New York, NY (PRWEB) November 16, 2004
In our material world, it often seems that money really is more important now than when our grandparents were young. But there's a more important question here: What do you value most? For most of us, the answer is not houses or cars or stock portfolios, but our loved ones, our health and our peace of mind.
We can see this from the results of a recent poll conducted by the Center for a New American Dream, which found that a whopping 93 percent of respondents believe that too many Americans are focused on working and making money and not enough on family and community.
We certainly found agreement on this topic in the Armchair Millionaire community. Here are comments from several members:
"We are not on the right track in our approach to money because we've lost focus. Rather than viewing money as a tool (which it is,) we view money as measurement of self-worth (which it is not) and max out the credit cards until we're drowning in red ink and pointless possessions." --Don B.
"As a society, we've moved too far away from the value of time and of 'goods' in relation to money. We should value our time with family and friends way more than we currently do, and we should value our goods more--take care of them, fix them, clean them, patch them, mend them. We have become far too much of a disposable society." --RandyVT
"My grandmother's generation was happy with less Â much less. I think that our current approach to money is obsessive and gets in the way of living. We need to evaluate the definition of 'comfortable.'"
The old clichÃ© endures for a reason: Money really can't buy happiness. But in our consumer-oriented society, you do have to untangle money from happiness. My checklist will help you do just that.
The Armchair Millionaire's Checklist for a Higher Quality of Life on Less Money
Take back your time. If your employer is like most, it will take every single minute that you let it. Set a time to leave every day and stick with it. Refuse to work weekends. Turn down projects you don't have time to do. Even better, cut back on your hours all together. You'll earn less, but have more of what counts: time to live your life. And if you don't have an employer who believes that happy, healthy employees are the most productive, find one who does.
Shift your focus. What do we really need to survive? We need food (but not meals out every day), shelter (but not a starter mansion), clothing (but not designer labels) and transportation (but not the latest SUV). Most of us can have what we really need in life for a lot less than we are currently spending. By shifting your focus from material goods to the things that truly make life worthwhile--family, friends and community--you may find that you are richer than you ever believed.
Regain your balance. Spend real time with your kids. Re-acquaint yourself with your social network. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Explore new places--done right, travel doesn't have to be expensive. Take time to nurture what's most important to you, whether that's your health and fitness, your spirituality, or a hobby.
THE BOTTOM LINE: More money doesnÂt necessarily translate into a higher quality of life. The life you lead has more to do with your priorities and choices than the size of your paycheck. For many of us, having the life we want might actually mean earning--and spending--less.
THE ARMCHAIR MILLIONAIRE WEEKLY SURVEY: How should you prepare for a job or career change? Log on to http://www.armchairmillionaire.com and let us know.
Lewis Schiff founded the Armchair Millionaire Web site in 1997. His first book, The Armchair Millionaire, was published in 2001. Schiff's newest report, "How to Know When You Are Rich," is now available at http://www.armchairmillionaire.com.
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