Life in Singapore is so expensive that it's easy to let money control our lives without us realising it. Money is one of those staples we can't seem to live without in this modern age. I'd like to think that I am well in control of finances (most of the time at least) but everyone gets a little bit down in the dumps when we face money problems every once in awhile. For a lot of people, money problems primarily result from difficulties with saving. But allowing money to dictate the way you feel about yourself and your life can have devastating consequences.
Nobody is going to deny the fact that money is an important part of our lives, but it shouldn't be everything in your life to the point that it gets in the way of your happiness and relationships with people. GET.com has come up with 5 ways to tell if you're letting money control your life. If any of them apply to you, just remember that at the end of the day, you have the power to make a change.
1. You Aren't Budgeting
Some people (like me) make an effort to budget everything, down to how much money we will be spending for food for the month. But of course you don't have to be that extreme. Make sure you split your budget into at least 2 groups - fixed expenses (bills, loans etc) and variable expenses (food, shopping etc).
We can't do justice to just how important budgeting is to leading a happy life free from money worries. If you don't budget, it's much easier to go off the rails and spend too much, which inevitably leads to stressful money issues down the line.
2. You're Budgeting Too Much
Believe it or not, budgeting too much is a problem too. If you're the type that can really be disciplined, good on you, but you should never go too far to the point that you can't even reward yourself with some new clothes or shoes.
The danger in doing so is that at some point, you are likely to tire of the strict regimen and go on a spending spree. Alternatively you could turn into an old miser, scrounging every penny rather than thinking about how to earn more money while enjoying a fun lifestyle.
If you're missing out on the good things in life, like a night out with your friends or going to a concert all in the name of budgeting, then you either need to slacken your budget a bit or force yourself to include fun and entertainment in your budget.
3. You Spend More Than You Should
You know that feeling of instant regret when you find out that you don't have enough money to save at the end of the month after all of that spending. Or when you realise you don't have enough cash to survive for one more week before your pay comes in?
If that's happening to you every month, then you're definitely biting off more than you can chew. To put it plainly, you're making bad financial decisions which will lead to money becoming a serious issue in your life.
4. You're Never Satisfied With How Much You Have
Are you always quietly wishing that you had more money? I mean, I know everyone probably does from time to time, but if you're the type of person who is actually obsessed with wanting more and more, even after you've gotten more, how are you ever going to be satisfied?
It's all in the little things and gratitude. If you never seem to feel satisfied with what you have, then you probably will start looking at the person you've become and start on the same link.
5. You're Forgetting That There Are Things Money Can't Buy
Sometimes, it doesn't even have to be about money. It could be about feeling like you don't have enough material things in your life as well. Many of us know this already, Singaporeans go absolutely crazy over shopping (we at GET.com have put together 13 shocking facts that show that Singaporeans love shopping to prove it).
But while spending money can give us short-lived happiness through material things, there are still a lot more things that money can't buy like fulfillment or happiness. Sometimes when we forget that money can't buy the best things in life and stay so focused on money, we're subconsciously letting money steer our lives.
So How Do You Take Control Of Your Money?
Basically you try and do the opposite of the things you're doing. Of course you aren't going to change overnight. But if you try a little bit at a time, over time, things will start to change.
Being disciplined comes with rewards, whether that will be in the form of more savings or a happier lifestyle. Either way it will be better than a life controlled by financial ups and downs.
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GET.com is a lifestyle and personal finance website that advocates financial literacy and helps consumers get more for their money.