Focus on Being Satisfied and Save More Money

by David Ning · 14 comments

No thanks. I will stay home for lunch since I want to save money

It felt good hearing myself say those words and saving money always sound like a good idea. Yet, quite often, some of us feel bad doing it.

Most frugalist I know asked themselves at some point whether he/she is missing out by not participating (insert your own activity here). I feel like this question is impossible to answer because without actually going, how will I know whether or not it would be beneficial? If I have to ask myself, I will always go because I don’t want to analyze a problem I will never be able to solve.

Instead of questioning, I work on feeling satisfied with my life. Sometimes, it’s necessary to spend money doing so. Other times, it’s making an effort to strengthen my relationship with my family and friends. When I am happy and satisfied, I won’t feel bad for not participating in every activity that is available out there. I also find that I feel just as happy not buying every product that I ever want. I spend much of my time figuring out how to be a satisfied person, so I don’t feel deprived if I decide that I’d rather stay home this weekend.

From Saving Money to Frugal Living

I haven’t always been this way. I used to get stuck thinking about saving money all the time. I don’t want to go because I feel guilty spending the rest of my paycheck. I really want that new iPhone but I don’t want (or have) the money. I would feel miserable, and it could consume me until I end up buying it.

Now that I’m more satisfied with my life, I feel better about everything. The new iPhone is cool but I really don’t need it. I don’t have to buy it anymore. (In fact, I switched back to a very old phone a few days ago and it was actually fun getting used to the interface again.)

The good news is that you can do it too. It has nothing to do with talent, luck or who you know. It just needs a commitment to work on being happy with what you have. The bad news? Let’s leave that for the merchants and advertisers that always end up taking our paycheck (and our happiness) away.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy May 4, 2009 at 7:56 am

Love the post. So many people always try to “make” themselves save more money by not doing something and they end up being happy when they should work on their mindset to realize that they don’t need it to begin with.

It’s really another level of frugal living.

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MoneyEnergy May 4, 2009 at 9:23 am

I agree…. if you can get to a point of feeling ok with what’s “enough” then you have enough. It’s good to emphasize satisfaction over blind curiosity about the next new thing, etc.

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Matt May 4, 2009 at 9:53 am

It really comes down to attitude. If you’re set on having the iPhone regardless of cost or impact then you’re going to be upset when you can’t get it. The reality is by shifting your attitude you can see that being satisfied with your life and things around you then you won’t make yourself unhappy over something unnecessary.

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Roger May 4, 2009 at 9:56 am

I never understood why people wanted an iPhone when it came out. I have a 7 year old Nokia phone and the reception is still better than most other phones out there. I guess I’m just satisfied with my life more than others but isn’t the most important part of the phone being able to make a phone call without it getting disconnected?

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Craig May 4, 2009 at 1:56 pm

This really sounds like another way of living below your means. Being satisfied is a great way to live, you get what you want and can be happy. The stuff that does matter most, go out of your way and save for, but be happy with what you got and you not only will you financially benefit, but will live stress free.

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Michelle November 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I can’t agree with you more. It’s hard to be satisfied with what you have already. You take things for granted everyday. It’s not about keeping up with the Jones’s (because they aren’t happy because they are going broke just to keep up) it’s about being happy with what you currently have in life right now at this very moment.

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iSSa May 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm

It’s definitely all about the ATTITUDE. I’ve been an Apple fangirl all my life and every time a new toy would come out, I’d stress about it coz I WANT it but the frugal in me would fight 100% against it. I have since revised my fangirl attitude and just buy Apple products that I NEED and when I have to reward myself for something well-done ^_^

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iSSa May 5, 2009 at 2:40 am

It’s definitely all about the ATTITUDE. I’ve been an Apple fangirl all my life and every time a new toy would come out, I’d stress about it coz I WANT it but the frugal in me would fight 100% against it. I have since revised my fangirl attitude and just buy Apple products that I NEED and when I have to reward myself for something well-done ^_^
Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one.

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StopGettingHosed May 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I also agree its all an attitude. Something that takes time to develope. Like any other type of subject to be good at it you need to study and learn from your mistakes. Great article keep it coming.

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TStrump May 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm

I think it’s the constant barrage of advertising and images that tell us we need more and more stuff to feel successful or that we’re even just ‘normal’
Who says you need new clothing just because it’s summer – I still wear my winter and fall clothes in the summer for work.
And I wear my summer clothing all year round.
I would like the iPhone, though – that is going to be a tough one to resist.

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Afif July 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I agree with you, saving money are the best money insvestment (just for me). But sometimes, I can’t do that because my monthly payment always enough for 1 month. If I’m saving my money, they will be used for next month, because sometimes I must paying my friend (I’m owe him some money). Sometimes my monthly payment, was not enough for 1 month.

You’re lucky, didn’t in my condition. But, I’m always have optimistic mind, that maybe someone (hopefully, you) would help me. I’m satisfied in my life, when I see poor people, that treated like a slave with rich people,…what can I do for now, I can’t do it (fulfill mydreams) right now, or maybe for next days.

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Save Money Hound August 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I am agree with your point that feeling satisfied and happy with your life is certainly the top priority. And more importantly, this doesn’t have to be met through acquiring more material things. It is quite possible to live well, be happy and be frugal at the same time.

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Mitsuko G. August 2, 2010 at 6:03 am

Switched out my 3-yr-old iPhone to the newest and am SOOOO HAPPY… It’s a purchase I was dead set to make as my old one was on the path to certain death… a huge stressor whenever it would fail to work or work fast enough during crucial moments. It has now been almost a month since my purchase and I’m still fascinated by it. No regrets here :)

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Lianne May 25, 2012 at 4:08 am

I understand what you mean! I switched from my iPhone to my old Nokia phone, too. :D It was such a stress-free and liberating experience!

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