5 Simple Tips For a Wealthy Life – How to Live a Rich Life, Without Lots of Money

By in Mind and Money, Tips, Wealth | 28 comments

Wealth Tips Aren’t Always About Money

Do you regularly feel worried and stressed? Does depression visit more than you’d like to admit?

Do you envy those around you and think they have more than you do?

There’s a free solution to this modern day malaise. According to Andrew Weil, MD, author of SpontaneousHappiness, certain of modern life create disharmony and depression. Weil posits that we weren’t designed for a modern, sedentary, internet surfing, TV watching, processed food eating life. And this contemporary lifestyle causes higher levels of depression in industrialized nations. According to Weil, the hard working Amish, who live a life of simplicity experience more contentment than their “modern” neighbors.

Here are a few factors Dr. Weil believes contribute to modern day depression:

  • Inactivity
  • Lack of human contact
  • Excess processed food
  • Excessive distraction and stimuli

More Time in Nature Leads to Greater Wealth

Could your solution for wealth be found outside? Weil isn’t the first to posit the healthful results of time spent in nature. And isn’t feeling healthy and well, analogous to feeling wealthy?

Apparently, our disconnect from nature and physical labor, coupled with the processed modern diet is creating a spiritual and mental void. Not yet a “clinical” diagnosis, nature deficiency makes sense on an intuitive level. This condition struck me on a deep personal level. Not because I’m depressed, but because I spend a lot of time online and yet relish time in nature. A recent, a service project of apple picking for the hungry and a nature hike with my family reminded me of the joy of family and nature.

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Redefine Wealth

5 Actionable Tips for Living a Wealthy Life - It's More than Money 

Research finds and personal experience confirms that wealth in life goes way beyond money. A recent article admonished consumers for being consumed with financial excess and materialism at unaware of true worth. This got me thinking, what is the actual worth of my time with family or the plants I bought for our garden? Family time has no monetary price, yet time together bestows ultimate riches. In contrast, the joy that I’ll receive from a beautiful garden is also difficult to quantify.

Do not get me wrong, you need enough money to provide for basic needs and occasional splurges. But do not underestimate the importance of the following “contentment basics.” Free and readily available, incorporate these mood boosters into your life and become wealthier.

How to Create True Wealth and Live Richly Without a Big Bank Account

1. Be mindful in act and deed. Pay full attention to the task at hand. Enjoy the Zen of living. Mindfulness is a trendy way of stating, live in the now. When you’re doing the laundry, focus on the task at hand, not on your cousins new diamond ring. This simple behavior, of being present, calms the anxious mind.

Read; Go Beyond Keeping Up With the Jones’ – Change Your Perception, Change Your Net Worth

2. Keep your circadian rhythms in sync by getting sleep at night in a dark room and some bright sunlight during the day. We’re built to thrive in these conditions without which our mood and energy level suffers. If there’s not much light where you live, consider an artificial light. Sleep deficiency contributes to over-eating and negative thinking. 

3. Strive for balance. Take the time to enjoy nature. Moderate your phone and internet use. Working over-time doesn’t lead to more success or happiness. In fact, you’ll become less productive if you’re working too much! A recent WSJ.com article by Morten T. Hansen entitled, “The Key to Success? Doing Less” details how working additional hours, beyond a certain point is not helpful or healthful. 

 “The common practice we found among the highest-ranked performers in our study wasn’t at all what we expected. It wasn’t a better ability to organize or delegate. Instead, top performers mastered selectivity. Whenever they could, they carefully selected which priorities, tasks, meetings, customers, ideas or steps to undertake and which to let go. They then applied intense, targeted effort on those few priorities in order to excel.” ~WSJ.com

Bonus; Get Wealthy by Giving

4. Get off your butt and be active. Play with the kids, go for a walk, do some housework, go bowling or karaoke with friends. Think of early tribal cultures. Weil espouses that depression was not in their experience. A key depression treatment in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to take action. It’s remarkable how going on a hike or playing a round of mini putt slashes the blues. 

Round up all of the hikers on the mountain and ask yourself, are those with bigger bank accounts more fulfilled? Are they feeling happier or experiencing more joy on the hike?

Redefine wealth to include; health, satisfaction and joy. 

5. Give to others; it’s remarkable how helping someone out improves your well being. Think small, not big, even a smile or holding the door for someone can make you feel connected. The perfect antidote to feeling poor and sorry for yourself-serve others. Visit a homeless shelter, help out at your church or synagogue. Find your cause and contribute your time. You’ll be too busy to feel “poor”.  Understand that FIRE – financial independence, retire early isn’t the secret to happiness. 

Try a bit more natural living and a bit less synthetic.  Build your wealth in life and appreciate the free gifts at your disposal. Redirect your mind from “poor me” to “look at the great gifts I already have”. 

Tips for a Wealthy Life Takeaway

  • Make a commitment to spend time in nature this weekend.
  • Allow relaxation and fun to be a part of every week.
  • Stop measuring your worth by your bank account.
  • Keep a journal to record the wealth you already have. (It’s not all about the money!)

What are some of your tips for a wealthy life?

A version of this article was previously published (comments remain intact)



  1. It’s funny how we overlook the simplicity of the solution to a happy life. I realized recently, how activity can be defined by just not sitting down. I literally am standing and walking around my classrtoom for 5.5 hours aday. I get enough activity from that to replace my regular aerobic activity.


    November 16, 2011

  2. Like Krant related, we make things so complicated. We really can be happy without all of this complexity. I am actually working on mindfulness right now so I can be better at living in the moment and appreciating it.

    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter

    November 16, 2011

  3. “Inactivity, Lack of human contact, Excess processed food, Excessive distraction and stimuli” — oh no, Barb, you just described my life!!

    I get human contact in the evenings/weekends and I go to the gym (activity) 2-3 times a week. Looks like I need to be doing better than that.

    Paula @ Afford Anything

    November 16, 2011

  4. Barb, I am a firm believer in the “nature cure.” It’s just getting out into nature as often as possible to get rid of stress. Nature inspires and heals. There’s nothing like it.


    November 16, 2011

  5. @KRantcents-You hit the nail on the head. Movement is important…doesn’t have to be “exercise.”
    @Miss T-Me too! And good luck, mindfulness is peaceful (and harder than one would think).
    @Paula-Don’t tell anyone, I’m on the computer waaaay toooo much.
    @MAggie-Me too. I love to be in nature, I’m working on making our little garden in our condo a sanctuary.


    November 16, 2011

  6. Excellant post! I need to work on living in the moment. I’m a planner so I tend to spend most of my time thinking about my next activity or project – but some of my best memories are of times when I was ‘in the moment’.

    Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    November 17, 2011

  7. @Shawanda-So true. Think of the cubicles and florescent lighting… awful.
    @Marie-Me too. I always hav to draw myself back into the present.


    November 17, 2011

  8. Just working outside seems to help for me. Less distraction and I usually walk to wherever I’m going. I do miss taking the time for long bike rides, something I used to do years ago to work off some stress and clear my mind.

    JP @ Novel Investor

    November 17, 2011

  9. At JP, Agreed. I’m planting our tiny garden now and really enjoying it!


    November 17, 2011

  10. There’s nothing better than a lovely afternoon siesta after a long tennis match! It’s one of the best feelings that’s priceless!

    Financial Samurai

    November 18, 2011

  11. love this post! 🙂 i agree with Krantcents. for me being simple and contented with what we have will give us the result of Happiness which is the true meaning of a wealthy life. 🙂


    November 21, 2011

  12. FS-Napping is so underated… there’s nothing like it on a Saturday afternoon.
    @Kaz, Saves a lot of stress, being happy with your lot.


    November 24, 2011

  13. Thanks for this documentary.

    Jill Jackton

    January 31, 2012

  14. It may not exactly be nature but I do enjoy my walks to and from work. Just being outside is so much better than an office.

    Zee @ Work To Not Work

    July 15, 2014

    • @Zee-I think if it’s outside and it’s walking, it’s better than driving in a car! How nice to be able to walk to work.

      Barbara Friedberg

      July 15, 2014

  15. I try to practice being mindful, and it has really helped me manage things much more efficiently and happily. Its amazing how simply drawing yourself back into this moment can help keep things in perspective

    The Wallet Doctor

    July 16, 2014

    • @Wallet-Mindfulness may be one of the most difficult practices, yet the results are so satisfying. I’ve returned to Yoga practice and classes this past year, after a multi year hiatus, and it is my “crack”. I feel like I’m being transported to another (calmer) realm when I practice.


      July 19, 2014

  16. Really like this post. These are classic first world problems but they are problems nonetheless and can negatively affect people greatly. I always enjoy taking my son to the park rather than keeping him inside as he cries to watch some nursery rhyme on youtube. Just being outside for a few minutes every day can make a real difference.


    July 16, 2014

    • @Syed, As I watch the global news, in the Middle East, Russia, the Ukraine I realize how lucky we are in this country. Our problems here pale in comparison with so many others worldwide. I appreciate that reminder and understand how important it is to show our kids there’s more to life than the screen in front of us.


      July 19, 2014

  17. I know the more active I am, the happy I tend to be. As a result of this, I make it a point to get away from the computer every couple of hours and walk or do some other physical activity. It really lifts my mood and energy levels.

    Jon @ Money Smart Guides

    July 16, 2014

  18. Oh, I couldn’t agree more! There is so much more to life than money. And it’s funny…my sibling actually got an artificial light this year to help in the winters here with mood. Swears by it!


    July 17, 2014

  19. @Jon, Whenever I let up on the physical activity in my life, everything else falls apart. Yet, it’s so easy to get swallowed up by the big, seemingly infinite online world.
    @Femme-That artificial light; minor purchase with major payoff. I’m so aware that most of the joys in my life are free: being with friends and family, spending time outdoors, and doing creative projects.


    July 19, 2014

  20. Another excellent post Barbara! I have to agree that getting sleep in a dark room is essential for the body to recuperate and rejuvenate. I strive to get about 8-9 hours of sleep in a completely silent and blacked out room.

    • Hi Nick, I admit that I too am a “great” sleeper and hit the 9 hour mark most nights. If not, I’m not good for much.

      Barbara Friedberg

      July 23, 2014

    • Hi Nick, I admit that I too am a “great” sleeper and hit the 9 hour mark most nights. If not, I’m not good for much.

      Barbara Friedberg

      July 23, 2014

  21. I find that if I spend some time outdoors everyday, that the rest of my day is much more pleasant and things do not seem to bother me as much (house work, etc.) Nature seems to really put things into perspective.


    July 24, 2014

    • Hi Michelle, It’s so remarkable how simple it is to step outside and take a short walk. Yet, I tend to forget the power of nature and the outdoors on occasion. Thanks for sharing your experience. We all need to get away from the screen once in awhile.

      Barbara Friedberg

      July 24, 2014


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