6 Steps to a Simple, Nonmaterialistic Life

iStock_000016391426XSmallSix easy steps you can take, starting today, to live a more simple and debt-free life

 Live Below Your Means

Did you know that the average American spends $1.25 for each dollar he or she actually earns? Scary isn’ it? We live in a culture where living above your means is so normal, so casual, that we don’t even realize it. Create a budget and aim to live below your means, not above.

Value Usefulness Over Status

The clothes we choose, the cars we drive, the homes we live in and the electronics we carry sometimes are often purchased for they way they might impress others. Media campaigns tell us that if we have the current “it” product, others will envy us. When did it become a good thing to be envied? Before allowing anything into your life, focus on its usefulness, not its status. Then you can be envied for having a happy, debt-free life instead of bills. Don’t believe the hype.

De-Accumulate

We’ve all been trained to accumulate as much as possible. The problem is that while the Universe is an unlimited source of stuff, our time and our bank accounts are not. Get away from the constant mission to accumulate by actively changing your attitude. Turn off the ads and focus on giving. Discover the joy of giving things that you might actually want to keep. It is fun, and filling a need is amazing Karma.

Spend Wisely

Spending wisely doesn’t mean deprivation. It simply means to be purposeful in where you allocate your resources. This is true for both time and money, two resources that are in a limited supply for all of us. Examine why you must have something and whether or not it is worth giving up something else to have it. For example, if you purchase the latest electronic device whether you need it or not, you won’t have that money for something that might bring more joy, such as a family vacation or charitable cause. If you spend time at a job you hate, then that time cannot be spent doing something more joyful and fulfilling.

Leave Room for Luxury

How much more enjoyment will you get when you spend your resources on something that you really want instead of a lot of smaller things that are mediocre. You shouldn’t feel guilty for spending what others might think of as a lot of money, as long as it meets two requirements. You can afford to pay for it with cash, and it will bring you a great deal of joy.

Invest Your Resources in People, Not Objects

The people in your life mean more than the objects in your life. I don’t think anyone would disagree. How you touch others will leave a legacy long after you are gone. We are only given so much time on this Earth and should spend it lifting others up instead of working toward a new flat-screen TV. While there is nothing basically wrong with enjoying the things that make our lives easier and fun, those things don’t last. Invest the money and time into things that will bring you closer to your friends and family and positively affect other human beings in the world.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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