The best way to get out of debt is to stay out. One way to achieve financial freedom is to improve your cash flow. Cash flow increases the spread between income and expenses. More cash flow allows you to have more money on hand to pay for unexpected purchases or pay off your debt faster. Considering the following questions, we hope it will improve your cash flow!
- Can I do without?
Whenever you feel the urge to spend, you should stop and ask yourself this simple question: “Can I do without?” Doing without could mean doing without a specific purchase indefinitely or just holding off until you can afford it. Stopping to ask yourself this question gives you time to pause, think, and decide if you truly need or want something. If you choose not to buy that new car, consider all the money you saved! And, if you only pressed pause on buying that item, you just gave yourself more time to research options and find the best deal.
- Can I use what I have?
We all have way more than we need. Too often, we throw money at problems in life rather than looking for solutions right in front of us. You may already have what you need! For example, if you want to freshen up your home décor, you could upcycle an existing piece of furniture. If you think you need a new wardrobe, you might try to dry clean something old, make new combinations of tops and bottoms, or even alter a garment for a fresh effect. All it takes is an open mind, creativity, and a commitment to increasing your cash flow.
- Can I DIY it?
We love DIY! Rather than buying, have you considered making what you need? Of course, this won’t work for everything, but it may be possible to make plenty of things and save money. The good news is that there are tons of free DIY guides online. You can find them with a simple online search. You’ll discover creative and crafty ideas in no time. One of the more popular DIY sites is Instructables. They have thousands of step-by-step guides to make almost anything you can imagine!
- Can I borrow it?
We all have things that we own and only use occasionally. When you have a need, have you considered asking to borrow what you need from someone in your circle of family and friends? Borrowing is a great option for things like expensive tools. We all tend to own special-purpose tools that we only use occasionally. For example, if you pressure wash your house once a year, do you need a pressure washer? Chances are, you know someone with what you’re looking for and who would be willing to help if they knew you had a need. Ask! It’s not that hard. And it could save you a ton of money and quickly improve your cash flow.
- Can I get it at a discount?
Most of us jump right to this last question first. But we should consider each question in the stated order when we’re tempted to make an impulsive purchase. If you’ve decided that you can’t do without, you don’t have what you need, you can’t make it yourself, you can’t find what you need for free, and you can’t borrow it, then you have to start thinking about how to get the best deal. There’s no reason to pay the total price for many items. That goes for everything from clothing to cars and even houses.
Well, you made it to the end! We’re glad that you took the time to read over these questions. Do you feel challenged to think more deeply about your next big purchase? We hope so! And we hope we’ve given you some simple tools to help you become a savvy consumer and improve your cash flow in the long run.
- Can I do without?