Simple Lifestyle Works

I would like to share this article “Retire Wealthy Using a Simpler Lifestyle” from New York Times best-selling author and radio host and America’s trusted voice on money Dave Ramsey. The article begins with this big question…

Have you considered satisfaction with less things throughout life?

This question I asked myself years ago, and still asking over and over again, whenever I want that bag or shoes or that dress. It’s important for us to learn to be content, to be grateful of what we have. I’m not saying that you stop pursuing your dreams, that’s a different thing, I’m a dreamer, and I do pursue my dreams and God is please with that. In my late 20’s, I learned to be satisified with less. If I have more, it doesn’t mean I should spend more. That’s how rich people think, and I should start thinking like rich people. The Bible says that Paul learned to be content, in Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.…” Simple Lifestyle

Despite being the most affluent generation the world has ever seen, 54% of Americans have saved less than $25,000 for retirement. We’re sacrificing our retirement to support our lavish lifestyles—big houses, cars, boats, flat screens, you name it.

Few people can embrace the idea of cutting back their lifestyle and settling for the basics. But, if you’re going to “do what rich people do,” as Dave says, forget about impressing your neighbors. Instead of seeking satisfaction in what you buy, why not consider gaining satisfaction from a simpler lifestyle?

Like Americans, we Filipinos have the same mindset, we are a consumer nation. Whenever we get our paycheck, “what to buy” “where to eat” is the top of mind. Only few Filipinos think about savings and investing, from what I’ve learned from Randell Tiongson iCon2013, there’s only 3% of Filipinos who save & invest. It’s time to shift mindset on finances, we don’t have to impress our facebook friends, instagram & twitter followers, by posting pictures, shout-outs and check-ins that we’re enjoying lavish lifestyle until nothing was left in our bank account. Remember, we don’t have to please men, our purpose is to please God and wisely handling our resources is honoring to God.

Proof That Simpler Lifestyles Work. For more than 30 years, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley has studied the habits of wealthy people, revealing his findings in several books, including Stop Acting Rich and The Millionaire Mind. His groundbreaking research has uncovered the truth about the lifestyles of the wealthiest Americans.

Dr. Stanley posted a letter from “Mrs. C.C.” on his blog, thomasjstanley.com. Mrs. C.C. has a net worth of more than $1 million, but she has never made more than $60,000 a year. “I have accumulated most of my net worth by living below my means,” she said. “I have everything I want, but I have learned not to want too much.”

In another letter, “D. Termined,” who, at age 55, has a net worth of $2.4 million, describes his family’s lifestyle. “I think I paid $67 for a pair of shoes once, and my watch is a Timex,” D. Termined said. “My wife has shopped at thrift stores for many years and uses coupons extensively.”

There are no granite countertops in his $200,000 house, which was paid off more than 10 years ago. Money saved on the house payments went into savings.

Mrs. T, who is also financially independent, gives 10% of her income to charity, put four kids through college without debt, shops at T.J. Maxx, and drives a Ford Taurus. She told Dr. Stanley, “I am extremely happy with my life.”

“Here is yet another case to support my strong contention that satisfaction in life does not come from what you can buy in a store, but rather from the values, beliefs and behaviors that most wealthy people possess,” Dr. Stanley concluded.

I definitely agree that simple lifestyle works… Simple lifestyle has been the key for my finacial freedom. I am one of those middle-income employees who live paycheck after paycheck. When I made a decision to start my journey to financial freedom, I start to go back living a simple lifestyle. I lessen going out with friends for dinner, coffee; I stop shopping for clothes, bag & shoes; I unsubscribe from Cable TV & Internet; I stop watching movies at cinemas; I stop spending too much on salon & spa treatments, stop traveling, and I terminate my credit cards. I even have to lessen my giving, sometimes I feel like I give too much, even I cannot afford it. And now, I’m debt free. And money start working for me, not against me.

Finding Balance. While it is important to save and invest for the future, it is also okay to enjoy nice things. Denying yourself the pleasure of new gadgets when you can truly afford them is no healthier than buying gadgets you can’t afford. Some people will be compelled by fear to save more than they need to. Instead of spending money to feel good, they save money to feel good. But the effect is the same—you can never save enough money to feel totally secure if fear is driving you.

To be debt free, I have to stop everything temporarily, until I reach my goal to financial freedom. But doesn’t mean, I don’t enjoy nice things anymore. Of course not! To stop literally is just temporary, I also have to find balance and enjoy the fruit of my labor, but this time, enjoying nice things and life pleasures modestly. The key is “budget” and “stick to your budget.” Now, I plan my expenses for need and wants. I set aside money for things I want. I set aside small percentage of my budget to dining-out, entertainment and spa. I even start saving to fund travel (so I can book whenever there is seat sale), shopping (I can shop when F21 is on sale) and charity (now I have money to help relatives, friends and others who are in need). Though I have budget and funds for everything, Thank God I still have more left for savings & investments.

 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

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One thought on “Simple Lifestyle Works

  1. Pingback: How I Fund My Wanderlust? | My Journey, His Glory...

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