Money Mentality

7 Things That Will Make Your Life Better (And Have Nothing to Do with Money)

A lot of money advice misses the point. Taking control of your finances is about front-loading the work and creating a sustainable financial path so you can focus on the things that actually matter: spending time with family, doing meaningful work and creating a life of joy.

Money has never been, and never will be, my goal.

Instead, money is my tool. It’s a tool that allows me to be generous with the people I love, take risks and save space in my brain for the things I care about.

Regardless of where you are on your financial journey, there are things you can do today that will make your life better. The best part? None of them have anything to do with money.

Your self-worth, self-care and health are more important than a number.

As you work to create a comfortable financial life, don’t neglect the other areas of your life in favor of money. The other areas are more important, I promise.

1. Make Your Bed in The Morning

I get it. The mornings are rushed and you have thousands of things to do. Lunches need to be made. Showers need to be had and it feels like there is absolutely no time. The good news is that making your bed takes approximately 30 seconds and will boost your mood (and productivity) for the rest of the day. You will feel better, your room will look better and your day will be better.

2. Go on a Walk

Get outside. You don’t need to be in great shape, own a sports bra or have the proper shoes. Walks require zero planning and can happen at any point in the day. Every day at 12PM, I hit a slump. Life feels horrible and I can’t get out of my own head. But once I get up and outside, my inner critic is silenced. I notice the palm trees that are drenched in sunlight and the hummingbird that stops for a quick break on a rose stem. I’m jolted back to the present moment and it’s a welcome escape from my own head.

3. Sleep

One of my friends claims that she only needs 6 hours of sleep a night and I’m convinced she’s a femme bot. Cause honestly, I need a minimum of eight in order to function at my highest capacity. Next time you’re tempted to skip sleep in favor of working an extra hour or binging on How to Get Away with Murder, resist the urge. Your body is the only one you have. You’ll feel better and work better. Win-win.

4. Clean Up Your Crap

You know all that crap you have piled on your dining room table? It’s stealing your joy. The pile of dirty clothes in your room is stealing it too. Set a timer for 30 minutes and clean one room in your house. Put every item back in its place, wipe the surfaces and scrub the floors. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Repeat every evening until your house is your sanctuary.

5. Drink Water—Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

We all know that we’re supposed to drink water. It’s the number one thing we’re taught in middle school health class. It seems trite and somewhat pointless.

Water is supposed to improve my life?


Drink all the water you can stomach. (Okay, maybe not all of it but try to drink 8-10 cups) Your skin will look better, your happiness will increase and you’ll be more productive. Put the coffee cup down and pick up the water bottle. You’ll thank me later.

6. Journal (Without the Hype)

Journals have become a multi-million dollar industry and you can buy a journal for pretty much anything. But the truth is that you don’t need a fancy journal or crazy prompts to reap the benefits of journaling. In fact, you’re better off without them.

Grab an old notebook or pad of paper and write. Yep, I’m talking about handwriting in an actual notebook. Don’t give yourself any prompts or instructions. Instead, write down your stream of consciousness, no matter how boring or mundane it may seem.

Here’s an actual excerpt from one of my journals:

“This is so boring and I don’t want to do this. There’s no point. My head hurts. Why did I go to sleep so late. Ugh, I do not want to go to work today. How do I cancel that subscription service? I can’t believe the weekend is already over.”

Keep writing. You will eventually tap into your inner wisdom. The job you hate that you report to every single day? Write about it. Dream of what you would rather do instead. Make a list of chores you need to do. It doesn’t matter what you write about it, just do it. It is the ultimate form of self-care because it provides you with a chance to be honest and heard. You’ll start your day feeling grounded and capable.

7. Call Your Mom

I might be kind of biased, but I’m pretty sure my mom is the best human in the world. She is the definition of unconditional love and no matter how crappy I feel, she’s there to listen, support and encourage. Maybe the “mom” person in your life is actually your dad, grandma, mentor or best friend. They are the person who always makes you feel better, even on your darkest days. Call them. Call to say hi, call to vent, call to check in, call to say ‘I love you.”

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  • Reply Fervent Finance April 28, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I do all of those things except #6. I’ve read more and more about how great it is, but haven’t actually taken any steps to start… maybe someday.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Attaining A Remote Work ArrangementMy Profile

  • Reply Alyssa Fischer April 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Just chugged my entire water bottle. Worth it.

  • Reply Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless May 1, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Omg, Taylor, I love that “make your bed” is the first item on the list! My life literally changed when I started making my bed every day. At this point it’s become a little bit of an obsession (I would rather make my bed and miss the bus than run out the door with my bed unmade and catch the bus), but I really believe that it makes a huge difference in my state of mind.

    The sleep one is something I’m working on…. :/
    Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless recently posted…The Longest Two Weeks in the WorldMy Profile

  • Reply Liz May 1, 2016 at 8:52 am

    AMEN to the cleaning up of crap. I instantly feel better when my home is tidy and fresh versus cluttered. Money isn’t everything. It’s the little things in life that count.

  • Reply Kara May 2, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I don’t make my bed, but it’s because I’m in and out of it a lot! I know I should write at my desk, but I love the neck support I can get with pillows. Great list of how to take the focus off money and onto other parts of your life!
    Kara recently posted…FIRE Advice for Noobs: The Resume GapMy Profile

  • Reply Judith@be May 18, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Hi Taylor,

    What a lovely way to make a life better without spending money. It seems to me that you are a great financial planner:) I think we can take both advantage by following above things such as financially and better personal life. So definitely it’s very much essential to follow. Thanks mate!

  • Reply ZJ Thorne June 11, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I’ve never been a bed maker, in part, because I am getting as many hours out of it as I can. I’d rather sleep longer than have the time to make a bed.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Net Worth Week 9 – Small Setbacks EditionMy Profile

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