I’ve been thinking a lot about money matters lately. No, I’m not thinking about how I want to make more money. I’m not thinking about how I can save more money. I’ve been thinking about how money keeps us from living simply.
I’m a middle-class American. I’m happy about that. I used to be poor. Guess what? I was happier when I was poor.
Don’t get me wrong. I like my life today. I like who I’ve become and what I’ve gained. But I’ve also discovered that money matters can complicate life.
From bigger bills to more debt, life can get distracted by money. Whether we’re focusing on buying, budgeting, or saving, we’re letting money consume our thoughts.
How Money Matters Complicate Life
- It falsely teaches us that living is costly: I know the cost of living increases with time. But living is not as expensive as you think. It’s only as expensive as you make it. I know from experience that I could live on less than one-third of what I’m currently earning.
- Money gets in the way of our relationships: How many times have you put work before someone you love? We often choose making a better living over building better relationships. Money matters can muddle love.
- It teaches us to be consumers: The reason I was happier when I was poorer is simple. I didn’t have enough money to complicate life with more than I really needed. The more money we have, the more we think we need to buy. That’s a lie.
- Money limits our creativity: I’ve opted out of monetizing Hip Diggs at this time. Why? Because my focus would shift from writing great content to finding affiliates and advertisers. I’d be more concerned with making money than being creative.
- It teaches us that we’re not good enough: We always want more. If we’re not moving up the ladder, there must be something wrong. But true success is not defined by wealth.
- Money tricks us into believing we’re bored: There are so many free things to see and do in this world. But when we have money, we think we have to pay to be entertained. When we can’t afford to pay, we believe we’re bored.
- It teaches us that we can’t be happy: I’ve heard some say that money can buy happiness. I disagree. It might help us live a more lavish lifestyle. But it’s the simple comforts that truly make us happy. Money matters teach us that we have to focus on finances instead of happiness.
Change Your Mindset About Money
If we make money the most important thing in our lives, we’ll miss out on what’s really important. So how can we change our mindset about money?
- Stop buying into programs: There are dozens of books and websites that claim they’ll teach you how to become independently wealthy. Stop reading that stuff. All that does is make you long for more money. It keeps shifting your focus away from simple living.
- Stop overextending yourself: If you want to get out of debt, it’s simple. Don’t spend more money than you make. It’s really as easy as one less teaspoon of sugar.
- Love the little things: Be satisfied with the little things in life. Enjoy a walk. Smell the flowers. Breathe the air. Play with your dog. By enjoying the simple things in life, you’ll spend less money and you can take your focus off money matters.
Money Matters Less Than You Think
In the long run, money is much less important than what you do in life. You don’t have to be rich to make someone smile. I don’t need a bigger house to write a better song. We don’t need more money to love our neighbors.
The less we think about money, the more simple and happy our lives will become. Put your focus on what’s real, good, and true. When you do that, you might just discover that the money matters sort themselves out.
I’ve written a few ebooks that might help you on your simple living journey. They’re free. It’s easy to get started. Just click on the following links:
- The Happiness Of Simple: Making Connections Between Happiness, Simplicity, And Productivity
- Simple Instructions: How To Write Like It Really Matters
- Get Back To Where You Are: A Guide To Finding Yourself In The Present Moment