Personal Finance, Family and Career

Simplify your Life

There has been a lot of buzz lately about living simple.

We have blogs about uncluttering and minimalism.

We have books about simplicity.

We have radio shows about the simple living

I think we can all agree that there is a good cause for it. Life is much much happier when we can focus on things we really love.

What’s that? You don’t agree? Don’t worry. That’s normal. Millions of people haven’t seen the light.

Consumerism is a growing problem in the world today – people buying houses they can’t afford, getting into debt by spending more than they earn, living a lifestyle they can’t afford.

Advertising

We are being bombarded everyday with tons of advertising materials on television, internet, radio, magazines and newspapers. Advertisers are using all necessary means to get our attention. In fact, Media Dynamics, a New York-based firm, estimates
that the time devoted to advertising has increased 25% since the 1970’s. We are now being exposed to 254 different commercials a day[1]. And you know what? It is working.

Simplification, on the other hand, solves consumerism. When simplifying, we don’t mean living a dull and boring life. When simplifying, we reduce everything to the point that we have enough. Enough, to live a wonderful and comfortable life.

Enough

Enough is the goal of simplification.

Enough for survival.
Enough for comforts.

Not enough for clutter.
Not enough for unnecessary wants.

People go through life not knowing what enough is. It is very common in today’s world and the whole idea of simplifying is unnerving. Here are a few things you can do right now to simplify your life.

  • Turn off the television. Let’s face it. There aren’t a lot of good television shows lately. Turn it off
  • Live in a smaller house.Besides, a big house is a lot more expensive and harder to maintain.
  • Cut your own hair. This is entirely up to you. I want my hair short and cut my hair with clippers.
  • Use a simple blade shaver. Dropping the mach5 for simple shaver reduced expenses by 1000%
  • Walk. When you’re going to somewhere near, forget the car. Walk. It’s free exercise.
  • Buy clothes you can mix and match. You don’t need a lot of clothes. Mix and match and you’ll have an endless wardrobe.
  • Have a simple budget. I recommend Tyagi’s Balanced Money Formula.
  • Use the ATM or online banking. If you can do everything without physically going to the bank, do it. I do all my payments except PAG-IBIG mortgage payments through the ATM. I set a date to pay all bills and pay everything on the same day every month.
  • Consume less media. You have a fighting chance against advertising if you watch less television, read fewer magazines and browse fewer websites.
  • Stay away from the mall. When you go to the mall, you will spend money. According to Carlyn Wesson, author of Women Who Shop Too Much, 53 percent of groceries are spur of the moment[2]
  • Create a shopping list. Some may argue that they need to go to the mall or grocery. In this case, create a grocery list and stick to it. Don’t get anything that’s not in the list.

Is living simply for you? Here a few resources that will help you on the road to simplicity.

1 The Tipping Point p. 98
2 Your Money or Your Life p. 171

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