Live a Simpler Life: The Answer to Living Debt Free and Happy

Let’s face it, life can be pretty rough. Living a life that is simple and carefree is becoming increasingly difficult, as we barely have enough time to come home, relax, and enjoy the many rewards life has to offer us. Somebody said to me on a plane once that our homes are becoming nothing more than “glorified rest stops”, and I am tempted to agree. We usually are only home for mere moments before we have to go out and do something else it seems (something that usually involves spending lots of money!).

Even though this is the average American’s life, you do NOT have to accept it. Think about it; when we live our lives in the fast lane, we tend to become unhappy with practically everything around us. If you learn to take a breather every once in a while and analyze your situation, you can put things into perspective and put what should be most important to you (your health, family, and finances) first before any of the other things that get in the way.

When life gets a little too busy you’ll soon realize that your home life will suffer, and things just won’t be as smooth and happy as they should be. Simple household tasks are not being attended to, you aren’t eating properly, you’re not spending quality time with your spouse and kids – and you’ll be spending too much money as a result of not having enough time to do anything. Eventually, you will end up feeling down on yourself because your home life is not in order, you’re overstressed, and your finances aren’t in check.

The best solution is to practice living a simpler, happier life in which you prioritize what’s important and determine what is “enough” for you to sustain your happiness. It is not about depriving yourself or living well below your means; rather, it is doing whatever necessary to get a good night’s sleep, free of stress and worry.

Consider the following benefits of living “The Simple Life”:

  1. It will greatly reduce your stress levels.
  2. You will gain more confidence and have more self-reliance; you will be less likely to find an “easy way out” of situations.
  3. You will be able to spend more time with your family, especially your children. You can set a good example for them, and teach them to become financially secure when they get older.
  4. Most importantly, you will learn to keep a balanced budget and reduce your debt. You won’t spend as much money on things you don’t need; rather, you will spend your money wisely and avoid getting into debt.

With that said, when you step back and examine your life, life really gets so much easier, especially regarding your finances. When you have a detailed plan for financial freedom, you won’t have to worry about how your bills get paid each month because you’ll be spending less money on things you DON’T need. Debt has a way of taking control of peoples’ lives – if you control your spending, you won’t have to worry about this.

In short, nothing beats the peace of mind and security that living the simple life brings. It is time to take back your life – reduce your stress, spend more time with your family, and manage your money better.

Photo by Katie@!



Author

By , on Mar 18, 2010
Kathryn Katz is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor and works for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services. The non-profit credit counseling agency specializes in debt consolidation and helps consumers that are in financial distress.

Freebies

Popular Articles

{12 Comments}

  1. Sacamano:

    Some of the happiest people I have met have lived in conditions that Americans would refer to as absolute poverty.

    We are the cause of our current culture. 50 years ago, Americans were satisfied with comfort, I.E., modest home, cheap car, home cooked meals and recreational activities that did not require money.

    Now, Americans are only interested in luxury. We went from desiring a middle class lifestyle, to desiring an upper middle class lifestyle. We all seem to want what Dr-what’s-his-face has. We are no longer content with having enough to get by (which in America is more that most people in this world will ever have).

    We do nothing but work, eat and take antidepressants — which helps reduce the feeling of emptiness that comes naturally from having no purpose in life other than being a competitive-consumer and worker.

    It doesn’t surprise me that some Americans idolize the living standards in many Western European countries. Countries that often put less emphasis on work, consumption, and status — while putting more emphasis on interpersonal relationships and personal health/well-being. Regardless of the GDP, they would rather have happy, healthy citizens as opposed to overworked, over-consuming, drones.

    Most people in this world don’t own a fraction of what Americans own. Live simple.

    To achieve this, one must first abandon the decade/s of materialism nonsense from which many of us have been indoctrinated.

  2. Réplika:

    Good ideas. I want to be away from my debt too. I am searching for a way for this.

  3. Excellent post! But living a simple life is not as “simple” (no pun intended) as just saying and doing it. It takes baby steps….but eventually you’ll get there, and love it! Living below your means is how many people get to have money later in life.

  4. I’m really looking forward to spending time with my kids. The idea of working my ass off so someone else can raise my progeny is disgusting.

  5. Solid post. I think that living simply is the single most important thing one can do to improve one’s financial position (among other elements in life). Someone can be an expert investor or amazing business person, but if they can’t keep their personal expenses under control so that they can keep up a positive cash flow, then they’re likely not going to get very far.

  6. Great post you have, it makes me want to reflect. I must admit, I no longer enjoy my life as before…work work work and no play at all…it’s time sit back and relax a bit.

  7. i’ve been really trying to declutter my house …one room at a time!

  8. Budget Gal Angie:

    With today’s economy it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the Joneses and quite frankly, who would want to? The Joneses are probably so consumed by debt but they’ll never admit it. I really like the idea of living a simpler life. Making a budget and sticking to it is how I’ve made my life simpler.

  9. David Y:

    I’ve been trying to simplify the last couple of years. Decluttering the house and sticking to what is important to me.

    I’ve become happier and do not miss the things I have done away with.

  10. Simple in France:

    Amen! I just posted on the benefits of simplifying this morning.

    We’ve slowed things way down in the past couple of years and I could not be happier with the outcome.

    You’re right–we do not have to accept a faster pace of life just because everyone else seems to!

  11. Simple in France:

    Amen! I just posted on this topic this morning. We’ve slowed things way down in the past couple of years and I could not be happier with the outcome.

  12. Elle:

    I think keeping a simple life is one of the best ways to reduce time and space clutter. We’ve had people tell us that we need to get some more stuff to fill our house, but we don’t want to. We don’t need TVs and video game consoles in every room. Sometimes a bedroom is just that; a place to relax and sleep.

    You also have time to spend on more meaningful activities. You can hang out with your family or visit friends because you’re not stressing out to pay off your latest gadget. Thanks for the post this morning; it’s a good one to reflect on this morning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer and Legal Mumbo Jumbo

I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I state that I have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.

Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. I do my best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.

For additional information, please review our legal disclaimers and privacy policy.