Does living-more-with-less seem like a contradiction to you? Does is seem like you might be deprived of something good or need to make some kind of painful sacrifice in order to reach another goal? If we think about the design world it is often true that simplifying the message and leaving plenty of “white space” can make the most important things stand out more. By communicating with fewer words we can have a bigger impact, or less is more. By living-more-with-less in the personal finances realm, it is critical to pare down the clutter and get very clear about where we want to focus our funds to highlight what is most important to us.
Schedule some reflection time for yourself and conduct a little self-evaluation on what you really care about in your life. This normally takes some time, however it is imperative that we make this a priority. When you know where your values lie, then you can budget your spending accordingly. Take this time to really consider and clearly define your values and why you choose to prioritize things this way. Where you spend should mirror what you value. Does the way you spend your money actually reflect these values? And are there other ways to honor this value without overspending?
Sometimes a person will spend a larger portion of their earnings on things that they believe will give them status or help them feel more worthwhile. For example, most $30 to $35 watches will tell the time and have all the necessary features (and most people use their cell phone as a pocket watch now anyway,) but owning a luxury watch is more like having beautiful jewelry or a big status symbol. And if you enjoy this type of thing and can afford it, then there’s no problem. BUT, you don’t need fancy jewelry to feel worthwhile. You already are worthwhile just as you are. And feelings of self-esteem have to come from you; they don’t come from what you wear or what you have.
In another example, many people say that their family is one of the most important things in their lives. While I would agree in the importance of strong family relationships, take time to consider how your budget reflects this. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gifts or activities to build relationships. Especially in St. Louis, you can go to many parks and museums for free. And most relationships grow stronger by the investment of time, not money.
When discussing living more with less, it’s important to know that you determine what your more is. My more may not be the same as yours and yours may not be the same as mine. Overall, it is only important that we are all secure and content in the choices we make. Remember, if you are having difficulty planning your more with less you can always see a Prosperity Connection Financial Coach for free one-on-one coaching. We’re always here to help you reach your goals!
By Julie Mauchenheimer, Development Specialist, Prosperity Connection