It is not easy to go from a 'McMansion' to a 'Tiny House', but with some easy steps you can get there.
What are the benefits of doing this? Why do so many people downsize and live simpler? It's quite simple, it helps reduce stress. One reason it does this is by allowing you to work less. Can you imagine working part time? If you have a spouse, can you imagine them not needing to work? Want to live off of one income? Would you like to retire early? What is most important to you? Do you want to have more time with your family? Do you want to spend more time doing the things you love to do? Here are a few tips to get your started.
1. Moving to a smaller place is a great way to start. Go from a 4 bedroom to a 3 bedroom. Move from a 3 bedroom to a 2 bedroom, a 2 to a 1 and a 1 to a studio. Then you can move into a smaller studio and even a tiny house. It forces you to have less stuff. DO NOT get a storage unit for your things unless it is for all of your things and for a short amount of time. People waste so much money on storing things that they don't even use. If you are not using it, sell it or give it away. If it is trash, through it away. Seems easy, it's not very easy to actually do something about it though.
2. Try to use up only half of the space that you have. Why not try it, if you have two cabinets, try only filling up one of them. Two closets? Get rid of stuff or sell things to make everything fit into one.
3. Buy mulitpurpose furniture. Get a murphey bed, sofa-bed, or a desk that is also a table to eat on.
4. Instead of buying a desktop, buy only a tablet if your circumstances allow it. Tablets don't even require a desk at all.
5. Mount your TV if you even have one. This frees up space and allows for less clutter since you wont have an entertainment center. Or... get rid of the TV. You can still use Netflix or Amazon Prime to watch your beloved shows. It is just a lot cheaper to pay $10 a month instead of $60 or $100+.
6. Have closed furniture like a dresser to make things look less cluttered.
7. Try not accumulating things that you don't need. Resist the urge to go to the store or mall when you don't need anything. If you need something specific write it down on a list and only buy it when you have the money and it is next on your list.
8. If you are a couple, try getting along with one car. It is less expenses on maintenance and gas that way. Maybe your spouse is basically only working to pay for the car. Think about it. :)
It is time to start making changes. Stop living this 'American Dream' of having a big house, fancy car, and the family dog but really just being in debt.
Keep Your Life Simple With a Budget/Cash Flow
There are certain types of budgets for certain types of situations and people. Not every budget fits every person. It depends mostly on your personality type and also the amount of money you are earning. If you are struggling paycheck-to-paycheck you would use a different budget than someone who has a comfortable amount of income coming in. We will start with the most common first.
Paycheck-to-Paycheck - http://www.mishell.ca/
A paycheck-to-paycheck type budget is actually called a "Cash Flow." There are many apps that allow you to track your money via a cash flow system. If you are using a computer I would suggest Budget on a Calendar. This program helps a person to visualize when they will be out of money on a Calendar.
You put in when you will get paid with the amounts, when each bill is due with the amounts, and assign them with icons. You put your paycheck in and the amount and then it carries over each day and deducts the amounts that you spend each day. This is helpful because you will know exactly how long your paycheck will last. You can know how much you have to spend for other things besides bills and keep better track of your money.
If you are having problems with your budget and are not tech savvy then you may want to try the old fashioned way of using envelopes. This system works by using cash. You deposit your check into the bank and immediately take out the money as cash. You have a separate envelope for each bill or expense for the month. Right away you put your money in the most important envelopes first, rent, car payment, insurances and the like. The easiest way to do it is put the money in the envelopes that have a fixed amount first. The ones that are more flexible or that change can have money put into the envelopes after the fixed ones. That way if you need to cut back then you can cut back with the expenses that are flexible.
Make sure each bill or expense is in a separate envelope and you can mark on it how much is supposed to go where. Then if later in the money you need to spend money on something unexpected you will have to take it from another envelope. This is a good visual since it makes more of an impact that when you spend money outside of your budget that it takes the money away from something else. This can help those that are really struggling with sticking to a budget or are constantly in debt.
Online Budget Connected With Your Accounts - https://www.mint.com/
Mint is a good budget program that works online, on your phone with an app, or even on your tablet. Mint syncs with all your devices and you can share it with your spouse so they can follow and adjust the budget also. This program gives you the option to connect your bank accounts, credit cards and even long term savings accounts. This type of budget is not for those who need a cash flow system. It does, however, help with those who have a little more money but would still like to know where their money is going.
With this type of budget program you can create a budget and then over the period of a month, if chosen, you can see where you are at. The program is very visual and shows you if you are within budget, green, if you are getting close to your cap, yellow, or over your budget, red. Mint automatically determines what expense goes to which category, however, allowing you to adjust it if need be, and learns from what you decide the expense is going to tagged as. This makes it easy so you don't have to type in each expense you make during the month.
Hope this helps, stay tuned for more ways to keep your life simple!
We are all looking forward to the new gadgets to be released on Tuesday, September 9th, 2014. Rumors are all over the internet about the long awaited iPhone 6 with a bigger screen. I am hoping that the bigger screen will allow for a skinnier device along with a longer battery life.
The event may include the long awaited iWatch with some sort of health monitoring system. We are awaiting some of the new updates, announced at the most recent Keynote, integrated into the new hardware as well.
Missed the Keynote? Here are the Highlights
One of the rumors is the the iPhone 6 will have a larger screen. Makes sense since that is where the market is turning.
The smart-watch market still has barely been tapped and there is much Apple can do to add quality to this type of equipment. I wouldn't be surprised if we are looking at a pretty hefty price attached to it, though, because of the quality.
Keep checking in and I will let you know the best Live Blog to watch the Keynote, since most of us have day jobs but still want to see what's going on. :)