We live in a product driven society bombarded with – buy, buy, buy advertising and promotions. You ‘must’ have the latest and best, you ‘must’ buy new. Add on top of that peer pressure and we all experience stress and ultimately dissatisfaction. Our family, friends and neighbors all seem to have the newest gadget, car, home styling etc. etc, the list is endless. However, do you actually feel happy when you do acquire all these objects? Does the acquirement actually benefit us in real terms? Do these things plunge us deeper into debt? What is the point? As the saying goes – you can’t take it with you! So why try?
To live below our means, in theory sounds like an easy task, in reality many of us cannot maintain the lifestyle we want with less. The less being primarily money. However, if we take a cold hard look at our stuff and the ever growing debt it brings with it, does it give us enough joy, happiness or communication with those we love to warrant the financial cost?
There is a Canadian saying – ‘he with the most toys wins’. But what does he win if he is dead? Nothing. The toys will be sold off, at a fraction of the cost and the cash distributed to his family. Obviously it is nice to own a range of sporting and leisure vehicles and equipment, go on expensive vacations or live in a huge house but do you spend quality time with family? Will you leave a financial burden for the next generation to cope with?
Not everything needs to be bought new, there are numerous options from thrift stores to second hand or even barter for items we need. Need is the word we should keep in mind when pursuing that next desired object. Ask yourself do I want it or do I need it? You don’t need to change your cell phone every time a new model comes out. You don’t need to upgrade your car every year. However, you do need to eat, heat your house and put fuel in your vehicle.
Try to resist the ‘I want’ and think about what real benefit that item will give you. Think long term not short term.
How do you save money? Do you live frugally?
The following links will give you an idea of ways to manage living below your means.
Just had to add this posted by a friend on facebook this morning! Just perfect for today’s post.