I honestly admit, I haven't had a sustainable lifestyle very well (in the past). However, a few good years ago, I discovered an interesting trick that is 180 degrees different from the usual logic. Since it worked well for me, the hope is that maybe someone else will benefit from it ...
Saving money is mostly about annoying counting of every penny, in the style of: "Don't eat out!", "Budget all expenses!", "Buy reasonable housing!", "Drive a car when there are no amenities, such as electric windows!" (Really?), "Call for free concerts!" (Even if I'm not interested in the performer?), "Save electricity!", "Pay with cash!" etc.
For me personally, such a rigid approach to saving has never seemed appealing. This kind of prohibitive-commanding-negative attitude rather causes me to react. From the standard saving mentality, I get the impression that it's emotionally exhausting, secondly, somehow limiting (creates a feeling of deprivation), and thirdly, I don't want to spend my days walking around with a calculator and counting cents, it's not me. There are certainly people for whom the budgeting approach is suitable, but I decided about a decade ago that there must be another method.
When I delved into why, from a psychological point of view, we spend too much at all, often more than we earn (by "helping" credit, smoothing out cash flows), I discovered that the overwhelming reasons are all broadly related to internal insecurity, the fact that we do not know who we really are, what we want and where we are going. If now all kinds of banks, merchants, service providers come in with their powerful advertising (oh, they are made with high quality), then we are easy prey for them, very easy to influence. We buy the latest smart device, car, clothes.
If we're not really immersed in ourselves and we don't know who we are, we're letting marketers and everyone around us just drive over our "more-on-pride" promos. A friend buys a new house, ours too! A friend leases an expensive car, me too! I want to say that, due to the uncertainty, we will lose much more money than we could ever lose by not budgeting and counting every last cent in the grocery store.
The solution - BE YOURSELF, SIMPLY IS CHARM
1. I took a picture of this blog post yesterday afternoon at the Circle K petrol station, right after washing my hands. However, if you want a good picture, a portrait photography session in California costs about $150 ... $250, depending on the photographer's level of recognition, and takes about one hour. This click was completed with one click and took about 2 seconds. There is artificial light in the petrol station to prevent drug behavior and my mobile phone is not the latest ... but I sincerely have discretion over the quality of photography, it is not my hobby.
2. The mobile phone shown in the picture is a few years old and it is the second (!) Smartphone in my life and I have been using a smartphone since they were directly on the market (2007). Since I'm not interested in technology, I don't want to bet much on them - I won this phone (iPhone X) as a prize in the Elisa Open tennis tournament.
3. Randomly captured in-ear wireless Apple AirPods are really expensive stuff. I bought them for the reason that I talk on the phone quite a lot on a daily basis at work, and the constant holding of my right hand to my ear started to violate the ergonomics of my body. That is why I considered it important for me to contribute properly.
What do I want to say?
The logic of our WOWW life says that you can buy whatever you want (like expensive AirPods), the main thing is that this is exactly what you really want. There are not many of these things! (If there are a lot of them, you still don't know who you really are.) You have to delve into yourself and feel that shopping doesn't shape who you are inside. If you do not have confidence, no purchase will compensate for it (I know from experience). Only bet on what is really, REALLY important to you and leave ALL OTHER stuff unpurchased. The fewer things, the better. There is a charm in simplicity. You can spend many times less and at the same time feel that you have many times more if you have a rooted mindset based on simplicity.
The trick is that you don't see saving as negative, like you're constantly losing something, but you spend less because you feel better that way. You know who you are, what exactly you want, and you don't really miss out on anything. You choose the path of more sensible consumption, because you omit all the purchases that have been made for others - you only buy for yourself!
The consequence, if you only bet on very chosen, important things for yourself, is that you will have money left over to save regularly. With savings, your mind is calm. By saving regularly, you can invest regularly, and by investing regularly (monthly) you will become wealthy, it is inevitable, as sure as the law of nature.
My firm recommendation is to simply make a monthly transfer to the investment, as if it were a utility bill. It is definitely not worth planning to invest the money that is left over, because there is usually nothing left over (it is human nature). First pay off your investment, and then plan all that remaining money into expenses. Wealthy people generally all have a habit of paying for themselves first, so they have assets (stocks, real estate), not they take care of the clothing company first, the car salesman and God knows whose third party.
Don't give in to the pressure of producing an average human image. You are not average! You are special - we are all created to be unique (not to consume the same, monotonous brand new crap). Immerse yourself and dare to be yourself.