Do you keep getting in trouble with your finances? Can’t seem to make ends meet? Maybe an unexpected credit card bill hit you and now you’re praying for your next paycheck to hit before your next auto-debit does?
Maybe if you made more money, things would be different.
But making more money isn’t as easy as people like to tell you. And while you wait for financial abundance to come your way, you still need to curb your spending.
You wonder if financial freedom is unobtainable to people who don’t fit into that tiny cluster of highly motivated, disciplined people on this planet. Can you have a fulfilling life and a balanced checkbook at the same time, or is it impossible without a six-figure income?
If you want to experience financial freedom and abundance, but conventional wisdom isn’t working for you, check out these four simple strategies to start reaping benefits right away:
1. Start a gratitude journal.
Have you noticed that sometimes poor people are happier than the richest people you know? They may live well below our poverty standards, but they find joy in their lives. Happiness is not tied to your material possessions. But it is tied to gratitude—gratitude for what you do have, for the people in your life, and for the moments of beauty you see.
Gratitude is not always easy to cultivate. Writing in a gratitude journal helps you remind yourself of the magnificent pleasures, relationships, and accomplishments in your life. It also takes up the space in your brain usually reserved for complaints, repurposing it for something that reaps positive results.
2. Invest in yourself.
When you feel good about yourself, you’re less likely to fall prey to quick fixes and sales pitches.
You know the way you look doesn’t define who you are, but it’s hard to be immune to the pursuit of eternal youth at any cost if you’re not feeling great about you, inside and out.
You may compare yourself to people at work or on the street and feel less valuable. When you feel inadequate, you become vulnerable to other people’s attempts to take advantage of you. The “if only I had” thoughts begin creeping in. And you start jonesing for a hit of retail therapy to ease the pain.
When you eat well and stay physically fit, you’ll feel strong, worthy, beautiful, and cease to seek validation or a sense of worth in material things.
3. Move to a cash-only economy.
Credit cards are convenient. But how many times have you lost track of how much you spent on your credit card? If you aren’t checking your balance every day (and who wants to do that?), it’s easy to accumulate charges without even noticing.
By moving to a cash economy and paying cash for everything you buy, you’ll be able to effortlessly keep an eye on what you spend. Yes, it is a little more of a hassle than swiping, but you’ll find it’s worth the peace of mind at the end of the month.
4. Spend more time outdoors.
Spending time outdoors is freeing. Being surrounded by nature energizes us and provides transcendent calm and peace. Why not do it as much as possible?
Whether it’s exercising, walking, or just breathing fresh air, time spent outside nourishes your soul. Instead of staying at home and staring at a screen (while being bombarded by targeted ads), spending meaningful time in nature is more restorative than any shopping spree—and it costs zero dollars.
You can liberate yourself from the pressure your spending habits have created. And it doesn’t require the discipline of a monk.
If creating and sticking to a monthly budget feels too daunting for you right now, there’s still hope. You can get your spending under control by starting small.
Choose to implement one or more of these simple spending-control techniques today, and start enjoying the financial freedom and abundance you deserve. The best part is it only grows over time.
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