What Simple Living Means to Us

In a recent conversation with a friend, I explained the importance of wanting to “live simply”and my friend asked me to define what simple living means to me. Since my version of simple living may not be her version of simple living, she wanted me to explain.
For my husband Jesse and me, simple living is about creating a debt-free life that allows us the freedom to focus on doing the things we love versus stressing over bills. Thanks to the wisdom shared by Dave Ramsey and Ramit Sethi, we learned how to pay off our debt (cars, credit cards, and school loans); have a nice amount of money in savings; started investing; and are now working towards paying off our home mortgage. The financial peace we have achieved is an amazing feeling that allows us to create a more deliberate and simple lifestyle.

 

Here’s what simple living means to us:

Living modestly. “Live below your means. Spend less than you earn. Live on less. If we spend everything we make, we struggle. If we spend more than we make, we make it impossible to make any forward progress. But if we spend less than we make, the needle starts to move. ”For us, this includes driving reliable cars instead of our dream cars, living in a house where every room is utilized versus having rooms that are only used on special occasions, and keeping our expenses and bills to a minimum.

Paying for everything in cash (debit cards are okay) and living without credit cards. This includes paying in cash for anything from going out to dinner, Christmas shopping, buying new cars, or taking vacations—we pay for everything in cash. Our motto: If we don’t have cash we can’t afford it.

Minimizing our possessions so that we only own the things we value most. This doesn’t mean living in an empty house with only a handful of possessions. “Minimalism is not about deprivation: it’s about finding more value in the stuff you own.” – The Minimalists. The best part of getting rid of excess things is that it completely changes your outlook on storing and purchasing things. I now question whether I really need to hold on to something, if I truly need to make a new purchase, and if so, how often I anticipate using it. More often than not, the answer is easy: I don’t need it.

And so far, changing our lifestyles to live more simply allows us to focus on the things we love most: traveling and experiencing new adventures.

 

Wishing you peace, love, and adventure,
Jen