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It seems that a lot of people think of frugal as a dirty word. But, in truth, frugality isn’t a bad thing. Living with less is freeing and also allows a person to invest in their financial future more effectively. Simply put: True happiness comes from within.
And with that in mind, I am outlining some of my top thoughts on how a thrifty lifestyle can lead not only to happiness but also to long-term wealth.
The More You Save in the Present, the More You Will Have Available to Spend in the Future
The greater your frugality in your younger years (diverting as much of your income as possible to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds), the more interest your investments will bear in the long term. That’s not to suggest that you should be excessive or wasteful, later in life, but living well within your means is an investment in your financial future and a great way to simplify your life.
Material Possessions Rarely Provide Long-Term Happiness
While it’s nice to spoil yourself every once in a while, it’s nearly (if not entirely) impossible to buy happiness. True joy comes from within and cannot be purchased. What money can buy, however, is security. And if you are judicious with your finances, you can ensure long-term security and stability. This will lead to less anxiety and more freedom to enjoy life. The short-term rush from buying something frivolous is rarely worth the long-term consequences that go along with costly impulse purchases.
Trying to Keep Up with Those Around You is a Never-Ending Exercise in Futility
The idea that you have to keep up with your friends, family, or neighbors has caused countless individuals to saddle themselves with unnecessary debt. And the pursuit of keeping up with the Joneses has never made anyone happy in the long-term. Being okay with living with less and concentrating your time and money on the pursuit of a better future is a far more productive exercise.
Downsizing Feels Good and Can Also be Profitable
When it comes to downsizing, I ask myself questions like: Does it bring me joy? And does it serve a sentimental or utilitarian purpose? If the answer to all of the above is no, I know I can get by comfortably without it. Living with less physical clutter can help you be a more productive human. And a lot of what you decide to part with may be worth listing for sale on eBay or Amazon. Now, how’s that for living simply and making money doing it?
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Decluttering Can Help Provide Mental Clarity
In addition to being a good way to make money and free up space in your home, decluttering can also help alleviate stress. In one study, The UCLA Center on the Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) discovered that clutter has a direct relationship to both self-esteem and mood. With that in mind, why not take some time to declutter your physical space, as well as your headspace.