The Thrifty Thriving Dozen

These are 12 big ideas from the book ” Thriving on  Less” by Leo Babauta

1. Simplify your life to make room for the truly important. Clear away the clutter and the excess spending to make room for the essential: the people and things you love the most, that you’re most passionate about.

2. Remove the clutter of too many possessions, commitments and too much to do.

3. Something really great about a simple lifestyle is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money and you get a truly great life that costs almost nothing.

4. Identify the essential – that which you want to keep in your life. Then cut as much of the non-essential as possible.Create a Short List of 4-5 things in your life that you value most – people you love or things you’re passionate about, things you want inyour life. These are your essentials.

5. Scaling back your life and living more frugally is possible with the concept of living life now and enjoying it to the fullest. You can do it without destroying your future. Some ways of doing it are-

  • Find free or cheap pleasures
  • Make simplifying fun
  • Make people a priority
  • Find time for yourself
  • Sometimes, splurge
  • Track your successes
  • Reward yourself
  • Volunteer
  • Live in the moment
  • Slow down
  • Learn to find cheap, cool stuff

6. Society conditions us that we do not have enough and we are not satisfied. We already have enough, for most of us. Enough means enough to live, enough to be happy and enough to thrive. Think about these questions to find out what enough means to you,

  • What are the main things that make you happy?
  • What do you need to thrive?
  • What do you need to survive at a comfortable level?
  • What do you have beyond those things needed for survival, comfort, happiness,
  • and thriving?
  • What do you want that goes beyond enough — beyond what’s needed for survival,
  • comfort, happiness, and thriving?
  • If you didn’t want to have more than enough, could you work less?
  • If you worked less, could you be happy with enough, and happier doing other things?

7. The way to beat advertising is to escape it as much as possible. Avoid or consume less media.

8. Start with small changes. Start with changes that are easy. Some things to consider cutting are

  • cable TV
  • eating out
  • entertainment
  • online shopping
  • mall shopping
  • buying coffee
  • buying magazines, newspapers and books.

9. Once you have made small changes, consider to lower larger expenses. Things to consider are

  • smaller house or apartment
  • renting and not owning( if that makes sense after considering all the expenses)
  • one car, no car, smaller or less expensive car
  • living close to work
  • be more energy and water efficient, consider dropping your home phone and just using a cell phone
  • cheaper food- cooking your own food

10. Create new sound financial habits

  • Save a set amount of money from your checking account to your savings account every month
  • Control your impulse spending. Follow these three steps: 1) Monitor and become aware of your urges. 2) Enforce a 30 day ban on impulse buying and buy only necessities for a month. 3) Create a 30 day list: Anything not a necessity has to wait for 30 days before you buy.
  • Track your expenses every day for 30 days, check them and cut out what is not necessary
  • Invest for your future.
  • Keep your family secure: Emergency fund, Life insurance, other insurance, will.
  • Eliminate and avoid debt
  • Use the envelope system( putting budgeted amounts for various categories in separate envelopes) or a similar online system such as budget pulse
  • Pay bills immediately or through automatic payments

11. Eliminate debt by

  • Cancelling credit cards
  • Eliminating non-essential expenses
  • Have a spending plan/budget
  • Track your expenses
  • Have an emergency fund
  • Repay your debt and make debt your first bill
  • Try to find ways to earn more
  • Reward yourself for doing the above

12. Other ideas for thriving with less:

  • Look for used first.
  • Adopt a minimalist wardrobe
  • Stop online impulse buys
  • Don’t shop.
  • Use a 30-day list
  • Cut out cable
  • Use the library
  • Find free entertainment
  • Frugal exercise
  • Stay healthy
  • Commute by bike
  • Carpool or ride the bus
  • Walk
  • Sell your clutter
  • Frugal gifting
  • Quit smoking, drinking
  • Sweets in moderation
  • Drink water
  • Stay home
  • Stop using credit cards
  • Cancel subscriptions
  • Make your own
  • Do it yourself
  • Stop paying interest
  • Reduce convenience foods
  • Travel frugally
  • Cut your own hair
  • Maintain stuff.
  • Only buy bargain clothing (when you need clothes).
  • Telecommute
  • Cook ahead
  • Wash clothes less.
  • Sun-dry clothes
  • Become a vegetarian
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