It is all summed up in one word. Saving money is about budgeting well, shopping around, and finding great deals . . . but this one word is more powerful than any of those concepts: contentment.
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To be content requires a great leap forward in human character. Our society is constantly advertising to us, telling us we need the latest and greatest. Billions of dollars are spent to get us to spend. Just think about all the billboards, commercials, web ads, fliers, and other promotions we see in just one day. Brand recognition is big business, so we must be in the business of clearing our minds; transforming our minds.
There is a lot of stuff in this world. Bigger houses, newer cars, better computers (my temptation). Somehow, we think this stuff is going to make our lives more enjoyable. But will it? Usually the exhilaration of a new purchase is temporary. Happiness comes not from external things, but from internal freedom. Learn to change your consumer behavior and contentment will follow.
The Road to Contentment.
Learning to be content is not always an easy endeavor. It is a constant battle against our selfish desires. Being happy with what you have takes dedication and constant reminders of the blessings in your life. I’ve listed below a few strategies for utilizing contentment as your most powerful money-saving tool:
- Make a list of your blessings. Really. Don’t merely think of a few off the top of your head. Physically list them out. Force yourself to write down a certain number of blessings (try ten) you are thankful for. Think of the people in your life that have helped you in time of need. Remember how the Lord has helped you in the past. Listing your blessings may be difficult for some of you, but the process encourages a positive attitude and leads to contentment. Try it!
- Keep in mind that your struggles are temporary. Maybe you’re behind on your bills, your income is wavering, or you have debt collectors calling at all hours of the day. Remember that it won’t last. With diligence, these struggles will be eliminated with time. There is comfort in knowing there is an end in sight. Hang in there. You’ll be okay.
- Find peace in God. My main source of help is undoubtably God. Nobody is more powerful to help satisfy than the Creator. Pray and ask the Lord to be the source of your strength against lavish spending. Only with God’s help will you be able to know contentment inside and out.
The road to contentment will be longer for some, shorter for others. Seeking contentment is one of the most worthwhile pursuits you can undertake, so don’t become discouraged if contentment seems out of reach at first. Count your blessings, remember all struggle is temporary, and find peace in the Lord.
Keep it Simple.
I can’t write about contentment without mentioning the effectiveness of simplicity. In a world of “MORE” it can be difficult to be attracted to “LESS.” But as cliche as the saying “less is more” sounds, it rings true here. Minimizing what you have saves you money. Minimizing what you gather also saves you money. Maximize your ability to be content, and you will save money.
There is a certain amount of grace that flows from living a simple lifestyle. Some of the most humble and inspiring people I’ve met have lived frugal, non-indulgent lifestyles. They were satisfied with what they had, and needed no more! The amount of money they saved from living inexpensively was hidden by their simple possessions. But they weren’t put on this planet to impress, they were here to give and live in peace.
Is It Really The Most Powerful Money-Saving Tip?
Contentment stops greed at the root. If you want to buy something that isn’t in the budget, sometimes the lack of funds won’t be enough to prevent you from indulging in the purchase. The only thing that can stop you cold is your ability to remain content and satisfied. This is what makes contentment the most powerful money-saving tip. Don’t underestimate it. If you learn to truly be content no matter how little you have, you’ll be happy regardless of what you acquire or don’t acquire in life. Learn how to be content in all circumstances. You’ll live a healthier life and save money in the process!
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:11-13 NIV
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