Money | How to double your standard of living
Our standard of living is usually determined by how much stuff we can buy. Many of the things are essentials like water, food, a place to live and clothing. I suppose many people would regard other things like telecommunication and transport as essential too. It’s the things that we buy with the money left over after we’re bought the essentials, that we seem to enjoy the most.
So if we have more surplus income, that income left over when you’re paid for all the essentials, then we will have a better standard of living. If the surplus income is 10% of our total income and we double it to 20%, then we double our enjoyment and so we double our perceived standard of living.
We can be thrifty when we buy and use the essentials. Don’t waste energy and so save on food bills. Shop around for food and save a few pounds there. Drive slower and use less fuel and save a bit there. Make our clothes last longer and save a little there. Pay the line rental on the phone 12 months in advance and save a some there.
Do it yourself isn’t just about putting up the odd shelf. It’s about doing lots of things like growing your own veggies and herbs. You could also do odd jobs on the car like changing the oil and wiper blades. That will shave a few quid a year off ‘essential spending’.
Making extra money
A part time job will help you make some extra money but a part time business could be even more lucrative. Think of something that you do anyway and perhaps enjoy doing and consider doing it for other people at a price. If it’s something you’re expert at or have the right equipment for, then you could do very well. It could be photography, gardening, car valeting, tree pruning, book keeping or anything that is in demand.
Once you’re saving a few quid, you can invest it and make even more. To begin with you might pay off all your debts and save on interest payments to the bank and then start investing. Fairly modest investments could mean you doubling the amount of surplus income you have for no extra work. This is particularly useful if you’re too sick or too old to work so much. Investing is like insurance for when times aren’t so good.
What can you do to improve your standard of living, without too much effort? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also subscribe to these blog posts or follow me on Twitter for updates.