The world is changing, and it's changing fast! Every day it seems more and more are opting for a simpler life, saying goodbye to hectic work schedules and buying incessant material stuff, and opting in for a more minimal way to live.
For myself, I never cared much for stuff, and I always just assumed it was because I couldn't afford to buy it, but now that I can actually afford to buy new clothes, expensive groceries, and anything else I think I need, I still find myself living very minimally; not only that, I am actually seeking ways to reduce the impact I make even more.
There are many things one can do to limit their material consumption and I want to share with you a few things that I have started to adopt into my own life that have made me genuinely happier and have saved me a lot of money in the process.
So below, I have listed seven tips to how you can live a simpler and happier life.
1. Buy food in bulk, and bonus if you bring your own containers.
This is obvious, but the amount of money you can save just from buying food in bulk is worth the hassle. I find it fun, to be honest, I go to the bulk barn and spend about 45 minutes to an hour every couple of weeks stocking up on everything I need. I spent $20 on nuts for a trail mix and that lasted me at least 15 days. It was great, less than $2 a day, and I had a good time picking the things I wanted for my trail mix. I even put the macadamia nuts in there, which would have cost me a small fortune if I bought it prepackaged, but because buying in bulk, it's significantly cheaper.
2. Buy things from thrift stores, garage sales, or look online first if you need something.
Don't immediately go to the store and buy it brand new. No one knows if the shirt you are wearing was new or not, and quite frankly if they care, then so be it. I have been buying all my clothing secondhand for the past two to three years now, and I can't tell you all the money I have saved from it. No one has ever judged me either for buying clothes secondhand, and I wouldn't even care if they did, because I know it's helping the Earth by doing so. The clothing industry is a problem, and I certainly don't support what conditions some people work in to make the clothes we wear, so if I can help reduce that by any means, I will.
3. Cut out, or at least cut back, on meat and dairy.
Do I even have to say this? The meat and dairy industry is corrupt and the conditions animals live their lives in is absolutely horrendous. One DOES NOT need meat OR dairy to survive, and stop using the age-old excuses like "our ancestors ate meat so, therefore, it's okay." No, it's not. They ate meat because they HAD to, but we don't. Not anymore with all the alternatives. No, we are past those barbaric stages of human evolution. So cut back, or cut it out completely, and your body and mind will thank you for it; not to mention it's the best thing you can do if you care about the Earth we live on. The meat and dairy industry is by far the most devastating to the Earth.
4. Sell or donate the stuff you aren't using or don't need.
There is a rule of thumb: If you haven't used it in the last year, get rid of it, you don't need it. I find we often overwhelm our lives with more stuff. Always getting more stuff to fill that void, which cannot be filled with stuff, and this is just wasting your time and money to try. Material possessions don't bring lasting happiness, it's all momentary. Then next week or next month, depending on the size of the purchase, you forget about it and you are onto wanting the next thing on your list. But if you can find happiness without attaching it to material possessions, that is where you will find lasting happiness. I find the more stuff people have, the more stressed and anxious they are because they have more to lose. Downsizing doesn't have to wait until you are older, I've downsized three times already in my life. Every time I move I donate stuff, and I have realized so much in this process and have much more peace and happiness now because of it.
5. Go through your junk drawers, closets, garage, and basement every six months and donate anything you haven't used.
They say that if you don't use something in the span of a year, you don't need it, so by doing this process every six months, you will find your home less cluttered; not only that, you will also start to become more aware of how much stuff you buy that you don't need. It's truly amazing how much stuff we buy, but never use, and this becomes very obvious when we start taking inventory on our stuff every six months.
6. If you can, sell your vehicle and take transit instead.
I find having a car to be a headache. If the car payments and insurance aren't stressful enough, you also have to worry about things like maintenance and paying for gas that's always on the rise... I had a car since I was 17 years old, and to be honest, I didn't think I could live without one. But then in November of 2018, I sold my car because it was causing me too much stress, and I couldn't be happier! I now use transit instead, and I find myself going more places, going on more adventures, and seeing this beautiful city that I've lived my whole life in, but rarely ventured downtown because of my vehicle. I actually have more freedom without a car, which seems strange to say, but now with all the ride-sharing apps like Uber and Turo, it's hard for me to justify having a car when I can rent one whenever I want to get out of the city for a day trip, and for much less than I'd be paying if I had a car payment, insurance, maintenance, and gas. Don't get me wrong though, I will get a car again one day, I just don't feel the need right now for one because I work from home and live in a city with adequate transit.
7. Consider downsizing your home.
This one is on the rise as more and more people are considering a tiny house, an RV, or even a camper van nowadays. The whole notion of big houses is somewhat dying out as people are realizing that they don't NEED a big house to be happy. For myself, I've no desire to buy a house, ever. All I want is a tiny home on a nice piece of land surrounded by nature. I'm single now, but when I get married and have kids, I don't see a problem having my family in the tiny house with me. I've designed my own blueprint for my tiny house with my future children in mind. I do want to travel with my kids also, and having a tiny house is perfect because it can go with me if I so desire. But not only that, it will be paid off in full, as I will build it with my a few friends' help, and I won't be tied down to a mortgage. I think this is one of the best ways to live because it gives one so much freedom, and less space to take care of and fill with as much stuff as a big house would cause. Less cleaning too. I see it as a win-win for myself, although I do appreciate that living in a tiny house is not for everyone.
Anyways, there are seven tips to live a happier and simpler life. I hope you enjoyed, and can take a few of these tips and implement them into your own life.
Thanks for reading! Hope you have a wonderful, stress-free day!
With Love and Light,
Lindsay @ World Dreamerz
About the Creator
Sharing my stories with the world. Writing has been a great tool for transformation, and I feel like I am only starting to dive deep into the self. Life is a wonderful gift, live to the fullest!
Find me at www.osanawasut.ca