Most people wish to have more money. We wonder how to be happy if we are poor or don’t have enough money.

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

Marcus Aurelius

It can be stressful to make ends meet and to constantly worry about money.

In addition, it is not always easy to keep a positive attitude when our standard of living was higher, and all of a sudden due to a recession, pandemic, or unforeseeable circumstance we have less money than before.

Can We Be Happy Even If We Are Poor?

Being poor means lacking something such as money or a good to support ourselves.

However, being poor means something different to each of us depending on our previous experience, expectations, and how much money people around us have.

In addition, if we compare ourselves with people who have less than we do, we feel more abundant.

Many currently rich and famous people had periods of struggling to make ends meet.

Some examples are J.K. Rowling, who was a single mother living on government handouts when she started writing Harry Potter.

Oprah Winfrey was homeless and broke before becoming a TV personality.

Jennifer Lopez was homeless before becoming a musician and actress.

Feeling happy will depend more on what we think about our situation than on the circumstances themselves.

15 Tips to be Happy if You are Poor

1 – Appreciate Everything You Have

Look around you for every little thing you can be grateful for in your life. The main secret to happiness is to appreciate what we have.

Here are some examples:





-Money, even if it is not as much as we would like




-Kindness from others

-Problem-solving skills

Focus on all the positive things around you. Even if you don’t have much money, you may be rich in your own way.

On the other hand, if we focus on what we don’t have, we will feel unhappy regardless of how much money or possessions we have.

Here are more Tips on How Being Grateful will Make You Happy.

2 – Our Current Circumstances are Temporary

No matter how bad our life is right now, we will find a way to improve it.

For example, you will find a job or a better job, soon. You may come up with a good idea to make money, your business will take off, or the economy will change.

Something good will come out of these difficult circumstances. Keep focusing on the life you would like to live and how you can make it happen.

Visualization is a powerful tool to look beyond our current situation. Think about your next step. What do you need to do next? What does that look like?

Here you can find out How Visualization Can Make You Happy.

3 – Practice Self-Care

Look for ways to take good care of yourself.

Moreover, if we are in good health, we will feel more optimistic and in a better mood.

Strive to eat healthy food, get enough sleep, exercise, and be kind to yourself.

4 – Believe in Yourself

What do you see and feel when you look at yourself in the mirror?

Make sure you look the best you can. Wash your face, comb your hair, and wear neat clothes even if you stay at home.

In addition, looking neat will send a message to our brain saying that we can take the next step and accomplish the task at hand.

Building self-confidence will help you develop a “Yes, I can” attitude that will help you take action toward the life you want to live.

Find Out How to Build Self-Confidence.

5 – Look for Inspiration in Books

Visit the library or look for free/inexpensive books that will inspire you such as biographies of people you admire or self-help books.

It is always interesting to learn how others overcame obstacles or difficult situations.

As a result, you will feel more optimistic about your own situation and get new ideas to improve your life.

You may want to read Turn Your Happiness On.

In this book, I share powerful scientifically proven strategies to improve your life.

You will find a step-by-step guide to build your self-esteem and confidence.

Once you are able to focus on all your strengths and accomplishments, you’ll be able to develop a system to create a fulfilling and happy life.

Turn Your Happiness On

6 – Help Others

One of the many ways to be happy if you are poor is by giving back to the community.

You may wonder, how you are supposed to help others if you don’t have enough money?

You may donate your time to help people in need.

This will make you feel good because even if you are poor, there is always something we can do to help others.

It may be just listening to their concerns, reading to elderly people, or participating in volunteer activities.

This will help you see your own life from a different point of view while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment and well-being from helping others.

7 – Do Fun Activities

Make a list of things you like to do that are free or cost very little money.

Most communities have plenty of free activities at the local library, community centers, and around town. Check out the local newspaper or the city website.

Going for a walk, hike, picnic, or camping are inexpensive activities that will put you in closer contact with yourself and your loved ones, therefore boosting your feelings of happiness.

8 – Repeat Positive Statements

The thoughts and words we repeat the most become our thinking pattern and behavior. 

Many times we just criticize ourselves or only see what we are doing wrong.

We can feel happier if we purposefully look for and repeat positive statements to ourselves. To be happy if you are poor, some helpful affirmations are:

  • I know how to budget money
  • More money is coming my way
  • I save money every day

These affirmations may feel unrealistic in the beginning but the more you repeat them to yourself, the more your behavior will reflect these statements. 

Here are more Tips on How Affirmations Can Make You Happy.

9 – Associate with Like Minded People

The reason most poor people are depressed is that they compare themselves with others who have more money.

By doing so, we may end up focusing on everything we do not have and therefore feel unhappy.

On the other hand, spending time with like-minded people who are in similar circumstances that we are will help us learn from each other and celebrate our victories.

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

10 – Set Realistic Goals

Set daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals.

Make sure your goals are measurable and realistic. 

Ask yourself what am I going to do to achieve these goals? 

Keep track of the steps that you are making towards your goals.

Further, you can do this by writing down the goals that you want to achieve, how you plan to get there, and the things that you have already achieved so far.

This will help you keep motivated to do even better because without feeling success, you might give up on your aspirations when things get tough.

Here are more tips on How Working on Your Goals will Make You Happy.

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.


11 – Budget, Save, and Splurge

In order to feel better about money, it’s important to have the feeling that you already have money.

Many people feel poor because they overspend. Regardless of how much money we make it seems there is always more and more to buy.

Keep track of how much money you earn and how much money you spend to make sure you can put away some cash in case of an emergency.

Include a goal to save some money every month, even if it only is a couple of dollars, over time it will grow and you will feel better about money.

At the same time, put aside some money to splurge on something that makes you feel good such as special food, drink, or activity.

12 – Stay Active

Schedule some time for physical activity in your day. You may go for a run, exercise along with a YouTube video, or walk the dog. 

Including daily physical activity will help your body produce endorphins and you will feel more positive about yourself and your circumstances.

Here are more Tips on How Exercise Can Make You Happy.

13 – Meditate

Spend some time every day focusing on positive images or focusing on your breath. 

Sometimes we keep worrying about how to make ends meet or how to make more money and the result is more feelings of anxiety.

Meditation is something we can do daily and it does not cost any money. Just sit in a quiet place and focus on your breath.

Here are more Tips on How Meditation Can Make You Happy.

14 – Journal

Writing down your ideas, thoughts, and goals will help you trace a clear path toward the life you want to live.

You can use any notebook and write down your thoughts, ideas, plans, goals, and how to achieve them.

Moreover, writing down your thoughts will give you more creative ideas to be happy if you are poor.

Here are more Tips on How Journaling Can Make You Happy.

15 – Prioritize

Think about what actions to take first?

What are some areas where you could save more money? 

Would preparing your own meals be helpful?

Are walking, riding a bike, using public transportation, or carpooling good options?

It is easy to spend a lot of money on things we don’t need but when we don’t have enough money for everything we want, we have to prioritize and decide what we will buy next.

What are your priorities? Do you care more about a new car or spending more time with your kids? 

Research has shown that after our needs are met, money will not bring more happiness.

Use these easy tips to feel happy even if you are poor.

What strategies do you use to be happy without spending a lot of money? Let me know in the comments below.

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