How To Be Content With Less | 5 Tips To Stop Spending

Sharing 5 easy tips on how to be content with less that will help you stop spending and gain control of your budget.

“We never fully realize the grip of consumerism has on our life until we try to remove it.” Joshua Becker.


One of the most difficult aspects of simple living for most of us is being hit with the reality of our own consumerism. Many of us struggle with purchasing things we don’t need, to feel a void we don’t realize is there. How can we ever appreciate a simple life, if we are stuck in a continuous loop of spending? Well, the short answer is, we can’t.

It is no secret that in this modern world, we are constantly marketed to every single day of our lives. It is on our tv screens, our phones, social media, our emails, you name it. The call to purchase remains a strong hold in our society. It whispers to us messages that suggest we are inadequate as we are, or that we need certain items to be fulfilled, or that only the latest will do.

These messages are designed to leave us in a constant search of that perfect purchase that will finally make us, happy. The reality is, there is no such purchase. Worst yet, there is no end to this cycle and from what it looks like, there never will be, unless we break free. Thankfully many of us have began to realize this or are on the verge of starting to.

You might have noticed that the items we so desperately seek come with a short fuse of joy that burns out as quickly as it comes into our lives. This is because it is impossible for these items to live up to the hype we create in our minds around having them. When we are engrossed in this endless cycle, the next natural step to take is to find another item. This road often leads us to debt, working more than we care to, feeling stressed out and in many cases ending in financial ruin.

Only when we start to wake up from the fog of consumerism, can we take control of our lives. It is a beautiful thing to release ourselves from this constraint and finally take the steps towards creating a healthier balance between our mental health and the purchase of physical things.

Happiness and Things

As with so many things in life we have been lied to many times over. In terms of consumerism and the pursuit of happiness, we are misled into thinking we need to chase material things in order to find our true happiness. Whether that be in a bigger house or the desire to upgrade to a new phone. The size of our bank accounts or the cost of the items is not what’s relevant here.

You see, to own things is not the issue, it is the excess they can create in our lives, if we are not cautious, that is the issue. We all own material items, it is of course, a part of life. We can enjoy these items for what they do for us. Most are modern conveniences that make our lives a little more comfortable, enjoyable or possibly easier. But at the end of the day, these physical items are only that. Material things.

These items do not make us more important or better in any way nor do they sustain us for very long. Understanding this holds great power in this modern life. Where you can purchase almost anything you want at the click of a button. There is a confident peace that comes over you when you strike this balance and regain control over your spending.

Finding a New Way

A couple of years ago, I shared my personal journey into simple living and how I created a budget that would allow me to live more simply. For me, simple living was about regaining my days, my time and where I put my energy. As a single mom with a business, I felt burned out and at the mercy of my phone. Clients would call at all hours of the day and late evening, and I would feel obligated to stop whatever I was doing to answer back.

Otherwise, if I didn’t this could mean they would find another agent and my business would suffer.

I would love to say that creating a budget allowed me to cut back on business with ease. But it wasn’t that simple. I realized I had began spending money in a way that was a bit on the extravagant side. Until this point, I had not once created a budget, not even when I was a stay at home mom. Living on one income. At that time, we had a set amount of money from my husbands salary, and sometimes it didn’t stretch far enough. My thought process was, why create a budget for money that wasn’t there? Yes, I know what you are thinking.

Perhaps if I had had a budget I would have recognized any spending issues and been able to direct the money better. It is true and only now do I know it.

Even after I began making my own money as the sole breadwinner, not once, had I considered writing out a budget. It was only after the desire to redefine my life had it occurred to me.

Years later as I sat at my desk creating one for the very first time. Hoping to see how responsible I had been with all the money I was finally making. It turned out, I hadn’t been. Not in the slightest. I had memberships I didn’t use. I bought whatever I wanted and our dining out was a little over the top. “Get whatever you want“, I would regularly declare at the table.

My consumerism, was at an all time high. One thing I knew for sure was that if I wanted to live a simple life, where I had more time. Where I didn’t stress on clients or money or have to feel like batman running out of my house each time a client demanded to see a property. I was going to have to deal with my spending and learn how to be content with less.

Getting Inspired

I began watching minimalist channels that shared the minimalist lifestyle and daily life of what this all would entail. I am not a minimalist in anyway, but I do respect and am inspired by the concept. Honestly, I don’t think anything will shake you awake from spending quicker than seeing the pure joy one can have living with humble means and much less stuff than most of us have in our homes.

You realize, or at least I did, that buying things was clearly not the answer. It wasn’t going to lead me to a meaningful life or give me the free time I desperately craved. What was? Well, at that time, I wasn’t totally sure. But I knew budgeting and spending less would be a great start and turns out, I was right. It also turns out, that spending all that money, and it was a lot of money mind you, only led to me having too much stuff.

When I purchased our current home, I had to purge an entire garage worth of stuff simply because I would have no place for them here. Imagine, storing items just for the sake of having them. Yet, that is what we do when we are caught in the trap of consumerism.

My 5 Top Tips

Be Aware

Be aware that you are constantly being sold to. If you have a spending issue and you find yourself having amazon packages at your door regularly, it is not necessarily your fault. You have simply fell into a trap. A trap I think most of us have been in to some capacity. But I believe it is our responsibility to understand the world we live in and simply become more aware and conscience of what’s really going on.

Like so many things, our goals, our affirmations, and things we want to manifest, we have to continuously remind ourselves of these things. So that we keep them fresh in our minds. And just like those things we have to remind ourselves of the trap of consumerism so that we don’t continuously fall into it over and over again.

“The typical person saw over 5,000 advertisements yesterday telling them to buy something new.” Joshua Becker.

Use Items For Their Lifespan

Use things until they actually need to be replaced. We need to get away from this idea that something needs to look a certain way or be a specific color when we already have a useable item that works fine. This goes for everything we own. Clothing, household items, accessories.

This was a total no brainer thing for our grandparents but we are no longer in the world they grew up in. We are living in a time where messages, advertisements and stuff is constantly pushed at us. We are told we need the latest and best. People throw perfectly good cell phones away and stand in long lines just to get their hands on the latest version. It’s crazy when you consider this.

I remember I had this old toaster oven that worked like a charm and my sister would constantly joke that I was going to burn my house down with it. The thing was ugly but it worked great and when it finally got replaced, that purchase felt good.

It felt good to use it until it absolutely needed to be replaced. There is satisfaction in being responsible and when we can remind ourselves of this while we are using the thing to replace, we won’t feel such a desire to replace it.


Appreciate what you have. Look around you, see your blessings. Appreciate them more instead of thinking, I want a new (fill in the blank). If you have the same item or similar that still works, think about how you have this item and how well it works for you. Love the things you already have and show them appreciation. This helps us feel more content and when we are content, we are no longer pulled to being a consumer but a responsible, grateful owner of a working item.

Become More Resourceful

If you need something or think you do, go around your house and try to find something to use instead of the item you are seeking. Many times, I have shopped my house to find ways to redecorate a room or refresh a space. A picture frame here, a vase there. Whatever you have that you can spare from one room to another. I also like finding uses for things instead of buying something new. For instance, my kitchen scissors broke, and instead of clicking the button to get a fresh pair. I found a spare pair of scissors in my office and you know what? They work just fine.

Is It a Want or a Need?

This one I likely got from a minimalist channel and it is probably the most effective for me out of all of these tips. When you go to buy something, ask yourself this question. Is this a want or a need? 9 times out of 10, it is a want. Asking this simple question, can help you realize, how little we actually need and how most of our purchasing is an unnecessary desire. Remember we don’t need every desire filled. So determine which it is and then decide, at that point, if it is worth purchasing.

Final Thoughts

I think the real secret of contentment is to have appreciation in all aspects of our lives. When we have eyes to see the important things, the meaningful things, the things that deeply give us great joy. We can then appreciate the small things in life and not feel this pull to collect more.

I hope these tips will not only serve to help you appreciate what you have now. But help put things into perspective for you even at your most difficult times. When the call to purchase is strong and you are in need of inner strength to pull you back into your desired state of mind.

I will leave you with a quote that gets me every time.

Good luck to you!

“But nobody gets to the end of life wishing they had bought more things. Why is that? Because consumption never fully delivers on its promise of fulfillment or happiness. Instead, it steals our freedom and results only in an unquenchable desire for more. It brings burden and regret. It distracts us from the very things that do bring us joy.” Joshua Becker

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