Living the simple life doesn’t necessarily mean moving to a farm, churning butter, and making homemade pies for dessert.
Although that appeals to me since I’m a huge fan of living the farm life, it’s not for everyone, yet the simple life goes beyond that.
Needs Often Change As We Age Based On Lifestyle
Since hitting our 40’s living the simple life appeals to us because we care less about stuff and more about life.
Living in a city or even a tiny village in Canada brings many challenges, and one of them is keeping up with trends.
Whether it be fashion trends, housing trends, technology trends, or anything new that we think we need appeals to us.
No matter where we go, we are surrounded by buy now, sale, best price, lowest offer, and must-buy, which puts stress on consumers.
What happens is that we believe that if we don’t buy it now, we are going to miss out on savings, or the product might be gone forever.
Isn’t that crazy how we can get sucked in so easily?
I wrote a post earlier this year about living a simple life to avoid consumer debt, which is precisely what happens.
We fall for buy now pay later, payday loans, and any other gimmicks to help us get what we want.
You say you don’t, but the reality is that we all do. However, it’s how we execute and challenge these thoughts.
You might prefer to live a simple life because you refuse to give in to something that you hadn’t planned on getting in the first place.
The Simple Life Based On Wealth
Sure, if you have money to splash and want a massive home with furniture that matches and is special delivery from Italy, go for it.
That might be your simple life based on others in your net worth circle. Yes, that’s what I said.
People live the simple life based on how much money they have.
That’s why we often see bigger homes, more cars, second homes, boats, holidays, discreet shopping trips, and so forth.
Everything we do revolves around living a simple e life, or a prosperous life smothered in debt, looking rich or being rich.
I’ve seen plenty of shows where rich kids are removed from their environment and put into a family that lives a simple life.
Now, this family might be struggling financially and living pay to pay, or they have savings and are just enjoying what they can afford.
Either way, all of us have different views on what living a simple life might be.
The rich girl might think she’s living a simple life compared to her friends.
Families might believe they live a simple life compared to their co-workers, friends, and other family members.
Even Neighbours watch each other and compare and often say they must be going into debt for that reno, or they must be loaded.
It’s crazy how we think. Perhaps we’re all just a bit too jealous. Maybe so, but at the end of the day, none of what anyone else does matter.
Challenging Consumerism To Live The Simple Life
When you wake up in the morning, and your mind starts racing with all of the things you need to get done, that can be overwhelming.
We live in a consumer-driven world, which means that what we see we want or at least desire in one form or another.
Not everyone falls prey to consumerism, but the ideas enter our minds due to media persuasion.
Also, consider friends and family who may pressure the family to be or look better to the world to uphold their image.
There are so many things right with living a simple life that appeals to the people who don’t care what anyone else thinks.
The Simple Life 101 – Our Perspective
What does the simple life mean?
Living a simple life means not worrying so much about what’s happening outside of my little bubble of energy.
I enjoy lots of quiet time, road trips, and walks to explore nature while living a minimalistic life.
Often I try to reuse what I already have instead of buying new even if it doesn’t look the best.
Eating out hardly happens, and I prefer to cook homemade meals and create new recipes.
Making time for myself no matter how busy my life can be with work becomes increasingly important.
My family is first and always first because they’re the people I’m walking this path with.
I don’t desire brand new, or trends and nothing in the house matches and often sell what we no longer use in our home.
If I can save money using a rain barrel or composting, I’ll do it without hesitation.
I’m frugal and living the simple life enjoying what most people pass by because they are in such a hurry.
Appreciate What You Have
In all honesty, it’s a blessing knowing that we’ve gone from living a stressful life to an easier way of living.
Before, our thoughts revolved around earnings, toys, and a fancy house matching furniture and appliances.
It’s amazing how easy we realize the simplicity of life we once thought was a boring life.
Treating people with kindness and being happy is more important than debt and acquiring more stuff.
That’s my interpretation of living the simple life.
Yours might be different.
The Simple Life Is Not For Everyone
Is it better to live a simple life?
This is a good question because not everyone can truthfully answer it until they’ve lived a little.
It’s like saying you don’t like a particular food without tasting it first.
Often we learn from our mistakes, and in the case of the simple life, it may also be your first step.
Ideally, you don’t want to miss out on what the world has to offer or, even worse, become depressed because you haven’t explored your options.
If you want to move to a big city, live downtown, fill your apartment with the newest trends, and buy from little boutiques, go for it.
Don’t put yourself into debt for it, but if you have the money and want to explore this life, do it.
You may find this is your simple life.
Break Free From The Chains Of Consumerism
How can I make my life more simple?
You can make your life more simple by knowing what you want from life.
As I mentioned above, life experience will always be your number one critic when it comes to picking and choosing.
Create a list of what you feel a simple life would be for you.
- Less eating out and more homemade cooking
- Playing games with the family instead of going to sports events
- Small road trips instead of years out-of-country holidays
- Eating smaller meals and growing a garden
- Walk more instead of driving or use a bike
- Family time
- Reading books instead of watching television
- Going back to school and learning a new hobby or course
- Making time for yourself
- Nature walks
- Local community group participation
- Reuse what you already have
- Save money wherever possible
Now, make another list of what your current life looks like and what needs to change to live that simple life you just documented.
There’s no one size fits with to live a simple life.
The Simple Life Is Possible For Everyone
What are the possibilities of living a simple life?
The possibilities are exponential when it comes to living a simple life.
Living a simple life is based on need, whether you are struggling financially or financially secure and don’t care about consumerism.
Whatever you choose, do it slowly to see how each step of the simple life makes you feel.
If a family is involved, don’t do a simple life switch without their input because their ideas are just as important.
For example, if you want to sell your house and move to the country. You don’t have to, but it may provide for a simple life.
Ask the kids what their thoughts are about moving to the country, citing the pros and cons of country living vs city living.
Your children won’t live with you forever, and most often, what you do today reflects on them when you are gone.
Living Our Simple Life, Not Yours
Living a simple life boosts your health and happiness with less worry and improved self-awareness.
Self-awareness is understanding your character, feelings, desires, needs, motives, and wants.
Once you break away from the social norms, you have unleashed your lion, and the world is yours.
2. Less Stuff
Having less stuff is a significant simple life need of ours since we have too much.
Lately, we’ve been working on selling our stuff and getting rid of what we no longer need. Less is more, and we’ve come to realize that in 2020.
3. Reduced Waste
If we can reuse something, we will because there’s no sense in spending money buying a product repeatedly.
4. Improved Savings
The less money you spend, the bigger your bank savings will grow. Invest your money and control your debt by paying it off.
Reducing Household Waste Tips For Beginners is a great starting point if you’re interested in reducing your footprint.
Like anything, when we take it down to the bare essentials, we realize just how important things are.
It’s like having a child in a room filled with toys and unsure what to start playing with first.
The child might throw toys around because there are so many to play with.
Take all of the toys away and leave just one toy, and you’ll find that child will come up with new ways to play with that toy.
The same is valid for adults. The more we have, the less we take the opportunity to explore all of the possibilities of each item.
Minimize and become self-aware of what makes you happy from day to day and explore those avenues to live a simple life.
It may be a walk around the block or sitting on the front porch having a coffee and playing with the chipmunks.
Whatever you do, make it about you and your willingness to embrace what the world has to offer.
This has nothing to do with living on a farm but with preserving, creating recipes, and homemade cooking.
This year we have made jam from mulberries, strawberries, and blueberries with minimal effort and cost.
We’ve also made jars of pickled beets and are currently waiting for our crab apple cider vinegar to mature.
We bake all year long and create recipes without having to spend money on pre-made foods.
It’s not that we don’t, but we limit what we purchase because of these practices that we continue to explore.
Making time to do this is essential, especially if you have kids and work crazy hours.
I know I do it, but I still manage to eat a healthy diet with the odd treats that I make.
Make Time To Live A Simple Life
Motivation is key. If you want to be lazy, you’ll stay that way and continue to complain that your life is out of control.
Find ways to make it work even if you are working with limitations in your life, as my wife has.
Break the chains of consumerism and debt and take on the simple life that fits your needs.
Discussion: What does a simple life mean to you as you age?
Net Worth Losses and Gains
What happened to our money in September?
In September, we saw an increase in our net worth, mostly from increasing our investments.
Although we saw a modest increase, I’m sure it won’t last that long, seeing how the markets have been lately.
The financial markets are still very volatile, so I’m expecting the same fluctuations with our investments.
All we can do is ride out the storm without panicking since investing is for the long-haul, well, retirement for us.
We need to consider that we will not need this money for at least another 25 years or more.
Other than that, the remainder of the cash is in our emergency savings account.
All bills are paid, and we owe nothing.
What I can say at this particular time is we are lucky enough to be in this situation.
How was your month for money? Share your comments below.
Net Worth 101
What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?
Net Worth is a snapshot of your financial health, sort of like a picture or debt to net assets.
In simple terms, it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget, and not giving up.
Your numbers may go up and down, but don’t let the numbers scare you; rather, understand why and move on.
If you would like to use our budget, I offer a FREE downloadable budget that I created and that you can use.
I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money, not spend more!
There are tonnes of other free resources at Canadian Budget Binder to help you build your net worth.
Calculate Your Net Worth
Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?
We like to calculate our net worth every month to know if we are still on track.
Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly, but it’s up to you and how informed you want to stay.
Net Worth is only an estimate, and not everyone uses the same type of figures to tally it up.
Some of you may not include vehicles like we do or leave out assets inside the home as we have.
You might be that person that believes that your house should be excluded.
It depends on what you want to calculate or sell today and make money for tomorrow.
Figuring out net worth is relatively easy as long as you know your monthly financial numbers.
Net Worth is adding up all your assets (what you own) and then taking away your liabilities (what you owe), giving you a net worth number.
Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track meeting or beating your personal financial goals.
It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Determining Your Net Worth
Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)
When budgeting, anything is possible; we are proof of that, although we still have a long way to go in our journey.
These are our numbers and goals, not a means of comparison to your own goals to others’ target goals.
We don’t care how much money others earn or if they have a high net worth or lower than ours as it’s not a competition.
I hope our experiences will help guide you along your financial path, working towards debt freedom.
Not everyone has the same path in life.
Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.
Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or injured on the job, and so on, but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.
You were given trust funds, paid-for homes, educations, or other perks that give you a financial kick-start, and that’s OK too.
Earn It, Save It, Invest It, Build It
Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make; it’s how you save it.”
The reason people accumulate wealth because they know how to save or invest even if inherited or a lottery win.
Minor improvements should mean significant strides in working towards reaching your goals.
Sometimes we have to fail to learn, and we’ve all been there.
Money can be evil for some people, especially those who negatively affect their financial situation.
Be optimistic, and little by little with determination, you too should see improvements if you want that to happen.
Canadian Budget Binder Net Worth Updates 2020
Click the links below to read our net worth updates for the year 2020.
- January 2020 Net Worth Update
- February 2020 Net Worth Update
- March 2020 Net Worth Update
- April- Oops I forgot
- May 2020 Net Worth Update
- June 2020 Net Worth Update
- July 2020 Net Worth Update
- August 2020 Net Worth Update
That’s all for this month’s net worth update, but please check in the middle of November 2020 to see how we made out in October 2020 with our financial portfolio.
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Freedom Photo compliments of Nathan McBride