Over the past few years I’ve tried to live simpler and hold onto things much looser. As a 20-something male in America, I like owning stuff. It’s even harder working in technology because cool, new things are everywhere! But sometimes the stuff in my life owns me in a big way so my wife and I have been trying to live simpler.
We’re not experts (and still, constantly struggle daily), but we’ve learned some things about how to appreciate what we have and want things less:
- Give possessions away on a regular basis: It’s a good reminder of how much we have and how much we don’t need. We have never once given something away that we wanted back.
- Set a budget: Tough to do, but financial contraints make you realize where your priorities are.
- Save: Pay for a monthly subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Rdio, etc? Try, also, saving a similar amount. Saving $10-$15 a month adds up over time.
- Get out of debt: If you have student loans, credit card(s), a car payment, or other debts pay them off as soon as possible. Budget for all necessary spending in the month and use the rest to kill the debt.
- Regularly give money to something: Give 5%, 10%, 15% of your income to something a month. Make it something you believe in and are passionate about.
- Sponsor a child: Similar to the last item, but there’s a deeper human connection here. You’re often allowed to write to your sponsored child and hearing from them is a very humbling thing.
Give them a try! Nothing fancy or new here, but try one a month and see the difference it makes.