Life is not about maintaining what is happening now for the rest of your life. It's about achieving dreams and reaching goals. It's planning for a future filled with opportunity and security. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't feel like that to you. Instead, you feel overwhelmed with the expenses in your life. Items like a home, vehicle, childcare, or investing in college seem to deplete all your funds. It can cause nervousness and a feeling that your dreams are farther away.

You wouldn't be the only one in this situation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 70% of adults reported at least one symptom of stress, such as a headache or increased anxiety.

Not giving up on the future

Fortunately, though you may feel this way at times, there is still a way for you to plan your future. What you need to do is take a deep breath, focus, and find alternatives to save costs while still meeting the needs of you and your family. Here are several suggestions to get you started.

Car subscription

The biggest expense after a mortgage is a car loan. Even with discounts and trade-ins, a new car still has a high sticker price. If the cash isn't available for this asset, then a loan might be necessary. 

Or, perhaps another option-a car subscription service, spawned from the growing sharing economy. However, where that has a set time, a subscription permits you to cancel with little or no penalty. The most notable good thing about a car subscription is that it simplifies having a car. You don’t have to be compelled to schedule maintenance, keep in mind to pay taxes or registration fees, or purchase insurance.

You can also switch or “flip” the vehicle you drive by using a special smartphone app to manage your subscription. For people who shudder at a long-run vehicle commitment, a replacement option is on the horizon.

Energy-efficient devices

For some, electric bills can be as much as an automotive loan. In addition to standards like lamps and large appliances, HVAC units and smart device chargers also tend to eat up additional power. No matter what you unplug or turn off, what you do, it never seems to make a difference. 

The reason for this may be the devices themselves if they are older and require more energy to work. This can be corrected by making an investment in energy-efficient devices. Appliances with the Energy Star(R) label can help significantly lower electric bills over time. 

Repairing or upgrading your HVAC unit might also need to be done, especially if you constantly need to turn your thermostat all the way up or down to feel comfortable. If there are no issues found with this equipment, then the increase of power may be due to a lack of insulation in your home. At that point, upgrading the existing insulation is a must.

You might feel these investments cut into your savings plans for the future. And that would be true if done all at once. However, if you start small and make careful purchases, then the return on investment will be greater. Eventually, the money you save on energy bills will pay for the next upgrade.

Implementing sustainability measures

Sustainability isn't only about reducing your carbon footprint. It is also about investing in your future, both economically and environmentally. In the end, the funds you save won't matter if the Earth isn't around.

Hence, the reason you need to enact sustainability measures and purchase long-lasting products. For instance, instead of buying new clothes all the time consider purchasing garments at second-hand stores and places like Goodwill. Or, rather than letting rainwater flow down gutters into the street, set up a series of rain barrels to collect the precipitation for watering your lawn and garden. 

Overall, these changes can meet you and your family's needs at the same time you save for your future. However, for it to work, you need to set attainable and measurable goals. 

Work your way through the easily reachable ones first to set a baseline. Then, move to the higher-end expenses. Before you know it, the future will be here, and you'll be ready to fully experience it.