Life becomes overwhelming with commitments to friends and family, work demands, and devices consuming your attention. On busy days, you feel like a hamster racing in its wheel, wrapped in red tape. You begin to wonder if everything in life comes with a price tag.
At times, it’s necessary to take a step back and observe how life is going. Is it all too much?
Maybe it’s time to simplify. Live a happier and more fulfilling life by getting back to basics and saving money in the process:
Do you have all that you want or need? Do you have “enough”? Modern culture is built on socially persuading everyone to need more because you deserve it. Once you have a new possession, you must upgrade or update it to keep current, relevant and functional. You spend more to be comfortable, but are you? Have you had enough?
For your personal sanity, redefine what enough really means to you: financially, physically, emotionally, morally and more. Forget everyone else’s definition of “enough.” You are enough.
Cut the cords and save money by ditching cable and your landline. More people are saving money and streaming TV shows directly from the networks online or subscribing to more affordable services such as Netflix or Hulu.
This is the way to go if you only watch a few shows anyway, or if you want to cut out excessive TV time. Landlines are also becoming increasingly irrelevant as people use cellphones as their main contact. What services aren’t necessary? Reclaim your time and life by cutting the cord.
Do you know where your food comes from? Does the smell of commercial cleaning products make you recoil? Do you reuse and repurpose, or do items go straight into the trash?
Convenience should make life easier, but you regularly replace products, waste your money, and end up doing damage to the environment and perhaps your own health. Take a moment and look at some of the many ways you can get back to lifestyle basics—by growing your own food and making your own cleaning products, for example. These things don’t take as long as you think, and you’ll feel a sense of fulfillment and true satisfaction providing for your family this way.
Do your possessions possess you? Large homes and lawns need constant upkeep, from cleaning to maintenance. Expensive cars need recurring repairs and often some with too much financial red tape. What possessions are tapping out your financial, physical and emotional resources?
Let go of the high-maintenance demands in your life to expand your personal freedom. If you spend, invest in experiences, not stuff.
Trends are constantly shifting and it’s hard to keep up. Following fashion trends can get expensive quickly. Why do you have to replace whole sections of your closet every season or year?
Stop being a slave to fashion. Stick to classic styles, which don’t have a season or need a reason to be worn. Shop for vintage finds in consignment shops or thrift stores. Repurpose items or host a closet exchange with friends. Save money and look fabulous.
The stress of keeping up with due dates adds up. Forgetful moments happen, and late fees and credit dips do, too. Time spent navigating automated systems and getting checks in the mail are more frustrating than they should be.
Many companies offer savings when you automate your bills, such as on a consistent monthly phone or internet rate. Save money and time by automating your bills.
Bulky, heavy furniture fills up rooms in the house, requires too much cleaning, has limited purpose, and might make you feel claustrophobic. Well-built, multipurpose furniture and items in your home will simplify your space, open up a room, and provide less stress. Relieve your decorating budget, your time, and your sanity, without sacrificing style.
Maintaining simplicity in your life will free up your time and ability to enjoy life more. Live a fulfilling life without filling it with items that hold you back, and save money and your sanity by focusing on simplicity.
This article by Kacey Bradley originally appeared on Success.com.