Living a simple, frugal life!

Living a simple, frugal life!

Photo taken by – Joseph Smith

The day I started simplifying my life is the same day I began living it. Living a simple, frugal life is within your grasp, just like it is for everyone. It takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit, so I want you to take the next 21 days and begin with one of the many things I will talk about in this article. Yes, actually make a conscious effort if you want to change your life.

Difference Between Needs and Wants

Whether you are single, in a relationship with no kids, or married with one or more children, you need to understand the difference between the needs and wants in life.

Needs are things you simply cannot live without:

  • Water
  • Food

Pretty short list, isn’t it?

Wants are simple, they are things you CAN live without:

  • Smartphones (yes we can live without our phones lol)
  • Game consoles
  • New, shiny vehicles
  • New clothes
  • New shoes
  • TV
  • Speakers

The list of wants could go on and on but I am going to do us both a favor and stop. Many people are struggling financially and everyone wants to know ways to save money. How about spending your money on things you actually need and then instead of buying that new TV you put that money in savings?

We, as human beings have a natural motivation to impress others. We all feel the need to buy the newest electronics or vehicle or clothes. Don’t fall into this trap! If you want to live a simple, frugal life then spend your money on the needs in life.

I am not saying you cannot treat yourself every once in a while. Yes, take your family on vacation and go explore this beautiful world. Just remember your needs should always outweigh your wants.

Changing Your Mindset

Having a simple mindset is key to living a simple life. Above I spoke about the difference between your wants and needs so I want to work off that. Some of you honestly believe you can never go a day without a phone. So I want you to try it. Yes leave your phone at home and go for a walk or a movie with your significant other. Disconnect from the world for a couple hours and see how you feel.

When you come back, your phone is going to be sitting there, waiting for you, and you are still going to be healthy and alive.

It was hard for me to change my mindset. About 5 years ago when I was living in Northern California, I had access to all the hiking trails you could imagine. It took one hike in nature, by myself, no phone, to understand what it means to appreciate the little things. I enjoyed the sounds and the smells of simply walking through the woods and up a waterfall. The rest of the world stood still and it was just me, in that moment. From that moment on, I have worked at simplifying my life.

Another way to change your mindset is to only control what you can control. Too many times I will talk to someone about issues in their life and they will tell me a story about something that they had no control over. So why become so upset? Why invest so much time and energy into something that is completely out of your control?

Let me give you a tip… LET IT GO.

Control the controllable and let everything else go.

Make Time For “ME”

This is one of the most important things you can do for your personal health. I know all you parents out there do not make enough time for yourself. Whether it’s running little Johnny around after school or making dinner or doing laundry, when do you ever just take a few minutes to focus on you?

“Me” time has to be one of the most underrated topics when discussing personal health and improvement.

Take time to meditate. Go see a movie by yourself. Maybe me time is when you go to the gym. Clear your head of work and the kids and all the other issues in the world. If you do not make time for yourself than you cannot be the best parents, partner, coworker you possibly can be.

It’s the Little Things in Life

Have you heard of this saying? Of course, you have. Everyone has. But when you think or talk about this phrase it is so powerful. Living a simple life gives you the ability to enjoy the little things in life. Yes, you may live a life full of clutter and still appreciate small things in life but I can almost guarantee you will feel much better when you de-clutter your life AND enjoy the little things.

If you do not know what little things are I will give you a couple examples:

  • Singing in the car with your partner or children
  • Not having traffic on the way to work in the morning
  • Having a cup of tea in the morning
  • Your husband putting the toilet seat down after use (FINALLY)
  • Your wife watching the game with you

These are all very small things in life that can make your day so much better if you make a conscious effort to give them your attention and appreciate them for what they are.


Do me a favor and slow down. Take a breath. I realize that today’s society has you working to your limits but you also need to find the special moments throughout the day to be grateful.

Stop and take a look around. Look up from your computer or smartphone. Meet new people and share stories. Spend more time with the ones closest to you. Read more books. And please… control the controllables.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. Opinions, love, and support is always appreciated.

With Gratitude,

Joseph Smith

10 thoughts on “Living a simple, frugal life!

  1. Your post is just what I needed to read right now. Thank you for your share, and I believe that it is forever committed to my memory.

    For me, the hardest want that I wanted to take control over is my habit of “hanging out” with my phone. I don’t allow myself phone during the first hour of the day and ever since my life took a whole different route.

    How about you? What was yours most difficult want to control?

    1. Ivan,
      Thank you for the kind words and taking the time out of your day to comment and read my article. I am grateful to hear I made an impact.

      I would have to say time management. If I have 5 things that must be accomplished I tend to complete the task that I want to complete, rather than the task I need to complete. Then a couple days go by and the task I should have completed catches up to me and what do you know… I put myself behind schedule.

  2. Wow, what a great read and so so true today everything is at a million miles an hour. Its so easy to forget what really matters some times and not actually enjoy life.
    I remember watching a film “I can’t think of its name” but it was about a man who could time travel and everyday he would repeat the same day over just to enjoy the little things it really stuck with me and how amazing life can be some times.

    thanks for your post Joseph I truly enjoyed it.

    1. Jason,
      Thank you for the kind words and taking the time out of your day to comment and read my article. I am grateful you enjoyed my post.

      I feel like I have seen that movie too but I also cannot think of the name. Many people, myself included, could always improve on appreciating the little things in life.

  3. I love everything about this! We realized that about 2 years after our daughter was born that we just had so much stuff! We donated a lot and “purged” the house and honestly no one has suffered a bit! I love what I am reading here. Life is short, enjoy the simple things!

    1. Carla,
      Thank you for sharing that story. I hope you enjoyed this article. Make sure to read other posts if you are interested!

      With Gratitude,

  4. This really brings to mind years ago when I moved from Dallas, Texas to rural central Illinois. It took several weeks before I was able to adjust my thinking that did not have to fight rush hour traffic. Got to work often before the doors were even open.

    Love to watch the “Tiny Living Show” on HGTV where people go from huge homes to a tiny home with as little as 400 square feet of living space and see how they down size their needs.

    Will be saving this post to refer back to from time to time


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