When I graduated from college and decided to defer (forever) my entry into law school, I moved to Italy to find myself. I ended up meeting friends for life, learning Italian, and eating too much gelato. While I won’t say I found myself, I will say I found God there. But that’s another ebook.
Though my monthly salary was higher than the national average family salary, it was barely enough to cover rent, food, and the occasional train trip to somewhere fun. We lived on pasta noodles, baguettes, and the only possessions we had would fit in a suitcase or two. My room was a closet, like literally, I think it was a closet. We rode public transportation, made idiots of ourselves in conversation (see the beginning of this post), and were just plain happy.
No fancy clothes. No fancy cars. No cars, in fact. Not a lot of money, but a whole lot of life.
I then came home, did my masters, and felt called to do a ministry course in the UK. Again, I left with two suitcases full of clothes and that’s it. I lived for nearly two and a half years only accumulating possessions that would fit in my suitcase. No money. No fancy cars. No cars, in fact. No new clothes. And we were happy.
I got pregnant, we moved to Australia, and began “real life”. We got an old car, now a pretty new car, and a bigger place to live and more stuff. But still I find myself with lingering positive effects from those 5+ years out of a suitcase. I know stuff doesn’t make me happy. I know I need stuff, but I know I don’t need to be ruled by stuff. I’ll get a nice pair of shoes or a nice rain jacket if the budget allows, but if I can’t… whatever.
The book was written inside me, not from some decision to live frugally and simply, but as a result of choosing to live life adventurously and finding out that was actually much more fun. So, here’s the dish on my ebook.
More stuff does not equal more happiness.
Yeah, you probably know that already. But if you really believed it’s true… wouldn’t it be easy to stop spending and simplify? If we knew that contentment was not measured by our possessions, shouldn’t we automatically steward our resources well? Yes. But it isn’t always that simple.
And why not?
Because it isn’t the big lie (more stuff equals happiness) that has deceived us. No one thinks they would say on their death-bed, “I’m so glad I had that massive TV, a closet full of designer clothes and a new car every year.” And yet… month in and month out we spend our money on things that don’t keep. And deep down it does bother us.
Deep down we wish we could manage to save more, spend less, and live more simply.
The key is not to create rigid rules and guidelines for ourselves and our families that are doomed to fail. After all, life is meant to be lived and enjoyed! The key to success is realizing that great enjoyment can exist no matter how much money or stuff we possess. For lasting success, we need to change from the inside out, not the outside in.
How do we change from the inside out? Simply put, we confront all the little lies that prevent us from living simply and we replace them with truths. Life, culture, family, society and our experiences have molded how we think about things. We’ve formed deep beliefs that affect our behavior. When those beliefs are light and truth, we thrive. When those beliefs are deceptive, we do not.
In this book you’ll discover:
√ Why you continue to impulse shop when you know you don’t need stuff.
√ Why you still feel the need to go shopping with a closet full of clothes.
√ Why everyone says babies are so expensive (even though they’re not.)
√ Why frugal living and simple living are often at war.
You’ll read tried and tips on:
√ Learning to mind your own business to prevent envy.
√ Maintaining a beautiful and inviting home on a budget.
√ Learning to be the entertainment instead of seeking paid entertainment.
√ Getting out of the unfulfilling Keeping up with the Joneses rat race.
Other tips on frugal and simple living include:
√ How to use home remedies to help meet your family’s needs.
√ How having your own garden, food storage, and emergency preparedness can help you save.
√ How having effective systems and organisation in your home prevents excess.
√ How purpose breeds contentment in our daily lives.
So if you really want to know why – in spite of the desire to be frugal – you:
√ Feel more secure with more stuff?
√ Think downsizing is going backwards?
√ Are envious of others possessions?
then this book is for you!
So far my book has sold just under 900 copies. No huge New York Times bestseller or a windfall, but enough for me to be happy that I wrote it!
It’s only $2.99 this week and you can click here to buy it on Amazon.