Life as we know it is very different for our generation than it was for our parents, grandparents and forefathers. The progression of technology and constant innovation has meant that our lifestyle today is a far cry from what our ancestors were accustomed to. Life is much more expensive for us than it was for our parents as well. Today, the use of gadgets and technology such as mobile phones, smart home devices, and even an increased commitment to male grooming is the norm. Couple this with the impact of inflation each year and high demand in markets like the housing market, and you are looking at a sizeable bill for your cost of living in the modern age. So how do you afford to keep up with the times? Can an individual today still manage to live a modern lifestyle, and be financially prepared for life and all the major life decisions bound to come their way? In short, what can we do to make modern living more financially achievable?
Perfect Your Credit And Financial Knowledge
Experts predict that most South Africans will be unable to retire simply because they cannot afford to. For a large portion of the population, sustaining long term savings is a key issue, and for others, it’s identifying their options for saving and investing their money for later in life. While costs are relatively high in South Africa, there is one remedy that can make a large impact on many of these concerns: improving your financial knowledge and clarifying the terms of using consumer credit. Recent surveys have shown that South Africans have embraced the credit culture but are already struggling to pay off their debt. With an increase in both borrowing and delinquency levels, it is clear that an education in financial management and the use of tools such as budgeting is needed.
Becoming familiar with handy ways to live a frugal lifestyle can mean the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and being able to put away some money each month. When it comes to a modern lifestyle, budgeting teaches allocation of funds, which means it can help you create ways to afford those modern must-haves without a credit card. If you do use a credit card, clarifying misconceptions behind your consumer borrowing agreement can help you to properly manage those debts to avoid negative impacts such as missed payments or built up interest charges.
Get In The Habit Of Making Comparisons Second Nature
Finally, get into the habit of comparing and looking for alternatives. One distinct advantage of living in such as fast-paced innovation-driven world? The constant and intense competition which means there is always another model or improved alternative being introduced to their market. As a bonus, many of these companies seek to compete based on price, leading to more savings for you. So before you hop onto the trend bandwagon, take a minute to do your research and compare competitors, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Keep in mind this does not necessarily apply to just products, but also to services. Banks, lenders and even credit card companies are always introducing lower interest rates or promotional offers in a bid to attract customers. In the end, you can still afford those technological gadgets or smart home upgrades but at a fraction of the price.
Separate Wants From Needs
This is key to anyone looking to live a modern lifestyle within their means. At least once per year, 57 percent of South Africans said their income could not cover their expenses, according to the Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor. Impulse buying accounts for a large part of those poor spending habits that are notoriously associated with being in debt or being unable to stick to your means. In fact, 80 percent of young buyers admit to making an impulse purchase online in 2018, and that number is only predicted to rise.
This is exactly why being able to separate and control your wants from your needs is crucial to maintaining control of your finances and neutrality. Better control of your money means you are then able to make an informed decision about the best way to afford modern amenities, and if they are even relevant to your lifestyle in the first place. While there is an endless list of modern must-haves being released every day, not every one will apply to you. Think of what will truly benefit your goals and your current life before spending money on it. Leading a modern lifestyle is completely attainable and affordable. However, the definition of a modern lifestyle must be more customised to your life and centred on what is of true value to you.