Posted on 4 Comments

Financial Stress: 6 Simple Management Strategies.

Monopoly financial stress

The Pressure of Financial Stress.

Pressure and stress can be factors that motivate us to work hard. But, if they’re not properly managed, they can hinder our ability to perform at a high level. Not only can this make it more difficult to appropriately manage our finances, but it can also be the cause of many stress-related health issues. There are a few simple ways that we can better manage financial stress, starting by simply taking a seat, and pulling out a pad and pen… Budgeting is the most obvious strategy, and we’ll discuss that in more depth later. However, one strategy that is often over looked by many people who suffer from financial stress and pressure, is the insatiable desire to compete with their neighbour. That’s why we’ve included this strategy at the top of our list:

6 Simple Management Strategies for Financial Stress

1. Ignore the Competition

Monopoly. Dubbed ‘The Game of Life’. Sadly, it’s a truth that is all too real. Many of us lose track of why we set out to earn in the first place, and tend to measure our financial achievements against those of our friends and family. Do you live to work, or work to live? What are your priorities? Before you start looking at how you will spend your money, or how you can save more money, you need to consider the why. You may not need all of the lovely expensive things that your wealthy friends have. Don’t put yourself under severe financial stress, and over-extend so that you can achieve somebody else’s financial goals. So, before engaging the following 5 strategies, put the competition aside, and focus on what suits your lifestyle. 

2. Set Financial Goals

Goals provide us with the direction and motivation needed to succeed. Of course, it does take a little more than simply setting goals in order to succeed (mental toughness for one). But it certainly is a great place to start. Set a long-term goal, and then a series of short-term goals that will act as ‘stepping stones’ towards achieving that long-term goal. To break it down further, you can brainstorm some daily, and weekly activities that will help you in reaching each goal you set. For example, if your long-term financial goal is to purchase your first home in 2 years, a short-term goal might be to save $10,000 in six months. Your daily/weekly activities might be cooking everyday, instead of eating out, or counting and reviewing your expenditure every week. 

3. Create a Budget

The absolute staple of every financial planning/management article you’ll ever read. Budgeting is important, as it helps you to set realistic financial goals. It’s also a great way to consider how your finances can best serve your lifestyle/priorities. Using the example above, perhaps purchasing a home in 2 years is a goal for you, although you are unwilling to sacrifice regular brunch dates. Thats fine, if thats what fulfils you, although you may need to reconsider the time frame you’ve set to purchase your first home. Depending on your circumstances, you might like to use a budgeting template, or just create a very simple one yourself. Make sure you track your in-goings and outgoings, and ensure that you have a realistic savings goal so that you always put money aside. 

4. Enjoy Without Spending

The advertising industry has you convinced that you can’t have fun without spending money. It’s a lie, but for some reason, we all believe it. Usually, the lies we believe are the ones that are convenient for us to believe… But this lie is extremely inconvenient! So, instead of subscribing to this common misconception, find something fulfilling that you can without spending money. Can you converse with your friend whilst walking in the park and eating a banana, instead of sitting in at a cafe and eating poached eggs with avocado? Probably. We won’t ramble on any longer about all of the great things you can do for free, but to immediately relieve some of that financial stress, go and find something!

5. Live Within Your Means

Living to excess in any facet of life can be dangerous, and a major contributing factor to financial stress is excessive spending. Credit card debt, personal loans, and crippling mortgages won’t make life any easier. Each of these examples of over-spending are usually quite avoidable, simply by exercising some restraint. Once you’ve sat down and budgeted, you’ll have a better idea of what you can and can’t do financially. Your goal will one day be to make a significant outlay in order to satisfy a ‘want’, and that’s fine. But excessive spending in the mean time will not help you to get there any faster. So, be smart, and be disciplined. It will pay off. 

6. Consider New Opportunities

This is a step that might not suit everyone, but it can’t hurt to add it in. Opportunities for new revenue streams are a click away these days… I mean hey, you could start a blog! If it’s something you are passionate about, it might also double as your new ‘free’ hobby. You could be creating a new opportunity to earn, and saving yourself money at the same time. Of course, there are a multitude of opportunities out there for those who are actively seeking them. If supplementing your income is something you’ve always been interested in, why not do a bit of research? But don’t wait until tomorrow, it may never come… 

Final note…

Financial stress is bound to strike at some stage, so be proactive in your approach to stress management. Check out our previous article about managing stress, and get across ‘The Stress-Less Game Plan’. As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below.

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Ways To Have Fun For Free

Fun For Free The Short Advice

The Simple Things in Life…

If you ask the minimalists, they’ll tell you that there is freedom in simplicity. And they’re right. You can live without the extreme excess that is being sold to us as necessity, and still achieve your own state of internal happiness and have fun for free! In fact, thats about the only way you can do it sustainably. Concepts like fun and happiness can’t always come from material items and things with monetary value, because then we’d be submitting our fun-having abilities to the dollar! Rather, it comes from experience and relationships. Relationships with people, relationships with places and relationships with the environment.

How to Have Fun For Free (Mostly).

Our ‘Fun For Free’ list consists of some activities that may require financial outlay… BUT they do not include directly paying for a ‘fun activity’, but rather rely on one’s own ability to create their own fun. In the land of technology, gadgets, and short attention spans, fun has sadly become a term that is commonly associated with staring at screens. It’s not all bad of course, but you can’t sit around reading The Short Advice all day… That’s why most of the items on our list include some degree of physical exertion too. After all, exercise has been linked to happiness and positivity. So, read on, but don’t do it all day – Get out there and have some fun for free!

1. Roadtrips

So obviously, you need to have a car and some petrol… but if you’ve already got these things it’s sort of a free activity right!? Roadtripping is a fantastic way to build relationships, and develop a fondness for your surroundings. Bring a pillow and a blanket and all of a sudden you’ve got accomodation on wheels. Its a sense of freedom that you’ll learn to appreciate, and one that you may have forgotten about. It’s too easy to get caught up with work saving for expensive holidays that you forget how easy it can be to just jump in the car and go exploring.

2. Hit the Beach

Hot, cold, freezing – who cares! Sometimes a bit of discomfort can make for a fun and memorable experience when shared with people you love. “Remember that time we swam in the middle of winter, and then we had to thaw out in the shower for 15 minutes?” Run, play ball sports, swim, lie on a towel, listen to music – the beach has it all and it’s entirely fun for free. Remember, fun is what you make it to be. If you approach the situation with a positive mindset, you will inevitably have fun. But, if you’re hesitant you might talk yourself out of a good time before you even get there! The beach is great, the beach is great, the beach is great… Go have a great time!

3. Learn an Instrument

Sure, you’ll need to purchase an instrument. That does cost money… But learning it doesn’t cost a thing! There are countless online tutorials to help you along the way. You can follow along at your own pace, and choose to dedicate as much time as you like. And if you don’t want to fork out to buy an instrument, you can sing instead using your very own built-in voice instrument (a.k.a your voice box). Music is a fantastic creative outlet that can be solely driven by your own passion and interests. As any creative outlet does, it also allows you to express yourself, and may even provide a therapeutic element to ease stress.

4. Read a Book

The age-old way to have fun for free that grandma has been trying to tell you about. If you’re not into reading books, there are too many reasons why you should start… The first being, it will make you smarter. Reading improves your vocabulary, but it also gets you thinking and using your imagination. Books require you to visualise people, places and things, which also means that your experience with a book can be quite different to the next person’s. With endless genres available, your options are vast. Take yourself to another world, and have fun for free with a good old fashioned novel.

5. Invent a Game

Exercise your imagination and get creative! It might actually be the best way to have fun for free. Wherever you are in the world, this is a fail safe way to enjoy yourself. You just need a bit of creativity. As you play, you can refine your new game with your friends. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or where you are. Use what is available to you and make something cool, just because you can! Thats part of the fun. The more you do this, the more you’ll realise that fun is a tool that you will always have at your disposal, whenever and wherever you go.

Final Note

Fun seems to have become a by-product of money, but it doesn’t need to be the case. You can have fun for free in a variety of ways, if you’re open to it. Its an important part of being happy and it shouldn’t stop when you reach a certain age. Use your imagination, get outside, get active. Do it with the people that you care about the most. You can have fun for free if you choose to, so don’t always believe what the TV is telling you…

Posted on Leave a comment

Get Rich Quick With These 3 Simple Methods

Get Rich Quick The Short Advice

Get Rich Quick!

Do you want to know how to get rich quick? It’s simple. There are a number of ways, but we’ve done the research for you, so that you can stop trawling the internet and clicking on popups that claim to have the answer. So, without further prolonging your new-found substantial wealth, here is our shortlist of the top three ways to make some quick cash!

1. Win the Lottery.

The odds are stacked against you. You will still have all of the problems you had before you were rich. You will not have experienced any great personal development. BUT, in the off chance you do win, you’ll be totally rich. And it will have happened really, really, quickly. That’s why we’ve listed this method as our number one way to get rich quick. 

2. Stage an Injury and Sue for Compensation.

Your friends and family will be embarrassed to associate with you, and society will shun you for your immoral get-rich-quick methods, but oh, the riches. You’ll take some large multi-national corporation and squeeze them so hard with the help of your shady legal team that they’ll be begging you to settle. You’ll have enough money to buy new friends, and even a new family if they take too long to come around. 

3. Knock Over a Casino with 10 of Your Best Friends.

You wouldn’t be the first one to try it, but at least you know that it can be done. George Clooney (as Danny Ocean) has already mapped out the plan for you. Not only will you steal more money than you can jump over, but you’ll also be part of a loving and caring criminal brotherhood (or sisterhood). Stealing from the sickeningly wealthy and getting off scot-free? If you can think of a downside to all of that, we’d love to hear it.

Other Less-Exciting and Longer Methods to Make Money.

Perhaps you’ve got something against making money, and/or you prefer to grind it out? Just for you, we’ve compiled a supplementary list of ways to get rich quick. However, these methods may not be as quick as you’d hoped. They may not bring you the sort of fortune that would make you traditionally wealthy either. So what is the appeal? Well, it’s got a little bit to do with that old theory you’ve heard before about money and happiness. It’s also got something to do with journeys and destinations. Without giving away too much, here is our list of the 3 ways to get rich quick, a little less quickly:

1. Make Your Passion Your Purpose.

Find something you love to do and use it to enrich your life, and the lives of others. You’ll be giving yourself the best chance at success simply by applying yourself in an area you are passionate about. Turning your passion into your purpose will motivate you to strive for success, and money will start to take a back seat to the sense of purpose you have created for yourself. The gratitude that you experience as a result of helping others will continue to drive your success, AND be a measure of your success at the same time. And thats why purpose is the currency that buys happiness, not money. 

2. Map Out A Plan.

If you already have a plan, you’re giving yourself a massive edge of everyone who doesn’t. Being specific in defining your road to success is imperative. This will help you to track your progress with measurable and time-based short term goals. If you’re familiar with SMART goals, then you know exactly what we’re on about. Your goals don’t all have to be financial ones, but sometimes it can be helpful. Less about money, and more about numbers – they can be a handy measure of success because they’re specific. So, if you haven’t already done so, take some time to create a visual representation of your road to success.

3. Commit to the Journey.

Make a plan and follow it. But if it doesn’t return the result you’re looking for, review it. Your plan might grow and develop, but don’t change your goal simply because it is seemingly difficult to reach. If it weren’t difficult, it wouldn’t be worth attaining. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. The ‘good life’ is in such high demand because it is in short supply, meaning that it is difficult to attain. By committing to your journey towards success, you are making a promise to yourself… Whatever the circumstances, no matter how trying it becomes, you will adapt. Your failures/mistakes will become valuable lessons. Your journey towards success will be inspiring and motivating in itself. And here is where we finish with cliche number two: It’s more about the journey than the destination. If you believe this, you will be successful every single day that you are pursuing your goals. 

Final Note.

Incase you didn’t pick up on the sarcastic tone at the beginning of this article, stop trying to get rich quick! It won’t bring you happiness, and you won’t add value to the lives of those around you. Don’t burn people to get ahead, don’t put yourself ahead of everyone else’s needs. Just find something you love to do, and do it. Not for money, but to enrich lives, including your own. It’s all part of the happiness exchange