February 16, 2012, 6:00 am

How Do You Afford it?

by: MD    Category: Miscellaneous
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How do you afford it?

That was one of the questions that a friend asked asked me when I got back from my recent trip. This friend has gone on one trip in the past five years. She was just curious as to how someone could afford to travel often. I’ll get back to this later.

The Financial Blogger has greatly focused on building wealth. A huge aspect of getting your finances under control revolves around increasing your income. The other part to building wealth involves actually saving some of the money that you earn. Saving money isn’t one the sexiest topics on a personal finance blog because we would all obviously like to earn more money. However, I really wanted to talk about saving money today.

How do you afford it? How can someone afford to travel? How can you afford to have a nice car? How can you afford that dream house?

In my opinion in all boils down to one key concept. Saving money and being able to have what you want is actually really simple. It’s much simpler than you would think it is.

This key concept is that you need to prioritize.

The common saying here is that you can have anything that you want but not everything that you want. You can afford to travel. You can afford that nice downtown condo. You can have what you want. You just can’t have it all. Once you accept this fact you can start saving for what you want next.

I save for my trips by cutting back in other areas. I’ll make my own food or go out less often. I’ll prioritize so that I can do what I really want to do with my money.

Saving money is VERY important.

You won’t have what you want unless you save for it. As boring as saving money is, you need to do it. If you can’t stand saving money then you can pay yourself first or do automatic deductions with your bank from your paychecks. There are many ways that you can force yourself to save money. All that matter is that you start putting money away so that you can afford what you want.

The key here is that you save money on the things that you don’t care about so that you can spend your money on what truly matters to you. I love to travel. My friends know this. I also enjoy going out with friends. The thing is that I enjoy traveling much more than I enjoy expensive nights out on the town. What do I do? We find ways to cut back on the expenses when we go out. We’ll drink at home first, take the bus, go early, or find other clever ways to have a blast without killing the wallet. We all see it as a win-win.

You can afford it.

You can afford most things within reason. Obviously you couldn’t afford a Ferrari on a $30K salary without some sort of a side business or an inheritance. You have the common sense to know what you can afford on your income. The beauty is that if you save your money and plan your purchases out, you can have all of that cool stuff. You can have the newest smart phone. You can travel more. You just need to realize that you can afford it. The problem is saving and planning. Once you master these two skills, you can have more than you ever thought you could.

I wanted to turn it over to the readers now– how do you afford the things that you want? Do you increase how much money you have coming in or do you focus on saving more money?

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For things I want I simply figure out how much it costs and based on what I have(my wife and both have blow money) I save for it. If the price to me doesnt justify not being able to do anything else while I save then thats the choice I make. I also have side hustles that bring in unexpected income. For trips and other things my wife and I have agreed to spend X amount per year. if we go over then we pay for it out of our own blow money. That way not only or we saving and paying debts but also enjoying ourselves.

Right now I don’t afford the things I want. The things I want most are well down the road (nice home, better car, early retirement). I go without trivial luxuries like an iPad or an XBox because I know that the money is better used by saving and investing it. Because I try to save money on the things I don’t need now I will be able to afford even greater luxuries in a few years.

I am always looking to increase my income, but for specific purchases I save. If I get an unexpected increase in my income that just allows me to reach my savings goals more quickly.

[…] 1. How Do You Afford it? @ TFB. […]

I put a ton of planning into my purchases. Planning does effect how your allocate your money.

I do think that planning leads to making smarter purchases. It depends on what you want or need. I am not into luxury cars. They’re just not my thing and not something I’d want to spend my money on. The insurance is too expensive and I think they are more about status than comfort, etc.