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We live in an inherently materialistic society. We are constantly being told that we need to buy more stuff and spend more money to fit in.

Advertising messages are so prevalent and aggressive on the internet, the television, and even the sides of buses that it’s almost impossible not to fall under their spell.

They tell you that this expensive moisturizer will make you more attractive, or that you’ll be missing out if you don’t buy the latest iPhone.

But people have lived happily without these gadgets for thousands of years. There’s no reason why you need them in your life, and giving in to the pressure will just result in disappointment.

Technology and fashion trends are changing so quickly that by the time you’ve got round to buying something, a newer model will have replaced it.

Living your life in thrall to materialism will not make you happier. It just means you spend more time and money chasing something unattainable. Once you come to realize this, you can begin to make the most of your life and learn to find true happiness.

To get you started on the path to fulfillment, here are three tips for living better with less. 

Spend thriftily

You work hard for five days a week to earn your paycheck, and it is yours to spend as you wish. Even if you feel you don’t earn enough, you’re incredibly fortunate to have a stable source of income in your life. Most of it will go on things that are essential for your survival, such as bills, mortgage payments, and food.

But the money that’s left offers a world of opportunity. If you spend it all on expensive “stuff” you might feel temporarily happier in the short term, but once your dresses have worn away and your electronic devices no longer work, you’ll be left with nothing.

It’s much more sensible to spend thriftily, as you’ll have much more left over to spend on the things that truly make you happy, such as travel and new experiences. Buy clothes from cheaper stores or if you want to go designer, purchase labels second hand instead. 

Be a minimalist

Minimalism is the practice of owning only what you need. This doesn’t have to mean sleeping on a bare mattress in an empty room, but rather that you should reduce your reliance on material goods. Go through your home and remove any items that aren’t essential for your survival and happiness. Your home will feel much more spacious and pleasant to live in as a result.

To be a minimalist, you must also be more mindful of your shopping habits. Next time you’re tempted to shop for luxury Patek Philippe watches or splash out on a new car, think about whether it’s essential or if you could live without it.

Prioritize experiences over things

When you’re old, what aspects of your life will you look back on most fondly? It’s unlikely to be all the nice clothes and gadgets you owned and is more likely to involve the people you spent your time with and the memories you made. Make an effort to prioritize experiences in your life over material things. Travel more, be with the people you love, listen to music, spend time in nature, and enjoy your life, as you never know how much of it you have left.

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