In the current age of consumerism, many people love to spend their money on cars, fashionable clothes, shoes and jewelry. These types of purchases often gives us temporary happiness and as we adapt to having those items in our lives we frequently look to restore that feeling with bigger, better and newer purchases. If you're looking for an alternative to excessively buying things you don't need; here is a quick guide to living a simpler and richer life.
1. Experience over material; invest in a book, a trip or learning a new skill/hobby. These types of experiences will not only enrich your life but may even be a gateway to an opportunity, job or useful knowledge to overcome a problem in the future.
2. Get rid of excess by asking "is it useful now?" In each area of your life; take inventory of all your things at home, work, money and life in general. The things you can sell, donate or give away, do it and reinvest in something that will enrich your life on a larger and deeper level. You will feel surprisingly lighter and happier that someone is actually making use of your excess.
3. Forget about what others are doing, saying or wearing. Theodore Roosevelt once said "comparison is the thief of joy" and every day you may be comparing yourself to friends, family or acquaintances. Their jobs, their cars, their clothes may all seem to be on another level but what's important is setting your own standard for your lifestyle.
4. Consolidate and reduce your bills. Do you really need four paid subscriptions to those magazines or online movie subscriptions? Is your car a necessity when you live in a major metropolitan area with reliable mass transit? Do you have cable but rarely home to watch many of the channels the service provides? These are the types of questions to reflect on when scaling down.
5. Buy only when you need it; don't anticipate that you'll want something because that will lead to overspending and lots of waste. Those resources can be applied to something you actually will make use of TODAY, not in something you may possibly use in a year or two.
6. Stay away from your favorite stores; there are always sales and promotions going on a daily, weekly and a monthly basis. These sales events will only entice you to purchase something you don't really need and will ultimately end up in the back of your closet collecting dust. When you do shop, make a budget and a list and stick to it.
7. Let go of emotional baggage and negative people; surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. Seek out mentors in any capacity, job or industry that interest you. You will become a better person for it.
8. Believe you already make enough money. Have you noticed that every time you get a pay raise or come into a large sum of money; more bills suddenly appear. If you really assess your basic needs of food, shelter and clothing; your income is most likely sufficient. Any extra income should be applied to savings, investments (internal or external) and experiences. Internal investments may be spiritual or health related and external investments may be a trip abroad.
If you apply some of these techniques to your life, then you will see a significant change in the level of stress you encounter. The simplicity of your lifestyle will give you a new perspective on what's important. Ultimately, you will place a higher value on the people and experiences in your life. That's where the true wealth resides.