Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Being thrifty - it's all about happiness

The lovely Jane who many people will know as Northern Mum has had a challenging few years and made the decision to change her working pattern so that she could spend more time at home with her three children.

I know full well how hard it is to cut back on to primarily one income and "cut your cloth" accordingly, I also know that everyone wants that champagne lifestyle on a larger income.

When we made our life changing decision to come back to the North East of England, so that I could stay at home with the boys we made many a sacrifice so that it was affordable, but in todays financial climate living frugally is no longer a choice, it is a necessity.

Jane currently has a competition running on her new blog From Spending to Saving to win £400 of Amazon Vouchers in conjunction with Which Offshore and she is looking for thrifty tips and also why to have an offshore pension. For me having a pension is all about being prudent and making sure that I am responsible for me in the future and not leaving it to my children.

I have lots of specific thrifty tips throughout the blog, but for me being thrifty is all about happiness and I wanted to explain how your mental attitude can really make the difference.

 "Comparison is the thief of joy!" 

Stop looking at the Jones and wanting what they have or appear to have. I used to be very materialistic, but when I was ill I realised that I didn't need things, I needed my family and friends.  They brought me more joy than any physical item could and that we could manage anything if we did it together.   We might not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Make the most of what you have

People were happier during times of war.  They had less but made more of what they had.  This for me says everything.  I am learning to reuse, upcycle and think about what we have already.  We take a flask out with us and this saves on buying drinks.  We already have a flask, the milk, tea and sugar, so it is a much better idea for me.

Buy Experiences not things 

Being thrifty allows us to have family experiences, such as days out, more time together and family fun.  These bring us so much more joy and happiness than actual things.  I would rather take us for a day out at the beach and get fish and chips than buy myself a new pair of shoes.  I have changed the way that I think.

Stop measuring success in £'s 

Wealth is what is life after the money runs out - Roger Hamilton   Sometimes it takes hard times to make this realisation.  But it is true as soon as you stop measuring your success in terms of money and start measuring it in happiness, money becomes much less of a motivating factor.

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