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Return of a Simple Life

There’s a new trend amongst families. It’s most likely due to the economic crisis over the past few years. It’s caused many people to re-evaluate their habits and priorities. We’re returning to a more simple life.

What Is a “Simple Life?”

In the broadest sense of the word, a simple life is one that is free of financial stress, mass quantities of material belongings and a focus on quality over quantity. However, each person or family adapts their concept of a simple life to meet their needs, goals and aspirations.

For some families, a simple life is one without any material belongings. They have the basics including a home, clothing and furniture, but they’ve eliminated material things from their life. They may live without a television and many of the material items most families consider a necessity.

For other families, a simple life may be one without debt or financial stress. That may require selling much of their belongings including their home and car, and moving to a smaller residence where they can bike or walk to work.

When deciding to live a simpler life, you need to first decide what that means to you and what lengths you’re willing to go to.

Why Choose a Simple Life?

Many people have realized that their present life and habits don’t make them happy. Choosing a simple life is therefore primarily about being happy for them. Of course, there are many things that can contribute to a person being or feeling happy. Eliminating debt or material items may help with that, or it may not.

For some, choosing a simple life means leaving their job and taking a job they love but which pays much less money. This then would require a lifestyle change. However, it’s worth it because happiness and job satisfaction is the reward.

Financial stress is also a major contributor to families choosing to live a simple life. They’re just tired of debt, bills, and working to pay those bills. Getting rid of financial stress, material belongings that contribute to the stress and piles of bills is the goal.

Quality over quantity – Other families have realized that quality time together as a family is worth much more than material belongings. They’ve cut back on expenses in order to spend time together. Instead of a new car, they go on a vacation or camping. Instead of a new television they visit a museum. Habits change to focus on quality time together.

Education – Parents don’t want their children to grow up to make the same mistakes. They want their children to grow up with the right values. Namely, that material goods don’t buy happiness. Living a frugal and simple life can help to teach children where to place their priorities.

How to Live a Simple Life

As a parent it’s important to first take a look at what your goals are for living a simple life. Then you can go about making a change.

For example, if you’re working a job that makes you miserable, what do you need to do to quit that job and work at one you love? Do you need to sell your home and move to a smaller apartment? Do you need to sell your cars and buy a bike or take public transportation? What are you willing to sacrifice to live this simple life?

Living a simple life isn’t easy. It takes a real desire and commitment to change. Determine why you want to live a simple life and if you’re willing to take the steps to make it happen. To your success!

Filed under: Personal Finance

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