Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Do You Do Simple?

I have pondered this question and this word now for a while. Every so often, I will hear people say they are trying to simplify things, life. What does that mean and how is it done? I want a simple life, or do I already have one? It confused me for some time and I never really got an answer from anyone in the process of simplifying that made sense to me. The girl who does my hair and I always talk about stuff like this, we share the same views on a lot of things and so it's nice! This morning when I was getting my hair done, we talked about simplifying our lives through reducing our housing costs. Neither of us had any easy fix-it's, but it was nice to brain storm and dream! We both felt like if we could, we'd sell our homes and buy less expensive ones! I was still unsure of the word Simplify so I looked it up on Webster's. Here is what they say:

Main Entry: sim·pli·fy
Pronunciation: \ˈsim-plə-ˌfī\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): sim·pli·fied; sim·pli·fy·ing
Etymology: French simplifier, from Medieval Latin simplificare, from simplus simple
Date: 1759 : to make simple or simpler: as a : to reduce to basic essentials b : to diminish in scope or complexity : streamline c : to make more intelligible : clarify.

I love the words streamline and clarify in the definition. I read somewhere that we actually only use about 20% of the things we own, the other 80% is considered clutter and not necessary. I went through our house recently and tried to get rid of this 80%. It was extremely hard and I don't know how big of a dent I made, but I at least made a dent.

And then I got to thinking that it might not necessarily be about the things but more the bills. We are in a position where we only have a mortgage and utility bills. We have gotten rid of everything else, even cut up, and do not own a credit card. We don't have one for emergency's or booking travel. We rely on our debit card alone. It's a little scary sometimes, but so far, so good. After all, this is fairly new for us. I wish Tyler could drive a newer 4 door truck instead of his 1970's pick up so we didn't have just one family car-but I suppose that makes it simpler, right? It sure makes it interesting and the kids can hear Daddy coming home a mile away!

So, how can I continue to simplify the bills that we do have? I think about this often as I do not bring in any money to our household, and I really don't think I could go back to working now. I can justify this by pricing out 3 kids in day care-it's just not going to happen! And on the simple factor, not getting ready for work and rushing the kids out of the house by 6:45 every morning, has really simplified things! Plus I can cook. I am actually kind of good at it, I enjoy it, and I love having the time to do it!

Out of all the bills, the mortgage is obviously the biggest. We couldn't refinance in this market. The house next door to us, which is comparable to our house, went up for sale yesterday for almost $100,000 less than we owe on our house. Ouch. I know most people are in this position, but when it's right next door to you, it sucks. It's not the only house around either, there are many more just like it! I never really liked the house next door until yesterday! So, in my head I have it all worked out, smaller mortgage, smaller house, smaller house bills=simplified, right? Easier said than done. The realistic approach is to just deal with the way things are and know that someday it will all level out again. Of course, that is not the way Tyler and I seem to operate, if there is a will, there is a way, and we'll find a way to make it better, or more simplified for our family!

And, since the house next door is for sale and empty and CHEAP-we are interviewing for some good neighbors!

So back to Simplifying; I am still working on it, trying to figure out what it means for our family, and how to accomplish it. I love to hear what everyone thinks simple is, please share with me. I am so curious about it. I know it will be something different for every family, but I also know there will be many similarities. Some on a grand scale, and others on an easy fix! I am looking for the easy simple fix to simplicity if it exists!
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