Simple Ways to be Happy Regardless of your Income

youth-570881_1920Now that the big holiday season has came and went, it’s the perfect time to work on becoming content with what you have and your current situation regardless of how much money you have or make.

Even though people say ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’, do you really believe it? Can you be happy and content with thousands of dollars of debt hanging over your head or past due bills?

Yes, money can affect your mood and your happiness from time to time, but you shouldn’t give money control over all your emotions and your outlook on life. As long as you are working hard to get to where you want to be financially and making progress at your own pace, money shouldn’t affect your happiness.

However, if you have been letting your financial situation get the best of you lately (like a lot of us do), here are a few ways to establish and maintain happiness and a positive outlook on life.

Detach Yourself from Things

Stuff is just stuff. Material things will not make you happier in the long run, so you should not look validation in things. If you love to shop or buy things for yourself, your home, or others, it may make you feel good about yourself for the moment, but soon that feeling will go away and you’ll be looking for the next item to make you feel better.

The cycle will go on and on and start to take a toll on your finances which could make you feel worse. Do yourself a favor and stop trying to obtain more stuff and do some self-reflection so you can find out what makes you feel happy long-term.

For most people, just living a rich life can brighten their spirits. I don’t mean rich in terms of money either. A rich life can involve having the proper balance between work and leisure time, having a chance to make memories with loved ones and have new experiences each day, or having a positive impact on someone else’s life and inspiring that person.

You can find more happiness when you stop and focus on whatever makes you feel eager to wake up each day and live life to the fullest. I doubt you are eager to wake up each morning with the idea of spending more money on meaningless stuff.

Start Valuing People More

When you stop valuing material possessions so much, you can start to value people more. Having a lot of money can put your mind at ease and bring you peace to a certain point, but the people you love and care about will make you feel better time and time again.

When I’m having a bad or super long day, I look forward to coming home to my fiance and son so I can talk and spend time with them. I enjoy and appreciate living super close to my parents and siblings so I can visit them randomly and set up things for us to do together. Whether it’s watching a funny movie, playing games, or running a mile with my sister, the most impactful things I do with my friends and family don’t cost a dime.

Stop Letting your Debt or Credit Score Define You

As a personal finance freelance writer, I experience this a lot first hand. In the past, I used to feel like I was less than or undeserving because I had debt and my credit score was not impressive. I used to resent the fact that I had debt and how it held me back from doing certain things I wanted to do. I’m still in debt to this day, but I have a much different outlook now.

I’m much happier now that I’ve defined myself by my own terms and not just some woman who has debt and doesn’t earn a lot of money. So many times when we meet someone, we lead with our profession or start talking about what we do for work to break the ice.

While you may not discuss your debt situation with most people, it can still start to wear you down and encompass your entire life especially if you are working to become debt free.

I challenge you to detach your financial status and class from who you actually are as a person.

They are two distinct things and should never be combined.

Be More Content with What you Have

Stop and take a second to look around and see all that you have in your life whether it’s an animate or inanimate object. Write a list of the things you are grateful for if you have to. The more content you become with your life, the harder it will be to let commercials, friends or other people tell you what you should have or tempt you to want to obtain more.

You can even start writing in a gratitude journal for five minutes daily to help you become more appreciative of everything that’s good and positive in your life. When you realize what you have and start to become content with your life, there’s practically no way to feel any emotion other than joy.

Are you working on becoming content and finding more happiness in life regardless of your financial situation? Which one of these strategies would work best for you?

Posted in: Minimalism and Frugality, Money, Philosophy

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