If you're looking for practical tips to simplify your life so you can start living your dream…
…then you've come to the right place.
My husband and I had a big dream – to pay off all of the $150,000 worth of student loan debt. When we were living paycheck to paycheck and even overdrawing our bank account at times, we didn't see a way we could ever get them paid off. When the only thing a financial advisor can tell you is "You need more income coming in", it doesn't give you much to work with.
But then in late 2010 Harold got a job in oil and gas. And about a year later, so did I. We were finally making a really good income and it allowed us to get a good portion of the debt paid off. It allowed us to finally take a Caribbean cruise for our honeymoon (better late than never, right?), pay cash for Harold's truck in 2011, purchase a big, beautiful home in town, stay in a penthouse suite at the Signature in Las Vegas and rent a Porsche for a couple days, and pay $28k cash for a newer truck for Harold's work in 2014. It also allowed Harold to upgrade my diamond ring which had come from a pawn shop because we couldn't afford to buy a new one when we got engaged.
Fast-forward to 2015 – we still had about $50,000 to go and then we both got laid off in the spring. It was unsettling and it got us seriously considering selling everything and moving into a smaller house. Only for our next move, we wanted more land. If we were going to move at all, it had to be on more land than a small lot in town. And we didn't want to live in the desert either. So, we started looking for property in other states.
That's when we met with our friends who had grown up in Alaska. And they convinced us to check it out. To read more about our Alaska story, go here.
All of the job stuff and the uncertainty got us thinking about the things we really need to survive. We didn't need a big house. We didn't need all of the clothes we never wear. We didn't need duplicates and triplicates of stuff like kitchen utensils. How much could we downsize and still be able to live in a home that is functional?
Now that we live in Alaska in a small cabin rental right off the river, we have the opportunity to figure out what our next house really needs. We don't need more than 1,000 square feet. And evidently, we don't really need all of the stuff that's locked up in our 24' enclosed trailer because we've survived for more than two months without it!
Simplifying life to us is embracing the simpler life. Not getting caught up in buying new stuff we don't need. Not spending every evening and weekend watching TV. It's about being able to sit back and relax because the stress is gone. It's about getting out and doing more things that we enjoy. It's about finding ways to make household tasks like cooking and cleaning easier and cheaper. It's about eating healthier foods and living a healthier life.
I don't profess to knowing everything and I certainly wouldn't call myself an expert in this area. All I can do is share with you the things that we've been doing to make our lives simpler, easier, less stressful, and work toward our big dreams and goals. I hope you will follow me on the journey to a simpler, stress-free life!
Getting Started – Simplify Your Life & Reduce Stress
If you are looking for simple ways to live a simpler, more meaningful life, here are a few places to start: