Lifestyle changes are hard. Like most things we do in life, it’s easy to take them too far. You don’t want to become great at saving money and sacrifice everything else. Nothing is worth turning yourself into a miserable and depressed soul.
I’ve been thinking about lifestyle changes recently and how my life has been effected. I’ve started cooking more and enjoying the outdoors. I live a more active lifestyle altogether. Most people would call these positive lifestyle changes and I would agree.
However, lifestyle changes aren’t always your choice. Life happens and minor setbacks and tragedies happen when we least expect it. If you’re like me, you’ve had to make a few changes that weren’t really up to you.
Take myself for example. Recently, I’ve had an ankle issue. With summer nearing, I didn’t want to be held back for the upcoming golf season. I guess you could say my body is finally holding me back – at least it’s trying. A future appointment with an orthopedic surgeon has me a little worried.
I don’t want to let minor ankle issues turn into deep depression. I want to stay active as much as I can. However, it’s important to remember lifestyle changes can be difficult – whether you had total control or not.
Here’s my point. If you’re trying to save money, you need to find your limit. The worst thing you can do is push yourself into depression and live a miserable existence. We only get one life.
Don’t be great at saving money only to be depressed and miserable in your everyday life.
Much of what we read on the internet is exaggerated. The media and bloggers alike are trying to get page views. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of exaggeration too.
If you’re not careful, it’s easy to think everyone but you is super successful and doesn’t have any problems at home. People on the internet only show you what they want you to see. Don’t fall for it.
For that reason, I’m fascinated with and respect honesty. When I see someone admitting failure, I immediately respect that person a little bit more. It’s like they’ve welcomed you to peek inside their head so you can see what they’re really thinking.
I saw a post on Reddit the other day and I could tell the writer was honest. It’s not something you usually see. They were admitting defeat.
Hernandez999 started a Reddit discussion on how they were “so obsessed with saving money and frugal living” and it made them depressed. I had thought a little bit about this issue before, but I haven’t seen much written about it. Immediately I was interested.
There are times when I have no faith I’ll reach my financial goals. When I finally remind myself everyone else has these doubts too, I can put myself at ease. Honest discussions about the side effects of extreme frugal living can help us all.
How many people are truly happy saving every penny and living zero social life? Is living without entertainment and relationships possible in the long run?
I’m here to tell you extreme money saving isn’t good for your health.
Save money in moderation and know extreme money saving isn’t for the light of heart.
Saving every penny isn’t for everyone. If you think you can suddenly change from not saving to saving everything other than immediate obligations, be careful.
It’s like changing from a 2,000 calorie diet to 1,000. Most people don’t know how to do it and stay healthy at the same time. It may not even be possible. Most of you would fall into a nutritional deficit within a few weeks and need to see the doctor.
Slow and steady progress can work for most of everything. Much like you can start eating at a small calorie deficit and lose weight, you can do the same with saving. Saving a little bit consistently over time can produce results.
You don’t need to sacrifice your entire life to reach some far off financial milestone.
Live your life. Don’t lose your friends.
Have fun with your life. You only get one. The last thing you want to do is lose friends because you’re a cheap ass that never wants to be social.
It’s ok to buy some snacks for the next get together. You can still save a little money while having a dinner party with friends.
I’m a big believer in that relationships are the most important component of a happy life. The people we spend our time with have a greater effect on happiness than anything else. If true, you should never sacrifice your relationships – even if that means saving a little bit less.
Be honest with your friends. When you want to lead a better financial life, you need to be open with your them. If your social life is too expensive, you can suggest alternative activities and entertainment.
However, don’t let your social life reach zero. You need to keep important people in your life. Becoming the person who never chips in for random expenses won’t help.
Don’t be the cheap guy.
Seriously, it’s ok to spend money. I’m not saying you need to be a baller and buy everyone in your life expensive things, but feel free to live a little.
If you work on keeping a budget and continue to get better with money over time, you will be fine. It is possible to spend and save in moderation.
When I see people writing how saving money is hard, I share a special connection with that person. Life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. You and I have our ups and downs and it’s just fine to be sad and depressed sometimes. The advice we get doesn’t always work.
Recognizing what isn’t working is one of the things that makes us successful. If you fail to realize your level of happiness, it’s impossible to fix. Like they say, the first step to finding a solution is admitting you have a problem.
Don’t blindly follow advice. If someone tells you to save 40% of your income, take the advice and apply it to your life. Do you think you can handle a decreased social life? If you’re unsure, try an experiment and see what happens. After 30 days or so, revisit the question and decide if you should continue.
When you’re trying to reach an important goal in your life, realize you have a journey to take. Your happiness on the journey depends on the people around you.
Don’t make one lifestyle change and sacrifice many others vital to your life. Don’t become obsessed with saving money, push yourself into depression and lose all your friends.
While you’ve been working on saving money, have you ever been depressed? How has the depression effected your life?
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