Living A Simple Life

Olivia Emisar By Olivia Emisar, 1st Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

Ferrari's, Rolls Royce's, Beamer's, Silver and Gold, Designer clothes, Vacations in Exotic places and being the envy of the world are the staples of good marketing.

Conventional Thinking

A lot of us have been raised on impossible and, frankly, empty dreams. These dreams are filled with vanity and leisure time that have the peasants salivating over the lives of the rich and sometimes infamous people who pepper the tabloids and entertainment magazines.

What is an average person to do? No millions of dollars easily accessible? No trust fund to spend down over the next 100 years? Don't worry, the credit card industry coupled with Madison Avenue's message of staying young and achieving instant gratification can make all your fantasies come true instantly.

It is a winning combination for the merchants and a loosing proposition for the eager consumer wanting to appear better than the average individual. The truth of the matter is that life only gets more complicated with "stuff" and having to maintain and pay for it all just causes unnecessary stress.

Wants vs. Needs: Stress-free choices

A complicated life not only brings stress but wastes precious time in the constant upkeep and maintenance of it all. (Think of a hamster on a wheel, spending energy and going nowhere extremely fast).

Without going into further detail at how cleverly our weaknesses are exploited by advertising and merchandizing, let's concentrate in the most important people in the planet: Us!, let's just take a step back and own our less desirable traits and change our behaviors to simplify and de-stress our lives. The process can be easy and fun at the same time and the rewards can satisfy our need for instant gratification in a really good and positive way.

First and foremost we need to make sure that we know the differences between "wants" and "needs". Going from point "A" to point "B" can be achieved just as easily with a Ferrari or a Honda, just take a look at the people on the freeway in your daily commute, are they getting there any faster or safer?. We all need reliable transportation and a status symbol does not get us there any sooner.

What is simple living?

Living simply means to live within our means and enjoy how we live and where we live without sacrificing our quality of life. But what is a simple life? To some people living off the land is a simple life, for some of us, it is called survival and it is not fun or stress free. Some of us need simplicity, comfort and fun;

Simplicity: to be minimally affected by life's downturns.
Comfort: comfort to enjoy our chosen lifestyle.
Fun: because what good is any kind of life without it?

We all need to find a good fit and here are some fun ways to maintain comfort and achieve simplicity:

Food: We all need food and keeping things simple is easy. Just purchase mostly minimally processed items. Brown bag every single lunch, eat every dinner and breakfast at home (and enjoy your family's company), brew our own coffee/tea. (Take all the money you would normally spend in a week and put it in the bank).

Entertainment: Do we really watch 200 channels or more? Seriously? C'mon! Let's cut the cord (or cable) a little bit and keep only what we really want and need to lower our expenses (stress and blood pressure will go down too!). Some people go as far as only getting their over the air signals, but if your quality of life is above that range and you can afford it, cutting back is more than enough. You know the drill; put the extra savings in the account listed above.

Simplicity in every area of our lives

Home: Let's go room by room, closet by closet and let's not forget the attic, basement or garage. Anything that has not been used in a year, may be a good candidate for Craig's list, garage sale or donation; Once again, de-cluttering our home and putting the proceeds into the savings account should be a no brainer.

Friendship: Friendship is supposed to be easy going and easy flowing, so I like to skip the restaurants and spend time taking turns hosting simple pot luck meals. In these economic times, it relieves the stress of everyone involved and it can be a lot of fun.

Family: I just like to have fun with them and keep it flowing for as long as it lasts. We have movie nights whenever we feel like it and for a $1.00 and a couple of bags of popcorn, we can have a blast. Board games are popular in our home and we have a great collection to choose from.

Clothing: Shopping for clothing off season for the following year requires simplicity and planning, but the amount of money saved is well worth the planning. Not having to stress about winter clothes for the family the following year is absolutely priceless.

Exercise: A Wii console and two kids is all I need to have fun and keep my shape (yes, round is a shape!) Besides, who better to exercise with than a couple of loving kids vs. sweaty strangers at a gym?

Schedules and vacations

Vacations: It may not be the South of France, but discovering our own home town or neighboring cities can make for a great vacation with friends or family. A quick search of points of interest in your own town or state can yield surprising results that can make a vacation memorable.

Schedules: Do your kids still enjoy all those activities or are they stressed out and over scheduled? How about you? Are you enjoying all this running around? The real question is "Is it really necessary?" You decide and adjust accordingly.

We did and are better for it. We have also cleared off our calendar all those people we used to socialize with out of obligation or who only contributed drama and anxiety on a regular basis. We have kept those who contribute positively to our lives and it makes the dark days brighter having them around. Hopefully, we contribute in kind to their lives.

Simplifying our lives can be easy and fun. All we need is a plan and the willingness to walk our own path to find what truly fits us and the people that matter the most to us.


Frugal, Life, Live Simply, Money, Save Money, Spending, Tips

Meet the author

author avatar Olivia Emisar
Writer (obviously), currently working and publishing articles online. My passion is creative writing and novels are always on the works.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
2nd Sep 2010 (#)

Thorough and thoughtful!

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author avatar Olivia Emisar
2nd Sep 2010 (#)

Many Thanks James. It means a lot.

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author avatar LOVERME
2nd Sep 2010 (#)

for more reads
i suggest
take it or leave it
just 501 words
no more no less
thats my experince
of three years
i share with u

it is not to discourage uuuuuu

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author avatar Denise O
3rd Sep 2010 (#)

I actually loved this article, it might have been long but, it has some very valid tips, we all should live by. Thanks...Good job.

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author avatar Olivia Emisar
3rd Sep 2010 (#)

Thank you Denise. It is hard for me to write short articles, but I may work on it a bit more.

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author avatar smoothoperator
4th Sep 2010 (#)

The flow of Thought into words seems to be so naturally smooth.

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author avatar Jenny Heart
28th Sep 2010 (#)

I wish more people could grasp the concept of the wants verses needs. Excellent!

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author avatar Olivia Emisar
28th Sep 2010 (#)

Smooth and Jenny thank you both for reading and commenting. PEACE to all - Olivia

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