One time when I was looking for answers to my financial woes, I stumbled upon a social media page that shows how simple living should be a guide in living this life. It got me to ponder on my personal habits and spending behavior and I would like to share them with you.
In today’s very materialistic world, there springs a new movement towards becoming minimalist and its principle is summed up in one sentence:
Because the best things in life aren’t things.
Just because a store is on sale doesn’t mean you have to go shopping
I have been guilty of this too often but more admittedly during the first few years (oh well some time) after I got my first paycheck. We all have been deprived of some things during childhood amazing gadgets, cool toys, signature clothes, fashionable shoes etc because we still had to rely on our parents’ extra income to be able to buy those.
And when we had the chance to buy these for ourselves, we wanted to have all of them at once! But our meager salary would not allow us to so we had to wait for the items to be on sale in order for us to buy them at a lower cost.
However, in our active search for discounted loots, we stumble upon sale items that we did not plan to buy in the first place. We develop this mentality that we would be gaining much if we are to buy those items and later end up buying more than what we intended. What’s worse is we end up buying items that we don’t need until the next year or more.
If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.
When my husband and I benchmark if we are doing well in raising our kids, we can’t help but compare how our parents did it during their time when there were no self-help websites and psychological instructions online as I believe we turned out to be relatively good contributors to a better society in our own small way.
And when I look back, I realize that it was not the toys I played with that I remember most about my childhood but the simple but imaginative play I had with my sister, my cousins and my neighbors.
We spent a lot of time playing “outside” and inventing our toys as compared with the children of this generation who have to be pacified by the electronic gadgets they own.
As malls become nearer and toys readily available and more affordable, we can’t help but stock up on toys that our children barely touch or play with. They often end up collecting dust and occupying the little space we have at home.
Wanting less is a better blessing than having more.
To feel adequate and contented is a better goal than aiming to have all that we desire because by satisfying all our cravings, we end up wanting more than what we have.
It is a mark of maturity to be happy with what one has as we realize that we can’t have them all. One thing that prevents us from achieving this is when we compare ourselves with others. We cannot compete with everybody else because our lives are made up of different circumstances. What our neighbor has is dictated by their priorities and we have to come up with our own based on our values.
When we are clear about our purpose and priorities, it is easier to discard all others that will not support these.
We could start realigning our purpose with our means by clearing our cabinets of clutter that we do not intend to use in the next couple of years, owning and accumulating only the things that will serve our purpose and get us to our goals.
We don’t buy things with money. We buy them with hours from our lives.
It is only when we realize that we trade our time at work with the time we spend for ourselves and our family that we will know the cost of accumulating things that we can’t bring with us in our grave when time runs out.
We cannot do things all on our own which is why we spread ourselves through hiring other people to do the job for us. We delegate but must see to it that we are left to do the things we love and intend to spend our lifetime for.
The higher we climb up the social ladder, the more people we need to accomplish things with or for us which is why we need extensions- we need to network so that we assign people who are good at what they do to the tasks we need to accomplish but cannot do on our own.
We network but must make sure that we do not become slaves to what others need to accomplish for themselves- we need to balance so we don’t fall into the employee’s trap for the rest of our lives.
Life is more important than the things we accumulate.
There is this one advice that I am trying hard to live by: to not spend on material things but on collecting experiences. The earlier we make our kids realize that material possessions are not the end goal but the experiences and memories they create, the better value they will have of their time and family.
We are here not to make a living but to live meaningful lives so we need to balance both and not be obsessed with the former. If we become too busy organizing stuff, we need to get rid of some of them.