Paula Pant started her blog Afford Anything in 2008 after she quit her full time nine to five and started travelling the world. “People kept asking how I could possibly afford it.” Pant’s answer to how she could travel the globe for two years without a job? Her blog. “I started the blog to show people they can afford anything, any dream.” These are her tips on how to afford the lifestyle you want – hint…it has nothing to do with your income.
Afford anything, just not everything
Over the last five years Afford Anything has grown into a popular financial website about building personal wealth, creating financial freedom and living on your own terms. The key to having it all is not wanting it all, that’s the philosophy Pant lives by. “Every dollar you spend on X is a dollar you can’t spend on Y” says Pant.
Being able to afford anything means that you can’t buy everything. I personally learned this the hard way. I thought I could afford to buy anything and everything I wanted to, but that mentality landed me tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Financial freedom means setting financial priorities so you can afford the most important things you want. Think about the financial impact of spending money before you shell it out. Pant says to think about the trade-off when contemplating a purchase. “Something might (only) cost $20, but that’s $20 that (could) go towards some bigger goal like traveling, paying off debt, or starting your own business.” Before you spend money to buy something you want, think about what you are giving up.
It’s never too late achieve financial independence
People learn how to manage their money in different ways. Some people learn how to be financially responsible while they are young students and some others learn how to manage their money later on in life. I made my share of financial mistakes in the past which included overspending and accumulating debt. After becoming debt free I was so frugal. I was afraid to spend money because I didn’t want to end up in debt again.
According to Pant the most common financial mistake that adults make is the opposite – “they let money slip through their fingers” says Pant. Sometimes we get so busy we would rather pay for convenience and that can be costly. Pant’s advice to avoid overspending is to “set a goal to escape the treadmill of paycheck dependence.”
Stay on track with your savings by setting goals and continuing to work towards them. If you need some encouragement to start saving join SaveUp and be rewarded for your good financial behaviour.