Monday, January 13, 2020

Simple Living

Simple living is a part of spiritual life or Sadhana. It leads to peace of mind and happiness.

Simple Living

What is Simple Living? 

In the spiritual context, simple living means living with the least needs. I will describe its various aspects and examples in the form of a bulleted list below:

1.     Curbing desires and not splurging on luxuries.
3.     Nor borrowing money. Not using the credit card
4.     Having an attitude of dispassion.
5.     Having few personal needs and possessions.

Why should we inculcate simple living?

Simple living primarily gives peace of mind. Contentment leads to joy and happiness. Other benefits are:

1.     Simple living results in more savings, investing and financial security.
2.     Peace of Mind.
3.     No worries about paying EMIs and Credit Cards.
4.     Loan sharks will not chase you.
5.     You will have more time for exercise, yoga and meditation.
6.     Good health.
7.     Long Life.

How to Start Simple Living?

Honestly it is not easy to figure out how to inculcate the habit of simple living. I am saying this out of my own experience. Even though my earnings were decent I used to struggle to meet both ends meet. As soon as the cash came in it got spent instantaneously. Almost the entire month I would struggle without liquidity. This hurt me a lot. I was upset and decided to analyze and find out where things were going wrong.

On analysis I found out that I was wasting my resources on the following:

1.     General Travel related to Amba Retreat work, family functions, son’s education, etc.
2.     Many unplanned pilgrimages.
3.     Many holidays.
4.     Eating out/-ordering food online.
5.     Unnecessary shopping – especially on clothes and accessories.
6.     Car loan EMI.
7.     Credit card dues – even though I had started using the card on the premise that I would only be spending what I would have spent with the debit card I realized that gradually the spend doubled and staked claims on the next month’s income too.

After a lot of debate in the family we have agreed as follows:

1.     Holidays: We will restrict them to only two a year – one in the summer and one in the winter.
2.     Pilgrimages: Will go only twice a year – one in March and the other in September.
3.     General Travel: Try to avoid as much as possible.
4.     Credit card Spend: Closely watch and control the spending. Money should already be in the bank account equal to the credit card dues.
5.     Car loan EMI: Can’t do anything about it as the long-term commitment is already made. Luckily it ended recently and I have decided not to buy a new car anytime in the next five years.
6.     Eating out we decided we would do that only when our son is back on vacations. We will order junk food online only when we are too tired to cook.

After applying these rules of simple living, believe me, I see that I am left with a lot of cash to save and invest, have no worries, feel contented and happy. You too can do this. Once we develop the habit it feels quite easy and rewarding.

Image Credit: The credit for basic image used in this post goes to "The Core Basics Com".

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