Living below your means does not mean giving up what really matters. Spending less than you earn is the way to have and do those things that will let you live the life you love.
I’ll never forget the time I asked one of my young piano students what he wanted for Christmas. It was a generic question, a pleasantry. I wasn’t looking for make, model, and serial number, but that’s what I got. He whipped out a 60-page list from his book bag. I gulped, checked to see if this child was serious (he was), and quickly proceeded with his music lesson.
Somehow I think that most of us have a bit of that kid in us. We want it all. And every bank and credit card company out there is affirming the notion and willing to make it happen.
In time, however, we reach a maximum level of satisfaction. And the more we attempt to increase that level, the more difficult it becomes to retain a sense of fulfillment. More becomes less as our feelings of satisfaction diminish.
By the looks of some of our closets and garages, we’ve been doing a pretty good job of trying to get it all. But how much of it satisfies? What portion of what we have is actually contributing to the quality of our lives?
The secret of living the life you love is the ability to identify the point of maximum fulfillment, the point of “enough.” More than enough will not increase your happiness; in fact, it begins eating away at your sense of satisfaction.
It’s the money you don’t spend that will ultimately allow you to live the life you love with money in the bank, bills paid, no debts, a paid-for home, and a healthy retirement plan. All of those things contribute to feelings of peace and security.
There is no doubt that money plays a major role in determining the quality of our lives. Still, we have seen that once our basic needs are met, more money will not necessarily bring more happiness. It’s not how much money you have, but what you do with it and the decisions you make for where it will go that can lead you to do extraordinary things with an ordinary income.
Get in touch with your internal satisfaction “meter.” Doing this will be very revealing. Rate your possessions. How much satisfaction do they give you? If you consider everything in your life, rating its level of satisfaction will teach you a lot about yourself and your current situation.
For many years now, I’ve been helping people get out of debt so they can stop spending all that they earn. Thousands of success stories can be directly connected to personal decisions to live on less—to stop spending everything they make. I would love to one day tell your story!
Living your life for half the price does not mean giving up what really matters. Spending less than you earn is the way to have and do those things that will let you live the life you love.
You’re about to discover that you can do more with what you have—more than you dream possible. Ready to take the challenge? I can’t wait to get started.
First published: 8-24-15; Updated and republished: 11-05-19
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