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How to Save Money without Completely Sacrificing Work-Life Balance

May 29, 2015

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Last week we talked about the value of taking your time to make a decision on buying a new home. Instead of jumping into a decision you’re not entirely sure of, sometimes it’s a better plan to step back and take more time to build up your down payment.

This week we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of saving money. We all want to save more, and sometimes we need to save more if we’re to get into that condo we’re dreaming about.

The problem is that often we exhaust all our energy worrying about the future instead of living in the present.

The Elusive Work-Life Balance
Ask yourself:

  1. Do I work too much?
  2. What am I working for anyways?
  3. When I save enough money, will I be able to cut back my hours?

Working overtime to save money for a new home might be necessary, but it’s easy to get caught in a cycle of work-sleep-repeat. Here’s 3 steps to help your family live happily while you’re waiting for your down payment to grow.

Agree on a Strategy
Sit down with your teammates (your family) and discuss your plan of attack. How much overtime are you going to work? How many days of the week can you expect to be in the office/shop/field? If there are compromises to be made, now’s the time to get them out in the open.

Communicating everyone’s expectations ahead of time and then sticking to the plan will make those long days easier for everyone.

Set Goals 
Time flies when you’re having fun. More on that in a moment.

If your plan is to double your down payment in a year, then the mental strain of working and saving will be diminished. Clear goals can be a beacon of hope when you’re building toward something. Eventually you and your family are going to feel the fatigue of your savings plan, but having a realistic goal to work toward will make it all worthwhile.

Live in the Moment 
Setting goals for the future isn’t an excuse to ignore the present, however. Saving for a larger down payment so you and your family can buy a new home in a year or two doesn’t omit you from living your daily life. If your strategy is too intense and requires so much work that the family life suffers, then it’s not worth it. What’s the point of buying a new home if you don’t have a happy family to move into it?

Work hard and stick to your plan, but enjoy your time at your existing home while you’re at it. Plan for the future while living in the present.

After all, life is about the journey more than it’s about the destination.

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