how to be content with the things you have

@cher913 (25890)
Canada
December 29, 2009 3:26pm CST
in this day and age of commercialism where everyone seems to need the latest and greatest, how do you learn to be content with the things you have? i was in the wealthy part of town where people where wandering around with their expensive, designer goods. even my nephew sports designer clothes all the time (even designer underwear!) i have begun looking at the frugal lifestyle as a challenge. how much money can i save (or make today) is my mantra these days and to that end, i have learned to be happy with the things i have. if i need something i shop on sale or at a thrift store. what about you?
5 people like this
21 responses
@SomeCowgirl (32270)
• United States
29 Dec 09
There are more and more people it seems who are turning to the more frugal lifestyle. No one I know personally but I've seen from this site a lot of people are considering it, and it's getting easier and easier to find things online about being frugal. Well Commercialism is really bad, it's like it makes people see products as glorious when in reality it may be a $10.00 marked up way too high that you have no use for as you have something just as perfect to handle whatever job the item is supposed to tackle... I know what you mean about Designer Underwear, it seems like everything is designer, if it's not from a big overly priced department store, it's of no quality, of no value. NO TRUE! The things you can find at second hand shops are just as good if not better quality then things at expensive stores. The reality is, that I bet the things you can find at Wal*mart are manufactured in the same place as the things you can say find at GAP... The only difference? The label.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 10
You make some great points, and now the designers have even moved to the lower priced stores, like Kohl's (Vera Wang) and Target (Isaac Mizrahi). People should not get so caught up in designer labels. It doesn't even mean good quality anymore.
@puccagirl (7316)
• Israel
17 Oct 10
You are definitely right, SomeCowgirl! the interest in frugality is really high right now (I know, because I am trying to learn more about it, not because of necessity but because I think it is smart). I think it is a good thing and maybe a reaction to all that mindless spending people used to do a while ago?
• United States
30 Dec 09
I think its good to save money where ever you can. Sometimes you have to spend money to have something that is going to last a while. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the finer things in life but when the possession takes over the possessor then problems arise.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 10
You have put it very succinctly and boiled it down to its core in your last line. Well done!
• China
30 Dec 09
do not concertate only on material but also ask for more on the spiritural then we may be contented with the thing we have easily. there are someone though they do not have to worry the money but they still want to compare with those millionaires and think those rich man have everything but they do not.that's not properly .
1 person likes this
@puccagirl (7316)
• Israel
17 Oct 10
That is great advice actually! Love it!
@suzzy3 (8357)
5 Jan 10
I live in a fairly wealthy area but I live the life that suits me.Saving money is the new thing.Whether or not you can afford to waste or not,it is a crime to waste.The world needs more people like us to recycle and not to waste what we have.I get fed up with people falling for the commercial side of life.I just cannot do it anymore.Everything is disposable these days and things like phones ,computers,change so much ,something new every week,got fed up with it.I like to stick with what I know and shop carefully,second hand is fine by me.
1 person likes this
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
3 Jan 10
I am always content with what I have, I am not one of those who have to have the latest fashion accessory or technical gadget, in fact I am loathe to upgrade anything, I don't like change and don't adapt to new things so I rather cling onto the old stuff I have because it's me, it's comfortable. The only thing I am not content with is not having my own place, I hate being dependent on others, I am too independent, and I know I should be content with a roof over my head but I just wish it was a roof I owned or even rented alone.
@DNMT008 (16)
• China
31 Dec 09
As a poor student,I try to live frugally.But even if I have lot of money,I don't think I will squander it.It's a life style,an ideology.It depends on how can you feel happpier in your life,trully,a little more money indeed make me feel happier,but find a good book?a piece of good music make me feek happier too,and easier.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 Dec 09
I only do my shopping when i need something to buy and it is very necessary and the other things when it comes to wants I skip it then i also saves a lot for rainy days. As it is better when emergency comes you still have money to dig rather than none. yes, simplicity is the key to have a stable life and one should not aspire too much that you become lost with your senses as effect by deeply motivated to remain frugal and yet stay happy with your loved ones asking for material wealth but for emotional comfort.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
30 Dec 09
Hi cher, I agree that there is far too much commercialism in today's world, and many have taken things to the extreme. I am living on a fixed income and certainly have no choice but to be frugal, nevertheless, I believe in moderation in all things yet, there are many in every city who can't afford a good meal or decent living accommodations. I think that those of us who can should be satisfied and not look for more. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@Sharon38 (1916)
• Jamaica
30 Dec 09
We live in a world where everythign is being commercialised. At one point I was looking at things and I realise that the more you think you need the thing to survive is the less of a necessity it is. I am content where I am. If I have food and money I tell GOd thanks and if I dont I stil tell him thanks. I try not to waste money simply because I cannot afford to be wateful in this area. I live by a budget and if there is something that my child thinks she needs we both assess the situation and if it is a need it is fulfilled. If it is not I send her to her father. She learns to be content and satisfied because it is not how much furniture or designer clothes you wear or possess at the end of the day it is your relationship with Christ that counts and if you have Christ, you have everything.
1 person likes this
@becdmd (705)
• Philippines
30 Dec 09
Hi cher! You're right, nowadays a lot of people are not contented for what they have even if they've just bought a new gadget or from clothes to underwear. During my teenage years, I used to buy something new 2-3 a month just to feel updated, as time passed by when I realized the value of money when I was in college, and know that my tuition fee is quite costly I've learned to save money for important things not focusing on my wants, although I couldn't deny that time that I had a lot of desires to buy my wants but God really taught me the art of contentment when I already have a work, now that I'm already working, I can say that I'm contented for what I have, I am really living a simple life, but it doesn't mean that I am complacent, I still aim for the things that I want to come to pass in my life by striving hard and having perseverance. As I learned how to be content in every circumstances, I've gained peace of mind and also joy in my heart for what matters is the blessings of God...great and small. Happy new year!
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
30 Dec 09
I prefer to keep things already have. Just optimize it, and enjoy it. Not have to worry to find, buy new and good stuff. I do not think much about something new that other people have.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
30 Dec 09
I lived as a teen in a very wealthy neighborhood in the house that my grandparents had built and left to our family. My grandparents were very wealthy. My parents were not nearly as wealthy as the people around us. If they were, they didn't show it. They raised us to be frugal and careful with our money and our things. I live very simply and I don't feel as if I'm needing for anything much at all. If I do need something, I will look for a sale or like you, I'll go to a thrift store.
1 person likes this
@px_yeap (269)
• Malaysia
30 Dec 09
never wish for any materialized items and never pray to own any materialized items...and appreciate what you get...! which is hard since many of our lives are based upon these things!
1 person likes this
@sublime03 (1811)
• Philippines
30 Dec 09
It only came to this day and time that I really understand how money is important. How being content with what you have is just something we all have to learn either the good or the bad way. Before I have to honestly say it was not in my dictionary per say to be content and I never was. But now that I have gone thru a rough year, I definitely have learnt that nothing is enough for us but if we learn to acknowledge that what we have is enough then we would just be fine.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (69510)
• India
30 Dec 09
Good question. I believe in "It is not how much we have but what we make of what we have is the true secret of happiness" While I do have aspirations and cravings these do not interfere with my happines. If I get what I aspire for well and good but it will not bog me down ever. This philosophy makes me a contented person.
1 person likes this
@artistry (4154)
• United States
30 Dec 09
...Hi cher913, Your topic is very interesting in that I think if more of us were content with what we have, and do not go out searching for the largest this or the newest that, our physical beings would be, in my opinion so much better off, health wise. We spend ourselves into a light frenzy, trying to be on top of the latest fashion, even for our little babies. The big commercial companies are doing their job, selling merchandise to help the economy prosper. But I would think that we as consumers must use a little common sense and put some limitation on the excesses that we continue to indulge in. This past year has shown us all where we could wind up, if we as a country continue the same type of spending abandonment. We pulled back from the cliff a litte bit, we are not quite out of the woods yet. Excesses will have to be reduced in a lot of instances. Take care. Have a very Happy New Year.
@nijolechu (1845)
• Canada
30 Dec 09
Yes, I think I am content with the things I have too. I think I don't need to have the latest and greatest version of something right away. I can wait for it to go on sale or buy it at a discount or thrift store. I think the younger generation just lives in the moment and spends their money and goes into debt. They should be content with what they have too.
1 person likes this
@jands1 (835)
• United States
29 Dec 09
Oh my goodness, now you are talking my language. Frugality is something that I have come to hone over the years even when I had money to burn. Well, my own version of frugality. Hence my blog Down Home Frugal. What I find extraordinary is the fact that middle-class and below, economically speaking, people in the West in general still have not bothered to keep their kids in check. Even though many people are losing their homes still, to foreclosure (USA, Australia, etc.), their kids are still spending $1000s on "trivial" things to maintain a false image of a social and fiscal status that they do not have. Not everyone is a society kid. Get over it. My stepchildren are a fine example. Their mothers, though not the wealthiest, insist upon spending money wastefully. To the point one lost her home and now lives with her sister yet spends hundreds weekly on cell phone web surfing charges. Luckily, we teach the kids about frugality and being ecologically responsible. The biggest phrase I hear after "Oops I forgot, positive energy out.", is "Can I have this? It is on sale."
1 person likes this
@ladym33 (11008)
• United States
29 Dec 09
I was able to do that until my kids became teenagers and pre-teens. I am lucky neither one of them are big on designer labels but my son is really in to video games and my daughter is really in to clothes right now. We don't spend a lot on her clothes but most thrift store clothes would not be cool enough for her, but we do still look and sometimes she does find something she likes. I imagine we will go back to being more frugal once the kids are older.
@megamatt (14327)
• United States
30 Dec 10
I have lived my life by one simple creed for as long as I can remember. It is not what you make, its what you save. You can have the best job in the world but that money will be useless when you just spend it on every shiny thing out there. I just rather get the things I need and put the rest away for a day where I'll need it.