I want to share with you one very important “rule” which I apply on a very regular basis:
The “Simplify your Life” rule.
“Simplify Your Life” means in fact: organise your actions, assets and costs in such a way that you can finance and enjoy your desired life-style comfortably. (see also the Blog Managing Your Money and The Money game for more information).
How much time do I spend on things I do not want or need? Am I not spending too much money on unnecessary things? That magazine, I receive automatically every week, do I still like it? Is it necessary to take the car and could I not take the bike (to be honest, this is rather my husband thinking it and not me)? Do all my books in the cupboard still make me happy or could I make other people happier with them? That old bike in the garage, what else could I do with it (that is rather my thought than my husband’s)?
Can I afford to have a massage every week and get the stress out of my body? Do we manage own money ourselves or do we let somebody else take care of that? Do I travel to others countries to work on projects or do I search for projects closer to home?
“Simplify Your Live” is not about cutting costs. It is about becoming aware of the value and the cost of your actions and assets and feel good about them.
- If the value is too low compared to the costs, abandon.
- If the value is there, but you cannot afford the costs yet, start thinking on how can you make this need affordable.
- If the value is there and the costs affordable, keep a status quo.
Your life changes and the world around you changes. This may have an impact on the development of your needs and wants. It is good to regularely evaluate of needs you presently have. How can you integrate these in your life, without making it complicated.
You may want to rethink your priorities every couple of months:
• Understand your Needs and Wants.
• Abandon Burden: abandon unnecessary expenses.
• Decide which Needs and Wants you want to keep and fullfil.
• When implemention the decisions, make choices that make your life simpler!!!
It sounds straightforward and logical, but it often is harder to do than you think. Take implementing this rule slowly and go for the “low hanging fruit” first.
We started for example by cancelling certain subscriptions to magazines, giving up on the appartment in Amsterdam, selling furniture sitting already for years in the basement, giving cloths and books away (de-clutter your house and you de-clutter your mind). When we were still living in Brussels, I also started spending one week per month in France by concentrating my working hours in periods of three weeks instead of spreading them over four weeks. Later on we even decided to move to France alltogether, simplifying that process even more and getting rid of even more burden.
On our recent decision to move to Luxembourg and making our French home again our holiday house, we were having multiple discussions whether it did add to our “Simplify Your Life” rule.
Surely, having a second house will increase costs and burdens. On the other hand, the finding of the type of work we like so much, interaction with professionals in the fields we are interested in and improvement of our social life in Luxembourg, Belgium and Netherlands, will become much simpler. To us, the value of the move outweights the obvious costs and adds “simplicity”, so we decided to go for it.
Finding the balance, making choices and implementing the decision is where you have to be courageous. You may have to take risks making your decisions. Unless you are able to look into the future, some results of the decisions, can only be found by implementing them and living them.
Key question each time is: Does the decision add value, does it make my life simpler and do I happily pay the price for it?
Let us know how you would “simplify your life”. What would be good for you to abandon as a burden? What kind of decisions have you taken to balance value and cost?
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If you want help to find out how you could “Simplify Your Life”, just contact me directly.