How to Save Money by Adopting a Simpler Lifestyle

woman-977020_1920Being able to save money is essential if you want to improve your financial situation. Have money saved up allows you a certain type of freedom that can feel very satisfying. I realize it’s easy for me to tell you to save more money, but I thought it would be more beneficial to actually explain how to do it especially if you already feel like you don’t have much to go around.

Trust me when I say I’ve been there. The one strategy that I hold on to that has a 100% success rate (if your committed) is to simplify my lifestyle no matter what. Even though my income has been steadily increasing year after year, I still prioritize saving by simplifying my lifestyle and being frugal.

Sometimes I only have $50 left after I get paid and contribute a majority of my income to savings, debt payments, and necessities. Often times, it doesn’t phase me because I’m completely comfortable with being frugal and I have have the peace-of-mind knowing that if I ever did need money quickly for any reason, I’d have it in my savings account.

If you find yourself stressing about money, living paycheck to paycheck or feeling like you can’t meet your financial goals, I encourage you to simplify your lifestyle as well so you can have less needs and more money to save and put toward your priorities.

Trade in Your Stuff & Your Standards for a Simplistic Lifestyle with Less Stress

As humans (and Americans), I feel we stress ourselves out trying to give ourselves and our families more and more and the best of everything. Whether it’s department store clothes, flashy electronics and game systems, custom furniture, or second row concert tickets, trying to obtain all these even if it’s a long-term goal can leave anyone feeling super stressed as they try to manage this unnecessary burden.

I hate to seem like a judgmental person because that’s really not me, but I also don’t like to see anyone struggle for a lifestyle that may or may not bring them an authentic sense of happiness. To be on the safe side, stop letting societal pressures or your competitive nature get to you and simplify your mind, your home, and your finances.

Just because everyone is spending their money on flat screen televisions and Apple products, doesn’t mean you have to if you are afraid of going broke. I admit, it’s nice to have a limited number of quality personal possessions if you can afford them, but if you can’t, oh well.

I’m perfectly happy with our huge free T.V. we got from a friend that has over 100 pixels missing. If something happens to it or if it kicks the can one of these days, I’m not even stressing. I wasn’t always this way. But one day I asked myself why..What was the point of freaking out about being able to make my furniture payment years ago, when had no business financing furniture in the first place?

Yes, it’s hard to simplify your lifestyle at first and even delay your gratification when you think you want something but aren’t sure if it will really add value to your life in the long run, but once you start being honest with yourself and cutting expenses out of your life, you’ll realize that it’s not the end of the world and you don’t need to base your happiness and worth on how much money you spend and what you buy.

For Example, I Gave up Trying to Make Each Weekend Epic

Every Monday at my day job, my coworkers go around the office greeting each other and asking how each other’s weekend went. I’m one of the few hermits who doesn’t do this and I just sit at my desk and get right to work. I don’t do this because I’m antisocial or don’t want to share how my weekend went with my coworkers. I actually think they are just trying to be friendly and I like interacting with other people at work actually. However, I avoid the ‘weekend chat’ because the whole idea and tone of the conversation is staged like a competition.

Someone asks someone else how their weekend went with the intention of hearing some awesome story about the highlights of their past two days and all the cool expensive places they went and the fun things they did. Then they direct the question back to the person who originally asked to see what they have to say and if they did anything more exciting to really set the bar….because the weekend is all about spending up all the money you worked so hard for, right? Wrong.

Sure I’ve had some pretty epic weekends, but they don’t always involve me spending a ton of money because I cherish frugal entertainment. Sometimes free and cheap activities may interest you more when you’re on a budget and introduce you to some experiences you otherwise might now have tried. Plus, with my crazy schedule I also cherish the pretty boring weekends as well. Friendship, entertainment, long-lasting memories don’t require money but we’ve somehow have it engrained in our mind that it does.

You’ll Save More Once you Realize you Need Less Money than you Think

When I found out I only needed about $1600 to cover all my living expenses during regular months last year, I was ecstatic. But I realized people all over the world are simplifying and sometimes where you live plays a big role in having the ability to simplify.

I’ll never forget my visit to the Aran Islands a few years back which is a tiny group of Islands located right off the west coast of Galway, Ireland. I was studying abroad in Ireland at the time, and my group took a short ferry side over from Galway to one of the main islands.

The island was so small, there was no need for cars so most people biked to get around and with good reason too because the landscape is amazing. Most of the people on the island earn their living by creating handmade products for tourists or tending to the land. For entertainment, they do fun and cheap things like having get-togethers with neighbors and friends or going hiking or swimming. The Irish people also seemed very fond of literary pub crawls and related events, so I’m sure they took part in that as well.

It was very eye-opening to get out of my normal environment and see how other people lived and thrived by having a simpler lifestyle than that I was accustomed to.

Find Out How You Can Simplify Your Life

Feeling overwhelmed by all your expenses and responsibilities? Life is too short to be stressed out or uneasy all the time. Impulse purchases will only relieve you temporarily. The real way to improve your quality of life is to simplify it and stop buying stuff and spending money on things that don’t add value to your life. Simplifying your life can add to your overall level of happiness, and the money you can save is just a bonus.

I encourage you to comb through all of your expenses and mark off things you can cut or reduce, stop saying yes to every for overtime if it’s making you feel drained, get rid of excess clutter in your home, and even consider downsizing if it’s something that interests you.

How do you plan to simplify your life to save even more money and improve your overall wellbeing?

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