There will never be a ‘perfect’ time to save money, pay off debt, begin investing, give to others, get fit, lose weight etc. There may be times when it will be easier but you can still try and make changes in the season that you are in now.
At the moment, I’m so exhausted. My brain feels foggy most of the time from lack of sleep, toddler tantrums and limited alone time.
I’m not earning an income so don’t have much extra to throw around.
I try to make the most of the little snippets of time I have to work on this page (many of my posts are written during the 3am feed with one eye open). I do my best at little side hustles. I try to make our money stretch and use it to pay off the mortgage, build up our emergency fund and invest.
One day we will be able to do more with what we have and I’m okay with that.
Here are some of the common excuses I hear for why making changes to their finances are too hard.
“I’m too busy.”
Why not try a side hustle in the evening or weekends? Switch scrolling on social media or playing games on your phone and find a way to make some cash on the side. This might begin with reading some books or blogs to get ideas about where to start, selling items on marketplace, completing surveys, market research, writing an ebook etc. Just start something.
“I earn a low wage.”
This can be so tough, especially with the rising cost of living. Can you ask for a raise, upskill, study, do night shift or weekend work with penalty rates, get a second job, begin a side hustle, start a business, invest to accrue dividends? Consider moving to a cheaper suburb or smaller house as another option.
“I’m so tired.”
If this is you right now, focus on rest and looking after yourself. Eat well, walk most days and try to get enough sleep. There are seasons where slowly down is more important than getting ahead. Jot down some ideas of what you can do when you are able to. Figure out where you want to be and work backwards from there. Write down some achievable steps you can take to reach your goals.
“I’m only on one income.”
Can you find areas to save money, negotiate better deals, find a creative way to earn more money? Or perhaps you need to acknowledge that this might just be a season. There will be a chance to earn more money when you both are able to work, whether that means you have finished study, recovered from an injury or illness, or once the kids are at school. Do what you can with what you have now, and know that it won’t be forever.
“I’m too young to worry about that.”
Actually now is the perfect time to start! Work hard to pay off any debt you have, including HELP. Compound interest is your friend. Contribute more to superannuation. Begin investing in shares or buying an investment property. Do what you can now to set yourself up for the future.
“I’m too old now.”
You’re never too old! You have experience and wisdom behind you my friend. Use it to your advantage. Any steps you take now will help you in your retirement. Consider switching to part time work rather than retiring completely. This can help you adjust to a new stage of life while still having money come in. Our neighbours just turned eighty and they both still work part time. They use this money to eat and drink well, improve their garden and travel (at least pre-pandemic anyway!). They are inspiring with how they view retirement.
There are always excuses, many of them valid, but merely pointing them out will not help you reach financial freedom. Take some time to consider where you want to go in life. What practical steps could you take today to reach your goals?
Start with small, achievable goals and work towards them. The success you will gain will propel you forward, motivating you to keep on going. The hardest part is starting.
[Disclaimer: I’m not trained in finance so don’t take it from me. Feel free to grab ideas from this post but always see a professional for advice that is relevant and personal to your situation.]
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