I think living on a small budget is really cool. JD and myself are able to live an amazing life – in Europe – with only €400,- a month. For two persons. And that includes everything from transport to food and insurance. I wouldn’t say there aren’t any disadvantages. Of course there are. But the benefits of living on a budget are plenty. It changed my life for the better. Living on a budget adds true value in our lives. Let me tell you about them.
#1 Living on a budget increases your creativity
A great metaphor for why I think living on a budget is cool is how I deal with cooking. I love cooking. Since I live with a restricted budget my cooking did improve. I have fun in cooking with the last pieces in the fridge. It results in the most creative and delicious dishes. I had to learn about the basics of seasoning and preparing basic sauces myself. No packets from the supermarket but everything from scratch.
This cooking metaphor applies to all aspects in my life. Living on a budget means no instant solutions but doing the basics myself. So I need to learn, think creative and act creative, see smart solutions. Not the easy way. But the fun and satisfying way. Talking about Perfect Strugglers here..
A restricted budget forces you to be creative. Living for free in Europe by pet sitting is an example of our renewed creativity. 3 Years ago this option would never have occurred to me. And now we live this life full-time!
A more creative life as a consequence of living on a budget. Cause and effect. As simple as it looks.
#2 Living on a budget reveals real value
One of the consequences of living on a budget is that you can’t have everything that you want; when you want it! This means you have to choose. And how can you choose? You can only spend that dollar once. The most obvious criteria is to choose the option that brings you the most value. And I discovered it is not about ordering the fancy coffees in a Scandinavian styled bar but about being in the company of a good friend.
I think it is really cool to be forced to choose. Sometimes it feels as a struggle, but moreover it is educative and insightful.
Those coffees, expensive concerts, dinners are nice but an extra to me. Real value is different. Since I started living on a budget I see true value better.
#3 The best things in life come for free
And talking about real value. It is really true that the best things in life come for free. I love to stroll through a city and feel the vibe, admire the architecture. It comes for free. I love to feel healthy and to make my body move a lot every day. Doesn’t cost a penny. My real friends and family don’t ask me to spend tons to be with them. We just have a good time and talk about life. Love don’t cost a thing.
#4 Living on a budget brings you more time
It is an easy equation, the more you spend the higher the income you need. To most people the following logic applies; for a higher income you have to work more hours. So that means your expenditure pattern has a direct relation with the amount of hours you need to work. You can maximize them both: your expenses and your working hours. But you can also choose to downsize them both. That is what I love about living on a budget: I have way more valuable time besides my hours behind a laptop.
I love my hours separated from my laptop. Living on a budget gave me the most precious gift there is. Time. And you can spend time only once too. So make it count.
#5 A budget lifestyle is better for the world
Living on a budget is good for your wallet in terms of less money floating out. But it is great for several other things as well. Think about your ecological footprint. It benefits a lot from people living on a budget. They don’t buy a new pair of trousers every week, don’t catch more flights a year than fingers on your hand, don’t rent a speedboat whenever they are close to water. Don’t waste all kind of resources. The world will do well with more budget lifestyles.
#6 It allows you to invest
Living on a budget allow you to invest in long term things that are important or exciting to you. For a certain amount of time – or infinitely of course – you will need less money to live. So you can spread the money you have to more months. Living on a budget buys you time. You can set up your own business and handle the first months in which you suffer losses or don’t have an income yet. You can use this time to write a book. To spend time with your newborn. Or use it to travel. Whatever. You can invest that time in something that is important to you. And that is another cool aspect of living on a budget.
#7 It makes you active
The most easy way to entertain yourself – to be entertained – is by crashing on a terrace and order booze. Or to sit down in the cinema and 2 hours fly away. When you live on a budget that is not (always) possible.
You have to put a little more activity and effort in entertainment. You have to move that body or do something. Ordering home food delivery is not going to bring you that 10.000 steps per day.
#8 Something to wish for remains
What do you think is better: the longing or the “actually having something” part?
For me, the longing part is the better one. The dream of having or achieving something one day inspires me every day to do what I need or want to do. When you are living on a budget you can’t satisfy all your wishes right away. Some of them you can, but not all of them.
Having goals left – both material and non-material – motivates me to work, to try, to appreciate what I have accomplished. To not take things for granted. It makes me a more satisfied and grateful person. In the end, the motor of things is to have some kind of goal. So I hope not all of my goals will be fulfilled for the coming years. What will be left once you have everything?
Did I manage to bring across why living on a budget adds value?
I hope this blog makes you see and appreciate the benefits of living on a budget. And who knows you decide to jump into the budget challenge as well. Even if it is only for a weekend or a month.
What are your budget tips?
Or what is the main benefit for you of living on a budget?
Write them down in the comments below!
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