Simplifying Your Life Financially

Learn to live within your means.

Posted Apr 03, 2018

Pictrough/BigStock
Source: Pictrough/BigStock

Simplifying your life is about evaluating the things you do so that you can reduce what isn’t necessary or increase what is. Simplifying your life can also be about evaluating the number of things you have and want.

When I was growing up, people didn’t talk so much about living simply; people talked about living within their means—not spending more money than you make. In years past, not spending more money than you make meant not spending more money than you brought home.

Today, not spending more money than you make means relying a lot on credit. Many people live with financial stress caused by paying tomorrow for what they want today. This arrangement only works if you’re able to keep paying tomorrow. The threat of not being able to pay tomorrow contributes to high levels of stress.

The top two sources of stress for Americans have to do with money: people worry about their finances in general and about the jobs they have to provide those finances. Living simply for many Americans may mean finding ways to live within their means—reducing their debt, and avoiding living on credit. One article I read put the figure for consumer debt in this country at 11.85 trillion dollars; of that total, 918.5 billion is for credit cards, 8.09 trillion is for mortgages, and 1.19 trillion is for student loans.[1] No wonder so many of us can’t sleep at night.

Every household is different, but in order to simplify your life and reduce your stress, you may need to consider how you handle credit and debt. This is especially true if financial concerns are a major source of your stress. The abundance of credit in this country has allowed us to obtain more material goods and services than we are able to immediately pay for. There is no doubt we are wealthy people. However, for all of our wealth, we are not at peace.

For many of us, living simply may mean living with less—with fewer things and less stress.

Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 37 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.

References

[1] Tim Chen, American Household Credit Card Statistics: 2015. http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/ average-credit-card-debt-household (accessed October 29, 2015).

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