5 Reasons I Knew I Was Ready To Live Simple

“Old Timey Hipster Mugshot Selfie”
1. There was never enough storage space.
Every time I bought a bookcase, I’d fill it up. Every time I’d find some new space-saving doohickey or plastic container, I stuffed it to the brim. When I had to find something I actually needed like a screwdriver, I had to dig through layers of junk like extra cables and manuals to find it. 
Solution: As soon as I was able to empty a bookcase or a storage bin, I got rid of them immediately. If you don’t have a shelf, you won’t fill it with stuff.
2. I was done with adding to collections that would never be complete.
500 DVDs and nothing to watch. Sound like your house? Back when I used to waste time in consumer madness stores like Best Buy, I wouldn’t leave without buying something. A $5 DVD? I HAVE to have it! Working there for a long time didn’t help either. For the money I spent on movies alone I could have probably subscribed to Netflix and Hulu until 2035.
Solution: Sold the media collections off on Half.com and eBay. I still am a movie buff and an avid reader, but I find a digital version now. I borrow ebooks or rent movies digitally. My whole entertainment collection is my iPad. Much easier to move.
3. I was so tired of bill collectors calling.
I’ve had exactly two credit cards in my life and I’ll never have another one for the rest of it. Credit cards are designed to put people into spiraling debt that will get out of hand and beyond your control and that’s exactly what happened to me. My phone rang constantly for about a year. People will tell you they are good to have in an emergency or to build your credit. People say a lot of dumb things.
Solution: Made the tough phone calls and paid off my accounts as I could, starting with the small ones first. I also put $1000 in an emergency fund. I’m not worried about a credit score because a credit score only matters if you want to borrow more money you don’t have.
4. I was sick of people telling me that debt was “normal”.
Is being in debt normal? Yeah, it is. More people are in debt than are not, by far. Does that mean that’s something you have to be? No, it doesn’t. People told me I would always have a car payment or a house payment and that I’d probably never pay off my student loans so why bother trying? You write your own script in this life, not anyone else, that’s why.
Solution: I’ve made paying off my student loan debt a priority above everything and reduced a 15 year repayment plan down to about 2. Currently expecting to be finished in early 2015. Which is a lot better than 2028.
5. I realized there is no “perfect life”. 
Most of how we think we should live our lives is sold to us from corporations and television. College, Successful Corporate Job, House, More Money, Bigger House. Buy, Buy, Buy. Don’t make anything, just consume. We live in the age of Never Having Enough, I think that’s why the Simple Movement has grown exponentially after the financial crisis of 2008. People are waking up and realizing the only way to live a life free enough to pursue your own happiness means cutting out the excess from every part of it.
Solution: There is no perfect solution. It’s a journey and a growing process and there’s always more to learn. Part of the process for me has been reading about other people’s journey and writing about my own. Another person’s solutions might not be right for me and vise versa, so I’ll talk about what did work for me on Just Live Simple.

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