As Kevin Hart once said, “Stay in your own financial lane!” While he said this when referring to his rich friends, staying in your own financial lane will actually help save you a lot of money and trouble. Personally, I’ve spent my fair share of money on things that I shouldn’t have while trying to “keep up” with acquaintances. Over time, the way I spend money has changed and, honestly learning to stay in your lane can make a huge difference.
Here are a few tips that may come in handy in the future when trying to stay in your own financial lane.
Consider If You Can Afford to Replace It
Before you buy something, think about whether or not you can afford to buy two of them. Take your cell phone, for example. Many phones these days can cost $1,000+. However, if you got robbed or you lost your phone, many people wouldn’t be able to cough out another $1K to replace it. In fact, most people are paying for their phones on a payment plan.
Abiding by this rule helps give you a bit of a safety net when you’re making large purchases, but it can also keep you in check when it comes to your finances. You won’t ever bottom out your account for a frivolous purchase. Similarly, you should start saving for a replacement the moment you buy something big – car, house, electronics, etc. Create a sinking fund for it and contribute what you can immediately.
Set Aside a ‘Luxury Budget’
While it’s easy to say that you simply shouldn’t buy anything extra at a time where you’re trying to improve your finances, it isn’t feasible. Having some fun money set aside for luxurious purchases – like a spa day or a really great meal out – is key to sticking to your overall financial plan. At the same time, to stay in your lane financially, you should have a set amount of your monthly income that goes towards this. For some, it may be 10-15% of their monthly earnings go towards fun stuff. That’s great. Just figure out what works for you and stick to it, no matter what everyone else is doing.
All that said, the biggest thing you can do to “stay in your lane” financially is to avoid temptation. If there is a group of friends that seems to encourage you to overspend or makes you feel like you need to drop a lot of cash on material things, avoid that friend group. Similarly, Kevin Hart decided to stop hanging out with athletes as much. According to him, they spend their money in very lavish ways. He isn’t interested in trying to keep up with it. He’d rather have the money in his bank account and be able to support his family.
What are some things you’d suggest to help “stay in your lane” financially? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.