Adopting a Minimalist Mindset
To quote Madonna, we really do live in a material world. By the time you drive your new car off the lot, there's a bigger, and better model coming off of the assembly line, or when you buy the latest cell phone, the next one is on the way. It's gone far beyond keeping up with the Jones's, but rather keeping up with society, and the constant feeling of inadequacy. How many of us sit in our warm homes, with a fridge full of food, two cars in the driveway, and still feel like we're lacking? Instead of trying to simplify our lives, we're in this rat race of trying to accumulate as much as possible, and living well beyond our means. Earn more, spend more. I think if we all took steps to downsize what IS an abundant life, we'd find living with less ends up being much, much more.
If you're a single person or an empty nester maintaining a huge house, maybe it's time to consider scaling back to something more manageable. I remember when I was shopping for a home, I'd look at some, and question whether I could afford the utilities, or if I wanted to spend forever and a day cleaning such a large space?
Cut the cost of entertainment by switching to internet based television such as Netflix. Cable companies are charging through the roof, and leaving people surfing a hundred channels with nothing to watch. Go see a matinee instead of a pricier prime time showing, and skip the spendy movie snacks. Five dollars for a box of Junior Mints is a bit outrageous.
Everyone has heirlooms and trinkets that hold sentimental value, but if you're holding onto possessions that you might use, just let them go. Donate items, or have a garage sale. It's a better feeling knowing someone else is getting use out of something that was taking up space.
When I think of wealth, I think of being surrounded by the ones I love, rather than being defined by what's sitting in my checking account, or the number of shoes in my closet.