10 Ways to Upgrade Your Life when you have no Money
Currently, we need to find a new home to live in, buy a larger car (a Corolla does not fit 2 adults and 4 kids), and visit Vanuatu to sort real estate/business/family matters at the end of the year. With moving to where we are, the kids have the opportunity to be involved in some incredible programs, so there are costs for that as well.
Aside from the needs, we want to set up a home gym, do more camping and other trips. Basically, after having a few years kind of stuck, focused on 2 pregnancies, Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s residency visa and commercial diving qualification, we are ready to upgrade our life again.
How can you Upgrade Your Life on a Budget?
Knowing what you need and want to have your ideal life is part of it. The next part is making it happen. In our experience, there are a few components to upgrading your life.
1. A Mindset Shift
Visualise and know the reality you want. Work on removing any scarcity mindset, money blocks, negative views around money or ‘rich people’ etc. Doing this work makes a huge difference. Read Rich As F*ck and Lucky Bitch for more on mindset. The Psychology of Money is another recommended book. It takes a more factual, science based approach for money and our minds.
You will need to continually work on your mindset to level up. Spend time with people you admire and want to be like, who have the mindset and life you aspire to. Read their books, follow their channels, look for motivation, nor for comparison.
Still spend time with your friends, family and others in your life, be aware of how you spend your time though and how it makes you feel. 4000 Weeks and Die With Zero are good reads for spending your time wisely.
2. Take Action
You don’t need to know exactly how everything will work out but you do need to be taking action to create the life you want. Knowing what you want and focusing on your goals makes it easier for your subconscious to scan your life and everything you do and connect opportunities for you to get what you want.
The list below will show some ways to take action.
3. Acceptance and Gratitude
Acceptance plays a huge part in our life in various ways. By accepting and being grateful for where we are in life and what we have, while still striving for more, we are happier and find opportunities easier.
It isn’t just about accepting life as is. You also need to accept and feel comfortable with the upgrades you want to make in life. Too often we self-sabotage because we aren’t comfortable with wealth or happy relationships or whatever it is we want.
Being comfortable can be good but not when it is connected to unhealthy life patterns. Just because something feels comfortable, doesn’t mean it’s right. It generally means that is what we are used to. If you want life to change, you have to get uncomfortable.
What Steps or Action can you Take to Upgrade Life?
Action to upgrade your life depends on what you want your life to look like and how you want to spend your time. The steps below are suggestions but tailor them to suit your life goals.
1. Champagne Life
How to have a champagne life on a beer budget wage is where I shared a few tips to have a fancier lifestyle. If you know what you want, there are many ways to make it happen.
As an example, we love travel and experiences so I went into tourism marketing as a side gig. This enabled us to get paid to travel and do some incredible things we might not otherwise have done.
More recently, I wanted more of my time back and help from the kids. The day after I decided this, I was offered a promotion with some meal kits. Now the meals are planned out for us each week, delivered on Monday, my family take turns cooking and it has definitely upgraded my life.
2. Time Management
What do you want to spend your time doing? How can you make that happen?
We spend a lot of our lives doing stuff we don’t want to do or being so busy and stressed out, we miss out on a lot.
Recently, I read and implemented the tips in Life Admin Hacks. It is all about streamlining everything from paying bills to getting a will.
As a result, we’ve changed quite a few things our home. Instead of going to the shops, we have a running shopping list that we add to and order when it reaches a certain amount. This is saving us time and money.
The family calendar got updated, we are using meal kits (check out over $600 worth of discounts for meal kits to get save you time and money), we are more conscious of how we do things and when. Tasks in our home are proper organised and it doesn’t all fall on me, the mum.
Plus, we are buying a larger car and planning travel again.
Spend your time in a way you’d be happy with so you can look back on life with joy instead of regret.
3. Know When to Say Yes and When to Say No
Many people I know say yes even when they don’t want to do something. Learn the power of saying “No.”
It is a complete sentence, you don’t need to explain yourself and there are many ways to say no so you can take back control of your time and life.
In general, if it won’t add value to our lives or isn’t something that absolutely has to be done, I say no. Too much of my life was spent pleasing others. Knowing when to say no to things I don’t want to do but say yes to things I want to do even if I don’t know how I can make them happen has upgraded my life drastically.
4. Read and Educate Yourself
Knowledge is power. The application of knowledge is what will change your life. Learning can be free, depending on what you want to learn and how.
Borrow books from the library, listen to podcasts, join groups relevant to what you want to learn, sign up for cheap classes through places such as Udemy or Coursera. Then put what you learn into practice.
Doing things to upgrade your knowledge and skills can often lead to promotions, increased incomes, side gigs, a wider network and more opportunities in general.
5. Grow Your Network/Community
Expand your circles whether they be career circles, friendship circles, community connections or any other aspect of life. Go to networking events, join a gym or do some classes, volunteer and get connected.
During the past few years, we have not been able to do that as much and it has greatly impacted our mental health. Humans need connection.
Get out of your usual circles if you want to change your life. Connect more with others, get involved in projects you have always wanted to and do the things you want but haven’t made time for yet.
Doing this can often result in new opportunities for career, travel, relationships, health and all areas of your life.
6. Get Out In Nature
Numerous studies show the benefits of getting out in nature, yet most of us still don’t do it enough. This doesn’t even have to cost anything but can have a profound impact on your mental and physical health.
Take up a hobby such as hiking, diving, beach volleyball, yoga in the park or similar. Use websites or apps such as Meetup and Facebook to find similar events in your area.
Getting outside has benefits such as vitamin D, being active with these sort of hobbies will improve your overall health and if you do it with others, you will strengthen your relationships.
7. Plan Your Retirement
Those within the FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early) have their retirement planned out. The average person does not. Most people have compulsory contributions done and that’s it.
Few think about what they want to do in retirement, when they want to retire and how they will fund their lifestyle. While superannuation or retirement funds in general are great, they won’t cover everything and the pension options get changed, so you can’t rely on that.
We plan have a plan but probably won’t fully retire since our lifestyle is fairly flexible already and our focus is helping others, especially in Vanuatu. Helping the whole family progress and have opportunities is important to us.
8. Focus On Health
Without your health, life can be severely limited. In 2015, I was paralysed on and off for 7 months. My last 2 pregnancies in 2020 and 2021 came with numerous health issues. At those times, my life basically stopped.
Get control of your health, make it a focus and your life will drastically improve. Whether that is slimming down, getting fitter, more flexible or stronger, it all helps. As does ensuring you look after your mental health too.
When you are clear on the life you want, health will play a part. While we aim for body positivity and acceptance, the reality is, health impacts our life. There are some things that simply cannot be done if we are not in good health.
One year, I did a lot of diving, international travel and even got offered a place on a once in a lifetime hike through Slovenia. If I had not been focused on my health, getting in shape, increasing my stamina and flexibility, I could not have said yes to those opportunities.
On top of physical health, focus on your mental health. When our mental health is good we are more resilient, patient, better parents and friends etc. Mental health needs to be a priority, get any help you need to optimise it.
9. Improve by 1%
You don’t need to overhaul your entire life drastically all at once. Aim at improving by even 1% and increasing it by 1% regularly. Changes will compound and you will eventually have made significant change over time.
You’re living life, why not live it with a 1% improvement? Doing this will ensure you are living the life you want. The time passes anyway so do it with your ideal life in mind.
For example, if you want to focus on health, start with a 20 minute daily walk or 10 minute yoga session. Going to the gym for 2 hours a day is not typically sustainable. If you can walk or do yoga or similar daily, you are more likely to stick to the habit and can expand on it.
Another example is money. Transfer 1% of your income into savings every time you get paid. Increase it to 2% the next month and so on. You learn to adjust your spending to these small amounts and before you know it, you will be saving 10% or more.
Choose an area of your life you want to change and look at a way you can do it starting small. Check out 10 Small Habit Changes to Drastically Change Your Life.
10. Upgrade in Areas that Matter to You!
Just because your neighbour bought a new car, doesn’t mean that is what you need. Same goes for their clothes, gym membership or anything else. Someone else having it or suggesting it doesn’t mean it is right for you.
This is your life, you know how you want to life it and you are in control. Make decisions based on your values and what you want in life.
Choose an area of life you want to improve, create a plan of action then make it happen.