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Learn How to be Happy with Less

By Alyssa Davis

In today's challenging economy, most people are finding it necessary to learn how to get by with less. Although it's not always easy, a more economical lifestyle doesn't have to be boring or unpleasant. In fact, it's actually possible to be even happier than you were before, even though you might have less money, possessions, luxuries or even free time. All it takes is adjusting your mindset so that you focus more on the things you do have, as well as the things that are really important to you. If you and your family have been forced to do a bit of "belt-tightening" during the economic downturn, here are a few tips that will help you turn what might seem to be a "minus" into a "plus."

Enjoying that Debt-Free Feeling

In the past, you might have become accustomed to being able to buy a new car, the latest technological gadget, or that new dress you had your eye on at the mall, without giving it a second thought. However, although these experiences might have been fun at the time, can they really compare with the feeling of being totally debt-free? It might take a little bit of time to learn how to get as much enjoyment out of a paid-off credit card as you used to get from splurging on an expensive evening out, but it's a lesson that is well worth the effort of learning.

Stop Worrying About the "Jones"

If you have sometimes felt that the "keeping up with the Jones" was way more trouble than it was worth, you're absolutely right. Part of the trick of being happy with less is learning not to compare yourself and your family with other people. After all, just because your neighbor bought a new car doesn't mean you would be happier going into debt just so you can buy a new car, too. Once you've stopped paying attention to what other people have, you'll almost instantly feel happier and more liberated.

Enjoy Life's Simple Pleasures

In order to be happy with less, it's important to learn how to enjoy the simpler things in life. In days gone by, families would enjoy playing games together in the evening, or simply going for a drive in the country on Sunday. In today's world, many people seem to have forgotten about the simpler pleasures of just spending time together with family and friends. Instead of feeing deprived because you can't do the things you used to be able to afford, embrace the opportunity to re-discover the things that are really most important to you.

Instead of going on an expensive vacation, plan a few day trips around your local area. Enjoying a day at the neighborhood park with your family or friends can be just as enjoyable as spending a lot of money at an amusement park. By using a bit of creativity, you find easy ways to substitute simpler and more personally satisfying activities for those meaningless things that used to eat up all your income.

Senior staff writer for, Alyssa Davis, offers design advice on decorating with outdoor metal wall sculptures and boats metal wall sculptures.

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