“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” ― Dorothy Parker
Do you regret not earning truckloads of money that could buy you the luxury life you’ve always wanted? I’ve seen people become depressed because of their poor finances. Many teenagers miss out early in life just because their parents cannot afford the latest gadgets their rich friends can afford.
However, money is not everything. Money might buy you things that make you feel happy, but happiness from within is what money can’t afford.
I have a lot of friends who have very little money to spare, yet live a rich life. Their lifestyle, their personal satisfaction, and their acceptance of themselves are what makes them seem rich. Non-monetary things can also make you happy – and believe me, they will be your biggest asset in the long run.Advertising
Here are a few ways you can live a rich life without lots of money.
1. Learn to accept yourself
It can be hard for you to understand that money should be not a top priority. You can become rich in an instant and then lose it all the next day. You need to replace your personal desires with acceptance and learn to stay happy with what you have right now.
Seek inner peace and learn to control the uncontrollable in life. If you find yourself obsessing over things you want but don’t have, take a paper and write down that it’s okay to not have those things.
2. Become creative
You need to become creative to manage your personal finances and remain happy even if you don’t have much. If you are rich, you buy. If you are not rich, you create. Yes, not having much money can help you be creative.Advertising
Learn to find happiness in small things. Draw a picture, take a photo, and invent something that keeps you at peace. Happiness is within you.
3. Stay authentic
You need to stay true to yourself in order to live a rich life. When you find inner peace and do things you love, you are reflecting your inner-self. There is no greater wealth than understanding what you are meant to do in life.
Regardless of your financial situation, try to believe in yourself so that you can stay happy, enjoy the small things in life, and keep yourself motivated.
4. Do what you love
Making tons of money is what most people might call being rich. However, if the person is not happy with their job, he probably considers himself the poorest person on earth.Advertising
Floyd Mayweather’s net worth would not have been $700 million today had he not been a boxer. Similarly, Bill Gates would not have been the richest man on earth if there was no Microsoft. People who pursue what they love have always prospered more than people who work out of compulsion. The more you start doing what you love, the more money will continue to flow into your life. Even if it does not, you still get to stay happy as you grow rich within yourself.
5. Stay gentle
Gentleness was considered one of the greatest virtues by a philosopher named Confucius. When you are humble, you develop an ability to sense your environment and work accordingly.
For example, look at people like Buddha and Gandhi and compare how lived their lives. They were gentle, realized the value of their lives, and always stayed strong in their thoughts. Buddha left materialistic prosperity to live the life of monk and find the richness within himself. Gandhi belonged to a poor family, and despite leading one of the largest revolutions in the world, always stayed gentle.
Try to be soft and smile to make others smile. If you succeed in making other people happy, then you are truly rich.Advertising
6. Become generous
Giving money is not the only act of kindness. In fact, I would not call it being generous at all. Generosity is what comes from within. When you give someone something from your heart you feel happy, and that feeling is what makes you feel rich. You also need to realize that sharing what you have, without even thinking of what amount you have, is what an act of kindness means.
Also, provide undivided attention to people who need help from you. Nothing is more generous than giving all you have and making others feel good.
7. Build relationships
The real wealth that you build and will be remembered through your relationships. People need to value their relationships more than anything else. Seek to make emotional connections with your family, your friends, your partner, and people that you meet regularly.
“Matters of the heart are important to me. All this materialism and all the money and wealth are things that you don’t take to the grave. One day you have it. The next day you don’t.” — Shari Arison
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flic.kr
Published on September 17, 2018
How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success
Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.
With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.
So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.
1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”
It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.
You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.
So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.
2. When you want something big, wait
Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.
It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.
We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.
A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.
So, you get the itch.
You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.
Here’s where you have to take a step back.
Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.
Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.
It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.
The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.
3. Live smaller than you can afford
You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?
You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.
That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.
Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.
Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.
The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.
But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.
4. Practice smart grocery shopping
Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.
But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.
Create a grocery budget
Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.
Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.
I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.
Make a list… and never deviate
Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.
You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.
These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.
Eat before going grocery shopping
It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.
If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.
After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.
Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.
However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.
This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.
5. Cancel your gym membership
Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.
The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.
Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!
I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.
Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.
Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.
For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.
Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.
There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.
It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!
I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.
Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.
The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com