Financial HealthLiving with Less Money & More Intention - Jen Davis: Life Coach

Living with Less Yet More Purpose

A client looked at me the other day as we approached this topic with a “Are you kidding me?” expression.  Not the first time, and certainly will not be the last time I receive the look.  It is usually followed up with a question like “Why should I try living with less, I worked hard to get to this point and now I should give it up?”

My question back is usually, “So, why did you hire me?”

It may take a few seconds, sometimes minutes, but generally the client understands. They didn’t hire me to make more money (which may come with this as well), they hired me to have more purpose in life.  And when we break it down of having more money or more purpose, my clients choose purpose.

So, the concept of living with less, doesn’t mean you have to give up what you have earned to date, but the material growth is not necessarily going to double when pursuing more purpose in your life.

Switching Your Focus

As our life progresses from getting older in general, to starting a family, to losing a parent, our focus starts to shift on our own purpose vs. gaining material possessions. We start to realize as we advance in our careers, being at the top, making more money, does not necessarily bring the joy we once thought.

Sure, we can go out and buy things we want, no live paycheck to paycheck, have fun, vacations, etc. but that joy and happiness is mostly fleeting. We aren’t enjoying the journey, just the destination, for a short while.

This shift starts and every day becomes more important. Rather than just trying to make it to the next, supposed, great thing we want, we want to enjoy more, every day, every moment, every second.  Our focus is shifted to more purpose, and perhaps living with less money to have more intention in life.

Living with Less

Living with less money is not easy but it is worth it.  Really, is anything worth it, easy? But you have certainly heard of a person, or maybe you know someone personally that has walked away from a well-paying job to pursue something completely different, with a significant cut in pay.  And, if my experience, and those around me that have done the same shows, they are happy people, despite having to give up some of life’s perks.

However, if you find yourself stuck between a good paying job and your life’s dream, here are a couple of ways to help make the change to be happier, and still keep your finances above water:

  • Budget: Work out new budget with new salary and stick to it
  • Less or no eating out: Not only healthier, but cheaper.  For leftovers, rather than simply re-heat, repurpose (left over pork tenderloin becomes stir fry the next day)
  • Cut out the extras: Extra cable channels, monthly subscriptions you aren’t using, cell phone extras, streaming services, etc.
  • Buy in bulk: Where you can, buy things in bulk to save, just do the math
  • Refinance high interest rate mortgage: If you haven’t refinanced in a couple of years, this might be an opportunity
  • Shop around: From car insurance to groceries
  • Get creative: Borrow books from the library or friends rather than buying, unplug items when not in use to save on electric bills, only run the washer with a full load to save on water, grow a garden vs buying veggies at the store

Living with less money is doable if you plan it out.  But, that is only one way of living with less…

Less of Everything Else and More Purpose

Again, making the decision to live with more purpose may not necessarily mean living with less money, but it is going mean less of other elements in your life. For instance, less:

  • Television
  • Video games
  • Social media
  • Car (less or none)
  • Living space (smaller)
  • Latest & greatest electronics
  • Clothes, shoes, makeup, etc.

And while you may be looking at the list right now thinking, no way, remember, there are quite a few things you need to add to live with more purpose:

  • Your why/purpose
  • Reflection, meditation
  • Exercise
  • Gratefulness
  • Fulfilling job or hobby
  • Friends and/or family
  • Reading
  • Nature

Define Your Purpose

It is still amazing to me that once I started living with less, and switch to focusing on my purpose, life slowed down a bit.  I didn’t feel like I was the proverbial running around like a chicken with her head cut off.  I was actually able to fit time in for friends, family and so much more.

I can remember one year just not finding time to buy my husband a birthday gift!  Just over the top craziness. But it was because I didn’t have my purpose yet.  Instead, I was living every day by the seat of my pants, and it wasn’t working for me anymore.  So rather than focusing on just trying to fit more into my day, I focused on the quality of things I was putting into my day that fit my purpose.

Once you put your purpose in place, it really does center and focus you. Without it, you are aimless at best. It guides everything you do. Decision-making becomes much easier.  And it allows you to focus on quality, not quantity.  And you will find that living with less is easier when you have a bigger goal of living with more purpose.

Jen Davis - Life Coach

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