Stop Spending and Start Saving

Materialism Vs Minimalism: How to Find A Happy Middle Ground

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Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

Are you a materialist or a minimalist?  Let us help you find a happy middle ground so you can have nice things and still afford nice things.

A materialist is defined as “someone who puts an unhealthy priority on things.”  A minimalist prioritizes living with less to achieve freedom.  Freedom can be defined in lots of ways, financial freedom, freedom from “stuff,” even freedom from a place.

We all like stuff, shiny stuff, new stuff, pretty stuff, cool stuff.  Not all of us can see the connection between our love of stuff and our lack of money.  We all know people with closets full of new clothes or all the newest gadgets who constantly moan that they don’t have any money.

And we know people who want to move across the country or pull up stakes and start travelling.  But they can’t because they have so much stuff.  How will they move all that stuff, where can they store all that stuff?  Stuff weighs you down, psychologically and geographically.

I'm not calling you a material girl living in a material world.

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If we can stop buying and stop holding onto all that stuff, what benefits are there to be had?  You’ll spend less, duh.  You’ll have less stuff to worry about cleaning, moving, finding a place for.  It’s better for the environment.  How much packaging is in the Amazon box that you have delivered to you a few times a month?  It doesn’t evaporate you know.  Getting rid of stuff can help you cut ties with the past.  Don’t keep a collection of t-shirts you “borrowed” from ex-boyfriends.  If he was worth remembering, you’d still be together!

A study was done to find the dollar amount “sweet spot.”  How much money it took to provide day to day happiness and emotional well being.  Any guesses?  It was $75,000 a year.  More than that amount did not provide greater happiness.

We don’t advocate living in a tent out of a back pack and dumpster diving for your food but we can all be happy with less and in fact, happier with less.

Show Notes

Boulevard The Sixth Glass:  A dark Belgian ale.

The Obstacle is the Way:  An easy to understand philosophy book Matt recommends.

Maxed Out:  A documentary about debt in America.

The Happy Movie:  A documentary that finds the happiest people in the world.

The Queen of Versailles:  If you want to see vomit inducing materialism, watch this.

I’m Fine Thanks:  A documentary about people who decided to change their lives to find more happiness.

Stumbling on Happiness:  What you think makes you happy, might not in reality.

Books on Happiness:  A list of books on happiness from Brain Pickings.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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