This past year has given us a lot to reflect on. From choices we’ve made, to what life looks like when (almost) everything gets canceled, to where our money goes. If you’ve been wondering how to simplify your life and save money, this post is for you.
You can simplify areas of your life and save more money. In this post you’ll learn:
- the benefits of simplifying your life
- how to simplify your finances
- how to start the process of simplifying your life
If you’re ready to start simplifying your life and money, these tips will help you get started today!
What does it mean to simplify your life and how can it save you money?
Simplifying your life looks different depending on the person. Everyone has their own unique needs and areas of their life that they want to simplify.
When some people simplify, they focus on the stuff in their home as that is what is taking up their time and causing them stress.
Others simplify their schedule because they’d been feeling overcommitted and overstretched.
Another area to simplify is your finances. There are various ways to do that, which I’ll talk about in a bit.
Some people want to simplify their digital life and focus on that.
Your simplifying needs depend on where your life currently feels cluttered.
Is your life cluttered?
Does your life feel cluttered? Some of the signs that your life is cluttered are:
- increased stress & anxiety
- feeling overwhelmed
- forgetting things
- feeling exhausted
When your life is cluttered, it increases your levels of stress and anxiety. This shows up when you have too much stuff in your home, but also with too much in your schedule. This can also cause a general feeling of overwhelm with trying to keep up with all the things.
When you’re overwhelmed, you’re also more likely to forget things. Clutter makes it more difficult to focus. When it’s clutter in your schedule you may find yourself constantly running late or even forgetting appointments because there is so much to keep up with.
Clutter can leave you feeling exhausted. When the stuff in your life has become too much, it weighs you down and makes you feel burdened. It can feel really challenging (if not impossible) to keep up with it all.
How simplifying your life improves your overall quality of life
There are a variety of ways that simplifying improves your quality of life. Here are just a few.
Simplifying your home, your schedule, and your finances will lessen your stress. When you have less stuff in your home, it’s easier to keep it picked up. When you have fewer things in your schedule, you have more time for rest and play. Simplifying your finances helps you to breathe a bit easier as you feel more in control of your money.
Ultimately, none of these things should run your life. You’ll feel more at peace as you regain control of them.
The decluttering process is a clarifying process. As you let go, you learn what matters most. It teaches you where you’ve gotten off track in the past and shows you how to make better choices in the future.
When you have better balance in your life, you’re more able to think clearly as you decide what fits with your goals and what doesn’t. Your life becomes better aligned with your values and vision.
An artifact of simplifying is that it also saves you money. Decluttering the stuff in my home made me much more careful with what I bought going forward.
As my priorities became clearer, so did my finances. I saw what I’d wasted money on and reigned in my purchases, which also helped keep clutter from piling back up in my home.
4 ways to simplify your life and reduce your spending
Ready to learn how to start saving money? Do these four simple things and see how much money you can save!
Wait to purchase
It’s so easy to get caught up in advertising hype. Marketers know what they’re doing. Before you know it, you’re clicking away and ordering something you’re convinced you HAVE to have.
They tell you that you deserve it or that it will improve your life in some way. Very few things live up to what they promise. More often, they turn into buyer’s remorse and then clutter.
A lot of headaches (and money) can be saved by simply practicing the 24-hour rule. If you think you want to buy something, give it 24 hours before you make a decision.
This prevents impulse purchases and helps you to be more intentional with shopping. The additional time allows you to think more clearly about what is a true need vs. a want.
Think outside the box
When we were on a very tight budget a few years ago, I learned a lot about making do with what we had. It caused me to be more creative in coming up with solutions when we didn’t have something.
Sometimes that looked like using a tool that was close enough to get the job done. Other times it looked like borrowing from a neighbor, friend, or family member.
The ease of ordering on Amazon had often made it the go-to. It was the path of least resistance that didn’t require me to think outside the box. However, when you’re wanting to learn how to simplify your life and save money, that sometimes means trading the easiest ‘solution’ for a better one.
If, after 24 hours, you’ve determined that you really need or want this item and it’s not something you can simply borrow or creatively solve otherwise, it’s time to shop around. You can save a good amount of money simply by checking around to see how much the item costs various places.
While researching and comparing is slightly less simple since it takes more time, it does save money. It all depends on which commodity you need most in your life right now.
Remember your stuff doesn’t define you
As you seek to simplify your life and save money, remember that your stuff does not define you. Your identity and worth are not found in what you own.
The simplifying process helps you to refocus on what matters most. Changing your spending habits likely won’t feel easy initially, but as you keep your goals in mind and remind yourself of your values, it does get easier.
How to simplify your financial life in 3 steps
What steps have you taken to simplify your financial life? It’s ok if the answer is you haven’t yet. Here are three steps that will help you get your finances back on track.
Analyze what you’re spending money on
Want to know how to stop worrying about money? Regain control of it. While that may not mean you never stress about finances ever again, the more that you pay attention to where your money is going and make it work for you, the less stressed you’ll be.
Look over your credit card statements, receipts, and bills. If you don’t currently have a budget, now is the time to create one. Write down where your money is going. See where you can cut back.
Sometimes people get stressed and overwhelmed with finances so their coping mechanism is to ignore it. However, ignoring it does not make the financial challenges go away…it makes them worse. The only way to make meaningful adjustments is by analyzing where your money is going and adjust as necessary.
Consider your life stage & current needs
Your finances will look different depending on the life stage you’re in. Your needs and priorities will change with time.
Consider where you can save now. Don’t forget to also be planning for the future. Consult with a financial advisor and CPA to help you make informed choices with your money.
As your needs continue to change, re-evaluate your spending and adjust as needed. Life circumstances can arise and alter your plans as well. Create an emergency fund no matter how young you are so that you’re prepared for the unexpected.
You’ll be less stressed with your finances if you have a well-funded emergency account that can be drawn on if necessary. As you learn to live within your means and plan for the future, you’ll find more peace with your finances.
Create a system for bills and papers
Tired of receiving past due bills? Create a system for paying your bills and then also for keeping your paperwork organized.
Have a designated space that bills waiting to be paid go. Check on it twice a week to make sure you’re staying on top of the due dates. Another option is to set up autopay for everything that you can.
The advantage of auto-pay is that it keeps you from having to remember the various due dates for bills. You’ll want to still keep an eye on what money you have going out though.
Go with whichever system works best for you. Review your finances monthly to keep current on your numbers and make sure that you’re staying within the budget you set up for yourself.
How to start living a simple life
There are some key components to living a simple life. Do these four things as you learn to live more simply.
Adjust your expectations
When I first started my journey to simplify, I realized I needed to adjust my expectations. Living simply in a consumer culture is a challenge.
If you want to live more simply, it will take some recalibrating. It will also take being ok with living outside the norm.
Focus on what matters most to you and remember that it’s perfectly fine to live a life that doesn’t look like anyone else’s.
In order to escape the consumer mentality, stop comparing yourself with others. Consider unfollowing and unsubscribing from people or companies that don’t support your simple living goals.
You’ll be less likely to overspend when you remove some of the temptations and messaging that is constantly trying to sell you things that don’t align with your vision.
Stay focused on your goals and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Stop comparing yourself with people who are chasing other things.
The process of simplifying challenges you to continually evaluate what is really most important. Perhaps hobbies you used to enjoy are being shelved for now as you raise children. Or maybe the clothes and hair appliances you own are for a life you don’t have anymore. That was the case for me. I held onto things from my past when they no longer held relevance in my life.
I had to learn to let go and, at some point, even came to embrace that life now looked different. Letting go of the past can be challenging at times, but keeping focused on what mattered most to me in the present helped.
Allow yourself to grow and change and continue to re-evaluate your current priorities.
Have a slow yes & a quick no
As I learned how to simplify life and save money, I adopted a slow yes and a quick no. When I was looking at something I wanted to buy, I learned to have a quick no.
I came from a place of being a really great bargain hunter who loved garage sales and free stuff I’d find on the side of the road, but I learned in the simplifying process that every single thing I brought home cost me something.
My schedule used to be busier, but I learned a quick no with that as well. It’s not that I never said yes to anything, but I am careful with what I agreed to so that I don’t end up with a full schedule and a lot of regrets.
Maintaining margin is important. Training myself to have a slow yes and a quick no have helped me to have a simpler life and save more money.
Changing your habits & simplifying your life will not only help you save money but will lead to a happier healthier life.
Choosing to live more simply has been so good for me and my family. We’re more content with what we have and feel more freedom than we’ve ever felt before.
Are you ready to change your habits so that you can simplify your life and finances? I hope these tips have helped you learn how to simplify your life and save money.
Want to keep up to date with The Simplicity Habit? Sign up on the form below and get weekly tips on simplifying and decluttering sent straight to your inbox! You’ll also get the free 8 Quick Wins for Decluttering to help you get started today!