Diva Musings

Thriving on Less by Leo Babauta

In the continuing study of Minimalism I have been reading “Thrive on Less: Simplifying in a tough economy”

The main bases for the companion book is the impact that a minimal lifestyle can have on your economic future.  It seems to be an easy correlation actually, if you need less stuff it will cost you less and that will make it easier for you to get through tough times.

This is a free companion book to the actual book “The Power of Less” so there are a lot of references. I am inclined to buy it to dig a little deeper but I want to get through the books that I have already bought on the subject before buying more *Leo would understand I am sure :).*

The book focused first on clutter, let’s face it most of us have lots of it.  Whether the topic is self care or minimalism there seems to be a general conscious that one must start with a clear of all things that get in your way, whether it is emotional package or physical.  We humans think and process better when we are less distracted.

The first action steps in the book are to determine your “essential” things, the things YOU could not live without.  These was pretty easy for me.  My computer with internet access and my bike, my pets and my ability to enjoy those things.

I love the question “what does enough mean?”

I am sure that every person is going to have a their own answer to this, which makes it more interesting!

I think that it is obvious, but just in case…. we are talking about what happens AFTER you have meet all your survival needs, you have food, shelter etc…  What do you need to not just survive by thrive, what are the things that make your truly happy and successful!

If you decide that you are happy with “enough” what would it take to sustain that? Maybe you don’t need to work as much?  Maybe you decide that traveling is important, so you make the decision to live without a car so that you can take an awesome trip once a year.

I am ALWAYS happy to read someone recommending small changes, to me small changes are easy and they offer quick successes that will motivate you to keep moving forward toward your goal.

For some people reducing the amount they eat out is a quick and painless way to cut back.  Replacing costly entertainment options with free or cheaper.  Cutting back your spending in all areas, step-by-step.

After looking at the little things…. start to look at the bigger things… smaller or no car, small house/apartment.  Then move on to savings, controlling spending and cutting more significant costs. Creating a plan and systems to make sure you and your family is safe and secure while enjoying your life!

Reducing debt…. this is a pretty big one and certainly if you are part of a family unit this is something that you all need to agree to work on. Leo’s #1 recommendation is to cancel your credit cards and cutting back all non-essentials things until you have things under control.   Putting together a plan is definitely a major step, I believe you need to know exactly where you are and have a step-by-step plan to move you froward.  Don’t forget to set up your emergency fund first, so that you can keep your family safe and secure.

Living frugal should be the first thing you do, in my opinion. It is vitally important. But it’s only a part of the equation — spending less only gets you part of the way. Earning more gets you the rest of the way.

YES!  Find something you are passionate about and launch a new income stream based your passion. You might not become a millionaire, but a little extra will help you get your finances under control.

Leo goes on to list some fundamental tools that can assist if you are thinking about making a commitment to move to a simpler lifestyle, check out the book to learn more.

Some great resources for more info.

The Power of Less: the fine art of limiting yourself to the essential in business and in life

Zen Habits – Leo’s blog

The Minimalist Path – David Damron

Just to name a few!

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