This economy is forcing many of us to make changes and reprioritize the way we live our lives.  In my opinion, money is much more about providing security, not happiness.  It is in our nature to want more. But maybe it is time that we start looking at what we need and not what we want.

Our lives have become so complicated, wouldn’t it be nice to reap the benefits of a simpler lifestyle, while reconnecting with family and friends.  We are being forced to reevaluate what is really important in our lives.  Everything bigger is not always better.  Homebuilders are rethinking the big homes for smaller more manageable homes–less space for less “stuff” with smaller payments.

We all love the idea of a new car, but consider the fact that they depreciate the minute we drive them off the lot.  Even the nicest car will end up with scratches, dings, and in need of repairs.  I much prefer the idea of an older car with little to no payments.

Let’s take a look at all our monthly bills.  Can we eliminate anything?  Can we change services to lower a bill?  Don’t overlook your insurance policies.  Every 2 to 3 years reevaluate them for possible savings. Every small cut we make, adds up–may be enough to pay down or pay off a credit card.

How important are that fancy phone and the monthly bill that goes along with it?  I have downsized to a $15.00 pay-as-you-go phone (on sale).  I make only necessary calls when away from home and spend approximately $10.00 per month.  I placed my son on the same service which he does not mind.  He is happy to downsize to help out with the family expenses.  I don’t mind that my phone does not have all the bell and whistles, I am much happier with that extra money in our pockets.

Our big luxury is our cable television service.  However, I am loyal to the lowest competitive price.  I have seen very little if any, the difference between the different services.  We have a dish now and the only drawback is when it snows heavily, we lose connection.  We simply enjoy that forgotten book and catch up on family time together.

Let’s consider redirecting our attention away from ourselves and our problems onto others.  There is a sense of joy in helping another person in need.  I grew up listening to my Mother say “It’s not so bad that it could be worse”.  As bad as we think we have it, there is always someone who has it much worse. Volunteering our time and resources could change another person’s life for the better.

Strive to simplify your life this year and let us know how you did it!