Mind & Body Wellness: Simplicity & Money

Mind and Body Wellness Simplicity and Money by Beth Hemmila
To me it's an interesting exercise in happiness when I need to find ways to simplify my life financially. Some people choose to cut expenses while others have periods in their life where money is tight and their budget is limited. For some reason, no matter if I'm flush or not, I enjoy figuring out how to do without and live a more simplified life. Maybe there's a bit of the pioneer in me always mentally packing the essentials and seeing what life feels like when I go without.

Here are some ways I've learned to save money and live a more simplified life.

Save on Gas & Car Repairs
  • Walk
  • Bike
  • Carpool
  • Group weekly errands together in one trip
  • Ask if you can telecommute to work
  • Use the public transportation system

Save on the Food Bill
  • Eat more beans and rice
  • Don't purchase processed food or snacks
  • Don't buy alcohol or specialty drinks
  • Don't buy meat every week or buy in smaller portions
  • Don't buy dessert items
  • Focus on fruit and vegetables
  • Buy your staples in the bulk section: rice, salt, beans, nuts, etc.
  • Eliminate buying unnecessary paper products
  • Replace sponges with dishrags you can wash and reuse
  • Buy only the food you need for one week and stick to your budget

Conserve on Utilities
  • Wash your hair less and take shorter showers
  • Turn the heat or air conditioning down to the minimum (endure the elements)
  • Go without fans and learn to love your sweat
  • Use only the lights you need
  • Get rid of expensive cell phone plans or bundled telecommunication packages
  • Dump your cable TV

Cheap Sources of Entertainment
  • Hiking or walking
  • Biking
  • Take out books and DVDs from the library
  • Listen to music for free on Pandora or Youtube
  • Go to matinee movies
  • Familiarize yourself with the best local Happy Hour places in town
  • Put on potluck parties
  • Play board games with friends or family
  • Give up your gym membership and run outside instead
  • Feed the birds
  • Gaze at the stars
  • Camp instead of staying at a hotel
  • Make homemade gifts
  • Look for coupons on Dealchicken, Groupon, or Living Social

Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Do I need really need that?
  • What can I substitute? 
  • What can I go without?
  • What can I do with less of?
  • Can I cut this item in half and share it with someone else?
  • Can I reduce the number of times I purchase a favorite item?

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