This is a continuation of Monday’s post – 20+ Steps to Bless Your Life – Simplify. You can read #1–12 here. Now it’s time for #13-22 plus two bonus steps.
Steps to Simplify Your Finances & Stuff
13. Refuse to Add to Your Debt – Nothing adds to stress and anxiety like worrying about money. The best place to start the process of financial simplification is to decide to stop making purchases that increase the amount of money you owe. Debt, fees, and interest payments are the opposite of simple.
14. Make Intentional Decisions to Get Out of Debt – You may need to get help there, but do everything you can to make and stick to a plan that will eliminate the stress of debt.
Dave Ramsey has several articles on eliminating debt. Click here.
15. Eliminate Clutter/Put Things Away – Clutter is stressful. Order creates calm. Ask your family to help you get the clutter under control If that doesn’t work, and let’s face it . . . it probably won’t, try this:
At least twice a day walk through your living area and gather up the clutter in a laundry basket. Put away your things and give your children until bedtime to put theirs where they belong. If they fail, put them up and have a plan for ways they can earn them back.
16. Clean Where You Are – I hate to clean. My solution is to clean in five to ten minute sessions. Wipe up the bathroom when I’m in there. Clean up the kitchen after dinner. It’s amazing how much I can get done in short spurts of effort.
17. Plan Ahead – Making a weekly menu, planning your weekly wardrobe, going to the store with a list . . . taking the time to plan removes confusion and stress during the week when you’re in a time crunch.
18. Stop Comparing With Your Friends and Neighbors – Just stop! Seriously! No matter what they say, the “whatever it is” is not making them happier, at least not for more than a moment or two. It won’t be the answer to lasting happiness for you either.
Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4
“If you measure your life by what you own, the cavern of your heart will never be filled.” ~ James D. Maxon
19. Know the Difference Between Your Wants and Your Needs – It’s easy to think we “need” something when the truth is we want it. Just asking the question is a good place to start. If it’s a want, my dad taught us the steps to decide between whims and real wants.
He would have us figure out how many hours we would have to work to pay for the item. For example, if you make $10 dollars an hour, and you want something that costs $75, you’ll have to work almost all day for it.
Then he’d ask, “Are you willing to give up a day to have that item?” After that, he would tell us what the $75 would be worth in 5 years if we invested it and ask us how important we thought the purchased item would be to us in 5 years.
The good part is he didn’t say no, he just helped us decide if that want was really important.
20. Celebrate and Enjoy What You Have – Shop your closet. Use what you have. Before you rush off to the store to buy a new outfit check to make sure you don’t have something similar in your closet. Celebrate what is. Change your focus and change your attitude.
21. Keep a Gratitude Jar or Journal – Writing down a list of things for which you are thankful helps you appreciate it more. It’s all about focus. If you are thankful for your home, a bed, transportation, clothes, a full stomach, etc. Write it down. They are blessings that many people around the world do without.
22. Downsize – Have a yard sale. Give it away. Do you really need two or three of everything?
I’ve started going through my closet and asking myself, “Would this be something I’d buy myself today?” If the answer is no, it either goes in a give away box or in an “I don’t know” box (a box I store in the basement for one season, anything that’s still in the box at the end of the season is given away).
Excess creates clutter, and clutter creates stress. Give it away. Sell it.
1. Write a Personal Mission Statement – A Personal Mission Statement will give you a clear and intentional sense of purpose. It will help you determine your values and goals, and define who you are and how you will live.
- Write a list of your core strengths and virtues – include personality traits, beliefs, strengths, character strengths, and values.
- Add a list of your priorities and goals – where you want to invest your time, energy, and resources.
- Organize your list and write it into a statement that defines who you are and states who you want to be.
2. Have a Family Meeting – Get together and discuss your family goals and values. Use your mission statements and lists from #2-5 in Monday’s post to work on your family calendar. You want the goal to be a reasonable schedule that is balanced and allows you opportunities to spend time together.
So that’s the list. Are you ready to celebrate Simplify Your Life Week – and make some changes? Leave a comment and tell us your favorite tip that simplifies your life.