The more stuff you have, the more you have to manage and care for.
It starts innocently enough; you want to buy a house. You find the perfect one that’s got 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 car attached garage. You don’t need all that space, but man, you could do some cool stuff with that extra bedroom. So, you have all this space, you need furniture. You’ll need a bedroom set for each bedroom. Towels, wash cloths and bathmats for each bathroom. A living room set and big screen TV for the living room. Pots, pans, silverware, dishes, glasses, a fridge, stove, microwave and dishwasher for the kitchen. A dining room set to eat your meals at.
This house is a little more than you planned on spending, and buying all that stuff is going to be expensive. Maybe you can pick up a few more hours at work or get a part time job to pay for it.
Life just got way too difficult.
So, the easy advice is to never buy the house and all the stuff in the first place. But, we’re already in that difficult position, so now we need to get on the path to simple (see what I did there?).
So, to get out of this difficult life, you need to downsize.
First step is to figure out what you really need. Maybe you can live in just 2 bedrooms and one bathroom. I think you know where I’m going here. You’re going to sell the big house. You don’t need it. You’re working your life away to pay for it. DON’T KEEP IT!!! You’ve figured out that you can live in a smaller house, which means you can reduce your monthly payments (this includes a lower mortgage, cheaper insurance and lower utilities) and in turn, work fewer hours.
Now that you you’ve figured out you can live in a smaller place, you don’t need all the extra furniture and stuff. So the next step is to take inventory of everything you have and decide what you need to furnish your two bedroom, one bath house. Write it down on a list, take pics of it if you need to help visualize. Everything else you’re going to sell or give away. If you decide to sell you can use those proceeds to help pay for moving expenses. If you decide to give it away consider a charity that provides a tax write off for donations you make.
You don’t have to stop there. That off-the-showroom-floor SUV you bought last year? Sell it. Do you really need such an expensive automobile? Will it get you where you’re going any better than something a little older, a few thousand dollars cheaper? There are many benefits to buying used (for another article) and the biggest one is that it will save you money. Personally, I only plan to buy cars that are less than $5,000 and I plan to pay cash if at all possible. As long as it’s mechanically sound I will pay the absolute least amount I can for it.
You could possibly go a step further. If you live close to your job you could walk or ride a bike (and get great exercise at the same time). If public transportation is close by you may choose to utilize that. Just like a house, the cheaper the car the more likely it will be that you can reduce your monthly expenses associated with it.
There are so many benefits to downsizing. Not just monetarily, but also in the amount of stuff you have to spend your time fixing and cleaning instead of doing the things you enjoy.