This weekend I was doing some landscaping at my house with my mom and my husband. We were talking about buying edging for the gardens and I've always been partial to those little rock walls. Thinking "Well we have forty acres of rocks so that should work", I realized that there are a lot or "rock shops" where I live that sell rocks. Yes they are easier to stack so there is that. Generally they can run between $100 a pallet to up to $900. I've actually purchased big Clinton rocks to build stairs before. Those stairs cost $900. Clinton rocks "grow" about 2 hours for me in Clinton, Arkansas.
So why am I telling you about rocks. Because I became resourceful and told my husband what I wanted to do and that man, working hard as he does, got the tractor and in 3 hours had piles of nice rocks up by my front garden beds. We will be using "Robinson" rocks off the Robinson's Ranch.
We make life so complicated sometimes. One of my goals is to simplify my life and have a better quality. Moving to this big farm I have gotten where I crave it even more. I feel safe here, tucked away from the outside world of noise and crowds and consumerism. Here I feel like it's our little part of Heaven and I crave more and more time here.
Here are some of my reasons for simplifying & how I do it.
Reasons to Simplify
1. You don't have to work at a job you hate if you don't have debt.
2. You can enjoy relationships more.
3. The quality of your relationships is better when you are not stressed.
4. Having no debt brings a sense of freedom to travel or have hobbies.
5. You have time to focus on your "inner" well being as well as your overall health.
6. It gets you out of the rat race of consumerism that is never a long lasting thrill.
How to Simplify
1. Have a plan. Design your life. Where do you want to be in 1 year, 3, years, 5 years, 10 years..etc.
2. Figure out the steps to this plan. They will look something like this. Reduce bills, pay off debt (may require more work for a bit of time, short term work for long term gain), save money, work less, play more, enjoy life.
3. Have clear priorities about what you want so when you make decisions (especially financial) you can ask yourself "How does this impact my long term goals?". If you want to retire in 10 years on an average income getting a bigger house and going into more debt probably isn't part of your plan. Use your own rocks. :)
4. Get rid of the clutter, sale your stuff, pay off debt, save extra money.
5. Reduce your bills if you can. If you need to sell the boat, sell the fancy car with debt, sell the house (I've done it all for a time being then I was able to replace with cash eventually). Get rid of debt. I moved to a smaller older home (sold the one I built years ago). I drove an older paid for car. We sold the boat. Fast forward 14 years I purchased a farm, a boat, a car and built a home and we have no debt except a small mortgage that will be paid in a few short years. All because we saved and were able to pay cash.
6. Learn to meal plan, shop and cook at home. Reduce your meals out.
7. Learn to live with less clothes (This is so freeing I cannot tell you). Sell what you don't wear, buy better quality clothes (I find high quality clothes for a fraction of the price at resale shops, they are a bit nicer than thrift stores like Goodwill) that last. I bought two pairs of jeans that cost over $120 new in the past two weeks. I paid about $20 for them.
8. Think about entertainment cost. If we had good internet we would Net Flix everything but it's not possible where we live because we are limited on data so we are back to doing Red Box, even so a night at home with a Red Box DVD, homemade popcorn and smoothies cost us less than about $10 where a night out would be $50 to $100. I don't like crowds and would rather stay home with my honey and snuggle in my jammies and have my clean bathroom. :)
9. Daily you can make choices to help you save. If you meal plan you can cut a lot off your bill. If you buy breakfast at McDonald's every day for $6 a day every week x a month this is $180 a month, if you eat at home for $1.00 to $2.00 (easy with oatmeal or eggs and toast) you are spending $30 to $60, you have saved $150 to $120 a month. In a year you are talking about $1800 saved! And people wonder where their money goes. It's about 5 choices a day like this. You feel it in your bank account. If I buy
$100 a month ($1200) in retail clothing versus $200 every 6 months in resale clothing (and probably better quality) I have saved $800 a year! Recently I saw a woman on You Tube figure that making little choices like this each year saves her $14,000 a year. Seriously folks you can buy a good used car for that or pay off some serious debt.
Hope this helps. It really is the little things when it comes to money. Every once in a while you can save big like when I sold my house of 14 years and paid off my car and socked away a bunch of money. On a day to day basis you are faced with many chances to save that really add up.