Living on Less

Thriving on Less - Simplifying in a Tough Economy

Times are tough, and unfortunately they will get tougher before they get any better. Everyone is starting to look at their expenses and evaluating where they can save. The kind folks at have produced a free ebook Thriving on Less - Simplifying in a Tough Economy. This handy resource details some helpful tips on how to not only survive, but to thrive during these times.

What follows is one of the largest suggestions found in the book.

Some changes you might consider to lower large expenses:

Smaller house or apartment.

This is probably the biggest expense for most people. For many years, a big house has been the American dream. But as we've seen recently, bigger houses aren't necessarily better if you can't afford them. They're also harder and more expensive to maintain. And the thing is, we usually don't need a big house, especially if we get rid of a lot of the clutter that necessitates more space and more storage. (See The Power of Less book for more on reducing clutter, at Keep your eye out for smaller houses or apartments – just what you need and not more. If you can keep things simple and uncluttered, you can live happily in a smaller space and save a lot of money.

Rent rather than own.

This will probably spark a huge debate, as it always does. The thing is, just don’t assume that buying is the better investment. If you calculate the interest you pay on a mortgage, the cost of insurance and maintenance, buying is often much more costly than renting… and if you rent, save money, and then invest the difference, you can actually end up well ahead in the long run. Now, it’s not a given, so do a comparison, factoring in all expenses.

Another option not listed in the book is to join a coop! By becoming a member of a housing cooperative, you gain all of the advantages of renting, in addition, instead of making a landlord rich, you are actively building a community, like we are doing here at Beaver Creek!