7 Essential Simple Living Tips

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Are you as overwhelmed as I often am??
We live in a world that has a ton of gizmos and gear designed to help us live a better life. Sometimes all of this stuff really does make life easier, but often just the opposite happens.
Instead of feeling better, our lives are worse.

So many of us dream of a simpler life! We want to resist the temptation to own so many things and bring minimalism to our lives.

Ready for some encouragement today? Simple living isn’t as hard as you might think. Reduce stress and save money with these seven easy simple living tips. Get started on the path to a happier and more fulfilling life today.

7 Essential Simple Living Tips

1. Get a basic cellphone

This might sound a little crazy, but you really can survive without the latest-and-greatest smartphone. Don’t struggle to spend a lot of money on the newest phone.

Furthermore, you might even want to try a cell phone that allows you to only make and receive calls, especially during emergencies. These basic phones have a longer battery life (for reals, remember how those old candy bar Nokias lasted for a whole week between charges??) and are cheaper than a new smartphone.

Even if you don’t go all out and get a “dumb phone”, look for a model that is at least a year or two old. I’m admittedly a huge fan of Apple. They support their phones for several years, so even an older phone can usually run a new operating system.

It should go without saying, but whatever you do, pay cash for your phone. Financing a smartphone is one of the least smart things you can do.

More resources:

  • Compare Cell Phone Providers & More – Get the best deal on cell phones and more
  • Save Big Bucks With a Refurbished Cell Phone – It’s ridiculous how much you can save by being a little more choosy about where you buy your next mobile phone.
  • Smartphone Apps that Help You Save Money – If you DO choose to use a smartphone, here are some ways to save extra pocket money

2. Get rid of the cable

Many families spend over $100 in cable TV subscriptions to watch over 600 channels. Out of all these channels, they only manage to watch 10 or 15 in a month.

Honestly, that is not cost-efficient living.

Cut the cable cord and watch free stations. There are many different ways to get free or nearly-free TV. You can even be truly counter-cultural and turn off the TV.

More resources:

  • 3 Ways to Save Money this Month – Cutting the TV cord is just one of the ways that you can easily save money in a jiffy.
  • Feeling hectic? – Another great reason to reduce TV time for your family.
  • Get a 30 day free trial to Amazon Prime. For one low price, this service includes:
    • Faster Amazon shipping (2-day for those of you who live outside of Alaska)
    • Access to THOUSANDS of movies and TV shows
    • Two-million songs for streaming on Amazon Music
    • Free books, magazines, and games
    • Free unlimited photo storage

3. Get rid of things that you don’t need

Out of all these simple living tips, this one is my favorite!

Get rid of all that stuff that you can do without. Do you really need a gym membership to stay fit? No? Then dump it. You can always take up the habit of walking or running around the neighborhood.

Is that morning newspaper really worth the monthly subscription fee? How about those parenting magazines you rarely finish (or is that just me)?

Get rid of the unnecessary expenses in your life to live more simply. You’ll save a lot of money and energy in the process.

Secondly, try getting rid of all of the random junk cluttering the house. Here’s a simple trick:

If you haven’t touched it in a year (or it doesn’t bring you joy), toss it.

No, really, I give you permission.

Cleaning, organizing, and keeping track of extra junk takes money, time, and energy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to waste on keeping knick-knacks dusted and magazines sorted!

However, get rid of everything that doesn’t work for your life and you’ll be able to keep that money and energy, then spend it on living life and enjoying friends and family.

More resources:

  • Itemize donations – Saving your donations receipt can make a huge difference on next year’s tax return. Here’s how we do it.
  • ThredUp – Have decent clothes that you no longer wear? Order a clean out kit from ThredUp and make good money from name brands that are cluttering your closet.

4. Track your expenses

You need to keep track of the money you spend. How else will you determine why you are spending money and what you are buying? Undoubtedly, you’ll discover that there are a lot of things you buy that are not truly necessary.

To follow through, make changes and only buy stuff when you need it. Don’t go for that expensive second-hand car if you can easily use public transportation to go to work.

Be diligent. Be creative. Be smart.

More resources:

  • Budgeting Basics – How to create and refine a budget.
  • 3 Easy Ways to Save Money – My favorite, quick ways to save money easily.
  • The key to financial success – This is pretty much the big secret to how we paid off our mortgage in our 30’s 🙂 A must-read for fans of frugal simple living.

5. Ditch credit cards

Credit cards can be so tempting!

They allow you to buy things that you can’t really afford to purchase. Many people believe that they can never go broke with a credit card. They buy whatever they want, unaware of the serious problems lying ahead when it’s time to pay back that sneaky loan (yes, I just called out credit card spending for what it truly is, a loan).

Keep in mind, your path to financial freedom is made infinitely easier by removing credit cards from your life.

Ditch those credit cards and move on!

Then, buy what you can afford. Be content with what you have. Stick to your budget to alleviate your financial burdens caused by relying too much on credit cards.

More resources:

  • Get Out of Debt – Here’s the easiest way to make big changes, fast.
  • Make More Money (worksheet included) – Many families don’t realize that more money is right under their noses!

6. Avoid Restaurants

Avoid going to restaurants or local grocery shops to buy prepared foods. Always consider foods from home first.

It’s almost always cheaper to cook your own dinner than to eat out. Plus, foods cooked at home are often more delicious.

Eat out less and fix meals at home to simplify your life. You get to save a lot of money and join your family around the table for great conversation.

Eating in is a win-win!

More resources:

  • 10 Ideas for Grocery Shopping on a Budget – a comprehensive resource for radically changing your grocery budget.
  • The Dinner Daily – This is the meal-planning service that I use and LOVE. It automatically matches local store sales with meals to maximize nutrition and savings. Plus, my whole family (all 7!) think that the meals are seriously yum.
  • Save Money on Groceries with Amazon – Now that our local Kroger affiliate loads our groceries for us curbside each week (yay for ClickList!) We don’t do as much Amazon grocery shopping. However, we do still get one small subscribe and save box each month. You can’t beat the price and convenience!
  • Paleo Plan – Meal planning makes a HUGE difference in keeping your resolution to cook at home. Plus, smart meal planning saves money. Here’s a great company that offers meal plans for paleo eaters (and, they’ll give you a 14-day FREE trial).

7. Wear simple clothes

You don’t have to buy the latest trending clothes in order to stay hip and happy. For reals, people, get over that high-school mentality already

Really, it doesn’t make sense to have a pair of shoes that match all of your clothes.  You can live a fulfilling life with simple clothes. Having a smaller wardrobe also makes it easier to pick out an outfit each morning.

No, I’m not saying that you have to adopt the clothing of the Amish, but pick a few outfits that you love and toss the rest.

Someday I’m going to take my own advice and start wearing nothing but black v-neck T’s and jeans, a’ la’ Steve Jobs. Can you imagine how much brain energy I could save by knowing exactly what I’ll be wearing each day?

More resources:

  • My favorite (cheap!) way to shop for clothes – When I can’t make it to the local thrift store, this is my favorite way to buy clothes while shopping in my PJs.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Deals – If you need an item new and know exactly what you’re looking for (usually winter gear for our family), this guide will help you find the best deal any time of the year.
  • Use this cashback site anytime that you shop online (they offer cash back from a huge selection of stores) to get practically free money back on a purchase that you’re already making. We’ve gotten nearly $300 cash back on purchases since joining.

Simple living isn’t the complex mystery that society makes it out to be. Simple living is really just the beginning of a journey to a happier life.

The simple living tips above will help you to slow down and focus on the important things in your life. Begin today and share with others the benefits of your new, simpler life!

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