Have the demands of your life and finances become overwhelming? Do you need to simplify your life so it's not so hectic? These are problems that most of us face at one time or another. The incredible demands of modern life can easily overtake your time, money, and eventually your happiness if you let them.
If you’re at the point that you’re so stressed physically, mentally, and spiritually from just living life, then you should take the time to step back and reevaluate.
One of the best techniques I’ve found for reducing stress in all areas of my life is to learn to simplify.
I’ll also include links to valuable resources that can help you simplify your life and achieve all the great things I mentioned above.
What It Means To Simplify Your Life
But first, what does it really mean to simplify your life? To me, simplifying means making something simpler or easier to do. Sometimes that means completely getting rid of something that’s causing you stress (such as debt), or at least cutting down to a more manageable level.
Sometimes it means adding something, such as a new habit, that ultimately allows you to live a simpler, less stressful life and focus on what really matters.
2 Steps to Start Making Your Life Easier
There are two things you can do to get started simplifying your life and spending less:
- Figure out the 4 or 5 things that are most important to you (i.e. more time with family, less stress, etc.), and write them down in order frome most important to least important .
- Change everything else to revolve around making your most important things a high priority.
18 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Spend Less
Now let’s explore the 18 ways I use (and recommend) to make your life easier and spend less (feel free to add your own suggestions by leaving a comment at the end).
Learn to Care for Yourself
You can’t function at a high level for others if you don’t take the time to care for yourself. Make time for praying, exercising, eating right, and relaxing. Make sure these habits are regular and non-negotiable. If not, you will eventually burn out, causing bitterness and stress you don't need in your life.
Put down the cell phone. If you are spending time with people who are important to you, turn off the phone and be fully present. Then you and your loved ones can fully enjoy time together without distractions.
It’s also wise to turn the phone off at bedtime and/or put it in another room where you’re not tempted to use it.
Take Time To Be Alone
Alone time helps you more clearly hear that inner voice that is so easily drowned out by constant activity and communication.
Get Out of Debt
Ok, surely you knew I would include this one! Let’s face it, debt causes stress and lack of freedom in your life. Simplify your finances by making a plan to get out of debt and stay that way. Here are my best resources to get you started:
Learn To Be Frugal
Find ways to spend less and be conservative with your money. You don’t need all the latest gadgets, cars, and name brands to be happy. in fact, too much stuff tends to cause more complications and stress.
Find the best deals, buy used things, and use them until they wear out.
Learn To Say “NO”
It’s ok to say “no” when someone asks you to volunteer your time, money, or energy. Tell them you have a prior commitment if you need to. That’s not a lie, because your prior commitment is “you”.
I absolutely believe you should volunteer and give of your time and money, but if you wear yourself to a frazzle doing it, you’re not doing anyone any favors. Here's a good book I recommend:
Declutter Your Home
Get rid of all the junk you never use. Sell it online or donate it for a tax write-off. The less junk you have in the space where you live helps to maintain a cleaner home. It also helps to simplify the huge amount of visual noise that comes with having so much unnecessary junk around you.
Spend Time With Those You Love
It’s so easy to let the busyness of life take up so much time that you fail to maintain those close relationships that ease your soul. Eliminate unnecessary busyness from your life and spend more quality time with those that matter.
Have An Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund is one of the best things you can do financially. When you have an emergency fund in place, you experience less stress when an emergency happens because you won’t be tempted to go into debt to pay for it. When you are financially prepared for an emergency, you have more peace of mind.
Do one thing at a time, and do it well. Studies show that multitasking causes you to have more stress and to be less effective at the tasks you are performing. Make life easier by single tasking, which allows you to do everything at a higher level with less overall stress.
Use Cash to Pay for Everything
Eliminating credit cards and using cash to finance your life keeps you from spending more than you make. You’ll have less bills, less debt, and more control over your money, which leads to less stress. The best way to do it is by using the envelope method to manage your money.
Take a Sabbath Day
Even God rested on the seventh day! Take one day a week to do no work whatsoever. Spend time with family, worship, read a book, and just relax. I’ll admit, I’ve had trouble with this one in the past.
Automate Saving Money
Have a percentage of your paycheck automatically deducted and sent to your 401k, IRA, or other investment account. You don’t have to fret every pay period about whether or not to send money to savings.
When savings are automatically deducted, you really don’t miss the money, and it grows into a huge nest egg over time.
Spend Less Time With Needy People
You know the ones I’m talking about. Those people who always have drama, the “Negative Nellies”, the complainers, the ones who suck you dry emotionally. The less time you spend with these people the better.
I'm not saying you should completely eliminate them from your life. However, severely limiting your time with these people will do wonders for your emotional health.
Don’t Overcommit Your Kids
Your kids will still have a wonderful childhood if they don’t have 8 or 10 different scheduled activities every week. Slow down, eat dinner at home more often, and allow them to be involved with a few of their favorite activities. Remember, extremely busy kids equals overcommitted parents, and stress for the whole family.
Make a Budget
I encourage this every chance I get. Have the right plan in place for your money, and you will never spend more than you make.
Get Rid of the “More is Better” Mindset
Learn to resist the idea that having more stuff enhances your life. Marketers pound this into your subconscious thousands of times every day. Realize that simplicity breeds less stress and more contentment in every area of your life.
Make Your Life Easier- Be Intentional
Learn to take a step back, reevaluate every aspect of your life, and make positive changes that allow you to simplify your life, spend less, and finally shed some of that stress and overwhelm that creep up so easily when we take on too much.
You can do this, just be intentional, keep working at it, and you will eventually see incredible results!
Question: Do you have any more suggestions on how to simplify your life and spend less? Leave a comment and tell me your best tip!