Wednesday, August 27, 2014

20 Ways to Simplify Life

I am a list-maker at heart and I love to brainstorm ideas and solutions to problems. Here are 20 ideas to get you started on the road to simplicity.

1. Get rid of the excess in my home.  Only keep what is beautiful and useful. It makes cleaning easier and I won't need to spend as much time doing it.

2. Have everyone pitch in on the care & keeping of our home. I am not Superwoman and will no longer to try to do it all. 

3. Do 15-30 minutes of cleaning every day. I want to be able to do things I enjoy & rest on my off days - not spend all day cleaning.

4. Buy quality over quantity. Buying fewer items, but of better quality so they last longer.

5. Have a minimalist wardrobe. I wear my favorite things repeatedly while the rest of my clothes languish in the closet. Time to carefully and thoughtfully upgrade my clothing one piece at a time.

6. Find quick, healthy recipes for work days. This will not only be better for our health but will save money.

7. Simplify the colors I use in my home & wardrobe. By limiting the colors I use, everything will mix and match well. And it will be more soothing and calming.

8. A simple makeup/hair routine. I do not fight my wavy/curly hair each morning. I work with it. I prefer wash and go styles. My makeup is pretty simple also - a little foundation, blush, powder, a sweep of eye shadow over the lids, mascara on top lashes only and gloss. 

9. Shower at night instead of in the morning when I have to get ready for work. This would give me more time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and read before work. 

10. Write out a menu plan for the week. Need to get back to this. I abhor going to the grocery store after work!

11. Only buy groceries once or twice a week. See number 10!

12. Wash a load of clothes when basket is full. Dry & put away immediately. I am bad about letting the clean clothes pile up, so I am diligently trying to change this habit.

13. Go to bed early. I usually go to bed by 10pm but 9pm would be better.

14. Go digital as much as possible. I've gotten rid of most of our CDS and DVDs. I can all of my favorite music on Spotify. I'll probably resubscribe to Netflix in the future for access to movies. Online banking saves me time and postage, thereby reducing paper clutter. I want to convert all of my pictures to digital version, too.  

15. Have less material needs. As I rid our home of more and more stuff, I'm realizing there is not much I need. The stuff does not make me happy. Having time to do what I want and rest does!

16. Spend less. By spending less, we will be able to apply more money towards debt-repayment and savings.

17. Save more. By saving more money, we can be better prepared for the unexpected, thus our stress will be reduced.

18. Only buy with cash. We won't be increasing our debt by purchasing things we do not need. 

19. Pay off all debt. My goal is to be 100% debt-free in 8 years or less. That's real freedom!

20. Simplify my yard work. I've been looking at minimalist yards. I hate weeding flower beds and I don't have the time now for major upkeep. Clean and simple sounds wonderful! 

Please share ways you have simplified your life in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Off the Deep End?

I have been on a kick lately to get rid of as much of the unnecessary (read clutter) and simplify our lives as much as possible. The catalyst for this change was when I began working outside the home. I simply didn't have enough time to keep up with everything! 

My husband, Alfred, thinks I've gone off the deep end. He worries we'll get rid of stuff we will need in the future - say dishes and silverware. We rarely have company over for dinner and never a huge crowd - except for birthday parties. I can use paper plates and plastic eating utensils for that. No biggie!

He has yet to come around to the idea of the minimalist lifestyle. I get it. I have read countless books, articles, and blogs over the past year. I just go on my happy little way, clearing the clutter and simplifying. The more I get rid of, the happier I become. 

I don't nag or throw his stuff out behind his back. I have plenty of my own stuff to handle. There is no doubt in my mind he will come around to my way of thinking once he sees the benefits of having a happier, less stressed wife, a cleaner home, more money and more free time.

If that's considered going off the deep end, he ain't seen nothin' yet... *smile*

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why I Am Attracted To the Minimalist Lifestyle

1. I want to live a simpler life.

2. I want fewer possessions, but higher quality.

3. I want freedom.

4. I want to be more mindful.

5. I love spacious, streamlined rooms. To me, it looks and feels luxurious!

6. A smaller wardrobe where everything fits well and flatters my coloring.

7. More time to do the things I enjoy.

8. Less upkeep and maintenance. 

9. More money because I am not recreational shopping or trying to fill empty spaces in my home.

10. I want to have only what is useful and beautiful in my home and life.

11. No piles of paperwork. I'm going digital!

12. Creating a vacation spirit in my every day life.

13. I don't want to spend my off days endlessly cleaning.

14. More experiences, less things.

15. More time with family and friends.

16. Becoming debt-free instead of creating more debt.

17. Less stress and worry.

18. Be happier.

19. We don't have to have a huge house or rent a storage building.

20. I am ready to clear out the excess and the unimportant and create my ideal life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Change Can Be Good

I have never been very fond of changes, but lately we've had several. Most of them have been good changes. 

The older I get, the easier it is for me to go with the flow. I don't have to be in control of everything.

One of the biggest changes of late is soon, Alfred will be leaving his current job of 14 years. He was offered a job with double the annual pay and lots of benefits!

This will help us to become debt-free sooner than I had planned.

We are both excited about the changes and to see what the future holds. 

Here's to change and good things!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Changes, Simplicity and Living Well

There has many changes lately and even more to come in the near future. Seven weeks ago I started working full time as Customer Care Specialist at a Chevrolet dealership and have been promoted to Warranty Administrator. Once my 90 day probation period ends I should get a pay raise!

I am still continuing my ever-present goal of simplifying every area of my life. I am rarely on Facebook these days, preferring to read & rest when I get home. 

I've stopped email notifications on my cell phone and only check it a couple times a week. I've unsubscribed from newsletters and sale alerts. I'm not looking to go on a shopping spree anytime soon...if ever! *smile*

I'm ever deleting blogs and FB pages I'm no longer interested in. 

I pay 99% of my bills online using online bill pay.

I had planned to hold a yard sale, but I'm working every Saturday for the time being. So I'm just going to donate my stuff to charity. I plan to do that this week! There is a lot and will be more, I'm sure. 

Today I'm going through papers and getting rid of as much as possible. This girl is going digital!

Slowly, but surely I am peeling away the excess. I feel I have so far to go still, but I can't stop now. It feels good to live with less. Less worry, less cleaning, less maintenance, less money wasted. 

I want more time to relax, rest, do things I enjoy, spend time with family and friends and enjoy life. That is my idea of living well! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Where I've Been

Wow, it's been over a month since I've posted! There have been some big changes here recently.

I started a new job and am now working full time as a cashier/receptionist in service at a Chevrolet car dealership. It is much easier on me physically and I love it!! I'm making more money per hour and get paid holidays, vacation, and benefits. I am off every Sunday and I have a whole weekends with my family every other week.

We have spending a lot more time at the beach at Pirates Cove. We get  there early and set up at a picnic table under an oak tree and make a day out of it. It's so nice to come home relaxed from a day out in the sun and water to shower, make a simple dinner, and turn in early. 

I recently bought a Kindle and have been reading like a fiend. Making up for lost time, eh!  

For the 4th of July we went down to The Wharf in Orange Beach and watched the laser light shows, fire enchantress and hula hoop girl acts and fireworks. It was an enjoyable evening.

Oh! And I almost forgot! June 29th, Alfred and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary with a day at the beach, of course. *big smile*

Overall, life has become more busy but it's all good. I'm happier than I've been in a long time. I do miss blogging regularly. I may only post once a week on one of my days off. I haven't quite figured it out yet. 

Until next time....

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Frugal Doings

Bought a pair of dress pants I needed for a job interview for $7 on clearance. They were a bit long so I asked Mama to hem them for me. Regular price was $19.97 for the pants. I saved $12.97.

When we bought our sectional sofa a few years ago it came with three large throw pillows. The colors were not to my liking. Several months ago I bought a gorgeous beachy fabric and Mama made slipcovers for them. They are perfect!

I was able to refinance my car loan from a 12.24% interest rate to 3.98%.

Our son bought his first new car, a 2014 Dodge Dart. He got a 5.14% interest rate and his payments are affordable. He bought his own insurance through USAA, who we also use, so we were able to remove him from our policy, lowering the premium.

Each month, I have been tracking our debt balance total. It's so exciting to watch the balance drop! 

One of Alfred's credit cards expired and the company sent us a new one. I have chosen not to activate it so we can pay it off. 

Took the girls bowling last Friday. For Kenzie it was completely free, Kayla and I had to pay for shoe rental which was $6.54 for the both of us. We had a lot of fun!

I've written out my budget for June.