It seems to be an age old question, “How do I stay happy with less money?”
If you’re making less money than you were (whether you chose to or not) you’re NOT out of luck. All you need is a few shifts in money mindset to live a full life (with less STUFF)
Let me tell you a story…
I decided to step down at the company I had been at for almost 6 years. In all that time, I was OBSESSED about climbing the “promotion” ladder. Every decision I made was all in the name of the company I worked for. Including buying a ton of clothing that fueled my shopping addiction.
I wore exhaustion like a badge of honor FOR YEARS.
Then in 2018, I decided to start my wellness journey and actually live life for myself. I ate better, worked out and explored mindfulness as a way to connect my mind, body, and spirit.
I won’t go into detail here, but you can listen to that in the first episode of Imperfection with Intention.
So, I chose to focus on my coaching and essentially took a demotion at work. I make A LOT less money now, but if you asked me if I would go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Yes, I make a lot less money. But I’m living a MUCH happier and sustainable life. I have a few tips and tricks for you from the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Just know, you can be happy with less money! All it takes is a few money mindset shifts.
1) I FOCUSED ON IMPROVING HOME LIFE
Since you won’t be going out as much, you’ll need to make sure home is a place you really want to be.
When I think about all the times I was unsatisfied because I wasn’t doing something “fun”, it was because I was avoiding what I didn’t like at my house.. or I was bored.
So, the best way to avoid these problems is to turn your home into the best place to be (just for you)!
FIX WHAT YOU’RE AVOIDING
Usually, the parts of our house we try to avoid is the areas that need the most work. The two main parts of keeping your place enjoyable are executing daily chores and getting your big cleaning goals done.
Since you won’t be going out as much, it’ll be easier to get daily chores done. There isn’t as many excuses not to!
Successfully getting chores done, like dishes, laundry, etc on a regular basis can do wonders for you!
BIG CLEANING GOALS
According to the BBC, 54% of Americans feel overwhelmed by clutter. And a lot of us here are obsessed with anything teaching us how to tidy.
Most of my clutter? Clothing.
A lot of the clothing I owned still had value. So, I set up a Poshmark account and got to work. If you’re like me, and you’ve got clothes still in good condition, then selling it would be a good option.
After getting your clothing under control, move on to other areas of your house to see what you REALLY need to have!
Keeping your space clear of clutter is an easy way to be happy with less money.
MAKE YOUR TIME AT HOME MORE ENJOYABLE
My husband and I decided since we cant go out as much, then we should figure out a way to enjoy our time at home.
Something that we learned was to use our “chore time” as a way to connect.
We leave the TV off and use that time to talk about our day, or whatever else is on our minds.
2) I STARTED BEING MINDFUL ABOUT FOOD
Guys, food can be really expensive.
Between letting the groceries I bought spoil, and ordering out because I was too lazy to cook, my food budget was out of control. This was NOT helping my money mindset.
After getting a pay cut, I didn’t have as much money to mindlessly spend on food. It forced me to actually plan out each meal every week. Since we don’t have extra money to go out, my hubby and I need to cook almost every night.
Of course, you should be able to indulge every once in a while. You’ll notice the when you DO go out to diner, you’ll enjoy every bite just a little bit more.
Now, I eat a little more slowly and I’m grateful for the food I’m eating.
3) I LEARNED TO BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT WHAT I BOUGHT
The biggest perk of forcing myself to change my my habits was learning how to be intentional about what I buy. This helped me stay happy with less money.
Now that I have to be aware of every dollar I spend, I’m aware of what products and brands I buy from. Now I chose to only spend my hard earned dollars on what I really need from brands I really admire or respect.
The products I choose to support donate to charities or their communities. Or their mission is to help the environment. Bonus if they have both! ☺️
DON’T GET SUCKED INTO THE SMALL THINGS (AND SALES!)
A daily coffee, buying lunch because you forgot to pack, or small things like this can really take away from your budget. Especially if you do this several times a week.
DON’T GET SUCKED INTO SALES!
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but only buying things on sale is the fastest way to get sucked back into clutter.
- If you’re looking at something to buy ALWAYS ask, “Will I like this just as much in 3 months?”
4) EXTRA BONUS: A MINIMAL LIFESTYLE HELPS THE EARTH
Now that we don’t buy as much “stuff”, we’re living minimally. I never thought I would say this, but not feeling that constant feeling of wanting to buy is actually refreshing.
We don’t have as much demand for products. It’s made a bigger impact in our efforts to live sustainably.
- We don’t waste as much food, we buy more food that is able to be stored longer (like bulk food),
- We’ve found ways to cut on normal household goods, like paper towels
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HOW WILL YOU STAY HAPPY?
So, now that you have a few ideas, how are you going to stay happy with less money? You totally have the ability to have a better money mindset. You just need to choose it!
Even if you are still making the same amount, but just want to be able to save more, living minimally can change your life for the better if you let it!
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