In this post, I want us to take some time to discuss ways to simplify your life now and beyond.
Most of you will agree with me that people nowadays look at the way things are done in this world and wonder why it is this complicated.
Whenever I see this phrase, “simplify your life” I am reminded of the 1980 comedy film, The Gods Must Be Crazy. It was set in Southern Africa and starred Namibian San or Bushman farmer Xi.
Xi and his people lived a very simple life where everything was free. If they wanted food they would get it in their garden, they built their own houses, etc.
In the film, there is a contrast to our modern life where you need money for everything to survive.
Where you need machines and other technological advancements to be able to survive. Imagine what life would be like if there were no buses or trams. All these have been invented to help our sophisticated life.
If you think about it even in the western world life was a bit simpler before the advent of the Second World War. At that time because of the price of food, most people had their own gardens.
All this changed after the war as the economies picked up and food prices came tumbling down.
While we cannot go back in time completely at least we can find ways to simplify our life. In that way, we will not just live a simple life but we will live a stress-free life.
While we may not completely get rid of stress at least it will be reduced enabling us to live our best lives.
How To Simplify Your Life
In the next paragraphs, I will go through ways to simplify your life. Yes, it is possible to simplify our complicated life and make it manageable.
1. Consolidate All Your Credit Cards Into One
One of the complications that some of us find ourselves in is the number of credit cards we have. We have somehow found ourselves with four or five credit cards making it difficult to manage them.
This is really a recipe for disaster as one can easily slip into heavy debts without noticing it in time.
Therefore to simplify this you need to transfer all your balances to one credit card if possible. That will require to find a lender who is willing to accept the other balances,
Which is not a difficult thing to do if you have a good credit rating. If your credit is bad then you need to take steps to build your credit.
Once you have all your debts into one then you will only have one payment to make. In that way, you will be able to manage your debt much easier than before.
In these days of easy credit, it is easy to find yourself deep in debts. I would, therefore, encourage people to avoid using their credit cards as much as possible.
And in the case where you have to use a credit make sure you clear the balance before the grace period and that way avoid interest charges.
Paying the minimum repayment is something you should avoid as it is a slippery slope into huge debt.
Before you know it you will be struggling to clear the balance as credit cards interest rates are very high.
2. Avoid Payday Loans
If you want a simple life I would urge you to avoid payday loans.
When I talk of payday loans I am talking from a position of experience. I have accessed these loans to pay for my tuition and I regretted it.
And because I was in dire straits the loan I got bigger and bigger as the APR for these loans is out of this world. It is simply too high.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why the authorities are allowing these payday lenders to exist.
While they offer a service they, unfortunately, offer it to people who are already in a tough position financially. In that way complicating their situation further.
If you have problems getting money from the banks then please borrow from your friends and not these payday lenders.
Better yet, avoid debt altogether and dig yourselves out of debt. I have a post that offers tips on getting out of debt, that will help on that path.
3. Set Goals For Your Life
Another cool way of simplifying your life is to set goals. They can be yearly goals, monthly goals, etc.
But since most of us get paid monthly and are used to the monthly cycle I would suggest you set monthly goals.
Goals will help you to have something you are working towards. For example, you can set a goal to buy a brand new car in say 4 years’ time.
And to accomplish you can for example start saving $200 every month towards that goal. And if you invest this money wisely you could easily have enough money to pay for a car.
I know it is much simpler to just keep these savings in an interest-bearing bank account. Unfortunately, interest is too low at the moment. You will be better of buying stocks using apps such as Acorns and Robinhood.
If you don’t have goals you will just be jumping from one thing to the other and end up accomplishing anything. But when you have goals and a proper timeline to achieve them you will make your life simple.
I have heard people say I want to buy a house and yet make no effort to start saving towards the deposit. As a result, years go by and they are still renting their apartment.
It is not enough just to have goals. You need to make plans on how you can achieve them and include them in your family budget.
4. Stop Spending Money on Cable TV Subscriptions
These days when you can easily get free cable tv, there is no reason why someone should be paying a $100 a month on cable television.
This is especially true of most of us who live hand to mouth. Leave this lifestyle to those who have too much excess cash.
Make your life simple by getting rid of all these subscriptions. This is simply a waste of money that you can use to save for your mortgage deposit, etc in the future.
Once you have your own house and have fulfilled all your dreams then maybe you can have this luxury. Otherwise, it is a box that takes away the time we should be spending chatting with family members.
Other ways you can use this $100 include making investments in bonds or stocks. In that way when you retire you will look back and be happy you made the right choice.
Think about it carefully. Which is better paying a cable company $100 or investing a $100? I think you can agree with me that investing $100 is a much better use of your money.
5. Automate All Your Fixed Payments
We all have payments of all sorts and sometimes we inadvertently miss some payments. You can simplify all this by automating them.
For example, for fixed payments to parents or to your savings account you can create a standing order.
In that way come month-end all these payments will be made automatically without your intervention.
This is simple and easier than doing it your self. Most banks don’t charge you for this service anyway.
If you have bills that you need to settle such as electricity, gas, and water, you can contact the providers to set up a direct debit.
In this way, the provider will take whatever amount you owe them at the end of the month.
All you need to do is to make sure that you have sufficient funds in your bank account to cover such payments.
Once you are done you can one in a while review all your standing orders and direct debits to make sure that they are all up to date. You can also confirm if you still need them.
I remember a few years ago I noticed that I had one standing order that should have been canceled a few months back. Fortunately, I was able to get my refund.
6. Bring Your Own Packed Lunch to Work
One of the items that we spend too much on is work lunch. On average I would imagine people spend at least $5 every day at lunch. That equates to at least $25 a week and at least a $100 a month.
All this can be reduced significanntly by bringing you own lunch to work.
Besides the cost savings, you will be able to bring much healthier food than what you can get in a takeaway restaurant.
When you prepare your own food you are able to determine the size of the food that meets your exact needs.
In that way, there is less wastage compared to standardized meals you can buy from a restaurant.
This is exactly what we need now in these days of global warming. Food waster accounts for a significant percentage of greenhouse gases. This is due to the methane emitted by waste food as it rots in landfills.
According to WWF, “About 11% of all the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food”.
If you, therefore, care about the environment this is one area you need to start working on.
We all can do our part to reduce these emissions that come from food waste. More so when there are millions out there who cannot get enough food for themselves and their families.
Another benefit of bringing your own lunch to work is that you can control the taste of the food.
You know what type of cooking makes food appealing to you so you can use that to prepare yummy food.
This is not to mention the fact that you can also make sure that your food contains all the necessary nutrients and in what proportion.
If for example, you are trying to lose weight then preparing your own food is a no brainer.
Food prepared in restaurants is full of all the things that are causing obesity in our nations.
7. Avoid any negativity
M Scott Peck says, ‘Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths”. While this statement is true dwelling on those negative bits of life will complicate your life.
You can learn from the negative things but to spend too much time on them will poison your life.
You can simplify your life by focusing on the positive things that are happening in your life right.
Focusing on the bad things and slights will make you a bitter person. And nobody wants to be near someone who is always bitter.
Someone who is complaining about other people and who has nothing positive to say.
People will always be drawn to people who are positive about life. Those who are optimistic about life.
A few years ago I read a story where a person or family was traveling on a road that passed through a hilly area where big rocks could fall down on the street.
The writer of the story said no matter amount of anxiety on your part could stop the rocks falling. If a rock has to fall down it will fall regardless of your anxiety.
No amount of anxiety about the future can change anything. You are better off just being positive about life.
Don’t let fear about the future imprison you. Be in control and enjoy life no matter what.
So I say to you simplify your life by avoiding any negativity in your life and around you. Learn from the negatives but don’t obsess about them.