Monday, August 21st, 2017

9 Ways to Need Less Money: Stress Less, Enjoy More

Published on May 22, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

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“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~Unknown

This year, I decided to need less money. This way I could work less, which likely meant I would earn less.

I know this may sound like a backwards goal. Conventionally, we resolve to earn more, not less. We aim to cut out activities that don’t maximize our earning potential, and allocate our time based on the monetary value it generates.

We outsource chores and mundane tasks when we’re able—we’re too busy making money to do menial things that don’t require brain power or creativity.

We sacrifice our balance in the endless chase for more—we deserve abundance, right?

We wear our busyness like a badge of honor—that’s what it means to be successful, after all.

There is nothing inherently wrong with these ideas. A lot of people consider this type of thinking smart. People who find novel ways to gain attention and earn big bucks frequently receive praise for their brilliance, as if the ultimate sign of genius is the ability to gain publicity and amass wealth.

I see things a little differently.

I want to do the everyday chores—the laundry, the dishes, the house-cleaning. They relax me and ground me in the present moment.

I want to be able to recognize and enjoy enough. Abundance can be suffocating, in the chasing, the having, and the maintaining.

And I don’t want to be that busy anymore. I want to say “no” to things I don’t want to do simply because I don’t want to do them; not because there are so many more pressing income-generating activities I’m trying to cram into my day.

I’ve been learning ways to minimize my spending so that I can make work-related decisions based on what I actually want to do. I still need to earn money to live, but I know I will never allow the pursuit of more to compromise my ability to enjoy enough.

If you’d also like to need less money, I recommend:

1. Identify what is truly enough for you.

If you are out of work, you may legitimately not have enough. This post will offer you some suggestions that will help get through this time until you have a little more cushion to live comfortably.

If you do have a job, but you overextend yourself to continually earn more, it’s entirely possible that you’re missing out on life in the pursuit of abundance when, in all reality, you could be happier and far less stressed by simply living on less.

I have found that enough for me is somewhere around $40,000 annually. That’s not to say I wouldn’t find lots of great things to do with the money if I earned more. It’s just that this is what I need to take care of my necessities, spend here and there on things I enjoy, and save money for the future.

If you have a family, your number may be higher. Take some time to ascertain what you really need to feel comfortable and fulfilled. This will serve as a barometer for all money-related decisions—spending and earning—going forward.

2. Identify expenses you don’t absolutely need.

I cut out cable, which cost me around $50 in the past. I joined my parents’ cell phone family plan, which brought my bill from $79 to $10. I also spend less on groceries by buying in bulk and using a club card to get discounts on almost everything I buy.

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