Recently I mentioned that I was reading 7 Days of Simplicity by Jen Hatmaker. In this book, the author explores seven different areas of life to simplify. Simplifying in each of these areas can also reduce spending. Here’s a closer look at how I can apply this to my own life:
1. Reduce Spending in the Kitchen
It’s appropriate that the book starts off with kitchen spending. After all, I spend a lot of money on food. If I can reduce spending in my kitchen, then I’ll save myself a lot of money. Here’s how I plan to simplify my kitchen to reduce spending:
- Sell the gadgets I don’t need to make a little bit of money. Electric wine opener and popcorn air popper, it’s time to go.
- Change my delivery schedule. I get deliveries from Farm Fresh to You and HungryRoot every week. I’m going to alternate each of them.
- Eat plants. The more processed food I eat, the more money I spend.
2. Stop Spending on Clothes
This is so obvious and yet many of us end up spending too much in this area. I used to be really good about only shopping at thrift stores. Then I started impulse buying online. It’s not aligned with my ethics – about consumerism, environment or budget. Therefore, I must stop this.
Also, Hatmaker caught me: she notes that if you like something, you don’t have to buy it in every color. I am ashamed to admit I did this recently with a dress I thought I loved. It turned out I don’t even love it that much. And now I have five of them in different colors. What a waste.
3. And All The Other “Stuff”
Food and clothing are big ticket items. But there’s also a lot of other little stuff that adds up. Simplifying every area of the house will reduce spending. If I have ten pillows then I need ten pillowcases (or twenty depending on laundry habits.) If I reduce that down by donating six of those pillows, then my spending goes down accordingly.
Moreover, less stuff means less caring for stuff. It means spending less on cleaning. It means not needing to hire the 1-800-GotJunk folks because there’s no junk for them to haul away.
4. Reduce Streaming
I’m working on reducing my streaming TV habit. Simplifying this helps my spending in two ways:
- Obviously, it reduces my monthly cost. I currently have 4+ streaming tv subscriptions that I pay for. I don’t need that many.
- It also gets me re-engaged with life. The more I numb out with TV, the more I spend on frivolous things because I’m not being thoughtful. So I hope it will reduce my spending in this way as well.
5. Stop Tossing Things and Reuse Instead
This is something I’ve been working on getting back to for awhile: reduce, reuse, recycle – in that order. Obviously, simplifying in the above four areas while help reduce consumption and therefore spending. Now I can also turn my attention to “reuse.” I’m really good about recycling but if I upcycle and reuse instead, then I’ll certainly save some money.
6. Simplify Spending to Reduce It
The post I wrote about a couple of weeks ago came from this section. It was about how using a checkbook might allow me to get a better sense of my spending. I took some thoughts away from that although didn’t think a checkbook was right for me. After all, digital options do simplify my money.
But there were some other tips in this section. One in particular struck me. The author suggests going through your statements and finding out how many vendors you spend money with each month. Hers was 66. I haven’t done mine, yet, but I’m guessing that it’s comparable. She and her family tried to go down to only seven vendors in a month. While I likely won’t simplify that much, cutting my vendors in half would be a good goal. I’ll keep you posted!
7. Stop Stressing and Save Money
Finally, I’m going to make an effort to simplify my life with the aim of reducing stress. This might mean reducing obligations and commitments. Or perhaps giving more time to stress-reducing activities such as going for walks. Either way, the goal is to stress less. This saves us money in the long run thanks to better physical and mental health. And, like with reducing streaming TV, it allows for a better mindset that means better money choices right now.
- One Simple Step to Simplifying My Taxes
- How to Stick to a Frugality Plan
- Minimalism vs. Frugal Living
Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .