Finding Joy in Materialistic Things (+ 30 Fun Things to Jazz Up your Everyday Life)

by - July 17, 2020


I'm loving how more and more people are looking after their mental wellbeing and are considering it as an important part of their wellness. Several things are going on currently, that more number of people are coming out to support each other and share their past to the public. And what's startling is that people are actually listening without any prejudice or judgment. 

As we grow older, we experience both good and bad situations and while a few bad experiences leave us quickly, a few create a hole in our hearts that seem incurable. No matter what you do, sometimes the past can haunt you from time to time. 

It's not a rule that only those with a traumatic past should have to have mental instability or stress/depression. I think it can happen to anyone without any trauma associated with it. 
It's just that the competition to thrive is so fierce, that we often are left behind with no other choice but to jump in the same boat everyone's sailing. From getting good grades in school to graduating, finding a job, finding a partner, etc., the demands that you put across (may or may not be as a reason of the society) take off pleasure and peace from you. 

And sometimes, achieving something (so may it be earning money to support your family or proving you're something to the world), can be so demanding, that the basic needs are ripped off  of you. 

Being working from home for more than two years, struggling to establish myself and maintaining stability while doing it, turned me into something I never was. (And I'm sure, due to the whole lockdown situation, a few of you might relate to this, especially if you've lost your  job/cannot find a job or have a financial crisis.) For two years, to save money from the peanuts I would receive then, I held myself from a lot of materialistic pleasures. I saved about 75% of whatever I received and would not even spend the remaining 25% with an open heart. 

But this time around, when I decided to take up a job, I made it clear to myself that saving money is fine (and this comes naturally to me), but what I must do for myself, especially after holding back for two years, is to find joy in materialistic things (which again, comes naturally to me).

I know, it sounds contrary to what most people like to say: don't find happiness in materialistic things. But when I thought about it, I felt that maybe, just maybe, buying those little things that are really going to bring a glow on my face and calm my inner demons, making me less worried, less stressed, and bring a smile on my face while having thoughts about how perfect everything is, maybe spending money on materialistic things might not be a bad idea after all. 

It has come after a long, long time, but what seems ahead is clear and bright. Saving money is a good idea but feeding your inner chaos a bait to silence down is equally important. 


HOW TO FIND JOY IN MATERIALISTIC THINGS?

The most important thing, which comes without saying, is having an income source. If you're going to rely on your parents or partner to give you money, then this isn't going to work well. The kind of joy you'll experience after splurging your own hard-earned money shall be different than the joy you would experience after taking it from someone else. (If you're a student, you can take up part-time jobs or internships that pay a stipend.)

Next, start your savings. Now depending on your financial situation and your earnings, the Saving to Splurge ratio would vary. No matter your earnings, always have a fixed ratio for every month. I suggest deciding the Savings quotient first and then going for other quotients. For example, if your monthly takeaway salary is Rs 20,000, first decide how much would you save out of it. Let's assume, you don't have financial responsibilities or liabilities at the moment. Let's assume you take public transport daily to reach to office. Since Rs 20,000 is not a huge amount, we cannot divide our salary in a 50-50 ratio. Instead, let's keep it 75-25. 

So out of your Rs 20,000 monthly salary, you save about Rs 15,000 every month and spend Rs 5,000. However, since you're under stress, you deserve to spoil yourself once a while, so we are going to amend our ratio a bit. Instead of saving Rs 15,000, we're going to save Rs 12,500 every month and splurge the remaining Rs 7,500. 

This way, you save up a fixed percentage every month yet have money for your expenses and some pampering every 30 days. However, let's get one thing straight: you're not touching your savings for impulsive buys, no matter what. You can certainly use the savings for extreme emergencies (just like I'd spent all my savings on my 40-day solo trip around India). 


IN WHAT KIND OF MATERIALISTIC THINGS CAN YOU FIND JOY?

It's subjective, we all know, but I would still like to elaborate this point.

Think hard, what fun element is missing in your daily life? Let's take an example of a regular office goer, a 10-7 kind of a person, who travels by train/bus/cab for work. What are those things that would make his/her mundane lifestyle fun? 

Let's start from the time he/she wakes up to the time he/she sleeps. Here is a list of materialistic things that you can consider –

  1. An appetising breakfast (millennials love cereals, English breakfasts, oats, muesli, sunny-side-ups)
  2. A fancy set of bowl, plate, mugs/cups
  3. Your favourite beverage (juice, green tea, other special teas, coffee)
  4. A fresh space to have your morning tea or breakfast
  5. Plants (lots of them) 
  6. A fragrant soap/body wash
  7. A good quality shampoo
  8. Clothes that you love
  9. Staple makeup items (eyeliner, mascara, kohl, lipstick, foundation)
  10. Accessories that really stand out (a classic watch, a necklace, good shoes, etc.) 
  11. A nice signature perfume to set your mood
  12. Salon-treated hair or beard (good hair = good day)
  13. Pastel nails (often work best!)
  14. A functional yet stylish bag (ladies, you get many totes with laptop compartments, so look  out for those!)
  15. A face mask that you wouldn't mind wearing, thanks to Covid-19 (I personally love light blue coloured masks)
  16. Good quality earphones for Netflix on the go
  17. An OTT subscription 
  18. A cheeky pair of glasses
  19. A cute mug on your office desk (for green tea/coffee)
  20. A box of your favourite beverage at the office
  21. Fancy stationery such as notebooks, sticky notes, etc
  22. Good quality pen (consider Uniball, Luxor)
  23. A small indoor plant for your desk
  24. Other knickknacks for your desk (whatever that would help you sit for more than eight hours at one place!)
  25. Decent looking lunch boxes and water bottle 
  26. A fragrant hand sanitiser (this being the latest addition to the list haha)
  27. Healthy snacks such as fruits
  28. According to the season, a nice pair of sunglasses/umbrella/coat)
  29. A mild face wash/cleanser (to take off the dirt from the entire day)
  30. Nice pair of PJs to sleep in
  31. Comfortable sheets, pillow covers, blanket 


And again, what makes you happy is subjective. A few might discard this idea but from my personal experience, I've started feeling much better about myself and my life as I'm not only saving up but also splurging and finding joy in little things.

Whether you find joy in materialistic things is not a question; the real question is, realising after doing what you find joy...and then simply, doing it. 

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think you can find joy in simple yet materialistic things? Let me know!

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2 comments

  1. I completely agree with you. One cannot avoid material things 100%. I also liked your statement that there is a difference between splurging our own money and the money that we get from others.

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