Living with Less to Gain More

Do you ever have the feel like you’re being pulled in multiple directions, overworked and stressed, never have enough time or are constantly worrying about money? Me too.

Somewhat paradoxically “less” may be the secret to getting back control over your life. Focusing on the essentials, being more selective about what we do, minimizing the stuff we strive to obtain and consume, spending time with the people that matter. Living a life with less allows us to focus on what really matters. Cutting out the crap, the unnecessary and the toxic, is key to making this philosophy work.

Time to focus on a beautiful sunset

I’m trying to live a simpler life and am increasingly buying into the idea that less is more. Reducing physical and mental clutter, freeing up time to focus on passion projects and family, finding joy from experiences rather than things. This reductionist approach also aligns well with my goal of financial independence, allowing me to save more by spending less, given my dramatically lower desire for possessions. I also happen to like the minimalist aesthetic.

Below is a list of actions I’ve taken over the past few months to simplify life:

  • I now don’t buy books and instead borrow from the library (accessing digital books using an App called Libby)
  • Donated car loads of furniture, clothes, books and unused sporting equipment to charity. It was all in great condition but not being used or no longer loved.
  • Sold our house and downsized to a smaller rental. This is hopefully just a transition step to an even smaller place in a year’s time as we try to reduce our footprint even further
  • Cancelled cable and eliminated that significant monthly expense
  • Stopped eating out/getting takeaway multiple times a week. As a family we are now eating cheaper, healthier and often more tasty meals
  • Kept my old phone despite being constantly bombarded with upgrade offers
  • Started daily intermittent fasting. Not sure if this is having any positive physical effects yet, but I definitely feel better for it
  • Stopped buying lunch at work and am now bringing my own. I tend to bring the same thing each day which can feel boring some days but does streamline prep time and eliminates any decision fatigue
  • Implemented a replace not add rule regarding new purchases. The driver behind this idea is not to add to the endless list of possessions we currently already own and to only buy things when a replacement is necessary
Living Life with Less

Things we want to do soon but haven’t achieved yet:

  • Become a one car household again
  • Eat less meat
  • Stop/dramatically decrease time in front of the TV and device usage

Long term ambitions:

  • Financial independence
  • Establish my own business
  • Increase the time each year I dedicate to travel

What have you been working on and what are your long-term ambitions? Can “less” work in your life too?

Thanks for reading

Mr Simple Life

Subscribe to Simple Life Compass

Success! You're on the list.

13 thoughts on “Living with Less to Gain More

  1. As someone who once downsized her entire life into 3 suitcases, I can tell you living on less is totally worth it. I’m about to do it all again from this year into next as I prepare to move out west so I can build my tiny home. 🙃

    Go for it. It’s totally worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for the slow response Alexis. For some reason your comment was stuck in my spam folder. Wow, I can’t imagine downsizing to 3 suitcases. We are a long way away from that. I love the idea of a tiny home though and would love to see yours when it is built. Are you going for one that can be transported or rather a small permanent building?


      • That’s okay! I wasn’t expecting an immediate response. 🙂

        I’m building my time home on a permanent foundation. To me, that’s a better investment. It will appreciate faster and the resale value if I move or die, will be better. Also, no one can steal my house!

        I do travel a lot, but the idea of using even more fossil fuels to haul around a house using a big truck is poor irony to me, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great tips! It looks like you’ve done a lot of the things that we’re trying to think about for our long-term goals (eventually we’ll downsize, etc). Thanks for posting!

    I’ve been purging so much from our house for the sake of simplicity. I’m excited for our annual community garage sale this weekend because we have so much baby gear we’re going to try to sell on account of deciding to be a one-child household. Hopefully we’ll get double benefit: getting money for having less stuff. Win-win!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck with the garage sale! We did something similar and also used Facebook market place and EBay. In addition to the benefits you point out, I also felt better that things were going to get 2nd life with a new owner rather than going in the rubbish. Someone is going to be very happy with your old baby gear

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the physical benefits of a less wasteful lifestyle, like eating more homemade meals and intermittent fasting, are tangible and well worth talking about. One of our FI goals is to devote more of our time to growing our own food, which is something we do now but not to the scale we want. To me, there is no better example of thrift than spending one or two cents on a seed that can produce enough food to feed you multiple times over a growing season. It’s so healthy and pleasurable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds fantastic. Love the idea of farm to table eating, being from your own garden. Super healthy and fresh. I don’t have a green thumb though so would probably starve if I shared your goal 🙂


  4. Pingback: How to live a more simple life without money worries | Simple Life Compass

  5. Pingback: Tips on how to prepare for and enjoy travel photography | Simple Life Compass

  6. Pingback: The paycheck to paycheck cycle of desparation – why you need to escape NOW! | Simple Life Compass

  7. Pingback: FI Around The World: Considerations for those pursuing Financial Independence outside the US | Simple Life Compass

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s