We all love the idea of being able to simplify our life, to eliminate the chaos and the fuss, and focus on the important things in life. Sounds good right?
Did you know that by simplifying your life, you can actually save a whole lot of money too?
Of course, you’d think of the ‘less things = less spending’ equation, but there are daily elements to living a simple life that result in you saving money.
Whether you’re wanting to simplify your life in order to help you achieve a financial goal, to help you reduce overwhelm, or to simply clear the clutter from your life, there are some easy ways to add more simplicity, and more money, in your life.
It’s easy to think of life as complicated and stressful. But if we simplify our lives, it’s not only easier on us but also on our wallets!
What Does It Mean To Simplify Your Life?
We’ve heard the term ‘simplify your life’ before, but what does it actually mean?
Essentially, the idea is that you keep things in your life streamlined and uncluttered, so you can focus on what’s important.
When we simplify our lives, we generally reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ and time-wasting things/people in it.
It allows us to create a daily lifestyle that is in alignment with our goals, is what we want, and serves us, rather than being reactive to what comes up when it comes up.
It takes a conscious effort to choose simplicity, especially when there is so much consumerism in the world, but simplifying our lives can actually lead to far more happiness and enjoyment, especially when we do get to focus on what is important to us.
There’s no hard and fast rule about what a simple life looks like – because it will look different for everyone.
But as you read through these tips to help you save money by adding more simplicity to your life, think about if that style of simple living fits with your goals and what you want your life to look like.
These 5 tips are a great place to start when you’re wanting to simplify your life and the best part is they will help you save money too.
1 – Wear The Same ‘Uniform’
When you think of wearing the same ‘uniform’ every day, we think of a work uniform, or a school uniform, but you can actually create your own uniform wardrobe too.
And while you might think this is just to save money on clothes purchases… it’s actually for much more than that!
Wearing the same thing means less time getting ready (which could help you save even more money on smaller things like electricity used), and can help you to be more productive of a morning.
It also means less time choosing what to wear each morning, fussing about whether or not you’re wearing the right thing, or if what you’re wearing looks good.
Steve Jobs is famous for doing this, as is Mark Zuckerberg, removing a day to day problem of what to wear, and using that energy for something more productive.
This also helps eliminate ‘decision fatigue’. We have so many decisions to make each and every day, removing some of these decisions can mean that we use our mental energy to make better decisions, rather than more.
You can keep it simple by wearing just a few outfits and having them fully interchangeable with each other, you’ll be surprised how much easier your life will become.
If you’re keen, you can even create your own capsule wardrobe to help with this.
Wearing simple clothes, or a ‘uniform’ doesn’t have to mean that you always look the same though… choose classic items like jeans/pants, t-shirts and button up shirts, a classic dress/skirt and a jacket or two.
Then combine these staples effortlessly in various combinations of colours and make them unique with accessories.
2 – Meal Plan or Eat The Same Meals
Similar to the above tip, eating the same meals is also a great way to save time and money.
So many of us have jobs that get in the way of our regular meal preparation times, or we are just so darn exhausted by the end of the day, that the idea of having to choose something for dinner seems like such a big ask.
This means more frequent take out or fast food options! Not only is this not good for you but they’re extremely expensive too…
An easy solution to this is to plan your meals for the week during one night of the weekend, so that it takes almost no effort throughout the busy work/school week, and so you don’t actually have to make that decision!
Make enough food for a few dinners and then freeze them in individual portions (you can even find some great reusable take out containers online at an affordable price).
Another option is meal prep: make a ton of healthy dishes on Sunday or Monday evening and you’ll have lunch ready all through the rest of the week.
This saves both money and time – win-win situation!
My favourite recipes are super simple ones like roast chicken with veggies…it’s cheap, delicious and can be made without much effort too (leave it in the oven and go).
Another great option is to eat the same meals throughout the week. I’m not talking about eating Spaghetti Bolognese 5 nights in a row. Rather a set ‘menu’ for each night of the week that you just repeat week after week.
For example, you might have chicken meatless lasagne on a Monday, tacos on Tuesdays, chicken wings on Wednesdays… etc.
This also helps you keep your grocery budget in check as you can literally just repeat the same grocery order week after week.
Change things up with different spices and dressings and you won’t get bored with your meal choices.
3 – Declutter Your Home
Clutter is distracting, it’s easy to buy things because they look pretty or you think ‘you might need this one day’… but if we take a step back and think about whether we really need something before buying it – life can become much simpler.
Decluttering your home not only makes the space more appealing but also saves money on your energy bills.
This is because every item in our home requires some kind of power to be ‘on’. So, the less items we have – the lower those costs will be!
Once decluttered you can sell what’s left and make a bit of money back too!
You could even turn it into an opportunity for a family challenge by hiring a dumpster or renting a storage unit for just one weekend so that you can all can help sort through everything together.
Getting everyone involved helps them to be accountable and also encourages less clutter in the future (and perhaps speed up how long it takes).
This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything though.
Keep things that are useful, sentimental, or that you just like. Just make sure that you aren’t keeping them because of the rule ‘out of sight, out of mind’…
If it’s not useful – let someone else use it! There are loads of places to donate your items like charities or goodwill stores.
Some countries even have some great companies who will come and pick up all sorts on stuff from us (for free)… they then sell it online for a good cause at affordable prices.
For things that can’t be donated (like mattresses), recycling is always an option too.
Not only does this help reduce landfill but often there are local businesses which offer discounts when purchasing new products if old ones have been recycled first.
Tips For Decluttering:
1 – Do a ‘first pass’ and remove 10 things from each room of the house.
2 – Choose which room to focus on first, don’t stress about decluttering perfectly, just give it a go.
3 – Repeat this process for each room.
4 – Create more effective storage options, but remember, you may not need more storage, you might just need less stuff.
5 – Repeat step 1 – you’ll be amazed at how much more you declutter.
6 – Sell items that are in good condition that you no longer want/need.
7 – Donate items that don’t sell, but are still in a good condition (Goodwill is not a dumping ground for all of your unwanted junk).
8 – Recycle what you can, dispose of what you can’t.
9 – Enjoy your clutter free home.
4 – Have The Same Social Schedule
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: the less decisions you have to make, the easier your life becomes.
This one is obvious but many of us struggle with it!
We might want to see everyone and feel as if we’re missing out by only seeing a couple people, or not being able to keep in regular contact with everyone – but this just isn’t realistic in our high-paced world.
Pick one or two friends that fulfil different roles (for example: workout buddies vs family) and schedule events around them once per week/month…or even every few months .
And actually schedule it in – put it in your calendar. This will help reduce any guilt over not seeing your friends enough.
By creating a schedule like this, you eliminate any extra stress about who to hang out with on which day of the weekend.
Even better is when you can do something really cheap like go for a walk together while getting fresh air or grocery shopping instead of spending money by going out to dinner or meeting at the pub.
Another option is to set aside one day a week for catch ups, and one evening for a catch up dinner.
You could even hold a get together and have multiple people around to catch up all at once. Homemade pizzas and movies are a great option, are lots of fun, and cheaper than a night out!
When you set your social schedule, be sure to tell your friends too!
All of my friends know that Tuesdays are my catch up day, and I pretty much stay at the coffee shop all day meeting with friends.
It helps me to stay organized on the other days and stops me from spending every day at the cafe too (the perks of working ‘from home’).
5 – Have A Core Budget
Everyone’s budget is different – and while I don’t subscribe to the idea of using percentages to budget your income (it just doesn’t work for everyone), I DO believe everyone should have a core budget.
If your current paycheque covers rent, bills and groceries without any extra cash for social events or movies/coffee with friends then great! You’re already doing better than most people out there…but that doesn’t mean you should settle.
The idea behind a ‘core budget’ is to prioritize items in your life (like savings goals) before spending more on luxuries like going out for dinner or buying new clothes every month .
It’ll take time to get used to not purchasing anything other than necessities but after some practice it will become second nature…making life much simpler overall!
Over time as your income rises (bonus checks, raises etc) you can even increase your spending on the fun things a little bit.
It’s about making sure the ‘core’ things in your life are taken care of, and so you know exactly what your minimum viable budget is each and every pay cycle.
When creating your core budget, you need to take into account ALL of your bills, even if they aren’t due that week/month. This is to help stop surprise expenses coming up and messing with your well planned budget.
The easy way around this is to automate your bills. Here’s how to do it:
How To Automate Your Bills
1 – Make a list of all of your ‘bills’. Every recurring expense, everything that pops up like car services, subscriptions, utilities bills.
The only one you can exclude from this is groceries, because that should have a separate spot on your budget anyway.
2 – Work out how much each of your bills will cost you over a year.
3 – Tally up the total cost of your bills for the year.
4 – Divide that by the number of pay cycles you have in a year.
5 – This is the amount of money you need to put aside each pay cycle to ensure your bills are covered.
6 – Put this money in a separate bank account and have all of your expenses automatically deducted from this account.
For example – say your total bill expenses for the year comes to $21,500 and you get paid weekly, you would need to put aside $415 each pay cycle to cover your bills.
I also suggest adding a buffer of one week of bill expenses to start (if you can) to help eliminate any late fees or overdrawn fees on your account in case a few bills come in at once (an easy way to save money on fees too).
Simplifying your life to save money is not always easy but it can be done!
While the process might take a little effort at the start, the payoff in the long run will be worth it.
Living a more simple life, with less decisions, less clutter, less chaos will lead to many benefits in your life, including the ability to save money and (hopefully) help you to achieve your financial goals sooner.