How to Stop Worrying About Money and Be Happy

In his new book “Saved,” Ben Hewitt explores how to achieve happiness living with less money.

Tips and tricks for creating a happier, healthier, more-balanced you.

Tips and tricks for creating a happier, healthier, more-balanced you.

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What are some of the other tenets you explore in the book?

One of the things I'm really interested in is the extent to which money is entwined in our relationships, both to one another and also to the natural world. One of the things that happens when you are less reliant on money is that you come to a place where you're kind of forced to enter into a relationship with whatever the buyer of your needs is. Let's say I'm working on our house, and I need a table saw. If I don't rush out and buy that, then I put myself in a place of having to go to a neighbor and borrow it. I'm putting myself in a place of being in a relationship with that person.

Not that long ago in this country, there was a much greater sense of neighbor relying on neighbor. It used to be that your neighbors looked out for your kids, and now even that has been monetized. So many of the things that used to fall under the purview of communities and people have now been taken up by industry.

[See: How to Improve Your Finances at Every Age.]

What do you think contributes to that?

We have a money system in an economy that is very dependent on growth. Part of that is simply because money is expected to be self-propagating and interest-bearing so it has to keep growing. Industry is always looking for new avenues to monetize, whether it's food, water, transportation. It's happening right now with social media. If you look at what's going on with companies collecting data, they're basically using most of these social media outlets as data mining services in order to try to sell stuff back to us. So in a way, it's sort of the monetization of our relationships.