Sometimes when we think about saving money and financial freedom, we think about getting good deals on what we buy and making wise investments. However, saving money and building wealth isn’t just about the bargains we can wrangle through haggling or by shopping sales, and it isn’t just about setting money aside in a retirement account while paying down debt. The way you live your life can actually have a big impact on how much money you save in the long-term.
The way we treat ourselves, our stuff and others all contribute to our long-term financial freedom. Here are 4 lifestyle habits that, if cultivated correctly, can pay big dividends over time:
Your physical health is one of the most important aspects of your lifestyle — especially if you want to save money. The way our health care system is set up, good health is expensive. Bad health, though, can be financially devastating. If you have poor health habits, you will be more prone to expensive diseases as well as ever higher health insurance premiums. You can reduce the chances of expensive hospital stays and chronic diseases by exercising, eating nutritional foods, and avoiding habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption that can actively damage your body.
My husband and I have had the first car we bought together for eight years. It’s paid off. It still runs well. We’ve had to perform only minimal repairs on it. If we keep treating it right with regular maintenance, there’s a good chance that it will last long enough for our son to drive it in another eight years. We are careful to treat our clothes, furniture, television, and other items with care. As a result, they last longer. We pay a little more for higher quality goods, and, with good care, they last a long time. This means we don’t have to keep buying new things.
An education can be a great thing. Learning how to improve your skills and increase your earning power can help you make more money over a lifetime. On top of that, continued education can help you learn how to more effectively manage your resources. Learning can also contribute to your own enjoyment of life, whether you learn about other cultures, learn a musical instrument or language, or keep up with what is happening in politics. When you have information — even if it wasn’t acquired through formal training at a university — you have the tools to leverage opportunities that come your way.
Follow the Golden Rule, and you will feel better about those around you, and likely be happier in yourself. Not only that, but people who treat others well open doors that may not have been opened otherwise. Opportunities to help others abound. Many personal finance experts talk about how giving can actually help you live a better financial life. Plus, you never know who you are helping — and how he or she could help you later. Treat co-workers, clients, and superiors with respect, and you can build a network that could help your career.
What other lifestyle habits can help you on the path to financial freedom?
Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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