Build Your Quality of Life by Investing in Your Lifestyle

Money is tight for many individuals and businesses right now, with inflation at record highs and pressures on the economy coming from multiple directions at once, from the lingering effects of the pandemic to shipping freezes and the war in Ukraine.

Despite the challenges, there is good news: it is possible to make your money and resources work for you. Even if your budget is tight.

Money can be a powerful tool whether it’s coming in a flood or a trickle. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to how to direct that flow. Think of a garden hose: even a modest trickle can be turned into an arc spray and reach much further if you place your thumb in the right place over the nozzle.

When the going gets tough financially, you have the opportunity to carefully evaluate what’s working and what’s not, to adjust your approach and apply pressure where necessary to maximize the power of your cash flow. This is true for both personal and business finances. And the hard work you do now can continue to benefit you even when things get better.

There are several steps you can take to ensure you maximize the quality of your personal and/or business life, often simply by making adjustments.

Take the time to evaluate how your money is working

Before you start adjusting your cash flow or making significant changes to your financial strategy, it’s important to take the time to build a complete financial picture.

Whether you’re evaluating business or personal finances, the first step to making your money work for you is to have a clear idea of ​​what it’s already doing. Are you finding yourself financially drained instead of fostering growth in your life?

The answer to that question can be very different for different individuals or companies. We do not all share the same goals and values.

Once we’ve identified the answers to our situation, it’s important to evaluate how to make adjustments to change the outcomes that need to change. As LifestyleInvestor Justin Donald says, “Whatever you do, take action. If it’s wrong, pivot and do something else, but don’t do anything.”

It’s awfully easy to let inertia overtake financial health. That’s why periodic audits can be helpful: they shine a light on sinkholes so we can take action to stop them. Try to schedule your yearly or monthly routine: good habits can lead to health and wealth.

Here are some areas to consider for potential savings when doing a financial assessment

1. Subscription Services

Ever realize you haven’t used your streaming subscription in months? Take some time to decide how much usage of a real-time subscription or magazine makes the cost worth it, and then evaluate how much time you actually spend reading those articles or watching your favorite shows. If you have piles of unread issues sitting in the corner of your desk, or you haven’t tuned into a show in weeks, it might be time to consider ending your subscription.

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2. Spending on software and advertising

This is a bit more applicable to businesses than individuals, but even an individual budget can be affected by an unnecessary Adobe Cloud subscription you got to complete a project last year and then forgot about. As a business owner, you can periodically evaluate SaaS products to determine if the cost is justified by the time savings and increased productivity. If not, you may want to consider alternatives.

It’s also a good idea to have your marketing team evaluate where your advertising dollars are going. Are you publishing regular ads in newspapers with a small readership or on websites with firewalls that may prevent impressions? Maybe it’s time to redirect those funds to more effective alternatives.

3. Interest rates

Do interest rates work for or against you? Take a look at your investments and your debts to decide if there is room for improvement. With debt like loans and credit cards, check your rates periodically to see if yours have increased. With credit cards, it’s best to pay off the balance in full each month and avoid interest charges altogether, but if you ever need to finance an emergency purchase, it’s important to know how much it will cost you ahead of time.

Likewise, if you already have balance, you may be able to find a lower-interest loan or balance transfer card that could save you significant amounts of money. Now may not be the time to refinance a mortgage, but if you have other loans, such as small business loans or private student loans, you may want to consider shopping around for a better deal. Just make sure you read the fine print to avoid hidden fees.

You can do the same with your investments. If you have more than $1,000 in a savings account, it might be time to find a home with the highest earning potential for that money. This is a somewhat extreme example, but keep an eye on your investments and look for opportunities for higher growth (depending on your risk tolerance) periodically. Just make sure you don’t make decisions based on panic. This is where a good financial advisor can help.

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4. Cut corners

Part of your financial health assessment should include a list of needs and wants. Your team of ten may not need an enterprise edition of project management or email software. Maybe you don’t need the more expensive version of Zoom or Dropbox. Are there alternatives to some of these more expensive programs that your team can get by on? If so, the dollars you save can support your equipment or increase production.

You can use a similar strategy for personal finance as well. Maybe you enjoy a glass of red wine every night with dinner. Finding a good quality $10 bottle instead of your usual $50 wine could add up to a huge savings over time. You may be a movie buff. Instead of a $15 movie ticket at the theater, you can find something to rent online for $5. You can put the dollars you save each month into a vacation fund or an investment portfolio.

When you cut the fat, don’t cut the muscle too

Assessing your finances and looking for ways to adjust your spending to save money is a critical aspect of improving your financial well-being. But you can take it too far. Economics, even in a business, is not always a simple equation of dollars and cents. Sometimes spending a little more in the right sphere, while painful at the moment, will lead to increased wealth in the future.

Most of us are familiar with this principle. We know that if we buy the cheap hiking boots, we’ll end up with blisters and likely take out our soles after a few outings. And then we go back to buying hiking boots, and ultimately spending more than we would have if we researched, saved, and bought the more expensive, well-made product.

This may be less obvious in business. Often when cutting corners, we start looking at employee salaries and benefit packages and start by laying off staff. Sometimes this is necessary. But it can also lead to unintended consequences.

Employees are more than business elements and can add value in unexpected ways, especially when they feel valued and engaged with their employer. They have institutional knowledge and build relationships for your company. It’s worth the extra time to evaluate other types of expenses before you fire people. High overload? Consider leaving the office and going fully remote or working out a hybrid schedule to reduce heating and cooling costs.

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Invest in team members with strong skills and continue to invest in them through training and wellness programs. In turn, they will contribute to the well-being of your business and can make the difference between feast or famine in tough times. Remember that some forms of productivity are hard to measure and don’t translate into spreadsheets and graphs.

Some tips to improve your financial literacy and business and personal lifestyle

  • Buy durable, high-quality items when you can, and check for warranties and whether a company stands behind the product it produces
  • Try not to make purchases on revolving credit. Save before you buy or find a way to make an investment that will yield enough interest to make your payments
  • Consider passive income options like real estate investments to give you a financial cushion
  • Educate yourself about investments, the products you buy, and the economy (your economy) and make financial decisions carefully, not impulsively.
  • Invest in people. Treat your employees well by understanding that their value goes beyond simple task-based productivity
  • On a personal level, cultivate friendships with money-smart people

When you think about how you spend your money, think about quality, not quantity. Invest in the best quality you can, when you can. Look at warranties and upgrade capabilities – try to buy once and enjoy the items for years.

Do your homework and take regular assessments. Take note of what was a great decision last year and admit if a great decision last year is not a wise choice for you today. Don’t buy impulsively and don’t make impulsive investment decisions. Reflect your values ​​in your work, life, and business, and these choices will begin to pay you back.

Spending a little extra time and a little extra money upfront can make all the difference to your financial well-being and lifestyle.

By Peter Daisyme

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial, estate planning or other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times is not responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.

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