This is a collaborative post.
Times are tough. We’re all feeling the pinch. Whether you dream of a champagne-filled night out with the girls, or you wish you could hire a personal trainer, living a glam lifestyle can often be more about your state of mind than reality.
It sounds trite, but if you can start being more mindful about how you spend your money and cultivate a sense of gratitude for the things in life that already have, you might realise that you’re richer than you think.
In this post we’re going to have a look at six simple ways to feel richer than you actually are. There’s no get-rich-quick schemes involved here. Instead, it’s all about your mindset, and how you can make some small changes to feel better off.
Don’t Postpone Your Life
When you set goals and dream big, it’s easy to slip into a mindset that tells you to put your life on hold while you make enough money to afford the lifestyle you desire.
It’s tempting to imagine the house you’ll have one day, or the gorgeous furniture you’d like to buy for it. Then there are the places you will visit one day, those Bolsover cruise and stay packages of your dreams, and the glamorous clothes you’ll wear on those amazing holidays.
If you continue to fantasise rather than actually live, you will stop yourself experiencing the pleasure and excitement of the life you have right now. If you live in this fantasy, it’s easy to let your actual day-to-day life get dull and dreary, and forget to treat yourself to the simple pleasures and small luxuries that you can actually afford right now.
I went off to Disney World at Easter. Could I afford it? Not really. Was it a bit rash of me, financially? Absolutely. But you know what – it was absolutely worth every penny, even if it has left me a bit strapped now. Life is for living. Don’t forget to enjoy it while you’re saving up!
Stop Feeling Poor
If you can feel rich, that is half the battle won already. If your inner dialogue is all about how skint you are, and you’re constantly making comments to your friends that you can’t afford this or that, you will be unconsciously reminding yourself that you are dissatisfied with your life. I am really guilty of doing this, and as a result, I’ve completely fallen into this psychological trap.
If everything you purchase sends you into a guilt spiral about not saving enough money for the life you want, you’re always going to have the sense that there is something lacking, rather than really living the life you have. Rather, cultivate the mindset that you have more than enough right now to feel okay.
Try to appreciate the things that you do have. Make a list of the things in your life that you are grateful to have in abundance. Practice mindfulness when you spend, rather than letting your spending habits control your emotions. Doing this will give you more control, and help create the sense that the life you are currently living is the life you desire.
Hold Social Media At Arm’s Length
Nowadays, it seems that we’re all just waiting for our real lives to start. Only once we’ve earned enough money to pay for the lifestyle we feel we deserve, will we really feel that we have made it to ‘real’ life. Social media is a huge part of this problem: we devote so much of our time to looking at images of other people’s seemingly-perfect lives that our own day-to-day lives begin to seem dull in comparison.
This compounds our sense that the present moment hardly worth experiencing or enjoying until we have secured for ourselves all the trappings of a luxury existence. Distancing yourself as much as possible from social media needn’t mean deleting your Facebook or Instagram accounts (although that can sometimes help).
Sometimes just practising a more objective perspective, or creating some emotional distance, can be enough to maintain your own inner sense of self-worth.
Assess Your Finances
It’s natural to want to bury your head in the sand like an ostrich when your bank balance is starting to get a little beyond your control. Rather than facing the issue and seeing the reality of our financial situations, many of us prefer not to even catch sight of that scary bank balance.
If you would like to work towards having a luxury lifestyle in a healthy way, the first step is understanding what proportion of your monthly income is required for essentials like rent, bills, credit card debt, medical expenses, and insurance.
Take stock of your bank statements and get a sense of where you regularly spend your money. Once you have this information, you can begin to set out your budget. Tracking what you spend is key to knowing how much you have to play with.
Work Out What You Can Sacrifice
Living a luxury lifestyle on a strict budget comes down to making sacrifices when you can, allowing you to splash out when it really counts. What items or services do you spend money on that you can imagine living without? Could you reduce your living space? Could getting a flatmate be a way to save some extra cash? Is that espresso you buy every morning really better than a coffee you could brew for yourself once you arrive at work? How badly do you need your Spotify membership? Could you listen to free music on YouTube instead?
While these seemingly-small spending reductions may seem insignificant in isolation, you’ll be surprised by how quickly they add up by the month. Soon you could find yourself comfortably able to afford some of the luxuries you really want in your life, simply by stopping yourself from spending unnecessarily on things you don’t really need. A spending tracker is a great way to keep on top of your outgoings, with the added benefit of watching your savings mount up.
Get Your Spending Priorities Straight
When it comes to dividing your income up, it’s crucial to ask yourself what things you spend money on actually make you feel good? Try to imagine your perfect life and see if you can isolate exactly which things in that life makes you happy.
If you love being at home, you might like to spend your spare money on things that will transform your home into a more reassuring and cosy space. For example, you might spend a little extra cash on throw pillows for your bed, rather than splashing out on a night out on the town.
However, if adventure is what you crave from your ideal life, then your money will be better spent on travel, and you’d be better off avoiding spending too much on your home comforts. For you, a backpacking adventure around Thailand could be vastly more rewarding than some new throw cushions!
No matter how far you feel you are from your dream life, it helps to remember that you can create a comfortable and even luxurious lifestyle within budget, if you’re smart about how you spend, and you pay attention to how you feel.
Six Simple Ways To Feel Richer Than You Actually Are
There’s no easy way to suddenly become richer. However, with the right attitude and some helpful tools to keep you on the straight and narrow, feeling richer is achievable. I’m going to be working hard on appreciating the things I do have.
Do you have any advice on how to feel richer and be more mindful? As always, you can catch up with me over on Twitter and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.