10 Ways You Can Have Enough Money and Stuff

As a society, we are eating too much, drinking too much, working too much and spending too much. We take more drugs for anxiety and depression than ever before. Our debt is climbing and our savings are dwindling.

We are tired, stressed, overworked, scattered and afraid. We are afraid that we won’t have more than them. We are afraid of what others will think if we don’t.

We never have enough and are afraid that we never will.

In a recent poll (and by “poll” I mean in response to a question I posed on twitter) when asked, “What would you do differently if you thought you had enough?” the response was overwhelming.

  • Give more
  • Worry less
  • Quit my job
  • Teach others to do the same
  • Volunteer More
  • Quit striving for success
  • Travel
  • Change my career path
  • Come up with ways to help the world
  • Quit my job
  • Dance
  • Spend time creating beautiful things: a happy marriage, a healthy body, a creative blog
  • Connect more with friends & make new friends
  • Move somewhere new and exciting.

Wow! If you had enough, you would do some really great, life changing things for yourself, your family and the world.

It’s time to start asking the the tough questions, because it’s very likely that you are not living the life you desire. You are depriving yourself of real happiness because you think you need more. More money, and more stuff.

If you know what you would do if you thought you had enough, then the next logical question is “how will I have enough”?

  1. Redefine enough. Your current definition of enough may be more than you think. Do the simple counting exercise below and see what is really enough for you and your family.
  2. Learn to say no. You may have to turn friends down for a dinner out, tell your kids that they can’t have designer handbags in high school, or make other unpopular decisions.
  3. Put people before stuff. Before you stop for lunch, drop by the mall or “pick up a few things” at the grocery store remember what your family really wants. They want YOU. If you spent less, could you work less and spend more time with the people that love you?
  4. Put moments before stuff. Running outside with my husband last night to watch the storm clouds come in was absolutely free, and more rewarding than anything I could have purchased.
  5. Stop trying to measure up. Someone will always make more than you, have more than you and do more than you. So what? You are beautiful and wonderful. Be you and stop comparing.
  6. Don’t stock up. If you buy wrapping paper on December 26th and stock up on sale items year round, you are spending more than you would if you just bought what you needed. Don’t be fooled by the cashier that tells you, “you just saved $22.00″ when you just spent $300.
  7. Stop using a credit card. Debt will follow you forever unless you stop using credit cards. The end.
  8. Write it down. You might be too busy and stressed to think about what you really want out of life. Write it down and read it every day. “Live by the beach”, “Start a new business”, “Put kids through college with no debt”, “Move to a new country”. This is your why. Knowing why will give you momentum. Knowing why will give you perseverance. Knowing why will give you the guts and grit to take action and live the life you desire.
  9. Realize you ARE enough. If you could be happy with you, you could stop overeating, overspending, and over indulging. Once you know you are enough, you can realize that you have enough.
  10. Identify your source of happiness. A new shirt will not make you happy for long. In fact, I can’t think of any material thing that makes me happy everyday. Instead it’s the things that you can’t own. Children’s dimples, a dog rolling over for a belly rub, jumping in the ocean, climbing mountains, stretching, kisses, gratitude. Those are the things that happiness is made of.

Do you have enough too much?

  • Count the number of clothes you have and divide that by 7. That is how many pieces of clothing you have to wear each day to use everything you have over the course of a week.
  • Count how many utensils you own (forks, knives, spoons, whisks, peelers, all of them) and divide that by 7.
  • Count how many apps, songs, games and videos you have on your computer and divide that by 7.
  • Count how many TV channels, radio stations, CDs, DVDs, and games and divide that by 7.

It is very likely that you could live and thrive with less than 50% of what you own right now. And if you need less than half of the stuff, you probably need less than half of the space, and less than half of the money it takes to maintain the stuff and the space. (insert light bulb moment here!)

 More questions to ask to live a better life…

  • If you had no debt, no monthly payments, what could you live on?
  • If you didn’t have to save for a nicer car, bigger house, or extravagant vacation, what could you save for?
  • What could you sell to pay off your debt?
  • If you didn’t have dine out several times a week, how much could you give?
  • If one is enough, what could you donate?

It’s possible that you have been chasing more for so long that you forgot why you started the race in the first place. That is exactly what happened to me. If you can’t answer “why”, you are on the wrong track. If your answer to “why” is “I don’t know” you are lost. You have to stop and start over.

I just started to re-read, Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence. If you wonder how you could live on much less (even with a family and responsibilities) and really start enjoying life, you’ll love this book.

I was recently reminded by one of my favorite blogs that “very little is needed to make life happy.” Do you think that’s true?

 

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Comments

  1. Emma says

    Great post thanks for writing it.
    It’s probably a very common answer but if i had enough I would definately work less hours. I have a 15 month old son and have been back working full time for 6 months. Although he is well cared for my his 2 sets of grandparents I still miss him everyday and probably have a wee cry in the car on the way to work at least twice a week.

    I’m going to follow your tips above although i feel we already live quite simply I’m sure there is always room for improvement and so that one day I can be an at least part time stay at home mum.

    Emma

    • Courtney Carver says

      Emma, I cried every day while working the first year of my daughter’s life. (15 years ago) Just being open to the possibility that you could be home starts the process. There are so many opportunities to work from home, launch small businesses online and other ways to keep generating revenue without a full time job.

      Next it’s all about living with less.

      Now…go cuddle that adorable boy of yours.

    • says

      Oh, I went through the same thing with my first son – went back to work full time for almost three years and it NEVER got any easier dropping him off at daycare! That’s definitely a great motivation for living simply and becoming debt-free.

    • Donna says

      I would worry less about common bills like mortgage, utilities, heat, food, putting gas in my car, medical expenses and just everyday expenses. We would spend more time together as a family. My husband works 6 days a week and I would love to see him have more time to relax and take quality time for himself and have more father/son time with our boys. We live in a world where there is no such thing as good quality down time with family let alone friends. Hate to sound so Doom and gloom but this is what this world has come to. I miss my husband so much and just wish we could have more time together.

      • Loren Green says

        What happens if your husband suddenly dies tomorrow or next month?
        Think about all the good times you won’t be able to have with each other. I think we all get lost in the chase to have more or what we feel is enough and it is just an illusion. I know just getting by has gotten way too costly and I sometimes wish I lived in the mountains away from all the worldly conveniences . There might be more time just to enjoy nature and the beauty of it all. But being too wrapped up in the pursuit for possessions can make us lose the relationships we should be valuing the most. Just my $.02.

    • Jon Stevens says

      Emma,

      I walked away from a £250k pa job because I wanted to spend more time with my kids. I was working way too hard, eating like crap and pursuing pointless nonsense that seemed so incredibly important at the time but so wasn’t.

      Now I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I went back to school, volunteered at a homeless shelter on a few days a week, and saw my children every day. Went to parents’ evenings, sports days – you name it. And just ‘did stuff’ with them. Then I went to university and re-trained as a paramedic.

      Yeah, I earn less than £30k pa now. But it’s the best move I ever made. Money might buy you ‘things’ but you only get one life. Time to live it, and love it.

      Great piece – thank you.

      • Travis Preheim says

        Jon,

        “Money might buy you ‘things’ but you only get one life. Time to live it, and love it.”

        I absolutely love this quote… It’s the now thinkers of today’s world like your self. That I find truly are consistently the people that go out there everyday, and are not only happy. But know what it takes to make the world a better place.

        Thank you for the inspiration.

      • Evo says

        Hi, Just wanted to say well done and I admire you for doing what you believe in.
        I am trying to do the same, I have the best intentions for my family and me yet as a single mother with no family alive and little support from other avenues/ resources I am struggling…I am hardworking,decent and trying my best yet feel age is up against me….I like you just would like a balanced lifestyle…yet its not happening…I have looked long and hard at myself, values, abilities and experience and really not sure why its not happening…wish you all the best E:)

  2. Karen says

    I love this post. In the last 2 years I had to make some serious financial changes, as I was laid off back in 2009. Prior to my lay-off my debt was already getting out of control (unfortunately from other life changing events). With the job loss, and then finding a job with a 30% decrease in pay (but I have a job) my finances just went further south. This year I had to make some serious financial changes from consolidating, relocating, getting a less expensive car, etc. etc. Now I’m ready to put what I’ve learned into action.

    Since all of this I have started to “wonder how I could live on much less… (even with a family and responsibilities) and really start enjoying life….”. In fact it is how I found blogs like yours. I’m ready to make a solid effort into improving my life with less, and it feels good.

    I really enjoy your writing and insight. I am definitely interested in the book “Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence”. Even if I don’t win, I will plan to pick up a copy.

    Thank you and keep on inspiring people!

    • Karen says

      …the biggest thing I would do differently, if I’m going to make less, have a career I enjoy and feel passionate about.

  3. says

    Seriously, Courtney, thank you for this. I’ve been following minimalist/simple living and personal finance blogs for over a year. I know these things, and yet I’m still here in the same job. But, because of blogs like this and people like you, I’ve made personal changes (getting rid of excess, reducing commitments, etc) that have profoundly shaped my past year and my future.

    As to your question: I would move to Hawaii. Or somewhere else new an exciting. And–I don’t know why I didn’t think of it in my twitter post because it’s such a huge part of what I am–I would volunteer so much more.

  4. Dusti says

    Wonderful post! If we had enough my husband would be able to cut back on his working hours. I am able to stay at home with our children, which I am so grateful for. But it would be great if my husband could work even less…
    I love your idea to count things and divide them by 7. That really gets me to thinking!!

  5. Sunny says

    Great Post Courtney! We’ve been in this process for awhile now and it really feels good to not be dragged down by so many possessions. We are now contemplating my quitting my job and living on one salary. It’s a very scary thing to look at in these economic times but would reduce the stress load on both of us if I was able to take care of things at home and with aging parents. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. says

    I’m just about to graduate college and now I have to decide what will be enough for me, in case of work/money/time. It’s really freaking me out! But thanks for posting this, it’s rally inspiring!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Cindy, You are lucky to start thinking about this so early in life. Start small!

  7. Yvie says

    First of all I love your post and I love your blog it has something wonderfuly calming in my opinion.

    What would I do if I had Enough?

    I would worry less!

    I think I have a very cluttered mind. I am working hard to to get things straight. And this blog inspires me a lot to do so.

    Greetings from Germany

  8. Allie says

    Thank you for your beautiful and truly inspiring post. I think if I were able to feel I had “enough”, I would be able to just breathe. Not fret about what ifs and should I and could I, but live and focus on being content in each moment with who I am and what I have. I’m trying! Thanks for your sharing your advice about a path towards that goal.

  9. Mandy says

    Love your blog! :)

    I would finally take the vacations with my mom that we’ve been talking about for years.

  10. says

    I definitely think it’s true that very little is needed to make life happy. If I thought I had enough I would give more time and money in the community, volunteer and donate more of my stuff to people or to the Goodwill, donate to charities and spend more time with family and friends having experiences, living life. If all of my debt was paid off (which me and my husband are working on currently) I wouldn’t worry half as much as I do now, I would travel more often and help other people out more often. I would spend more time creating, writing and out in nature.

  11. says

    If I had enough I would learn to breakdance, make techno, become a certified yoga instructor and actually teach. (I am at least on the track of becoming an instructor.)

  12. M says

    if i thought i had enough, i would love to volunteer abroad and give those in need my time and help. if i thought i had enough, i would love to indulge in my hobbies- travel, dance, photography, and crafts. it’s difficult sometimes to focus and be more with less when family members live a life of excess.

  13. dana says

    i would feel freer and less encumbered to relax…something quite foreign to me.
    i would have time to self examine.
    i would spend quality time with my kids and friends and family.
    i would hopefully be able to get to know myself and my true values and pursue those things.

  14. Thera says

    I would sleep better at night.
    I would spend more stress-free time with my children.
    I would paint more often.

  15. K. says

    If I knew I had enough, I would leave one of my two part time jobs and stay at home with my almost 2-year old son and newborn baby (to arrive in November). And by ‘enough,’ I simply mean money. I realize now that I have more than enough ‘stuff’ and am slowly dwindling down to ‘just enough,’ so that I can pay off my debt and ultimately, simply have ‘enough’ to make this a reality.

  16. Diane D says

    Last week I did Ali Edwards’ A Week in the Life, taking photos and documenting our daily activities. Each night, I would write what my favorite part of the day was. Every day my favorite part was spending time with my kids. Playing play doh, board games, going on a photo scavenger hunt, playing in the pool, even just cuddling together on the couch and watching TV. It made me realize, in black and white, that surfing the internet, participating on message boards, and doing hobbies alone (scrapbooking, primarily) are not what make me happy. My family does. I already have enough.

  17. Kate says

    If I knew I had enough, I would travel the world and learn about different cultures. I would use my camera to bring awareness to their needs and give my heart to helping them. I wouldn’t waste time keeping up with those who don’t even matter.

    Thank you for a wonderfully inspiring blog, I appreciate you taking the time to share this with the world.

  18. says

    I would love to have life on island. I will sleep at the beach. I think i’ll have enough when i achieve financial freedom. Means, i dont have to do anything but still can get what i want to have. your blog inspired me and so your photograph.

  19. says

    I do have more than enough. But if I really knew it deep down, I would worry less and live in the moment more. So, that’s what I’m going to do and then hope the knowing comes along. Thanks for this!

  20. Julie says

    My husband and I have already decided that I will stay home full-time with our 11 week old daughter. It will cut our income in half, but we know that it is worth it to live a more simple less stressful life. I’m scared because I have been working for half of my life, but I believe this is where I’m being led to go. I see so much in media that makes me think we should all slow our paces down. I hope we can be an example to others who long for a slower pace but don’t feel they can jump off the rollercoaster that is life these days.

  21. Heather says

    If I had enough, I would work find a job (career) that I enjoy doing and work less hours and travel more.

  22. Jason says

    If I knew I had enough, I would spend more time learning about the culture and history of people all over the world, then find a way to share this interest with others. I’m already doing this somewhat, by going back to school to become a history teacher, but I feel like if I knew I had enough I could take more risks and find a way to do it in a bigger way.

    • Sadie says

      Then do it! I did, when I was in my twenties, and since, and have never regretted a single minute. I cherish the memories, past and present, of exploring the nature of all people of different cultures, wherever you may live or travel. Go for it! It’s not near as expensive as you may think. Dance!

  23. Pat says

    I will quit my job so I can spend time with my son who is 20 months. Actually I already quit my job, I will be a full time mom starting next month. I have been reading several blogs that discuss living with less (including yours) and I have changed my perspective about what my family needs (material wise), that gave me the courage to do what I wanted the most: Be with my son!.
    We had cut on our expenses and on our expectations to own this or that…we still have a long way to go but I believe we are on the right track. :-)

  24. Belinda says

    I’ve been downsizing my possessions for about a year and I am just starting to see “space”. Beautiful patches of space here and there, and I don’t even remember what items occupied those spaces for so many years. I’m learning to live with less, but I still have a long ways to go. Thank you for a very motivating post.

  25. Susan Byrd says

    I would quit my job and spend more time with my family. I would spend more enjoying life in the moment and not run the rat race that life currently is. I am trying to slow down and be more present.

  26. says

    Courtney,

    What a driving post! Generally, I do feel like I have “enough.” But if on a deeper level, I felt I had enough, I would have less fear and more joy. That’s where I’m heading!

    I resonate fully with your point that material items can never bring us true happiness. Thanks for having the guts to ask the hard questions.

  27. says

    Great post Courtney, thanks for the reminders. I just lost my job of 7 years and am finally going home to be with my kids (first time in their lifetimes I’ve been able to stay home!) This transition is bringing about a LOT of discussions and reflections on what we NEED versus WANT and what lifestyle changes my going home will bring. It’ll be an interesting process going from 2 incomes to 1, but I’m very much looking forward to it.

  28. Sarah MacKenzie says

    I feel like we are straddling the ledge right now trying to find the balance between “more” and “enough”. I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home and enjoy raising our son, but yet we still have a bit too strong of a focus on buying stuff/doing stuff, so there isn’t much left over at the end of the month. I want to get to a point where there is less waste and more saving. And honestly I would like to downsize – to get to the point where we have half the stuff and half the sized house where we can enjoy experiences and time together vrs always cleaning, picking up and putting away (which is where I find my focus most days).

  29. says

    Thank you for this post! It came at an auspicious time for me because today I was feeling low as I sometimes do because we often don’t have enough (divide by 7?!? we literally have 5 forks between the 3 of us LOL). This post reminded me of why I have chosen the life that I have, how truly rich our life is by design, and that the difference between feeling deprived and feeling free is often (though not always) a matter of attitude and perspective. <3

  30. JW says

    Great post! Since 90% of my worries stem from this very problem, maybe I could finally relax and focus on the most important things in life.. family and good friends.

  31. Pili says

    Hi, there!
    Wonderful post!
    If I knew I had enough, I would find no more excuses for worrying about the future and I would begin focusing on enjoying every single minute of my life. Every single minute!
    In fact… Why should I wait? Why don’t just doing it now…?
    I am really enjoying sharing this thought with you!!!

  32. stephanie says

    Thank you for your wonderful post. We are currently in debt over our heads and treading water. If I had enough I would sleep better, volunteer more, quit my part time night job, sew more, knit more, and enjoy my time with my family more without all the worrying.

  33. monique says

    Most of the time, I know I have enough, and maybe too much when it comes to stuff. I would like to convince my husband of the same. If together we believed we had enough, I would buy a house half the size somewhere that I could see the sunset every day. I would feel free to give more.
    Thanks for your thoughts today to remind me.

  34. says

    Love your blog and have been trying a lot of the things you mention. It’s easier with my own stuff, but with my family, it’s harder… Making progress, though!

    So to answer your question, I run a high volume acupuncture practice and while I love what I do, I have a 1 year old son at home with whom I’d love to spend more time. Instead of just trying to work less, though, my goal would be to spend some time studying some of the other techniques I’m fascinated by lately, so that I could help people faster and shift my hours to accommodate his schedule instead of working when business is the busiest. Hiring an associate to cover busy times and evenings would be part of that, too.

    Thanks for your contribution!

  35. says

    Wow! Reading the post and all the comments has got my mind racing. We have just sold our house and are contemplating living in a caravan for a year (gulp!) whilst we build again.
    We have been looking at newer, bigger designs but you know what, I don’t think I’ll do that anymore!
    Keeping our new house smaller will mean less money on mortgages and more money for travel with my family…..my favourite thing to do.
    Anyway, after a year of living in a van anything is going to be huge!!!
    Thanks for helping me to think through the implications of what we are doing.
    Shona. x

  36. says

    What a great question! What would I do if I had enough? Well, I already quit my job to homeschool my kids (one is autistic), so I would say that I would not be so consumed by worrying about money. That is one huge time waster for me. It sucks up not only my time, but my energy, and spirit.

  37. Deena says

    If I had enough, I would donate time volunteering, helping keep national parks clean and available and also I think I would visit my grandmother more. Thanks.

  38. says

    What an amazing post. It saddens me that life has become this way for us, and saddens me even more when I think about how our children’s lives will be. This is why we need to change things NOW. Thank you, as always, you are a constant reminder in my life that less is more, and what I have now is enough.xx

  39. Nancy says

    Thank you so much for reminding me to keep on track. For over a year now, my partner and I have been diligently working on simplifying, getting rid of stuff and getting out of debt. We have sold so much of the STUFF that was filling up our spaces. This month we will make the last payment on our car and we are currently in the process of selling our home to pay off student loan, business, and old credit card debt, as well as provide the necessary funds for adoption. Years ago, the idea of selling my house to pay off debt would have seemed insane. Today, the idea is so freeing to me!

    When I have enough (which will be so much less when these monthly payments are gone), I will spend my time finding happiness in moments rather than things. This will include traveling, spending time with people that encourage and uplift me, and working less.

    I’d love a copy of the book, Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, to keep me going on this journey.

  40. Glenda C says

    It’s strange – I know I have enough yet I don’t believe I have enough (or even believing being me is enough) so more than anything I want to know it and believe it down to my core. My relationship with money definitely needs transformation. Love your blog and this post. Thanks.

  41. Kris McGowan says

    Relax, live in the moment and savor the people who mean the most – help them accomplish their dreams and let them help me accomplish mine!

  42. says

    We are about to move to a “new” city. It will be next spring, but the plans are in the works. When we have enough, I will only go back to work part-time when my son starts school…and not feel guilty about it one bit. (We are in the process of paying off debt, and plan to only get into a “big enough” apartment/condo…read:no yard work, rather than the biggest one we can “afford” Have you ever noticed those calculators always think we can afford 1/3 of our income?)

  43. says

    there i was, reading along, thinking what a great post this is, and how many people i need to forward it to… and wow, there my blog is. thanks so much for the shout-out. (and yes, i think it’s true. i am so much happier leading a smaller, simpler life — and i’m still trying to make it simpler and happier, with very little/just enough.)

  44. Sarah says

    Thank you for this post. I’ve recently been working on being content with myself. I’m pretty good at being content at what I have, but am very critical of myself, leading to bad food and exercise habits (one extreme to the other), comparing myself with others etc. Loving yourself, nourishing your body is one of the best gifts you can give yourself – even better than a new car or house! :-)
    If I knew I had enough, my head wouldn’t be buzzing with insecurities and doubts, I would stop wondering if I was happy, and just be. I would quit my job and look for something I enjoy. At the moment I feel a bit trapped in my job.

  45. Jill says

    My partner and I have been working through one of us being diagnosed with a life-altering disease a year ago. Part of this last year has been about re-defining what is important to us both individually and as a couple. Minimizing our “stuff,” and focusing on time together and with friends and family has become our main priority. We have focused more on goals that allow us to spend more time together doing things we love to do like camping, fishing, and being outdoors. If we had “enough” we would do just that – spend more time enjoying the things we love to do. I would focus more on developing my own business, and less on my career outside the home(which has been my main focus for the last 10 plus years). We have really started to enjoy cooking together rather than going out all the time, finding things to do that cost little to no money. It makes the things we do spend a little more on that much more special.

  46. Jacquie says

    Wow, so simple yet so powerful….definitely an eye-opener & something I’ll be printing out & sharing with my husband…thanks SO much!!!

  47. Wendy Booth says

    If I had enough, I would invest in people’s lives more. I would take time to watch the sunset. I would take slower walks and maybe even in the rain.

  48. Kim Caron says

    Thanks for this wonderful post. I especially like the counting items such as clothing. Honestly, how many clothes do we really need to get through a week! To answer your question, if I had “enough” I would be debt free. I would breathe a BIG sigh of relief and I would never, EVER allow myself to get in over my head again. I could stop worrying, stop obsessing about how I am going to pay all these bills…. I would be FREE!!!

  49. Queen Mary says

    I already have enough! And I’m calling you out on the silverware/cutlery thing. I have more (than what I have divided by 7) because I have a huge family (5 sibs, all married, 4 sibs-in-law, all married and about 30 nieces and nephews, oh, 2 parents and a mother-in-law. We like to visit and party often and at our house. So I have enough — not if EVERYONE came over, but enough for MOST everyone to come over! What would I do if I had enough? I’d travel to Ireland to see my son play croquet, I’d read books and discuss them with husband and friends, I’d lunch with friends or bring my lunch and visit a museum, I’d have coffee with friends at our favorite coffee shop and we’d do crossword puzzles on one friend’s iPad!

  50. Rebecca R. says

    I don’t need a copy of the book–I actually have a copy of the 1st printing and one of the revised version–talk about not needing more! It is a book that I think everyone should read every 5 years–starting in 9th grade. I just wanted to thank you for all of the good, encouraging articles you publish, that have helped me and I’m sure many other people. Keep up the good work! To everyone else, keep striving for the life you envision. God Bless!

  51. Donna says

    Great post! I’m at a point where my family has enough. I have had the opportunity to spend the past 18 months taking care of my family and enjoying time away from the corporate world. We are now working towards moving to our farm where we can grow some of our own food and enjoy the advantages of slower pace of life.

  52. Mary says

    If I knew I had enough I could spend some time focusing on ensuring that my family lives a healthy lifestyle. I could afford more organic and free range foods and I could experiment with ingredients and recipes without worrying about the cost. I could expose my children to more positive things by shopping at farmers markets and taking them apple picking and other fun events. These are things I wish I could do.

  53. says

    I love this post. I’ve been working on simplifying our family’s clothing and housewares over the last few months, inspired by this blog and Project 333 (my sister sent a link to me last fall). I’ve cleared out significantly more than 50% of my wardrobe, and I try to use the “7 day philosophy” when trying to decide how many of certain items I need to keep. A week’s worth is plenty, and it also makes for a lot less laundry to fold (i.e. more time for other pursuits)!

  54. says

    If I had enough, I would start thinking of how to help people which are not in a such comfortable situation like me.

    And I would definitly more often do what I want. Today with customers you always have to check if everything is okay for them, but how is looking for myself, when not me?

    So I get more strength to help other people.

    Thank you for this very inspirating posting! ;-)

    nice greetings from germany
    mathew

  55. Uschi says

    If I had enough, I would devote much more time to volunteering and activities for the sake of others (including animals). I am doing it already, but am not satisfies with the share this part takes in my life.
    Thank you for your blog. I placed it in a folder in my “favourites” on Mozilla, from where I select randomly every day one blog to read a post – for inspiration :)

  56. Sharon says

    I can’t wait to have less house! The amount of time spent cleaning and putting stuff away irks me no end. My parents live with us and we are constantly asking why we have so much stuff! My husband call it TMS.

  57. says

    This is a very important post for me this morning!!! I began this amazing minimalist journey about a year ago but recently noticed a few of my purchases have not been in line with the simple lifestyle I have come to love and cherish. This post is a great reminder of how much stuff I still own and that I really do have enough. I am feeling re-invigorated and inspired! Thank you and much love.

  58. Heather Longoria says

    If I had enough, I would quit my job, and my husband and I would live for a couple months in NYC with my brothers, a couple months with his brothers in AZ and the rest of the time in our sweet home in Iowa. I would spend my time becoming a great artist instead of just an artist with potential.

  59. Tiffany says

    Thanks for such a wonderful post! For me, I still struggle with the fear of not having enough financially. I went into debt during my college years and had to spend a few years working heavily to get myself back on good financial footing again, and I still carry that fear to this day. My husband works full-time and I am part-time while staying home with our young children. I work to keep our spending manageable, but re-framing this fear would do me a world of good. If I got to the point of thinking that we had enough, it would encourage more creativity in our lives and more authentic, natural experiences, I think. I would be more present for my children too.

  60. Denise says

    If I had enough, I would listen better to the people around me. I would take longer rides on my bike. I would notice nature more, taking photos of all that I see. I would invite friends over and not spend all day “preparing” for their arrival.

  61. says

    I am learning that I have enough. I used to save so many clothes for my kids to grow into. I’ve cut that by MORE than half. I saved clothing for my 1yob to wear in the next 6 months. Then I saw a person looking for that size clothes for her little guy to currently use. I gave her the whole box. Now I have nothing in that size but one sleeper for my lil guy. And I’m mostly okay with that.

    If I knew I had enough, I’d play and read more. I’d clean less!

  62. Brian Tuck says

    I would spend more time trying to make a difference in the lives of others and spend more time learning and experiencing new skills to do so.

  63. Courtney Carver says

    My cup runneth over! I am so moved by your will to live beautiful, simple lives. I’m going to draw names for the book giveaway on Sunday night so keep the comments coming. Your comments and emails – your declarations of freedom are just the beginning. You are making a difference to me, each other and soon…the world.

  64. Rebecca says

    l love this post and your blog – it gives me inspiration each time I read it! I do believe I have enough, and our lives are slowly changing to reflect that. We’re working to pay down debt and start saving (basically trying to change our relationship with money). I have two small boys and a husband who keep me busy, but we’re slowly starting to clear the clutter and live more simply. The problem I’m finding is that it takes time away from them to sort through and dispose of the stuff! But we’re getting there :)

  65. Rebecca says

    P.S. I would quit my preschool job and finish my children’s chapter book, which I am slowly working on in my “spare” time. I would also start doing yoga on a regular basis!

  66. Angela says

    I think I have enough & have been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom the past 11 years. I think I need to work on getting rid of the things I have, but don’t use.

  67. Bethany says

    I have also been blessed to stay at home for the past 11 years. If I could get my husband to downsize, I would be very happy.

  68. Tina says

    If I knew I had enough… I would volunteer some time to those who have much less.
    I would work on writing a chikdrens book!
    I

  69. Aydin says

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder about what is enough. I think I’m half way through to understand what is enough for me. And since then I’m easily stepping out of consumerism and piling-up stuffs. Specially on buying stuff I took the recommendation of online friend (blog that I can’t remember) to think 48 hours to buy that thing. If you still feel the need to buy it then do it otherwise it was just a temptation to have it only.

    I can list my things when I have enough as:
    Give away
    Run a minimalist online store that everyone can give-away/sell items for less amount.
    Make a blog

  70. Bruce says

    I have enough. A girlfriend (wife) who is wonderful. Enough money to meet our needs. A small home (34 foot camper) that we travel in full time and a wonderful exciting world to explore each day. We are blessed. We volunteer while we travel.

  71. Diane Pearson says

    You know, I started downsizing my life a couple of years ago. It started from necessity, but now it is something I strive for. We live on VERY little, I am not working right now because I am choosing to stay home with my two teenage sons and I am homeschooling them (I am a single parent). There is so much less stress when there is less of everything else. So, what would I do differently is a tough question to answer. I think I have started doing the “different” already. Next step for me is to get rid of the rest of my debt and be financially downsized.
    I am loving your blog :)

  72. says

    Great post. I know I have slipped recently and this just reminded me of what my husband and I are working for. A small house on a lake, more free time because the work we choose to do is enough to fulfill us and pay for our living expenses and the ability to travel. Thank you!

  73. says

    I have been trying desparately to simplify for the past year. It’s a crazy difficult process, since I’ve kept stuff for the purpose of having it (either emotionally, eventually show my kids when I have them, someone may need it someday, etc) for my whole life. I know I have enough stuff, but since I’ve changed, I don’t necessarily have enough of the “right” stuff; it’s all old. Dunno if I have the right time, freedom, people around me either. If I felt like I had enough, id stay debt-free, do a x country road trip of an undetermined length of time, plant a garden, and donate more time & $ to causes i’d have the time 2 form full opinions about

  74. kris says

    Lots of great ideas here, but I must disagree with no. 7, “Stop using a credit card.”

    My husband and I use credit cards for just about everything.

    We pay the balance in full each month, so no interest charges. Plus we take advantage of the “float.”

    Most important, we earn airline miles that we use to get free tickets to fly our out-of-state children in to visit us. (One child is in California, another is is New York; we live in the midwest.)

    If it weren’t for credit cards, we would either see our kids much less often or we would be paying lots of money to buy airline tickets.

  75. Suzan says

    What a great post! I’ve followed your blog for a month or so and I really enjoy it. So much to digest!

    I would get more sleep if I knew I had enough. And reach out to friends and family more often.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  76. Mark says

    If I had enough I would be able to enjoy life more. If I had enough I wouldn’t have to worry about my student loan, finding a house and a job and other parts of my life. I’m about to graduate and so many things are gonna change, knowing I have enough of everything is something that would make the the process less scary and more something I could enjoy knowing that whatever I choose I have enough of everything already.

  77. says

    I think this post makes a lot of sense. However, I think you are forgetting about a whole sector of the population. The ‘less thans’. Our family falls in that category. We strive to live simply and with less, but what we are finding is that even the bare minimum is just so expensive. It’s great to just say ‘deal with less’ but you forget the massive economic gaps. A lot of the people who are stressed and need medication typically come from a lower economic bracket. Unfortunately, that bracket is growing as wages aren’t increasing and the bare minimum is getting more expensive. If only it were just as simple as just being ok with less…

  78. Kerry says

    Amazing post. My computer crashed and my bedroom tv finally died. I spend my days with my children. And use another computer when they fall asleep. I only do what is needed and don’t surf, now I consider it a life waster. I want to enjoy life. I downsized the closet, and now having a renewal party after my garage sale in the fall. Live with what u have and be thankful.

  79. Kristina says

    In my heart I know I have enough. It’s the stress over the economy that has me up at night. I have a fairly safe job (but in this day and age can anyone really say that?). I make a decent living (enough to pay my bills and put some in savings monthly). I am debt free except for my house. However, I still am wracked with anxiety over my retirement, my investments, savings, etc. Will it be there when I need it? Am I going to have to work until I am well into my 60s or 70s? I don’t consider myself a “stuff” person. I love experiences. But, worry makes it hard to enjoy the experiences lately. Wondering if the money would be better off under my mattress. So, I guess, to answer your question, I would (hopefully) stop worrying so much if I knew I had “enough”.

  80. says

    Courtney, I love this post (and clearly I’m not the only one!). Thank you for a lovely, challenging call to action.
    If I knew I had enough, I would:

    ~plan a fun-yet-frugal anniversary weekend for my husband and me…and stop feeling guilty about spending SOME money (while staying within our budget) to celebrate an amazing 2 years.
    ~book/plan a retreat for myself this year. Stop saying, “I’ll do that someday.”
    ~be a full-time writer!!!

  81. Brooke P says

    Thanks for this blog. While we are so abundantly blessed – we feel overrun and overwhelmed with “things”. We have a fortune (from my husband, Rich’s fortune cookie) framed in our house that says “He who knows he has enough is rich.”
    I have been asked before by my therapist to write down what I would do more of if I did not have to work and I wrote:
    Do yoga
    Do art/pastels
    Meet friends for lunch
    Go to the beach
    We all need to stop waiting for that someday, sometime – START NOW! Live now – be enough now!

  82. Jon H says

    Great Advice.

    I would definitely spend more time with family and friends and try to go on vacation!

  83. Julie says

    If I had enough, I’d buy food to make sack lunches and go around downtown Denver giving them to the homeless people – or anyone who needed it really. I’ve always wanted to do that. And I’d also pay my parents back for all they paid for me to do (sports, college, and a lot of other things), and hopefully, then some. They worked their butts off for me.

  84. says

    Great post!

    If I had enough, my husband and I would take entire months off at a time and travel with our young son. We’d take the time to teach him about our amazing world by going to places, learning the culture and actually showing him how similar we all are!

  85. Kyle O'Neill says

    I would breathe freely and see clearly. I would allow my mind and body to be at peace for once. I would enjoy the moment, every moment, for what it is, and not think of how I could make it better, or what I should be doing instead. I would enjoy what I have around me, because it is wonderful, just as it is.

  86. Tracey says

    First, I want to tell you how much I love your blog. I read it frequently, and it really affects me. It makes me take a good long look at my life, and how I want to live it.

    If I felt that I had enough, I would be less stressed and happier. The vicious cycle of want, spend, acquire, debt, thinking it will make me happy, is a constant in my life. I wish I could take more time for the little things, and relish what I have without the constant need for something more. I would have more time to value what is in front of me, and not be in constant worry for the future, and what may or may not happen.

  87. Kristen says

    I’ve just found your blog and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve been trying to slowly reduce the amount I consume and to prioritize what really matters. So far it’s been met with confusion from others, but they’ll adjust. My dream is to have children with my partner in the next 5 years and to not work full time once I have them. The stress and anxiety of my working environment aren’t good for me, so I can’t imagine they would make for a very happy mommy. Thank you for the work that you’re doing.

  88. Gloria says

    If i knew i could, i would quit my job and travel. Lightly. I have already purged a great deal from my home and it feels fantastic! I love the motivation i receive from blogs like yours. Helps to put “things” in perspective. Gloria from Michigan.

  89. Amy says

    When we get financially stable, we hope get a less stressful job and travel more – to give our kids life experiences. We traveled much more when we had less money.

  90. says

    That was an amazing post, thank you for sharing. I am a single mom who just recently quit my job to work for myself and be home with my son more. This was a very scary decision as I was not sure IF I would be able to make ends meet. I still dont. But I am happier the past couple weeks than I have been in a LONG time and am going to continue to re read this post and remind myself of what I really want in life: TO BE HAPPY. And happy is having a roof over my head, food on the table and my son my’s health. If I can have those and get out and learn to enjoy the free things more in life (and not overeat, spend, etc). I will be just fine… with the love and support of my friends and family and inspirational people like you! ;)

  91. Jennifer says

    Thank you for this. I am going to be graduating from school soon and I am having a tough time trying to figure out what I want for my life when school is done. I think I’ll use this as a guide, try to answer the questions you pose here, and maybe it will give me some direction.

  92. Dana says

    Since I started reading this blog sEveral months ago, I have sold, trashed or donated over 150 books, 25% of my wardrobe, a great deal of makeup and jewelry and more. When I decide I need or would like something new, I very CONSCIOUSLY make a decision about which item will have to go in order to make room for what I acquire. For example, I now need 2 more sports bras as I have started running again. Before I buy them, already know that there are a pair of shoes, a set of earrings and a t-shirt I can live without. All 3 will be donated and I end up with one LESS item to care for. The more I read your blog, the more I realize how much energy is required to own THINGS. I also remembered that one of the best nights I had on my last vacation was watching a lightning storm with my friends- no cover charge for THAT! :-)

  93. says

    Great post!
    I feel like I’m doing all those things that people said they would do if they felt they already had enough.
    I have enough.
    We live in a small (600 sf rental) home by the sea with minimal possessions. I stay at home and take care of my daughter and work a little (I’m a painter) when I feel like it. My husband works 4-day weeks currently and might switch to self-employment only.. We have no debt and we have savings – we might end up buying a very small house and we plan to travel /live abroad. I have no desire to own a big fancy house full of stuff. It’s not only that I’d hate to struggle for money, but having tons of stuff makes me miserable and anxious anyway. Having less can be the answer to both personal freedom, and the cure for what ails this world.

  94. Laura says

    Excellent post!

    I’m currently working to eliminate 1,000 things from my life. I know I’ll have to move apartments within the next 365 days, so 1,000 less things will mean many fewer boxes. I’m amazed by the things that I’ve accumulated in the past six years though. When I moved to this city, I only took five suitcases and mailed four boxes. Now I’ve got furniture, kitchen gizmos, and a very full closet and dresser! And I absolutely think that I can donate, gift, sell or toss about half of these things before I move out. (And I’ve also been using up lotions and make-up without replacing them, so that’s less stuff there, too.)

    I would love to get to a time where I will have ENOUGH in my life.

  95. Ana says

    I agree with all the points except #6 ‘don’t stock up’. I do stock up and it saved our family a lot of money. I use coupons and I can often get things for free. I do stock up on only what we use and need to avoid clutter or something I intend to donate immediately.

  96. Kristina says

    I’ve just ordered this book at my library but really want my own copy so am hoping I win :-) I feel blessed and rich in so many ways and had simplified my life radically. However recently I’ve decided to follow two dreams which have gobbled up all my time and I feel like I’m drowning a little. So if I thought I had enough (time) I would allow myself to trust myself more to accomplish the things I’ve set out to do. I would support myself more by allowing more rejuvenation time doing mini meditations, eating more healthily, doing mini walks rather than using my current escapism modes of tv watching/escapist books.

  97. says

    “What would you do if you thought you had enough?” is the perfect question for me, and my current unsatisfied-to-be-back-at-work-after-vacation mood. I’m spending my lunch hour daydreaming about a little cabin in the woods and a simpler life, or a cross-country journey a la Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.

    Gotta work on making those something more than daydreams….

  98. says

    I would live a slow life, without clocks so that I could spend as much time as feels right doing whatever creative pursuits were calling my name, or playing with grandkids, or walking on the beach.

  99. Celia says

    If I felt I had enough, I would slow down and enjoy the now. I frequently find myself thinking and planning ahead and not enjoying the what and where of NOW. We already live a simply life, but I miss so much of it.

  100. lois says

    i love this site i all ready have no credit cards still to much debt house small car no good public transportation this area still have to much stuff in the proccess of clearing out want to move near the ocean and live in ireland thanks for your help

  101. says

    I’m not sure how well this applies to me… if I knew I had enough I would move my family to Portland and let my husband quit working. My income would have to at LEAST replace his, and probably more before that could happen, though. We already live pretty minimally – almost no eating out, a small grocery budget, no TV or other expensive subscriptions, no regular expensive purchases (like my brother, who has to buy the latest DVDs and computer games when they come out). But I’d love to find an actual way to do more with what we have if it’s out there.

  102. says

    Last night I talked about this subject with my friend. I mentioned that everyone needs a 2nd job. The job doesn’t have to pay money, it can be a hobby or passion. Otherwise we get into trouble; eat or drink too much, watch too much TV, spend too much, etc. Figuring out how to Have enough Money and Stuff could be your second job. “Your money or your Life” sounds like a fantastic read.

    Great post. I rarely comment on posts.

  103. Travis P says

    I have been a full time employee at a huge corp for about 3 months now. My salary is great. My soul is crushed. I have a day off today, on a Wednesday, and I am just so damned happy. I need to find out how to live a life without being a wage slave.

    If I had more time, I’d write full time. I really want to take up writing, but I only have about 3-4 hours of free time a night, so I usually dedicate that to some reading instead (and lets face it, video games on occasion). I may also purchase farmland. 8 hours a day of tilling my own field doesn’t sound bad at all.

    I just want to be happy. I want to be happy and left alone.

    • De says

      go for it, travis!!!! if your salary is great, save like crazy and REALLY try to live on half of it so u have a nice emergency cushion. if u want to write- DO IT!!! even if it’s only 20 minutes a day. farming DOES sound great, doesn’t it? :-) every day, think of one small thing you can live without and let it go. it’s a long process, trust me. but every time i chuck, donate or sell something, i feel like more air gets to my lungs. this blog has been HUGE help to me.

      YOU CAN DO IT!!

  104. Lyn Davies says

    My brother drives a 100,000 dollar car – my car cost me 3,000 – we still arrive at the same destination….

  105. Lyn Davies says

    Ohhh and something else that helps me achieve things I would like to buy – like a new piano I am saving for – a holiday twice a year – I save all my change – all the 2 dollar coins and under I throw in a clear 2litre fruit juice bottle – amazing how much you have in just a few months

    • says

      Isn’t he “jar” amazing?! I talk myself out of buying stupid stuff and put $$$ in the jar instead. At one point, the funds bought my fiance 2 beautiful suits for work!!!

  106. q quinn says

    If I didn’t worry about money I would see every country, learn every language and go back to school and gey my doctorates. And make it so my family could do the same.

  107. says

    I love that you and your husband found great joy in watching a storm roll in together. Simplifying doesn’t have to mean barren! On the contrary, most of what is truly special, wonderful, and meaningful in life is completely free. Walking out the door into nature is a great start. We’re much too trained to be consumers!

  108. bee low says

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m from the other side of the world in Singapore. I like the fact that you don’t preach but just put in perspective the fundamentals we have forgotten to make our lives happy. Thanks for the reminder. You’ve just gained a new fan in me.

  109. Nin says

    Very little is indeed needed. I had to leave my house and everyone I knew two years ago and during that first year I moved 17 times. I had everything I owned in a suitcase and a purse. For about 1/2 year now I have been living in my own apartment and I have to say – these past two years have been the greatest ones in my life. I have focused on my new family, new friendships, g-d and and growing as a person. I don’t *need* cable tv, lots of clothes, makeup or almost anything else – I need my loved ones, experiences, passions – and I need to enjoy the moment.

  110. says

    I would paint full time, every day, dawn til midnite. And give away my art,give away my time, money..This workaday mentality we get so trapped in, is all about serving self, or causes that may be unconscious. I would partner up with good folks and look around and see how our God-given talents can make a difference right where we are.

    Blessings!
    J

  111. Rome says

    Tganks for this write up. It nicely summarizes many of the ideas of living with less to have more.

  112. anonymous says

    I don’t know why no one seems to give any solutions to people like me who have never been able to get a job in their entire lives. I’d love to have the problem of not managing money properly, at least that would mean I had some money to begin with. Because I can’t support myself, I have been forced to spend my life relying on others, who usually abuse their power over me. It would be really nice to make money and support myself for a change. I have been looking for a way out of my jobless life for years now, and I haven’t found one… McDonalds didn’t even call me back, and I went to college for god’s sake…

  113. wm mitchell says

    if I had more with less, I would learn to breathe in deeply and exhaile. May the peace of knowing and being known of Christ be yours.

  114. James says

    I finished med school two years ago. The best job i have been able to secure is working as a customer service rep at a bank. I also work at Starbucks. In total 65-75 hours a week. After paying rent (cheapest studio apartment i could find which i share with a roommate), my car payment, car insurance, utilities, student loans, and monthly payments for my father’s debt, hospital bills, and funeral proceedings i have a total of $35 a month. I have not eaten anything but ramon noodles and ice water for about a month. I understand how these steps you have listed can help people who were fortunate but irresponsible with their finances; however, i feel they do not offer any assistance to anyone who actually has real problems and are doing everything they can just to survive. Please explain if you think or feel differently.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Hi James,

      While I can’t write for every situation, I think I’ve been learning more and more that anytime in my life I thought there wasn’t a solution, there was. At times it took longer than I would have liked to figure things out. That said, sometimes things are just bad. If you want to email me directly, I’d be happy to brainstorm a few solutions. I don’t have all the answers, but maybe I can offer something that will be helpful to your unique situation.

  115. says

    What an inspiring article. I’m planning to quit my job in 6 months to pursue my passions and focus on my family (I’ve been blogging about it as sort of a therapeutic release!). My wife and I have realized that we may take a pay cut for a while but it’s so important to us to put people before stuff, saying NO to some of the “things” and YES to time we will be able to spend together. I’m very excited and know that it will be worth it.

  116. Anjali says

    Thank you for this post….I absolutely loved this and was actually looking for something like this.
    If i had enough I would quit my job so i could be closer to my son and get to spend more time with him after school, I would travel more, and work on something part-time for myself. Reading this helped me look at what is important to me in life and will try to get me to appreciate things better. thank u again….

  117. Amy says

    Wow, what timing! My grandmother passed away recently, and there’s the possibility that some of our family’s land could be sold off – the land with the house she was born in 95 years ago. My heart aches every time I think about it, so I’ve been trying to convince my husband that we need to take it on, keep it in the family. I think of how simple our lives could be there, how much more time we could have together as a family, and it makes me so happy and I feel so calm and peaceful just thinking about it…

  118. says

    Courtney, about two years ago, I had an eye-opening experience. A very close friend if mine was as death’s door. I realized in a very real and shocking way that we come with nothing and we leave with nothing.

    I have cleaned out my apartment so that there is nothing extra – I figured if I did not use it why keep it. One is much more free with less – I’d take a hike in a government protected canyon over anything. That is where I am home and happy and free. I do have to confess, I do have to take my camera. The butterflies, the flowers, even odd scenery. There is nothing like nature to warm your heart and revive your spirit. Just have to find a way to get closer, but don’t have enough and can’t do any kind of work. Funny, you know it, but then when you hear it and many people give up on you because of it, it’s only the beautiful memories and the yearning to go back that make the day worthwhile.

    Maryann

  119. Katie Haugen says

    If I had enough, I would take a pay cut to be an elementary school teacher, which is my passion.

  120. says

    Great post–thanks for it!

    I live and work on my husband’s family farm, which we’re rehabilitating as a small, sustainable operation. I make most of my money doing freelance writing for business.

    If I felt I had enough to cover my student loan debt and keep my family fed and cared for, I would spend more time working on the farm and writing the things I want to write–books on sustainable living, healthy food, and homesteading. I would spend extra hours in the garden and working on our old farmhouse, now on the National Register of Historic Places–built in the 1830s and in serious need of some love.

    I love my life, but we need to make a little more to cover the loans and the bills… and I’m striving hard to change my relationship with money to be more about gratitude and less about lack. It’s a work in progress :).

  121. Angela says

    I would like to work with Ellie Maclin on the farm! :) lol. (In other words – simply enjoying the outdoors – with the plants and the animals – while eating healthier.)

  122. moya says

    I spent a lot of time in France and believe that French women have this frugal but great lifestyle nailed.I never saw Madame buy anything except fresh food with which she produced fab meals in her rather basic but small kitchen . She had about 8 items in her summer wardrobe/ten in winter. Her furniture was from her mothers family but she told me she had bought new beds.Her children wore 4 outfit in rotation which were presents from their godparents.They were allowed to pick a toy from their toybox every morning so never got bored.Madame used her aunts dinner and tea service and cutlery every day and never bought any more.Should I also say that she looked fantastic.Her home was spotless and her inherited furniture gleamed.She told me she live on a miniscule budget and that that was normal in France .Loads more but not enough room .Hope some will find this helpful. Enjoy .

  123. Sandy says

    I’d explore my creative side and make time to play! I’d find meaningful work to stay involved and share this with my family and friends.

  124. melanie barnes says

    Unfortunately, some people don’t dine out and just hope the car will start so they can get to work to provide food and shelter for tbeir kids. If I did not work we would be homeless and starving. I wish I had more, life would be simpler and I could actually spend some time at home! What a biased blog!

    • Bernadette says

      way too true! my car broke down, cost me my entire paycheck two weeks ago. We went 15 days without food eating only noodles and an occasional vegetable. It sucks!

    • Someone says

      My thoughts exactly…the writer must have money and not know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. I especially like the part that says “stop using a credit card”..oh, ok, I’ll just stop charging my gas and groceries that I have to charge every month and I’ll go ahead and starve myself and not be able to get to work without gas in my car & get fired so I have even less money, which will result in me being homeless because I won’t be able to afford to pay rent. Stupid BIASED article. I can’t believe so many people are praising it. So insensitive to people with legitimate money problems who ARE working 50+ hours every week.

  125. Bernadette says

    I’m so depressed and so is my husband. We both work, and we both only make enough to pay bills. We don’t have kids, don’t have a dog, we don’t even go out to dinner (ever!) we sit home and watch TV because we can’t afford to do anything else. yes I’m in debt, and no I cant get out no matter how hard I try and it’s holding us back from having the “important” things in life because I really cannot pay for them. Yesterday I just had to pass on a puppy that would have been free :( but I couldn’t afford to get him shots, food, a crate etc. It’s so depressing – any articles or books would be extremely helpful

    • Courtney Carver says

      I’d recommend “Your Money or Your Life” and anything by Dave Ramsey. Those resources made a big difference for me.

  126. yams says

    This post is for rich people. If you think I am wrong– think back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (b/c most of you have probably gone to college and if you don’t remember google it). I grew up poor and now I make a lot (for me probably not for you) and I am having a hell of time figuring out what is a need and want. This is unhelpful…

  127. Raven says

    There is truth in this.
    I used to have a huge vinyl record collection, which was all sold/given away, end of last year. Then I began to collect again. This just made me unhappy.

    Today I cut it down to a bare minimum by donating the excess. I am going to concentrate on “simply being” from now on. Mediation and caring for others, and spending time with them, truly is the answer. To be less self-concerned, helps to bring peace.

    Thank you for this

  128. Raven says

    There is truth in this.

    Today I gave away all my excess possessions, and from now on will focus on simply “being”.

    Thank you

  129. says

    To James..Maybe get rid of your car for the time being and re negotiate your student loan and find a cooking friend in the same situation to share your meals with. Good luck James.

  130. Nola says

    My apartment complex put me in a hotel for 2 weeks while they replaced my HVAC. Most tenants who went through this process weren’t very bothered by it. I found it to be the most stressful, time consuming backbreaking event. Why? Because even after years of aspiring to have less and paring down over and OVER, I simply own TOO much. The process of boxing, packing & protecting my belongings so they could be piled against a wall during the construction was ridiculous. And I did not even use everything I took the hotel. Friends say my one bedroom unit is so lovely and bright and tidy. But I realize it’s because of the ENERGY I expend keeping it this way. Since moving back home, I have become ruthless with my purging. I have 6 bags of items to donate and one bag of items to sell. I’m still finding more items I haven’t used in over 8 months. I want NOTHING under my bed or on my closet floor. I made all my winter clothes fit in 2 bins. All that time I spent packing could have been spent with friends and family. Isn’t that what matters?

  131. walter lukjanowitsch says

    If I thought I nhad enough I would work on my relationship with others and my contribution that my life can make on earth.

  132. says

    I would love to stop worrying and just be stress free. I am having a hard time putting things in perspective right now. I am facing a lot of hard decisions and paths and I keep crying and praying for an answer. I don’t know what to do, where to start, or who to tell. I am ashamed of the situation I have put myself in. I know better, I have lived a carefree happy life before and got myself out of the mess I created from that by claiming bankruptcy. Only to be sitting here typing this and looking for a way, away from that road. I have 11 dollars to my name, I have managed to max my charge cards, take loans out from my credit union, and I am getting ready to have a garage sale and hopefully earn enough to pay my mortgage payment which is due this coming Friday. My wonderful Husband went back to school after being laid off in his human services, got his Masters and still can not find work. He tried his hand at insurance sales, and lost his unemployment benefits for doing so. At least he learned, that he is not meant for sales. I have a above board housecleaning business with a friend, the weather his been so terrible here, we have not been able to do a lot of flyers and I am seeing that the under the table crowd are low balling because of the times we are facing, needless to say this has not been the best year for us. I am the one who usually has the most faith and I always say all will be OK, God has are back, it will all turn around and we will be laughing about this in no time. I am having such a hard time believing what is coming out of my mouth and mind. I am a generous, loving, trustworthy, optimistic, awesome, loyal, all around good person, but I find myself sad,depressed, and feeling so hopeless. I did it to myself, I am not blaming anyone but me. I sunk back into the hole, I climbed out of 10 years ago. I know in my heart God is with me, and I might not like the outcome, but I really do believe that whatever it is, I will have learned another lesson. I hope this post helps one person to understand that this blog is right in what it is trying to show you. Always take time to smell the roses and keep your eyes on your passions and don’t settle for cheap thrills. God bless All !!

    • kay says

      Wow I just read your reply… I am facing difficult life stuff right now. As a strong Christian and beliving that god will always provide I am at a place where I have had enough… if he loved me that much why oh why oh why am I struggling through this life …. life so tough … every good thing I try to do goes south… and I wonder why I bother and whats the point anyway!!!!

  133. Gretchen says

    I know this contest is over but wanted to comment anyway. The answer is really simple. I would be able to breathe.

  134. says

    Well written, a penny saved is a penny earned. absolutely agree with the “no to credit card” point.

  135. Ray says

    If I knew I had enough, I’d stop being my own worst enemy, smile more and enjoy the life I have. Thank you for helping me to open my eyes.

  136. Shawna says

    Hi, This is first time I visited a site regarding living with less. It sounds good, but I have a had time knowing were to begin. The reason I googled “I dont have enough money”. Is because all off a suddened I feel overwhelmed and cant keep up with our payments. I have a great paying job but commute 2 hs each way. and work a 10.5 hr day 3 days a week while my kids o to daycare and school. I have three boys ages 6,4,2. My husband is a farmer on the family farm business and works everyday and while I’m at wok in the evenings his mother looks after the kids after daycare till he gets in the house to put them to bed. We own nothing but live in a old century home now being renovated that has been provided to us through the family farm. We have lots of debt.. I dont know where our money goes and I need help!!

    Thank you Shawna

  137. Vicki says

    If I knew I had enough, I would worry less, live life more fully, give far more generously, enjoy the simple pleasures every day has to offer, and stare up at the stars in the night sky with awesome wonder like I used to do as a child. That brings back wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing this wise advice!

  138. kay says

    If I had enough, I would be able to be with my children and grand kids more often. If I had enough, we would all be able to sit around a big table at Christmas, and enjoy each other, one of my dreams a great big table with all the family around it, sharing life. I would stop and do what I love, making and creating and painting and drawing and sharing it with others. Redundancy has sent us in to a spiral of the unknown of not having enough!

  139. Nick says

    If we knew we had enough…hmm. We would give more to charity, rather than just wishing we could give more. We would go to the beach with the kids more, while they’re still at home. Possibly, we would pack ourselves into an RV and live on the road for a year, to experience our nation full-time.

  140. John Wagner says

    I really want to win a free book, so I am writing what I would do if I had enough. Well I have enough, and like Sheryl Crow says it’s having what you want. I give thanks for the blessings in my life everyday, but there are some things that are amiss. Actually keep the book and give it to the lady who couldn’t get a puppy. Dogs are great, but they are work, so maybe it’s a blessing. My randomness keeps me stumped sometime, but here it is: since I have enough, I should say if I had to make changes in my life, I would do exactly what you said in your article; Write a blog, travel and camp some more, do exactly what I do when I get home from work or in the summer. I am a teacher, and the summers give me so much time for reflection. I have no Idea why I am even responding to your article right now. I have in my head a barn with living quarters on top. I shall call this base camp. This is where I would paint from, write from, design from. Things take money and I googled things that make me money. I know that I have to cut debt, and possibly things like cable. I would love to start a web business and sell a few of my things. I do have a journal with all my wants. Maybe I have too many wants. Simple is good, love is good, romance is good, eating is good, a comfortable home is good, peace is good, fresh air is good. My next google search should be how can I make money and live the life I want doing what I want, when I want. I would love to live on the coast of Oregon for a while, I would love to sit in my garage and paint and make money, and then go for coffee and look at people. Tell that lady to get a cat…There just as awesome as a dog with less care. I know nothing I am saying makes sense, but who cares, I think I’ve broken my writers block, and downloaded my mind. Sometimes speaking a life change is easier than doing it.

  141. kgjpepmm says

    I think having a place to live and sense or community, after 50 years of being homeless would be enough.

  142. Martha Harlan says

    Learning to enjoy the simple things in life is the best lesson I learned thus far. Stuff is just that “stuff”. Knowing what our purpose in life is, will bring freedom. I am working with women that have been victims of domestic abuse and my goal is to motive them to became more like a Rhino and less of a cow or sheep.

  143. Fadhili says

    Money is life ,make money and forget everything jus enjoy it.do noit wait for money to spend you instewad spend it so i disagree that we abuse trhe use of money,why would yoiu want to limit us in this life we live once ,beta enjoy now.

  144. carol says

    Loved your article Courtney I think what happens to us is that when we are young we see television shows with movie stars and beautiful things in magazines. In school we are taught to do well so we can make it into college to become something great. So from young on it is beaten into our heads to always do better financially and there is little empazise on being nice. There are more sporting teams in school and private sports clubs which encourage competition amongst children at the young age of 5 till college. So from that we learn about competiting with others at a young age.
    Now I have seen how competition makes people money hungry so I don’t do it anymore. I just stopped playing the game and said I don’t need anything that costs money. Actually I have realized you don’t need a dining room and kitchen to eat meals only on a special table 4 holidays or 4 times a year. That meal will be the same with one eating room. 3 living rooms really we can only use one at a time. Now bathrooms is another story in our house in the mornings. But clothing, I have things I have forgotten only to find when I am cleaning out the closets. I don’t buy much anymore because it is silly to waste my money. I want a smaller house so our family can do more things together more often. I stopped working since my husband makes enough for 3 families to live a decent life on. He loves his job though, but I did not see any reason for me to work a job where I was stressed just to have more money. Now I do what I really like and stay home and make sure
    I am here for the kids when they need me and the dogs are taken out and have a good meal on the table every night. No more hotels now we camp and love the peace & quiet instead of the crowded hotels. We visit family in the summer too to keep our connections tight. Life has made a big turn in our house, and I love it. But know if I had to I could go back to work in the future if something unexpected came up. Enjoy life now for when we get older they say it is the golden years, but usually only when you have family around. Material things as you have said Courtney are only temporary. The true meaning of life will be still waiting their under that new shirt or big house or job. Enjoy it while you can!

  145. Stephanie Brock says

    I love this “10 Ways You Can Have Enough Money and Stuff” bottom line is I try to have more of what I do not need. I has come to me there is something wrong with my thinking process when it comes to money and stuff. Thank you for this well spoken article. It has definitely made me think in a different way. Now just to keep it up.

    -Stephanie

  146. says

    whoah this weblog is great i love studying your posts.
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  147. chad says

    Obamacare and cost we pay to do life is making me ponder is there a better way to live life? A life that matters, a life with a smaller budget nut to crack, a life with more time to enjoy with loved ones, without trying to make enough to make life more comfortable and more rewarding and less stress? More time to give back and help others?

  148. stuart says

    If I had enough I would have my wife quit her job so she could spend more time with the kids. I would also move us out of the united states and go to canada.

  149. Sally Peterson says

    Really???
    Look at all of these pitiful comments. Aren’t we lucky that these are not the people who founded this country! Do you REALLY think this group of people could start a nation like the USA? Seriously, there is something wrong with most of these people. They want a good life, but don’t want to work for it. They deserve exactly what they are paid for whatever they do. If they can’t live on that, they should work more. Anyone who who is healthy and says they can’t find a job is lying, everyone knows that. The ONLY people who should get a free ride are the mentally or physically infirm or the elderly.

  150. Darlene says

    Thanks for the post. I have deck uttered for years and my hone is not cluttered but I am tired of taking care of the stuff I still have. Where do I go from here?

  151. Kelli says

    If you have or have had a truly sick family member, there is no enough, because the cost of healthcare is so high and the cost of cheap, low quality healthcare that the lesser insurance programs tend to offer as “in network” even worse. Once you have experienced that there is no enough, no sense of security again. Once a loved one has gone without needed healthcare and you were powerless to stop the situation, there is never enough again.

  152. glory says

    I really enjoyed reading your articles although we live in a capitalism society who push to exprend more and more. Because this culture is so broken, people are filing emotional, mental, spiritual voids with materials, that is the only way they can feel themselves alive. They are so disconnected within themselves and others, buying things is the only way for us to fill complete.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours’

  153. S Dhillon says

    I believe it is easy said then done, for in today’s society if you are not working you are not contributing towards society and if you are not earn a certain amount you are look down at . I would like to spend more time with my parents because my mother might have only another 5 years give or take a year my dad is in his 70s so they won’t be here even if I retire at 55 20 years from now. My wife was 22 weeks pregnant when our twins where prematurely born they both lived for 1 hour, so when I do go heaven I want our first born to be proud of me. In today’s society that means having a good wage and be in a position of authority or at least some ambition . Although I would like to spend all my time with my parents and wife but I would like to spoil them, and earn as much as I can so when my wife and I have kids they won’t need to work hard and also if I happen to die then my family will be money wise sorted.

  154. Sam says

    This article motivated me and the questions made me think ! it is always easy to think of a business and get the material to start, but I always get lazy and stop once I get the material and never accomplished anything till today. I already have another business idea, but I don’t wanna end up getting everything and never do it because this time “like the other times” I think this business idea will definitely hit!

    I need to be determinate and really make a start, what should i do ..

  155. says

    Thank you so much fo sharing!!! Reading this influenced a very important decision that I am planning over the next few months. I really want to spend more time with my family. My daughter will be leaving for school in 6 months to Texas. She has been an immense help with her brother who has special needs and dad who has had multiple surgeries on his left leg. I want to work part time when my son is in his day program and spend quality time on outings, music an his therapy.It is truly a struggle to split myself in so many directions. I believe that having less material items contributes a great deal to the appreciation of precious moments, looking up at the stars, gardening, painting, playing piano/ guitar ,cooking, going to Disneyland and helping our dear SMB with motility and communication. My oldest is getting married in the summer. He will be a ring bearer and needs practice to walk down the aisle in church. I hope Obama care will be our insurance so I don’t have to depend on the job for medical insurance. Also, there is a definite plan to donate $$ to the organization that helps us get a service dog for our dear little man to help keep him safe during seizures. Sincerely, Anne

  156. Julie says

    My life started to fall apart about 15 years ago, I was married to a man that was very abusive so I worked as much as possible to avoid spending time with him. I have married again to a great man and I am struggling to just stay home and enjoy my life.
    After 15 years of living life in the fast lane, I currently work 1 full time job, 1 part time job and 2 casual jobs as well as run a house and run a direct selling business. I know that I need to get off this merry go round before I have a heart attack. When I do spend time at home, I feel guilty if I just sit and need to be busy at all times. How do I stop?? Please help ……………….

  157. Cindie Cook says

    I Googled “how do so many people have so much money?” and this is what I found. Thanks, question answered!

  158. chad says

    Love these posts! ! There is so much to life than stuff but it is really hard to make changes. In a marriage Both husband and wife need to make the commitment to live life with less, more simply..trying to make these changes and look forward to the posts of other subscribers. .

  159. Vickey Morrissey says

    A deep heartfelt thanks for this post. It is just what I needed right now. I would travel throughout the United States with my husband to visit all of the relatives and family that are important to me. I would love to see their homes, see their lives, and understand them all a little better. When they tell me they were on their porch watching the beautiful sunset, I want to be able to picture that I am there with them. I would work hard at arranging a family reunion where we could all be together at the same time, and get to know one another again. I love my family, but it has been so long since we have all been together.

  160. Rachel Rose says

    I would spend my time volunteering at my kids school. Nothing is more important than supporting them and their daily activities. I can’t do this as a single parent but I contribute my time whenever possible. Outside of my kids I would volunteer at a women’s shelter and/ or foster care system. Kids need our attention.

  161. tammy says

    As someone who always puts others before herself I can vouch for the fact that money runs from those that cant concentrate or who are so involved with life that your only focus on the next second. Do not go to the extreme I did. I can not find a way out of it now. Look after yourself and learn to say no before everyone has their hand out for your cash.

  162. nicole says

    First of all i want to thank kristina for the post she made on how Dr Adams helped her in bringing back her lover before christmas. At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted Dr Adams and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 3years and i have been lonely and depressed without him,So i told him if he has helped anyone called kristina and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover before christmas. I said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover,He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved. He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover smith voice. I was so happy he was begging me on phone, That he is ready to do anything that will make me happy in life,So i told him to come over which he did,As he was coming he came with a brand new Car as gift i was so happy and made me had access to his account to prove to me that he is not going to leave me for another lady,Am so happy today and am also thanking kristina for posting this early. Dr Adams you are truly a man of your word. He can also solve any kind of problems in this world. Friends you can contact Dr Adams on his private Email dradamsjohnsoncentre12@gmail . com

  163. patricia says

    I just came across your page and found it very interesting it reminds me of a movie I bought staring Sidney PORTIER an makes you realise how much we waste buyng things we really don’t need a very thought provoking movie well worth a look THE SECRET LIFE OF NOAH BEARBORNE . I NOW THINK TWICE BEFORE I BUY ANYTHING I WAIT 2 WEEKS BEFORE I BUY AND IF I STILL WANT IT THEN I MAKE MY PURCHASE.

  164. bojana babic says

    Hello everyone. I live in Kraljevo in Serbia and hairdresser I have a small salon of whom live beautiful …. My head was created with one goal to his colleagues open a hairdressing workshop for underprivileged children. But there is a problem we do not have enough money for the project … if you can refer us to some address to try to claim the money for our human goal … Serbia we unfortunately all doors closed, the state does not have a sense for these things .. and behold I took the liberty to inform the good people over. both could succeed in its goal of

  165. says

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my
    blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time
    and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
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    your new updates.

  166. says

    Miyagi, who might have been a stereotypical character if portrayed by another actor.
    As a national coach, he has led the official United State Karate team
    in high level international competition. Remember, there is no shortcut to successand you can become the Dan by your own determination and devotion to this art.

  167. Chaz Hopkins says

    I just have to say that everyone who has commented on this piece including the writter of this piece are just outstanding. Ive been so miss guided on my perception of the way i think my life should be lived. Having finer things, such as a house, car, an enormous fortune. The main thing ive noticed is that all those things that i thought would give me self happiness, were really false idolized dreams that are meant to tear me down. A life you can live where you can do less and bring home more. Be more with less is a great observation. I couldnt have said it better. It helped me notice that you should know what you want out of life. Know what makes you happy, and “dont set your standards higher than your own general happiness.” Because in reality there are no standards when it comes to your happiness.

  168. jaessica says

    I want to share my testimony and also thank prophet Adams for what he has done for me, Am so happy today and i have stopped thinking. After my husband Rick left me for another woman because I can’t give him a baby and that he hates me, i cried because i really loved Rick with all my heart. Then i decided to come online and look for a spell caster to help me bring back Rick, Until God directed prophet Adams to me. When i met prophet Adams i was thinking his not real, But he told me to give him a chance that what will he gain if he adds more pain to my pain,That all he want his my happiness. So i decided to give him a chance, and he told me that Rick will be back to my arms within 48hours and I will be pregnant and have a baby,i said okay truly when prophet Adams casted this spell my lover Rick called me and said he wanted to tell me something i was shocked, He told me that i should forgive him, That he loves me with all his heart and promise never to leave me till the rest of his life. Prophet Adams also told me that ones Rick comes back to me he is going to buy me a gift. Rick Bought me a Brand New Car, And i also had access to his account to prove to me that he will never leave me and now am pregnant. You can contact prophet Adams for any kind of help and he will never disappoint you. His email – dradamsjohnsoncentre12@gmail. com or +2348188192948

  169. Paulo says

    Great post, I am the same opinion, people at these days don’t know how to live and enjoy the so much is available. So, they live, generally speaking, more unhappy than people living in developing countries or from previous generation. It is time to start giving more attention to messages like yours. Thanks for sharing :-)!

  170. peter says

    I can’t afford to have kids because of student loans, and I don’t see a reasonable way around them at this point. I have a good, stable job and so does my wife, but i’m at a point where I feel like giving up on the dream of a family with kids.
    I only wish someone communicated to me at age 18 that I couldn’t trust that college was the best way to go. I wish someone had told me that even a Physics degree, a masters degree, high grades, and continuous professional practices with excellent performance reviews isn’t going to be enough in terms of earning potential to justify the ridiculous size of the loans incurred to make “middle class life” possible.
    It hurts when I hear about young people as an investment opportunity when investors expect large monetary returns. That is not what is meant when people say the youth are our best asset.

  171. zoe says

    Hi,

    I agree w/ everything here, except about the part about the use of credit card. Using credit cards is not inherently bad, it is the misuse of them that is. I use a credit card everywhere one is accepted. I never carry a balance and I do not have to worry about carrying around a lot of cash.

  172. says

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get
    three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you
    can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Hildegard, the next time you get a comment update via email, scroll down and click “unsubscribe”

  173. E says

    If I had enough, I would quit my job and travel more, learn many new instruments, crafts, and skills, and listen to and experience music more. I would spend more time with friends & loved ones, but that would require them to also have enough do they could work less.

    So dividing the number of songs I have by 7 would defeat the purpose.

  174. E says

    Oh and I would dance the music in awesome locations without fear and get my husband to take pictures.

  175. Rob says

    I was looking at setting up my own business a several years back & was reading all sorts of books about making money, becoming an entrepreneur, becoming rich etc. & what really stunned me, was that one book said that being rich was not down to having money, but down to the amount of time you had to do what you wanted to do. I’d never thought of it that way.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How do we combat the onslaught? Comment, write letters, protest, march on Madison Avenue? None of the above. STOP EATING WHAT THEY FEED YOU. Buy only what you truly need. Throw away your what you don’t need (or better yet donate it) and replace it with nothing. If you feel the need to buy something, exercise some restraint and think about it first. Realize that maybe you already have enough. [...]

  2. [...] How do we combat the onslaught? Comment, write letters, protest, march on Madison Avenue? None of the above. STOP EATING WHAT THEY FEED YOU. Buy only what you truly need. Throw away your what you don’t need (or better yet donate it) and replace it with nothing. If you feel the need to buy something, exercise some restraint and think about it first. Realize that maybe you already have enough. [...]