Live Like a College Student

Live Like a College Student

Live Like a College Student

One of the best pieces of financial advice we have been given was from my mom. She told us to live like college students as long as you possibly can.

You may be thinking that you made some of the worst financial decisions of your life in college. That’s not what she was talking about. She meant, live on as little as possible and save, save, save as much as you can. And that is what we did and continue to do.

Our income has fluctuated throughout the years, especially when I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. When we had a higher income, we did not change our spending habits. Most people already plan out how they are going to spend their raise before they even get it. Our lifestyle has never reflected our income.

 

By living on less than what we made, we were able to save enough that we had a good cushion if there was an emergency or if we lost a job.

When we were double-income earners, we lived on less than half of our pay. Mind you, we didn’t have high-paying jobs, think teacher’s salary people. This gave us the ability to save and put extra money down on our house and put quite a bit into our retirement.

Beyond that, I was able to be a stay-at-home mom and we didn’t really feel like we were living differently (except we couldn’t put extra into savings, retirement, or on our house).

Having extra savings and not having to live paycheck to paycheck gave me so much more peace. As women, most of us find comfort and reassurance by being financially secure. Sadly, most women (and people in general) are stressed over money because their spending is out of control.

 

The Benefits of Living Like a College Student:

If we didn’t live like college students, we would have been so stressed financially. Buying a home would have been tough to pull off. I probably would have never had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.

There are so many moms who would love to be home with their kids, but they don’t think they can financially pull it off. How tragic. If this is you right now, there is always a way. Those changes may be drastic like downsizing your home and vehicle(s). Maybe you or your spouse will need to add a side gig in to make it work. You will have to change your spending habits and live with less.

My big question for you is this:

What do you want to do in your future?

Are finances holding you back from reaching those goals or dreams?

If so, what changes do you need to make?

Most people are broke, and have piles of debt. Dare to be different. You don’t have to have what everyone else has. Live like a college student. Learn like crazy, enjoy each moment, be social, and live on a shoestring. You survived it then, you can do it today.

Share your thoughts on living like a college student below.

Stop Acting Rich: Debunking the Lies that are Holding Us Back

Stop Acting Rich: Debunking the Lies that are Holding Us Back

Stop Acting Rich: Debunking the Lies that are Holding Us Back

We are all looking for more. The constant bombardment of what our lives should look like and what we are supposed to own is endless. What we see on television and movies paints a life where people rarely work, they have a huge spotless house, and a romantic relationship that is oh-so unrealistic.

Our perception of reality gets even more twisted by the insane amount of advertisements pushed at us daily. A whopping average of 5,000 advertisements online, on paper, and billboards each day are encouraging us to pull out our credit cards to buy the latest and greatest gadget that will ‘make our lives better.’ Instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses, most of us are trying to keep up or exceed where our parents currently are (and it took them twenty plus years to get there). Our unrealistic expectations lead us to so much debt.

Now, almost everything comes with a payment plan. Car and cell phone commercials only tell you the monthly payment, not the actual price. Heck, there’s a payment plan for everything. You can have a shed payment, a boat payment, furniture payment, and so much more. We are all acting like we have all the things, when in reality we are slowly paying them off and feeling like frauds.

What if we weren’t meant to go after the latest and greatest thing?

What if we lived differently?

What if we actually owned our stuff instead of the other way around?

Would freedom be found?

 

The Lie

The world is feeding us a lie that stuff equals happiness and it just isn’t true. Oliver Markus Malloy unloads reality, “Our entire life we chase the wrong things because we think having more money and buying more stuff will make us more happy. But it doesn’t. You know why a billionaire has 100 Ferraris? Because 99 weren’t enough.”

I don’t have a Ferrari, and I’m not even close to being a billionaire. But I do know, that when I stop and pay attention, I find happiness in the simple joys of life that are free.  Those memories are priceless.  Happiness is found when I push my son on the swings which brings on a slew of deep belly laughs. Snuggling up next to my daughter reading her book after book brings me joy. I don’t want to be so distracted by life and achievement, that I miss the present joys that surround me.

What brings you joy? Buying the newest and latest thing might bring a temporary high, but it won’t be lasting.  Shouldn’t we be chasing after those joys we will remember throughout our lives?

Reflecting on Life

When it comes down to the end, all of our stuff really doesn’t matter.  I doubt many people will reflect back on their lives and think that their newest iPhone was the highlight of their life.  We all know that experiences trump possessions, but we still live the other way around.

We just had a celebration of life memorial for my Gramps and this really hit home for me. I cherish the memories, the photos, and videos of him, but not all of his stuff. My family went through his things and we all chose a few items that embodied our memories of him.  I chose the watch that he always wore and a few photos of him.  I’m working on creating a shadow box to display these few items that bring back wonderful memories of Gramps.  Beyond that, everything has been given away or donated.

Our days are limited and someday someone else is going to go through my possessions and keep what they want and get rid of the rest. I don’t want to have massive amounts of possessions that my loved ones will have to go through. And I sure don’t want to work so hard during my life so I can pay for all the things that will one day be someone else’s burden to deal with.

I want to spend my time with people I care about, buying the necessities and not caring what others think. I may have some brown duck tape holding my super-comfy couch together.  And my kids wear hand-me-downs (heck, so do I) and you know what, I’m happy with that. We are living below our means, which gives us freedom. I don’t want to fake it.

Changing Our Expectations

I wish I had the answer or a secret formula to fix our cultures insatiable hunger for more. I do know if we start changing our expectations of what we need to own and actually started to save up and pay for things outright, we would find financial freedom. As Dave Ramsey says, “you’ve got to live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.” I can not agree more with this statement.  Most people are broke, so let’s stop doing what broke people are doing.

There are so many different strategies on how to get out of debt, but the root of the issue has to be addressed. Our things cost money and if we start limiting those things, we start to save money. It is as simple as that. If we live minimally, we not only find that we have more time, less to maintain, but we also have more cash in our wallets.

What are some ways you live like no one else? Please leave a comment below…

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