There are hundreds of news stories in any given month, and some of them are important, but I am convinced that the ‘slow news’ of how we each of us is living our life and spending our dollars is one of the most central stories in each of our lives.
Think about it. People who have spent years living ‘beneath their means’ still have their feet solidly under them even as the housing market and stock market take downturns.
There is tremendous power in thrift, in spending sparingly. Saving every month instead of going farther into debt, yields us freedom of choice and peace of mind. My favorite blog about money and personal spending is Get Rich Slowly.
Key thoughts of mine on being rich in quality of life and financially solvent:
- Focus on people instead of things. Social networks increase our safety in the world in a way money cannot. Also, research says that number and quality of relationships predicts happiness, while ownership of numerous things does not.
- Invest your time in where you live instead of investing money in getting away from where you live. We all need a home that nurtures us. While vacations are nice, if we’re constantly desperate to escape our lives, that’s a signal we should change something.
- If you truly need something, buy it used. Craigslist and Goodwill are excellent resources. Almost all my clothes are ‘pre-worn’, and I get plenty of compliments on my appearance.
- Cultivate sensible hobbies that depend on you, other people and nature rather than money. Examples: walking, reading, visiting, dancing, hiking, cooking, singing, gardening, running, discussion groups.
- Generally the noisier the hobby, the more costly to both you and the earth, due to fossil-fuel use. Examples: jet-skiing, snowmobiling, motorcycling, firecrackers.
- Eat low on the food chain. Learning to cook beans, whole grains and legumes from scratch and season them into savory, delicious meals may be the best time-investment for both wealth and health you could ever make. We eat 1,095 meals a year!