How to Be Happy Without Money

9 Tips for How to Be Happy Without Money

Have you ever thought about how to be happy without money?

It’s a valid question, especially given the current state of the economy. 60% of Americans feel anxious when thinking about their financial situation.

The thought of money, or lack thereof, frequently leads to negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and stress. It can be difficult to be happy when you’re constantly worrying about money.

Fortunately, regardless of how much money you do or don’t have, it is possible to find happiness. It’s a matter of being happy with what you have.

True happiness is a habit that you need to work on each day. If you’re not happy without money, you won’t be happy with money!

Let’s discuss our top tips for how to be happy without money. First, we’ll answer the question, “Can you be happy without money?”

Can You Be Happy Without Money?

Well, yes and no.

Everyone is different, but everyone has basic needs that they need money to satisfy.

However, you don’t need money to enjoy the good things in your life.

Let’s look deeper at when it’s difficult to be happy without money and when you can be happy without it.

man looking at his reflection

No, You Can’t Always Be Happy Without Money

Money is essential for people to satisfy their basic needs in life. If these needs aren’t met, it’s not easy to find happiness in the moment.

Money troubles often leave us with anxiety, fear, and a craving for more money. This worry makes life difficult. Stress can take a toll on us mentally and physically.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we must satisfy certain needs before we can focus on others.

The first level of this hierarchy is basic physiological needs like air, water, food, and sleep. Once these needs are met, we can move on to safety needs like security and shelter. After that, we can focus on love and belonging, esteem, and finally, self-actualization.

So, if we don’t have money to meet our basic needs, it’s difficult to focus on anything else and be content.

How much money do we need to be happy? A 2018 study found that the ideal household income is $95,000 for life satisfaction and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being.

Of course, these numbers will be different for everyone. It depends on your situation, location, and lifestyle. However, it’s safe to say that without enough money to meet your basic needs, it’s difficult to be happy.

Yes, You Can Be Happy Without Money

While money is essential to meet our basic needs, it’s not everything. There are things money can’t buy, like family and friends.

We often overlook the simple things in life that can make us feel the happiness we long for, regardless of our financial situation.

woman with her arm around an elderly woman

Taking charge of your happiness will ultimately lead you to a happy life! It’s a matter of changing your perspective.

How to Be Happy Without Money: 9 Things to Try Today!

We’ve curated a list of 9 helpful tips on how to be happy without money. These tips can help you find happiness regardless of how much money you have in your bank account.

1. Exercise More

Exercise has been scientifically proven to help people feel happy.

You don’t need to spend money on gym memberships or equipment to get those endorphins pumping. All you need is the willingness to stick to your exercise schedule.

Exercising just a few times a week can help to improve your mood and mental health. And the benefits of working out go beyond happiness. Regular exercise can also help to improve sleep, increase energy levels, and reduce stress.

man walking his dog outside near a body of water

2. Get a Good Night’s Rest

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for overall health and happiness. Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night.

Sleep deprivation prevents your hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming and consolidating memories, from functioning correctly. Sleep deprivation also hinders your brain’s ability to recall happy memories and can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression.

When you get enough sleep, you’re more likely to have the energy and focus to take on whatever life throws your way. You’ll also be in a better mood and more easily remember happy moments from your past.

3. Cultivate Gratitude

When you cultivate gratitude, you’ll quickly learn how to be happy without money.

Realize that every moment and gift is worth appreciating. You can even be grateful for the negative experiences that have helped you grow into who you are today.

Use a gratitude journal to document everything you’re thankful for. If you spend just a few minutes every day reflecting upon and writing down what you’re grateful for, you’ll start to see how much good there is in your life—even when it seems like everything is going wrong.

A grateful heart puts everything in perspective and allows you to find happiness regardless of your circumstances.

woman with the palm of her hands together in gratitude

4. Take a Walk Outside

Can something as simple as going for a walk really help you to find happiness?

In short, yes! There is something about green spaces and fresh air that does wonders for the soul. Being near a body of water (even a lake or river) can also help reduce anxiety and improve your mood.

Walking outside is one of the best ways to clear your head, calm your mind, and center yourself. It’s also a great way to get some exercise (double win!). You can think about absolutely nothing and just enjoy the moment.

5. Bask in Sunshine

It’s no secret that sunshine makes people happy. Getting vitamin D from sunlight improves your mood. Vitamin D also boosts your immune system, which enables you to fight off illnesses.

So why not take advantage of the sun’s rays and get free vitamin D whenever possible? You can do this by having lunch outside, working in the garden, or enjoying the view from a sunlit window.

A little sun will give you a healthy glow inside and out. Just remember to wear sunscreen!

6. Spend Quality Time With Loved Ones

No matter how much money you have, you can always make time to keep in touch with the people who matter most in your life. Spending time with loved ones is a great way to boost your mood and feel happier—without spending a dime.

Catching up with an old friend, going on a family outing, or simply talking to someone you care about can help you feel connected and loved. These social interactions are crucial for maintaining your mental health and well-being.

You are the product of those you surround yourself with, so spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself and bring support, inspiration, and positive thoughts.

family standing around a kitchen counter full of food

7. Be Content With What You Have

One of the best ways to be happy without money is to be content with what you have. This doesn’t mean that you should never strive for more, but it does mean that you should appreciate what you have in the present moment.

If you can learn to find happiness in the things you already have, you’ll be less likely to seek happiness in material possessions.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy the occasional new purchase, but try focusing on experiences rather than things. Experiences provide everlasting memories, and fewer material possessions mean less to worry about and less clutter in your life.

It’s also important to remember that comparison is the thief of joy. If you compare your life to someone else’s, you’re almost guaranteed to feel unhappy. Everyone has different circumstances; what might appear perfect from the outside is often far from it.

So instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be. When you do this, you’ll find that happiness comes more easily.

8. Spread Kindness

Spread kindness every day. Why? Well, because it’s a gift that keeps on giving!

When you do something kind for someone else, it not only makes them feel good, but it also makes you feel good. It’s a win-win!

Plus, kindness is contagious. When you spread kindness, you inspire others to do the same. This can create a ripple effect of positivity and happiness that extends far beyond yourself.

So go out of your way to perform a random act of kindness for someone today. It could be as simple as holding the door open for a stranger, giving a compliment, or lending a listening ear. Or you could do something bigger, like volunteering for a worthy cause.

No matter what you do, always choosing kindness is a great way to be happy without spending money. It’ll grow your sense of self-worth because you’re making a difference. You can’t go wrong with being kind!

man offering help to a man in a wheelchair

9. Enjoy Quiet Times

In our fast-paced, always-on world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. When we’re constantly on the go, our stress chemicals are continually flowing. This can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression.

It’s essential to take time each day to relax and recharge. This can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, reading a book, or taking a relaxing bath.

By slowing down and enjoying life in the quiet moments, you’ll be able to find peace and happiness without money. These simple pleasures are often the most underrated but can significantly impact your well-being.

Final Thoughts

While it’s true that money can’t buy happiness, it’s also true that you don’t need a lot of money to achieve happiness. Many of the things that bring us the most joy cost very little money or no money at all.

Our top tips guide how you can be happy without money. The underlying themes are to take care of yourself and seek out experiences that create positive memories. Spend time with friends and loved ones, spread kindness, and enjoy the present moment. These experiences lead to a more meaningful life.

So, even if you don’t have much money, you can still find happiness. Seek out simple pleasures and be grateful, and you’ll be well on your way to a happy life.


For more actionable tips on how to become a happier you, check out the a little dose of happy blog!

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