By the time you get to age 35, you already know what you want from life. You have built yourself into a solid career or have acquired skills that help you earn a comfortable life. You also know what lifestyle habits to drop or take up to improve the quality of your life.
This article explores some of the positive lifestyle choices people over 35 made that impacted the quality of their lives. Maybe we can replicate some of these choices in our lives as well.
Spend Less Than You Earn
Always spend less than you earn, no matter how much or little that is. To do this, you need to internalize the difference between “need” and “want,” but living beyond your means will be a prime source of stress.
Improve Your Prospects by Studying
Go back to school and improve your skills. When you get a higher education, you improve your prospects and earning potential.
Live Within Your Means
Do not overextend yourself to keep up with others. Many people are living extravagant lifestyles financed with debt. They are constantly stressing over money.
Save for That Trip
After saving money to cover emergencies and needs, start saving for the trip you’ve always wanted to take. It is good to spend money to create memories but ensure you do not get into debt doing so.
Be Serious About Your Health
Bad health is a bad investment. Your health could drain your savings. Exercise occasionally to keep fit and watch what you eat.
Stop Going to Bars
If you cannot quit drinking, find a way to take these drinks at home. You will always spend more than you anticipated when you visit the bar. The price of food and drinks at the bar is always marked up.
Learn To Make Yourself Happy
No, you don’t have to max out every retirement contribution before spending money to enjoy yourself. Go on a nice vacation while still putting money away for retirement. There is no point in worrying about retirement if you are not happy at the moment.
Get Out of Debt
Pay off your debts, even your mortgage, if possible. You will have absolute freedom. Work won’t stress you up anymore because your bills will become non-essential, and you can quit at will.
Save the Little You Have
Save money. No matter how little it is. Saving becomes a good habit. Do not worry about how little you save or when you start. After some time, you will have a decent nest egg to help you in retirement.
Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt
If you rack up credit card debt, get a personal line of credit and pay off the cc debt. You will pay a much lower interest rate. This is called debt consolidation if you do it for multiple cc’s. Think about retirement early; use RRSPs. Get a TFSA mutual fund and a TFSA direct investing account if you want to invest in stocks. You don’t pay tax when you eventually pull money out of them. Don’t invest what you aren’t willing to lose.
Cultivate Financial Discipline
Do not be influenced by your peers. Find your path to financial independence. You do not need to move to a more expensive neighborhood because your friends are doing the same. Live below your means and invest as much as possible for as long as possible.
Invest Instead of Saving
Ditch the savings account and open up an investment account to buy stocks. Investing in solid stocks can generate more money in the long run.
Budget for Everything
Most people only think about money, but you can also budget for your time, food, and other things. For instance, you could have an expense budget that covers your mortgage, utilities, retirement/savings (a smaller base amount), then food, entertainment, etc. Any leftover may go into a retirement fund or savings account.
Avoid Frivolous Purchases
Cut back on frivolous purchases and pay off your debt. You’ll feel less stressed and have more money at your disposal.
Buy a Rental Property as Soon as Possible
People will always need somewhere to live. A rental property puts some money in your pocket. This will help you offset your mortgage and potentially be the start of future properties.
Track Your Finances
Dedicate yourself to living within a fraction of your monthly income. Living within one’s means isn’t particularly difficult, but it may require learning to enjoy the simpler things in life. Track how you spend every penny.
Cook Meals Instead of Ordering In
Ordering meals is always an expensive affair. Learn how to cook, and you will save a lot of money in the long run. A $20-$30 expense on pizza for one night can be used to buy groceries for a few days. Plus, it tastes better when you learn how to cook and practice at it. A $10 hamburger from a fast food place filled with a heart-attack sauce that tastes horrible is not a good investment. Cooking meals at home is a good way to be creative, resourceful, and save money.
Pay All Bills on Time
Even if you have to live without extra spending cash, many people are so much in debt because they only pay minimum payments, incur late charges, and live beyond their realistic means. Get in the habit of budgeting money very carefully. Make lists/spreadsheets every month and stick to them as closely as possible.
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