Everybody wants to be free from the nagging voice in your head that says you really shouldn’t buy that sweater or from the pit in your stomach when you look at your credit card bill or from the feeling that your life is limited by what you can or cannot spend.
It doesn’t have to be that way though.
We all know that life is about more than money and that your paycheck doesn’t fuel your happiness. But how can we embrace a reality where we are not controlled by money? That where we can fully experience the joy and opportunity the world offers us uninhibited by the stress of our wallet?
Here are five ways to begin living unencumbered by a small paycheck and to loosen money’s hold on your life
1. Budget, but budget loosely.
I find it liberating to plan out an allotment of your money so that you don’t feel guilty about spending a few extra dollars on a latte.
Pick a day at the beginning of each month to loosely plan how you’ll spend your money for that month, but then hold it with open hands and see how that month plays out.
Your budget shouldn’t restrict you, it should free you from stress. Remind yourself that if your spending money is coming from the spending jar, no guilt, right?
2. Be recklessly generous.
It sounds counter-intuitive (okay, it is counter-intuitive) but living generously is both scientifically and anecdotally proven to increase happiness levels.
There are multiple scientific studies that show increased happiness, lower blood pressure, and overall better health in people who care for the needs of others, whether it is through buying a cup of coffee for your colleague, giving a few extra dollars as a tip, or buying your friend that book she’s been wanting. It is even said to make you prettier, giving you a “warm glow.”
The more you give, the less you’re concerned about how your money is serving you, and instead you begin to see ways you can bless others with what you’ve been given. It’s a refreshing change of mind!
3. Grow your own food.
It may not be possible for everyone to have a garden, but remember that every vegetable or herb you grow in your yard is one less you have to buy, and those saved dollars add up quickly!
I’ve started to live more off the land in my yard, and not only do I feel happier and healthier, but my wallet is thanking me.
4. Find hobbies that don’t cost money.
You don’t have to pay to have a good time! Try out hiking, drawing, learning a language, writing poems, reading more books, yoga, or blogging.
When you learn that you can have a lovely Saturday without breaking the bank, you’ll begin to realize how little you have to depend on money for a relaxing, fun day.
5. Learn to see used items as beautiful.
Thrift stores and garage sales may not seem glamorous, but with a slight change of mind and eye you can learn to see well-worn items as well-loved and beautiful.
That jacket that looks a bit worn? Think of all the adventures it’s been on. Those jeans with the holes? Holes are totally in again. That table with the coffee stains? Make it your art table and mark it up even more.
The more worn, the more stories!
So, find a partner to join you on this money-loosening journey and begin to appreciate life unhinged from your bank account!