How to Be Broke and Happy

happy shoeshine guyI was going to write the second part of my two part series on confidence today, so apologies I haven’t done that and that will definitely be up next.

The truth is, I’d forgotten I was training Saturday and Sunday of this weekend and was short of time unless I wanted a disgruntled wife and a bunch of unhappy dobermans.

In one of those moments of serendipity I was sent guest post from Britt Reints that not only plugs the gap, but is probably better than mine would have been anyway.

I am currently reading Britt’s book ‘An Amateurs Guide To The Pursuit of Happiness’ and although I’m only a third of the way through it’s rather excellent.

I suggest you check it out because it’s better than 9 out of 10 books I get sent.

How to Be Broke and Happy

A lot of happiness experts like to talk about whether or not money can buy happiness.

Some say yes, absolutely, you can buy things or experiences that can make you happier.

Others say that no, people who make a million dollars a year aren’t necessarily any happier than people who make $100,000 a year.

I think that’s a really great debate to have… for people who aren’t broke.

The fact remains that a lot of people in this country – and in fact, around the world – don’t have the luxury of deciding whether or not money could buy them happiness.

They’re using their money to buy food and keep the lights on. So, the question for those people becomes: how the heck can you be happy even if you’re broke?

I’ve been broke and happy and broke and unhappy. I’ve also been financially flush and incredibly unhappy, and I’ve been financially flush and incredibly happy.

It is a hell of a lot easier to explore happiness when you’re not stressed out about money. It just is.

However, it is possible to be happier right now, whatever your financial situation is, even while you’re working on changing it. Here are 3 things you can do to be happy even if you’re broke.

1. Practice Gratitude.

Now, that might feel like a slap in the face when you’re broke, but stay with me for a minute, because I promise you this is not just about sucking it up and learning to be happy with your miserable existence. Not at all. Being grateful is not the same thing as being stuck.

So, start a gratitude practice. At the end of every day, spend a few minutes writing down what you’re grateful for.

Be honest. Don’t focus on what you think you should be grateful for and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t come up with a long list. That kind of gratitude will make you unhappy.

Instead, focus on whatever little thing you are genuinely grateful for right now.

Turning your attention towards what is already good in your life can ease the stress you feel about what you don’t have yet. Being less stressed, at least for a few minutes every day, will help you be happier.

Plus, researchers say that people who practice gratitude have an easier time advancing at school and at work – so being grateful for what you have now can help you get more.

2. Focus On Your Relationships

People need people. Rich people, poor people – everyone needs to have meaningful connections to other people. If you want to be happier right now, focus your time and attention on improving your relationships and connecting with the people who mean the most to you.

  • Call your mom
  • Have your best friend over for coffee
  • Turn the TV off at night and play a card game with your kids

You don’t have to spend a dime to connect with people. All you need is time. If you’re busy working two jobs to try to get ahead, you might feel like time is a luxury – and it is – so be sure to invest it where you’ll see the most rewards: on your relationships.

3.  Create An Atmosphere Of Growth

What the heck is an atmosphere of growth? Basically, that means setting your life up so that you are constantly coming across opportunities to grow, change, and learn.

What does that have to do with happiness? Your brain loves newness. It loves it when you shake things up and break the monotony of day-to-day life. The more you foster growth and change, the happier you’re likely to be.

Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create an atmosphere of growth.

Start by messing with your daily routine.

  • Take a new route to work.
  • Switch up your outfit or style your hair in a new way.
  • Make a small, silly change in the morning and you’ll give your brain a little jolt of happy vibes to start the day.

You can also take advantage of free activities in your community

  • Go to the library and checkout all the books about ancient Egypt.
  • Attend a free seminar about energy healing.
  • Take the free birdhouse-making class at the hardware store.
  • Walk your butt down to that neighborhood park you’ve been ignoring.

Set your mind to discovering new experiences and you will find them, regardless of your current income level.

Remember that being happy now does not mean that you are resigning yourself to stay in your current circumstances. You can work on setting and achieving goals while also enjoying what’s already good about your life.

And you should. Because you could die.

The reality is that any one of us could get hit by a truck tomorrow. You could never succeed in reaching your financial dreams simply because time ran out.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep working towards your goals – after all, you could live for another fifty years, and then you’d be mighty pissed that you gave up so soon.

But in the meantime, consider hedging your cosmic bets by learning to be happy right now.

Just in case.

Tims Note: If you are truly, truly broke and you would like a FREE copy of the ebook version of How To Be Rich and Happy, let me know and I’ll get it to you toot suite!


Britt Reints writes about how to be happier and offers weekly happiness challenges at In Pursuit of Happiness

Life Coaching Rates

I know it’s tricky for anybody broke to hire me. However, on September 1st it will be even trickier is my Life Coaching rates go up considerably.

So if you are half thinking about getting unstuck, now may be a great time to make that move.