We live in a world that focuses more and more on material things and hence consumerism. People are encouraged to have and own more things, the more expensive means even better. Consequently, even those who could not afford such a way of life are also caught up unexpectedly. These unfortunate people work hard to earn money so that they can spend that money to buy the latest convenience and to experience the latest thrill.

Is it possible to be happy with less?

Personally, I do find it possible to be happy with less. I was brought up simply during a time when having money to put aside was not easy. Having a TV and a car were considered very lucky during those days.

Since my childhood was very simple, it is very easy to appreciate simple luxuries like eating out. It is also very easy to ignore all the marketing gimmicks that prey on people to spend their hard-earned money. Many new things are created just to cater to men’s every whim and fancy.

Set your priorities

Setting your priorities or goals early in your adult life also helps you to focus on what is meaningful and important. For me, I focus on financial stability and early retirement. I do not wish to be a slave to a housing loan, personal loan, credit card debts, etc.

Focus on other areas

Shifting your focus to other areas in your life like your family, health, hobbies, friends, education, etc. distracts you from always focusing on material things. Being human means there will be times when you want to splurge and just enjoy yourself. Just as long as it is not too often and the money spent is within your means, then there is nothing wrong with it. You do not need to spend money to be happy but it is only fair to reward yourself once in awhile since you worked hard to earn it.

Get support from others

Mixing with like-minded people also helps you to achieve your goals. In return, you are helping them to achieve theirs. Getting the support of your partner and family means you are not easily swayed by temptations to spend needlessly.

Last but not least, having a grateful attitude is good whenever you envy another person's possessions. Being aware of those who have less or who are more unfortunate means you have more things to be grateful for. I have learned that being surrounded by material things do not necessarily make me happy.

Do you find it possible to be happy with less or do you need to have a lot of possessions to feel happy? Or do you find you have to spend money to be happy?

This article is guest-blogged by Jacquelyn from Wise Parenting Guide. You can subscribe to her newsletter to receive a free parenting ebook.

Photo by Ken Neoh.

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