are always chasing new trends if not daydreaming about having the lifestyle other people have. Whatever the trend or dream maybe- that expensive car in the market or a charming house like Jane’s with nice backyard and pool, will you ever be able to afford it?

Modern life is not cheap – we got bills, food, clothes, cars, and mortgages. Those are just the basics – we all still like to go on holidays, have the latest gadgets and enjoy a great social life. All these things cost lots money, which is usually the genesis of the problem. Everything then boils down to basic trade-offs and here are the main ones:

Later over Now

Many of us live beyond our means – borrowing is a serious epidemic in society today that even major service providers are capitalizing on it. The buy now, pay later mindset even leads people to borrow the smallest amounts i.e. airtime, on credit.

Faith over Financial Facts

So can you really afford the lifestyle you want? The answer is, Yes – but you have to be really be smart about it and it just doesn’t take saving and spending less. Let’s be candid, to be able to afford the lifestyle you want, it will require careful financial planning – involving knowing want you want and how to get it. Patience and resilience is something many of us lack to secure our financial footing, hence wind up spending more than we can really afford.

Dipping into debt does not matter too much if it is done occasionally, but if you are living in your debt filled life permanently that you are even borrowing money to pay off old debts and running away from friends that you owe – something has to change.

Suggestions

Here are some thoughts on how you can create the life you want:

(1) See yourself in the manner you want to be – I used to be an avid sportswoman and in sports we use visualization to guide us through training and reduce anxiety during the actual performance – I still use this till today. Bottom-line is, if you cannot visualize it, then you cannot create it. Financial planning requires a lot of it – visualization.

(2) see your glass as half full rather than half empty – adopt a positive mindset and you will be already on your path to making great progress. In order to follow through, financial planning needs an optimistic outlook to see it through.

(3) Adopt a millionaires mind – for different results, do things differently. The idea here is to measure your actions against your vision and see if they are helping you get there or not. Keep in mind that birds born in a cages, think that flying is an illness.

(4) Reaffirm your vision everyday – habits and thoughts can pull us down or even prevent us for actualizing our vision, so you need to stay true to your vision and keep strengthening it every day to keeps it burning.

As for the debt, reassess your standing and be ruthless when cut out everything you neither need nor can afford.

Needs over Wants

Debt to fund your wants is a sure way to wind up seriously broke. Reassess your standing by finding that balance between your needs and wants – but ruthlessly cut out everything you neither need nor can afford. Once you have managed to get your personal finances in order, look for ways to reduce your debt obligations. You can read more on  5 Effective Ways to Get Out of Debt Quickly

It will take a lot of patience and work to get your footing again. Once you do, be careful not to fall back into old habits as we cannot all afford the lifestyle we want while particularly in debt– that is life, simply.


Bottom-line: I know that it is very difficult to deny ourselves the things we really want and even so weigh those desires against debt.  Basing life on what you can really can afford is a tedious task of balancing between trade-offs. Failing to relentlessly question these trade-offs leads to a miserable life in which you really cannot afford the lifestyle you want.

Happy Planning!

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Irene Makanga
Irene has an MBA in Finance and is an avid businesswoman, passionate about financial literacy.

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