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Everyday Cheapskate: Simplifying Saves Time and Money

Mary Hunt on

When our lives get chaotic, we pay dearly in terms of stress and money. There are hundreds of things you can do to simplify your life. Here are seven to help you get started ... one a day for the next week.

1. Carry only the keys you use every day. Clean everything else off your key ring. If you don't recognize what a key is for, toss it. If you have keys you use occasionally, keep them on separate rings in a safe place. I carry only three keys: house, car and office. They're not bulky, simple to select AND fit into a small pocket in my purse. Not only has this small trick simplified my life, but my car's ignition is happier, too. Heavy keys pull the ignition out of alignment, causing it to eventually fail.

2. Get rid of all but one credit card. One statement, one bill. Having so many credit cards can really stress your life and it is not necessary. In fact, many cards are hazardous to your wealth. Start today with the goal to strategically get rid of all but one on which you carry $0 balance.

3. Downsize your purse or briefcase. Carry only the minimum essentials. If you're anything like me, no matter what size of bag you carry, it is completely filled and then some. Ditch the bag that's the size of Nebraska in favor of something small and compact. Now carry only the items you really need.

4. Thin your wardrobe. You will eliminate a lot of stress from your life by simply reducing the number of clothes you own. It is a simple step, but one I will admit fills me with dread. The how-to is pretty straightforward. It's the why-to that can easily trip us up. But understanding the benefits is what helps me keep a pared-down closet: Dressing with less saves money -- and time, too! Knowing that every item in my closet is something I love to wear gives me clarity and a wonderful sense of freedom.

5. Cut back your jewelry to a couple of simple but elegant items. It takes a lot of energy to manage dozens of pairs of earrings, necklaces and bracelets. About 15 years ago, I decided I would own and wear only one pair of classic earrings. It was a bold move, but one I have never regretted. You cannot imagine how this has simplified my life. Like my wedding band, I wear the same pair of quality 24 kart classic gold hoops.

 

6. Buy only white linens. Now everything matches, and that saves time and hassle. Fine hotels everywhere feature all-white linens. You should, too. When everything is white, you don't worry about fading, about matching up sets or if the linens match the room's decor. Every top sheet goes with every fitted sheet, so you don't have laundry-time hassles. Everything launders the same. White linens are classic, and they're cheaper, too.

7. Handle the mail only once. Don't carry all the junk mail to the table to only become more household clutter. Keep a tasteful waste can right where you open the mail and dump the junk the moment you identify it as such. Don't rifle through the latest mail-order catalogs just to see what's new. If you don't need something now, you won't need all the things that catch your eye.

Time. We're given just 24 hours each day. So far, no one's figured out how to increase that number. But if you begin to simplify your life, you'll swear you've suddenly found more hours in your day!

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Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."


Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate Inc.

 

 

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