I’m on vacation this week, so I have a few guest posts lined up for you. Today’s is from Emily of Remodeling This Life. Emily blogs about frugality, home remodeling, and simpler living. If you like this post, consider subscribing to her blog.
You’ve heard it before – stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. I think most anyone you asked would say they don’t – but their finances may paint a different picture. Perhaps instead of saying that we should all stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, we should be focusing more internally. Find contentment. Be happy with what you have. And let yourself find out that you can be happy without something.
How to find contentment?
Stop comparing — it’s amazing how easy it is to be happy with where you are and what you make if you aren’t comparing it to your friends and family and everyone around you. The plain truth is, we all have a different story, a different path we are following and different means to get there. Stay focused on what is yours and what fits into your path, and stick with it.
Make do — I know, that sounds a lot like telling someone to suck it up and deal with having less. But it’s not about how new and shiny and great everything you own is. It’s about how far you make it go. If you can make your money stretch further because you are willing to make do with what you have instead of replacing it by buying something new, it makes a difference. You’ll start to see all the things around you that look tattered and worn and falling apart that are potential for something fabulous.
Love what you have — I don’t think there is anything more important in a life of frugal simplicity than taking care of what you own so that it lasts longer for you. Reupholster something instead of replacing it. Take care of your things so they don’t wear out as fast. Have an appreciation for what you do choose to make part of you life, and take care of it.
Use what you have — Be creative. Find ways to make what you already own work in new ways so you don’t have to keep consuming. Be it cooking or decorating, if you look all around you at what you have right on hand and are willing to get creative, you’ll find some new wonderful things you may never have discovered had you not been open-minded enough to see.
Know your goals and stick to them — For me, the key to contentedness is having a clear goal and plan for my life and not sacrificing what I want for tomorrow for something meaningless today. There are all sorts of fabulous things to be discovered if you shift your thinking, enjoy what you have, and know that by being happy with it today means you’ll be better off for tomorrow.
A frugal life doesn’t have to be one of deprivation. It just has to be one in which you focus on your goals, appreciate what you have, and stop wishing for what you can’t afford, so that your life can be simpler, saner, and a little bit more beautiful.