Save money and simplify your life

The notion of ‘more money more problems’ might ring hollow in the ears of the long-suffering financially squeezed. But ask anyone used to seeing large amounts of money come in how stressful it can be, and you might start to appreciate the simplicity of a life without too much economic pressure.

It’s a pressure that’s entirely brought about by the infinite nature of greed. When a person finds themselves with great wealth, they realize their increase in buying power and ramp up their spending to meet it. All the latest gadgets, a car, big house – it all gets snapped up in a shopping binge. Regular monthly outgoings soar in order to maintain all the new property. Then there’s higher income and property tax, not to mention insurance and utility bills.

While their gross income has shot up, many people find their net income is the same, or even worse than before, simply because they have found ways to spend all this extra cash. The pressure to keep up is tremendous.

Rich or not, changing your attitude towards money – and realizing the pleasure it can bring is not inexhaustible – will be a positive move for your personal happiness. A simple life with simple pleasures can result in a lot less stress. See the relentless spinning of financial wheels for what it is – a trap – and you will set store by some of the more important things in life, such as friends and family.

And there are ways to manage your existing financial situation so that you can clear a lot of the worries of being poor without replacing them with the worries of being rich. Look at your credit card debt and see if you can pay it off. Credit card debt is usually expensive, particularly if you’ve been a terminal minimum-payer. If you have lots of cards, do what you can to pay them off. Even taking a loan out can be cheaper than paying off multiple cards. Look for credit cards with rewards from the likes of Santander, which enable you to pay off multiple cards and also reap the benefits.

You can also try saving energy. Utility bills are one of the most ignored outgoings. The amounts often seem manageable on a month-to-month basis. But try an online energy calculator  and see if you can make savings. It’s better for the environment, and could save you quite a bit of money in the long run. Keep your pipes and hot water tank well insulated to make further savings.

Try to get rid of one monthly bill. Make a list of all your expenses. Rank them in order of necessity. You might find you’re happy to do without cable TV and a landline telephone. Over a year, that could save you a few hundred pounds. Do you have a second car? Do you really need a second car?

Frugality is a virtue. Not having unfettered access to a pile of cash (and being aware of what a distraction it can be) will make you reassess your life for the better.