Monday, October 22, 2012

More or Less: Where Less is More

Picture from Kunz Design         

There are two ways to boost your income or standard of living.  The first is to make more money, and the second is to spend less.  Most people only look at making more money as the answer to their problems, but spending less can actually make a bigger difference in the long run.  The following examples show how this is true.
1.        If you are currently making 50,000 per year and you can cut your expenses in half, then you can retire much earlier because you don’t need as much money to live on. 
2.       If you get rid of excess clutter in your home, it will take you less time to clean and more time to do the things you want.  It will be easier to find things.  It will also provide financial benefits because you will shopping less when you choose to have fewer things. 
3.       Instead of going out and buying Christmas china to use once a year, use your nice set of china that you already have.  You will have more space in your cupboards this way and will save yourself money as well.   
4.       If you were an extreme couponer, and you purchased 200 bottles of a name brand sports drink for only 5 cents each, you will save a lot of money over the regular price.  But, if you just drink water, you will save a lot of time that you would have spent cutting out coupons, buying an enormous amount of stuff that has to be carried out to the car and then into the house to take up a lot of space, and save yourself the hassles that can come with coupons.  You will also save the $10.00 that you would have spent and will be healthier since water is better for you.
5.       If you purchase inexpensive items like vinegar and baking soda to do most of your cleaning, you are saving money, saving space in your cupboards, and helping the environment at the same time.
6.       If you go out to eat and split a meal, you will get plenty of food and can avoid overeating.  You will also save money as an added benefit.
7.       If you make cookies and only have one or two at a time per person, the cookies will last longer.  You won’t have to cook as much and you won’t be eating as many calories and you will save money since you are eating less.
8.       If you are traveling and only take the allowed carry-on luggage, you will save the baggage fee for checking in a bag and you won’t have as many clothes to keep track of on your trip.
9.       If you consolidate your trips into one major trip a week, you will save money on gas, save time that you would have spent going back and forth to the store, and your car will last longer because you won’t be driving it as much. 

Image from All Room Furniture

10.   If you only wash your clothes when they or dirty or when they stink, you will do less laundry and therefore spend less money on utilities.  You will also spend less time doing it.
11.   If you use half as much shampoo and body wash than you normally do or if you wash your hair every other day, you will use less shampoo, etc.  They will last twice as long.  You will save money since you don’t need to buy as much and you will save the time and effort it takes if you had to get more.  You can also use half of what you normally use for dishwasher soap or laundry soap.
12.   If you take shorter showers or shut the water off and use less when you brush your teeth, you will save money. 
13.   Some places have punch cards where you get a punch each time you go.  If you fill up the card, you get a free meal.  There are certain days when you get double punches.  If you go to the restaurant on those days, then you need to go less times for your free meal.
14.   If you are willing to go out at during different times, like happy hour for example, you can pay less money for more food.
15.   If you are willing to live in a smaller home, you will have a smaller mortgage and more financial freedom in your budget each month.  You will also spend less on utilities.
16.   Use less disposable items.  If you use containers to store food instead of Ziploc bags, you will save money by not buying the bags, save the time washing the bags if you do, and save contributing to more trash when you throw them away.  Use rags to clean instead of paper towels and use regular plates instead of paper plates. 
17.   By keeping your old car until you can’t drive it any more, you save the money you would have spent buying a new one as well as the higher insurance that you would have had to pay with a newer vehicle. 
18.   If you spend less by choosing to rent a DVD through Redbox instead of buying it, you save a lot of money as well as save yourself the clutter in the home. 

Image from All Room Furniture

Having less gives you more freedom, both financial and with time.  It decreases the stress in your life when you are not surrounded by so much stuff and it reduces your carbon footprint.  When you take the time to slow down and get off the treadmill of thinking that more is better, you find more peace, enjoyment and happiness in what you do have.  Less is more and having less can certainly save you money as well as improve the quality of your life.


  1. Such good honest & solid advice. This is the kind of advice that is not only obtainable but makes you wonder why so many folks don't!