I think most of us can agree most of life's joy comes from enjoying the simple pleasures. A daily latte. A night out with friends. A massage.
Another truth is that successful adulting requires money management. Even if you're loaded, though you may have more breathing room, you still have to spend wisely to STAY loaded.
So what about when finances are a little tight? Does that mean you have to miss out on those "treats" that bring you so much happiness?
All you need is a simple mentality shift. Instead of thinking of ways to cut expenses, find ways to make more money. In other words, start some side hustles! Think of your current hobbies/skills you can leverage to bring in some more moolah. For example, maybe you could start tutoring math, or teaching piano. Maybe you could sew on the side (seamstresses are always needed!).
I have a few side hustles: photography, styling (events/photo shoots/etc), ghost writing/editing, fitness teaching, designing and selling t-shirts. I also own an online clothing boutique. I genuinely dig doing all of these things.
It's easy to think, "Oh, I'll just save money by couponing/DIYing/etc." Remember: Your time is worth money! You must consider the opportunity cost of time. Your time spent shopping for better deals/price comparing/cutting coupons may be better spent on a side hustle. Unless the "cutting back" measures really jazz you up (hello, extreme couponers!), then you're better off (financially and emotionally) spending your time making money off of what you're naturally good at and like doing anyway. So think of that the next time you're elbows deep in advertisements, searching for that $0.50 off toothpaste, or driving all over town to save a dollar or two on TP. Your gas, time, and sanity are worth more than that. Also: Ask the store you're currently patronizing if they'll price match. More often than not they will, and you just saved yourself a trip!
Those simple luxuries (note: simple - you'd have to do a lotttt of side hustling to fund a Gucci shopping habit) are part of what make life enjoyable! It's so fun to having small things to look forward to every day/week. You don't have to deprive yourself of those!
Part of this strategy is keeping our structural expenses (housing, cars) low as a percentage of your regular income, so you don't have to worry about trivial expenses like lash fills, even as you're still putting money away. Although you can boost your cash flow with a side gig or two, you still need to be fiscally responsible and realistic. Don't go living above your means. If you don't have the money, don't spend it!!!!! It's as easy as that. That principle alone can save you a lot of debt and heartache, yet still somehow eludes soooo many people. When making a purchase consider the opportunity cost: What else could you buy with that money?
Consider this: If you need to save more, and earning more isn't an option, cutting out those dinners, movies, and weekend trips require frequent doses of self discipline; whereas buying a less expensive house or vehicle requires only one or two episodes of self discipline. After that, you're good for years!
A great (fun!) read I recommend on the philosophy of money management is All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending by Laura Vanderkam. It's not your typical financial self-help book. According to her, the key is to change your perspective. Instead of viewing money as a scarcity, consider it a tool to creatively build a better life for yourself and your loved ones. She offers a contrarian approach to examine our own beliefs, goals, and values. It'll cause you to think deeply on how to allocate your money to bring you true fulfillment.