The Frugal Mentality vs. Abundance Mindset

What is the recipe for becoming wealthy? It may be as simple as spending less than what we earn, or increasing our income.

That works, sure. But digging in a little further, there are a couple of different ideologies that many young people are flocking to help build wealth: Minimalist lifestyles, and abundance mindsets.

The minimalist lifestyle & abundance mindset

The minimalist lifestyle is all about making the most out of what you have. Not just buying stuff for the sake of buying it, in other words.

We live in a consumer-driven world, and often perceive the accumulation of tangible things as a sign of wealth. I recently watched a documentary on Netflix titled “The Minimalist: Less is Now,” and was intrigued by some of the messages conveyed. For example, one interviewee said that “there’s a feeling of freedom by not being tied to all the (tangible) things in your home.”

That resonated with me.

But who is ultimately deciding whether you really want or need something? You, or an algorithm? Wanting new things isn’t necessarily our choice anymore.

I have written down and saved a lot of quotes that have stuck with me through the years, but this one, in particular, falls in line here: “All that I have is all that I need.”

For me, this saying is a reminder that being envious of others is merely a passing feeling. If we truly need something, it’ll be increasingly obvious if you just wait a week, and if you can point to what aspect of your life it will be beneficial to, by all means, go out and get it.

As for the abundance mindset, soon after watching the documentary, I read about a young man who, one day, found himself a millionaire.

His advice? Have an “abundance mindset.” Yes, that’s very contradictory to the frugal lifestyle previously mentioned. However, people who have an abundance mindset are said to “believe their talents are not limited or finite.” The same can be said about most resources as well; these are your “don’t cry over spilled milk” folks.

His argument was that, if you want a nice car (like maybe a 2018 Mercedes AMG C43), you have to find as many ways as possible to increase your income to afford it. And by believing you were born with, or have acquired, the mental capacity to beef up your income, you will eventually own whatever it is you want.

My mindset

I think that both approaches have merit. We live in a world where there is so much stuff — but what does that stuff mean if we don’t value it after a few times of use?

Just look in some people’s garages, attics, or basements — they’re filled with stuff. The thrill was in actually attaining the stuff, but once they have it, it’s easily and quickly discarded. I believe this is because they have come to realize that the chase was more fulfilling than the results.

So, what about me? I’d say that I probably combine both the minimalist and abundance approaches to building wealth. Though, this is easier said than done.

To do so, you must conquer your mindset so you can achieve the goals we set, but also find peace with the outcome. Enjoy the chase, and the fruits of your labor, so to speak.

Less is more when we use what we have to the fullest. I personally have come to realize that adding more tangible things to your name doesn’t add value to your life; Only the perception of it.

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