How To Start With Minimalist Living

Something has been bothering you lately. The life you have been living is just not doing it for you anymore. Something isn’t quite right.

There is too much stuff around your place and too little time and too little money.

The level of stress is going up and up and up.

Maybe you have been asking yourself things like, “What’s it all about?”, or saying things like, “There has to be a better way to live.”

Maybe you and your partner have been arguing about money.

You just know that some changes need to be made.

I am suggesting that living a more minimalist lifestyle may help to alleviate some of the stress.

Minimalist living?? What is that?

In a nutshell, a minimalist lifestyle is one that removes the clutter from your life. Not just your home and belongings. Your life.

You figure out what is absolutely essential and then you eliminate everything else.

The best part is that you get to choose what level of minimalist living works for you. Some people choose to get rid of almost all of their belongings while others living a pretty normal life but consciously choose what new items come through the door.

It is completely up to you.

My minimalist lifestyle is a work in progress. I have more stuff than I need (still), and am constantly trying to evaluate what I should get rid of.

If your house was on fire, what would you really want to save? Sounds extreme perhaps but maybe that is a good starting point to get you started.

Minimalist living is also about realizing that we are constantly being told by the media what our lives should look like. Companies are trying to sell us stuff that we probably do not really need. We need to realize that having more stuff does not really increase our level of happiness. Minimalist living can help keep us grounded in regards to the constant barrage of advertising.

As with any new venture I strongly suggest that you start small. Try not to do everything all at once. If you want to clear some of your clutter, just pick an area or room and spend a few minutes every day going through it. See how it makes you feel.

Are you inspired to keep going and tackle more? Do you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, lighter? These are common benefits of minimalist living.

You may find that you are reevaluating your priorities and values. What is truly important to you and your family?

Is it having too much stuff and not enough time to enjoy each other? Probably not.

Many a study has been done that examines how much stuff we have versus how much we actually use.

I have read that the average family that owns a home has in excess of 100000 individual items! And yet we use only 20% of those items. The rest of it just sits there taking up space.

I dare say that there are some items kicking around that could be purged. This is true for myself as well!

You may want to enlist the help of a friend. It is easy to have some kind of emotional attachment to your stuff which will make it tricky to be impartial when it comes time to let it go. Your friend will be a bit more practical. Phone a friend to help you.

It is worth mentioning that minimalist living is not the goal unto itself. Do not think about what you are giving up or giving away. Think instead of what you are gaining. More time, more freedom, more disposable income. Choose contentment. Pursue gratitude and generosity. Invest in relationships, grow spiritually, discover truth, and find purpose. Your life is far too valuable to waste chasing possessions.

Check out this post for more help on getting started with minimalist living.


Have you considered a minimalist lifestyle? What is holding you back from taking the steps that might get you there? Or what have you done that has worked for you?

“Live Simply”

Start Small

‘What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.’

~C. S. Lewis

Have you ever tried to make some changes in your life?

Maybe you wanted to eat a more healthy diet, or start exercising more regularly.

Maybe you wanted to get rid of some clutter and live a more minimalist lifestyle and be more organized.

Or you want to get your personal finances in order, pay off your debt and start actually saving some of your hard earned money.

So off we go, all gung ho and we implement a bunch of changes all at once.

“This is it!”, we proclaim with great enthusiasm.

A week later we are on the sofa with the remains of what was a full can of Pringles on ourselves. And this is after the cookies.

How did that happen? We were so sure that we could make the changes. We had read a bunch of stuff on how to make it happen and we had a plan to see it through.

I’ve been there. Jeez I have started more fitness plans than Madonna has had boy toys. Now THAT’S a lot of plans!

We have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew. We just do too damn much all at once. This causes us to get overwhelmed and when do not see immediate results we just say screw it. We quickly revert back to our old ways.

It may be easier to start small. Visualize what you want the end result to be. What realistic steps will it take to get you to that end result?

Just implement one or two small changes at a time. Keep repeating them every day and every week. These small changes will produces results.

It is a process and we have to learn to enjoy the process and not just get caught up in the results.

Congratulate yourself for every step you take.

It is just a series of steps you take. And then you just keep repeating the steps.

Gradual change leads to huge change, but slowly, and in a way that sticks.

Don’t over think it.

“Live Simply”

I Cried When I Read This

“Canned Hunts”.

Hmmm, what is this you ask? A new canned food perhaps?

Nope. It is the staged hunting and killing of various exotic species of animals,often hosted on South African reserves, where visitors pay a mint to bag something exotic — if you can call animals that were raised by humans specifically for the hunt exotic.

WTF??!!

Once again I say that we have lost our way as a species.

I have nothing against hunting for food.

But this is shameful.

giraffedead

According to Animal Shame, an organization that collects and posts these ‘trophy’ pictures on Facebook, the giraffe was eating from a tree at the time of slaughter. And it had probably been drugged prior to the…the what?? The hunt? This is done to ensure “maximum killibility”.

deadlion

‘It takes no skill or strength for “trophy” hunters – what a ghastly term! – to track down and kill these beautiful animals. Having been hand-reared by humans, they are accustomed to our presence. Heartbreakingly, it’s not uncommon for animals to trot trustingly toward canned hunters for a handout of food. Because these animals are usually kept in fenced enclosures (ranging in size from just a few square yards to thousands of acres), they never stand a chance of escaping, fighting back or surviving, and many endure prolonged, painful deaths.’

-Mimi Bekhechi The Independent

It seems that people who are so bored with life and have money to burn will pay to do just about anything. Why not use the money to help people or animals in need?

Killing animals in a staged hunt.

Sigh.

I just don’t get it.

Screw it. I’ll say it. Maybe these “hunters” should become the hunted. How much would people pay to hunt a human?

Surviving The Game

Let me know what you think about this in the comments.

“Live Simply”

Have You Ever Argued About Money?

Have You Ever Argued About Money With Your Significant Other?

I have a feeling that a large percentage of people would answer in the affirmative on this one.

According to various studies and surveys people would rather discuss sex, religion, politics, past relationships, family issues than spend time talking about their own personal finances.

Very telling isn’t it?

Furthermore, A Kansas State University study found that couples who argued about money early in their relationships — regardless of their income, debt or net worth — were at a greater risk for divorce.

So why the hell is money the big taboo?

I feel that we are not taught as youngsters how to deal with, manage, or think about money. It’s like it is this big mystery. So as we get older maybe we have made some bad decisions and then of course we do not really want to share this with anyone, let alone our partner.

Of course if you are just getting into a new relationship with someone, it is not very sexy to be discussing your level of debt or how much you make or whatever.

I say who the hell cares?

Easy for me to say now of course. My ex wife and I argued about money. Which is interesting. Our house was paid for, we had a business that did well. I personally wanted for nothing but I still wanted to “keep up with the Joneses”. Never mind that the Joneses were broke and in debt and living paycheck to paycheck like everyone else. But I didn’t see it that way of course.

So is there anything you can do to curb the arguing about money with your partner?

If you are have been in a relationship for a while and have some assets and debt you may need to obtain the services of a professional to help you wade through your issues.

If you are in a new relationship and things seem to be progressing nicely maybe you should ask some questions.

  • Separate or joint accounts?
  • Who pays the bills?
  • Are we splitting all payments equally?
  • How did your parents deal with money? Were they savers or spenders?
  • Are you a saver or spender?
  • Are we both going to work?
  • Do you have a monthly budget?
  • Do you believe in investing?
  • Do you want to own a house or rent a place?
  • Are new cars a must have or are you okay with used vehicles?
  • Have you made any mistakes with money?
  • How many credit cards do you have?
  • Do you save for purchases and pay cash or put it on credit?
  • Do you give to charitable organizations?

How would you feel about asking those questions or having to answer them? Some of you are probably shaking your heads right now at the very thought of it!

I get it. It isn’t easy but that is only because we are not accustomed to having this discussion. Once you start maybe it would be easy to keep going with it. Hell maybe you realize that you are not on the same page with each other in regards to money issues. Better to figure this out now than to be fighting about it a year or two down the road.

Here a couple of books that may help with this all important topic.

Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples (Maya Davis)

First Comes Love, Then Comes Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Communication

Sound off in the comments and share your thoughts!

“Live Simply”

A Great, Moving Quote To Start The Day

Hope you enjoy this moving quote as much as I did. Thanks AS;)

You are magnificent beings, in the perfect place at the perfect time, unfolding perfectly, never getting it done, and never getting it wrong. Be more playful about all of it. “Today, no matter where I’m going, no matter what I am doing, and no matter who I’m doing it with — it is my dominant intent to look for that which I’m wanting to see. I’m wanting to find thoughts and words and actions that feel good while I’m finding them. For in doing so, I am, in the moment, practicing the art of allowing all that I’ve been telling the Universe I’m wanting, for all of the days of my existence

—Abraham Hicks

The 20 most popular TED Talks, as of this moment

Originally posted on TED Blog:

8506166674_27b6649d38_b As 2013 draws to a close, TED is deeply humbled to have posted 1600+ talks , each representing an idea worth spreading. So which ideas have had the most widespread impact? Below, a look at the 20 most-watched talks as of December 2013. These viewership numbers include all the platforms we track: TED.com, YouTube, iTunes, embed and download, Hulu and more.

Some fascinating things to notice on this list, if you’d like to compare and contrast it to the most popular talks in 2012, and to the list we shared back in 2011: Amy Cuddy, Susan Cain, David Blaine and Pamela Meyer are all newcomers to the list, with Cuddy’s talk storming to spot #5 thanks to you sharing it. Meanwhile, Brene Brown’s talk has doubled in its number of views since 2012, with Simon Sinek and Mary Roach’s talks coming close to that line. And finally, Ken…

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Is Amazon Prime Worth It? Price Hike Is Coming.

What Is Amazon Prime and is it worth it?

Amazon Prime is a subscription service that offers certain benefits. Right now it costs 79.00$ per year but as of April 17th the cost is going up to 99$ per year. It should be noted that there is a family share option where you can split the cost with other people.

You get free 2-day shipping, unlimited instant streaming of over 41000 movies and TV episodes, over 350000 Kindle titles to borrow for free.

You may find that you benefit from the service if you purchase items from Amazon 10-20 times per year, average under $25 per order, and care about getting your stuff in less than a week. You’ll also benefit if you want to pay for Amazon’s alternative to Netflix—Amazon Instant Streaming—which they include as a membership benefit. As a result, you get two very different services that make it difficult to assess Prime’s actual value. In the end, you’ll find the service worth it if either benefit proves even remotely useful to you.

You have to really decide which Amazon service is going to be most useful to you. Amazon has so many services it seems a bit hard to do the math.

You can set up regular shipping for products that you use regularly. The Subscribe and Save Program allows you to subscribe for shipments of toothpaste, laundry detergent, dog food or anything else!

There is even an Amazon service for moms!

If you order from Amazon 10-20 times per year and opt for expedited shipping a couple of times, you’ll break even if you get Amazon Prime . If you opt for expedited shipping always, or even most of the time, you’ll save a lot of money. In the end, it comes down to how fast you want your stuff. If you can’t wait a week, Prime’s shipping benefits more than pay for themselves.

Amazon Prime Instant Streaming

Cable companies are getting smarter about how they offer their online content. A lot of networks are now making you have a cable subscription in order to login online to view content that previously was completely free. Sneaky, sneaky.

This is why you may want to try Netflix or Amazon Prime as an alternative and say screw you to the cable company.

Netflix charges a monthly fee of $7.99 per month, which comes out to $95.88 per year. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year(99$ as of April 17th!), which comes out to about $6.58 per month. Forgetting the nice shipping benefits you get with Prime, you still pay less for Amazon’s streaming services than you would with Netflix. If both services had the same library of options, you could justify a Prime membership in an instant. Things get a little more complicated because Prime lets you stream some content but Amazon’s video-on-demand (VOD) service charges you per episode.

Netflix wins on content by a long shot. They have exclusive access to a variety of popular shows—albeit some time after they air. That said, Amazon’s catching up. Downtown Abbey, a previous Netflix exclusive, now streams on Amazon to Prime members for free. Both offer original content, and both services received an Emmy for their efforts, but Netflix’s own programming tends to gain more press and popularity due to the revival of cult hits like Arrested Development and providing an outlet for established talent (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black). While Prime may suffer somewhat on content, its constant growth may level the playing field in the next year or two.

Ultimately it is your own needs that will dictate whether you decide to try Amazon Prime for yourself. If you want quicker shipping and you want to use there streaming service, then sure, give it a try. Like Netflix, there is a
free 30 day trial .

Do any of you subscribe to Amazon Prime? If yes, how do you find it?

How about the Subscribe and Save program?

Feedback would be greatly appreciated!