Talking about quality over quantity immediately makes me think about this one friend of mine; pretty good guy, but absolutely TERRIBLE with his money. Well, at least according to my standards. He’s a fancy executive type that makes a lot of money, you can probably tell because of all the things he has. But you know what? He’s also always in debt.
To prove my point, when he got a promotion, he went and bought a bigger house! Typical example of what a lot of people who aren’t too savvy with their money do. I get it, the temptation that comes with finally being able to “afford” the things you’ve always wanted can be hard to ignore, but it shouldn’t always be about the material things.
Earning money is about making your life better, I agree; but personally, I chose to use it to buy back my time, which I now spend with my kids. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, but hear me out. You’ll ALWAYS feel like you’re in need of a new gadget, furniture or car, and then end up with a house full of clutter and you’ll find yourself in debt.
The way I see it, using your money for quality things – like affording to go on vacation slap bang in the middle of the year or spending more time with family – is the ultimate goal! That’s when I feel like I’ve actually put my money to good use.
What does quality over quantity mean?
It’s a pretty self-explanatory phrase, but a lot of people act like they don’t know what it means. You know, a bit like when you bump into an ex at the grocery store and avoid eye contact so you don’t have to face the situation? Yeah, something like that.
Simply put, quality over quantity means prioritizing better or important things over more things. This can be in the case of material things over purposeful living, or even your friendship circle – having 3 quality friends over 15 half-baked, barely-there friends.
How do you live a quality over quantity life?
This really just boils down to having clear goals and choosing them above all the other stuff. In a financial sense, if you know that you want to retire early so that you can have more flexibility and time to yourself, you won’t buy all the latest gadgets the minute they hit the market (not that my exec friend can relate to this). Instead, you’ll invest your money.
Why is it important to focus on quality over quantity?
Having a lot of things can be quite nice, especially money, but only to a certain level. You could work yourself to the bone to have more money, but more income will only make you happier up to about $75K – and then it doesn’t.
You see, quality over quantity living means choosing a life that has more purpose and meaning. This doesn’t always come from having the most material things. Someone will always have more than you but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re living a quality life.
There are many other reasons to focus on a quality over quantity life, but the one that speaks to me the most is simplicity and living an intentional life. Now I totally get why minimalism has become such a trend; you’re not constantly chasing things or trying to look cool.
You’re not trying to keep up with the Joneses or competing with your colleague about who’s got the coolest car. Living a quality over quantity life is important because it opens your life up to what really matters and encourages you to use your resources efficiently, whatever they may be.
How to pursue quality over quantity
By now, I’m sure you’ve started calling me the “you need to set goals guy,” but I’ll take it. That’s literally the best starting point for even attempting to achieve anything in life, including your pursuit of a quality over quantity life. After setting those goals, you need to have some sort of mission statement or plan to help you achieve them.
It’s very easy to get distracted if you’re not constantly tracking progress or making daily changes to help you get to your ultimate goal. As in almost any other pursuit in your life, it’s always great to have people that matter and care about you, so keeping those important relationships is also vital while working towards a quality over quantity life.
I like to think of them as my accountability partners and part-time cheerleaders because they push me when the going gets tough and they only have good intentions for me. So, I reckon I can trust them with my goals and dreams.
15 examples: Ways to choose quality over quantity
1 – Spend less on material things
Most people’s understanding of a quality over quantity life is closely tied to possessions, with the quantity being in relation to material things. So let’s look at it from that angle and go back to my exec friend who buys anything and everything. He’s quite clearly an example of how not to go about pursuing a quality over quantity life.
Not only does he spend on things he doesn’t really need, but he’s racked up a whole lot of debt in the process. There’ll always be something new and exciting that you want to buy, but those things will probably do very little to help you live a fulfilling and meaningful life, so spend wisely.
2 – Don’t read meaningless fluff
There are very few things that I hate as much as 200 pages of nothing. Let’s be honest, that’s what some books are, meaningless fluff. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say that all self-help books or financial guides are meaningless, but you need to be able to differentiate between fluff and what will actually push you towards your goals.
I read a lot, because that’s one of the obvious ways to upskill yourself and grow as a person, but I’m very intentional about what I read, and so should you.
3 – Choose your relationships carefully
This applies to romantic relationships, family and friends, colleagues… basically, all your acquaintances. Living a quality over quantity life also means only letting quality people in. Whoever coined the phrase “your network determines your net worth” wasn’t lying. You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.
The last thing you want to do is be the average of a room full of zeros.
4 – Pay attention to all aspects of your life
Finances triumph over many other aspects of life for a lot of people, so that’s why there’s so much focus on it. In reality though, you need to balance things out in order to live a quality over quantity life. What do I mean by this? If you spend your life working yourself to death to make a lot of money, that doesn’t sound like a very exciting life.
If you’re not taking time out for more meaningful things, you’ll eventually just lose interest in your life and not find it very exciting. Yikes!
So, your goal should be to strike a balance. Pay attention to all your other needs, social, physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological… whatever they may be.
5 – Declutter
Decluttering is awesome and I love Marie Kondo. She’s a saint <3
I’m really not sure what life would be like without all her tips, we’d all just be living in untidy houses full of nonsense I guess. She is the epitome of a quality over quantity life – when it comes to decluttering that is. The basis of the KonMari Method is that you should only keep items that “spark joy.”
Sometimes useless items can start to feel like dead weight and actually just lead to a very unpleasant house and overall living experience.
6 – Include experiences and memories in your budget
In my pursuit of a quality over quantity life, I decided to buy my time back so that I could do things that I find more fulfilling. Now, I get to take regular trips with my family, help my kids with their homework, and I’m not always tired and miserable. I’m actually (dare I say) a pretty cool dad now.
The quality of your life has a direct impact on all your other relationships. Now that I’m able to be there on some of my kids’ important days and I can actually be a present dad, life is going quite well. Setting aside money to create memories is one the most important things you can do for your finances while pursuing a quality over quantity life.
7 – Decide what’s really important to you
This ties in quite closely with your goals, you need to be able to look at something and decide whether it’s worth compromising the quality of your life. I also think that the older you get, the more likely you are to find importance in non-materialistic things. If you happen to reach this point a lot earlier in your life, even better!
8 – Use your time wisely
Okay, I’m quite big on this. I value my time and prefer to use it wisely and on things that provide some sort of meaningful value. This doesn’t always have to be in financial terms, if I can avoid cleaning the house and rather use that time to attend a financial webinar, sign me up!
9 – Practice gratitude
Another important thing to do when pursuing a quality over quantity life is to be mindful and grateful for what you already have. Gratitude gives you a sense of peace and appreciation, and it just makes you stop being so greedy and always wanting more. You learn to live in the moment and see things through a different perspective.
10 – Buy quality items that will last for years
This one is definitely geared more towards your finances. If you buy cheap things, expect to have to replace them every other month. Do yourself a favor and buy QUALITY items that will last for years. Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it’s also a lot easier on your pocket because you’re not paying for the same thing multiple times a year.
11 – Less spending, more investing
Nothing gives me more peace when I sleep at night than knowing that my money is hard at work and earning interest for me. Financially, I’d say that’s the ultimate goal of a quality over quantity life. More spending doesn’t always equate to happiness or meaning, so what’s the point? Just pick a viable investment option instead.
12 – Try minimalism
Life can feel a bit chaotic and noisy sometimes, which is why embracing simplicity and minimalism could lead you on the path to a more fulfilling quality over quantity life. Getting rid of non-necessities, cleaning your space and eating cleaner are great ways of adopting a more minimalist lifestyle, ultimately leading to quality living.
13 – Allocate your resources more efficiently
This applies to your time, money, mental ability, your employees, a whole lot of things. When you use everything at your disposal efficiently, your life will start to run like a well-oiled machine. You’ll find fulfillment in things running smoothly and functioning optimally. A quality over quantity life requires you to be intentional and present in the moment.
14 – Relax and recharge
A quality over quantity life needs you to be on top of your game, so you can’t be running on empty. In order to truly appreciate and enjoy what life has to offer, you need to recharge. Take a walk, engage with nature, GET ENOUGH SLEEP, or go to a spa. Do something that will re-energize you and get you ready to tackle life again.
15 – Get comfortable with saying “no”
By learning to say “no” to things that don’t align with your goals, you’ll be able to say “yes” to what really matters. There’ll always be people who criticize what you do or how you do it, so save yourself the trouble and do what feels right for you. A quality life is all about how you feel inside and whether you find fulfillment in the things you do and the life you live.
Why you should try to live a quality over quantity life
I hope I’ve painted a clearer picture for you on why you should try to live a quality over quantity life, not that I’m trying to convert you or anything weird like that. Sometimes, you don’t realize what you’re missing out on until someone spells it out for you, and then you can decide for yourself.
All I’m saying is, don’t fall for the consumerism trap! Focus on more meaningful stuff, like helping your kids with homework and only having things that you need and actually use in your house. The way I see it, it’s one way to unlock a happier life for you and your loved ones.