One cornerstone of Lifeonaire founder and author Steve Cook’s path to prosperity is cutting life down to the basics. By cutting out the things we don’t need—the giant mortgage, the shiny new cars, the pricey data plans, the lavish vacations—we free up money to fund income producing assets. Yet there are many other benefits to dramatically simplifying your life.
Here are nine example:
1. You’ll quickly amass an emergency fund. If the water heater breaks you’ll be able to replace it without going into debt.
2. You’ll set the right example for your kids. You can tell kids all day not to be materialistic, to avoid debt, to conserve and recycle, to save for the future—but if you don’t practice it all your preaching is meaningless. We believe what we live every day.
3. You’ll be more likely to be able to afford college… If your kids choose to attend a four-year-college (not a necessity, by the way), you can help them do so without racking up major debt.
4. …And maybe retire someday yourself. If you choose to, that is. Hopefully part of your simpler life involves work that’s not so soul-crushing. You might choose to keep working for a long time and that’s great. True prosperity is about freedom to do what you want.
5. You’ll get to know your community. When we’re not spending thousands on big vacation getaways (in the post-COVID future of course!) we’re more likely to explore local parks, libraries, and other close-to-home attractions. This, in turn, can make us more engaged and involved citizens.
6. You’ll spend more time with family. Without expensive distractions to, well, distract you, you might find yourself going on hikes or bike rides, playing board games at home, or volunteering at the local food pantry or animal shelter together.
7. You’ll find a new sense of peace. Ask anyone who has started controlling their money rather than letting it control them: Instead of feeling deprived, you feel good. You won’t have the low-grade hum of anxiety that comes with overspending and racking up debt.
8. You’ll get more mindful and grateful. Consumerism creates a desire for more, more, more. In the quest for what we can buy and where we can go tomorrow, we miss out on the present. When we refocus, we may start noticing sunsets, birds at the feeder, or the simple pleasures of baking cookies or throwing a football with our kids.
9. You’ll get more generous and giving. The less you spend on yourself, the more you’ll free up to spend on others. And as the way you see the world changes, you’ll want to give. It feels good to be able to help—and even better to see your kids discover the joys of caring and sharing.
“Making the decision to live simply and sanely changes everything,” says Cook. “It’s not just a change in spending habits. It’s a shift in values and priorities. It changes who you are as a parent, a partner, a neighbor, and a human being.”
Steve Cook founded Lifeonaire and now his passion is sharing the message with others to help them live prosperous, abundant lives. His deep Christian faith and core belief that the greatest blessing of all is being able to bless others, has led him to a life of giving back. He is a dedicated husband, father, coach, keynote speaker, trainer, and author.