No matter how much money we have, it never seems to be enough. This is true for the wealthiest of people in the same way that it is true for most average folks. One thing I’ve seen, however, is that a few people are happy with what they have.
No matter how much money we have, it never seems to be enough. This is true for the wealthiest of people in the same way that it is true for most average folks. One thing I’ve seen, however, is that a few people are happy with what they have. As a result, they manage it better. Those who are so focused on keeping up with the Joneses tend to frustrate their financial futures by buying too much stuff and spending beyond their means.
Here are some tips to help you live life wanting less and enjoying what you have a lot more!
1. Volunteer in a food pantry or homeless shelter where you will have the opportunity to interact with people who have a lot less than you.
2. Don’t ever move to a neighborhood where most of your neighbors have more money, drive nicer cars, travel to more exotic places for vacation and wear nicer clothes than you do.
3. Seek out friends who have less money than you have, who’ll be happy to go to dinner at less expensive restaurants, who’ll want to catch a matinee with you rather than pay full price for a movie.
4. Take good care of the things you have so that you don’t feel so much pressure to replace them, especially your car(s).
5. Make regular contributions to your savings account and focus on the progress you’re making there so you are less distracted by fake savings opportunities in department stores—buying something you don’t need at 20% off is an 80% waste of money.
6. Donate some of your hard-earned money to a cause that you are passionate about to help put your discretionary spending into a different context (think Oskar Schindler slowly evaporating his wealth to save his Jewish friends—though you don’t have to give away all of your money to gain a greater appreciation for what you do have).
7. Join an organization that includes people from all walks of life, including some who have much less than you; you’ll find that you don’t feel nearly so much pressure to pull up to an event with a diverse group of people in a brand new car if some of the folks in the group don’t even own cars.
8. When you buy a home, have two goals in mind: find a home where you can live “forever” and that you can easily afford so you won’t be immediately tempted to move and so your home doesn’t make you feel so poor.
9. Walk somewhere you normally drive (especially if the round trip is less than a mile) to save money and remind you what a luxury your car really is — most of the people in the world don’t own cars.
10. Plan your next vacation as a service vacation, building homes for Habitat for Humanity or, if you can easily afford it, in a desperately poor country on the other side of the world where you can see abject poverty, do something to relieve it, and come home with an even greater appreciation for things you have.
Devin Thorpe, husband, father, author of Your Mark On The World and a popular guest speaker, is a Forbes Contributor. Building on a twenty-five year career in finance and entrepreneurship that included $500 million in completed transactions, he now champions social good full time, seeking to help others succeed in their efforts to make the world a better place.