Wanting a Champagne lifestyle on Lemonade money….
This is a topic I know A LOT about. I have a sneaky feeling you do too.
So what do I mean by living a champagne lifestyle on lemonade money? What I mean is that you live a lifestyle that is far above what you actually bring in every month in your salary.
As a result, you end up overspending. You run out of money before the end of the month (every month), and before you know it, you’re in debt. Where does the extra money come from? Your overdraft, your credit card and loans (bank, stores, family members). We all know that debt is damaging to our overall money life, but why do we do it?
A BIG problem since the pandemic is affordability of, well, life in general. Everything is much more expensive to buy, our salaries are not keeping pace with inflation (the measure of how expensive everything is getting), and many people didn’t even have a job at all for over 18 months.
Couple this with low levels of financial literacy and the rise of “buy now, pay later” products that help you buy your shopping in “easy to afford” smaller payments over time, and it’s a perfect storm for a whole lot of overspend.
Our money personality type plays a HUGE role in how we handle money. Mavericks, Romantics and Celebrity personality types are much more likely to overspend. Mavericks in taking risk for “get rich quick” ideas, Romantics to make their life easier and more enjoyable, and Celebrities for status and a sense of feeling special and important (the right outfit/jewellery/house/car etc).
Other types hate looking at their finances to organise them or shy away from asking for what they’re worth, leading to lower pay and debt from not knowing where all the money is going.
If you are unconscious of the driving factor behind your money management style, you are doing things by default, not out of direction and purpose.
You can find out your own money personality by clicking here.
The falacy of buy now, pay later
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with spending money. You want the car, get the car. (And don’t even get me started on the stupidity that is the thinking behind cutting out lattes – not for me thanks!!)
But what you do need to do is factor this payment in with everything else you need too.
What do you save every month? For emergencies? For events like Christmas/Birthdays/Car Insurance etc?
What do you invest/stick into a pension every month for your future so you can retire one day?
You might have commited to paying £300 per month for a car, but if you’re not meeting all the other things that will support you in future years, that £300 payment suddenly looks very expensive.
And what if you lose your income? We like to think that “it’ll never happen to us”, but trust me, as a doctor, I see it happen all too often. You’ll quickly find out who owns that car.
So if you have lemonade money, but want a champagne lifestyle, some things have to give. You can spend your money on whatever you want, but it ideally shouldn’t come at the expense of saving and investing for your future. These two elements are what will support you in years to come. No-one regrets saving a Christmas/Birthday/Holiday fund!
I honestly wish I’d done this when I was younger. I’d be a lot better off now if I had. I would have bouugh second-hand furniture and spent more nights-in rather than nights out. Getting into debt just wasn’t worth it.
So what can you do to have the lifestyle you want without the pressure of the pricetag?
Say no sometimes
No one will think you’re a bitch or a flake for not going out all the time, or buying into a whip for drinks. If they do then they don’t really deserve you as a friend. The joy of missing out (JOMO) is now a thing you can embrace in your life. Sometimes it is ok to splurge – but make it a planned one from a separate stash of cash that you save every month JUST for the exciting stuff in your life – a.k.a you FUN BUDGET!! See my post on this here!
It’s all about prioritising your resources. It’s not “I can’t afford it”, it’s “I’m prioritising my money elsewhere” – different energy, much more empowering!
Pay your credit cards off in full
Yes there are fancy ones that allow you to save points up for flights etc, but its only really cost effective IF YOU PAY THE BILL OFF IN FULL EVERY MONTH. Play the banks at their own game and take all the benefits they offer, without giving them the interest that they want!
Sometimes you do need a credit card or a loan though. We don’t all walk around with thousands in our back pocket do we!? In which case, look for 0% interest deals wherever possible with an aim to pay the balance off before the 0% runs out. Failing that, look for the smallest percentage interest you can, and make it your mission to get it paid off as quickly as possible.
This always makes me think of slush-puppy drinks (I grew up in the 90s)… but no, this has nothing to do with the ice-drink filled with e-numbers.
It has everything to do with setting aside little stashes of money that you can use further down the line. If you know that you like to splurge at Christmas, why not start saving for it in January? If you car insurances comes around every May, start saving again as soon as your bill is paid. Trust me, your slush-funds will be your best friends. It’s such an awesome feeling to have the money ready to go – it feels like. you’ve “hacked” the system and have free money to spend!
Bring in more money
While this isn’t the first thing I’d do, bringing in more money has to happen at some stage. There’s only so much “cutting back” that you can do, and that’s not exactly a champagne lifestyle is it?
Yes, being frugal is important sometimes (especially on things like energy bills etc), but if you like to spend, and you’re accounting for saving/investing too, sometimes all you can do next is work out how to bring in extra income.
Being in a constant state of “want” is a sure way to feel “lack”. Being grateful for what you already have however is a brilliant way to feel like you have a lot.
Try writing down 10 things you are grateful for having in your life every single night – you’ll be amazed at how many awesome things you have already. This takes the focus off of what you don’t have, and reduces the desire for “more”.
Evaluate your priorities
Check in with yourself – the things you want, are they your wants, or someone elses wants? Are you being led by social media to follow trends and lifestyles? A lot of influencers online are not showing you the reality of what is actually happening, so don’t be fooled into comparison. Industry wants you to aspire to the lifestyle of influencers and celebrities, because that is what makes you spend money to achieve it. Why do you think they use celebrities to endorse their products?
So think about your own wants and needs. Are they the same or would you prefer something different? If they are the same, great, make it happen if you want to, but if they’re not, why are you wasting precious time/money and energy on it?
Consider taking out insurances to protect your income, especially if you are self-employed. Talk to a broker to help you make a decision about what is right for you and your situation. You don’t necessarily need “all the things”, but could you imagine the reassurance you’d have knowing that if you couldn’t work through sickness, you’ll have some money coming in to pay the bills? Having this security is a true champagne lifestyle!
Spending money is not a bad thing. We are allowed to have a lifestyle that suits our needs, wants and desires. The issue comes when it is at the expense of other things that support us, like a “future you” fund, slush-funds, insurances etc. Make allowances for your wants and needs without resorting to using debt as an additional income source if you can.
There’s nothing wrong with using credit to have the things you want either, but again, it’s not at the expense of wealth building for retirement and savings. There is a balance to be had in all things.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Drop me a comment below.
Until Next time,
P.S. Are you in my private facebook group yet? Come over and say hi!