What is 'the simple life' ?
Ilona 'the Meanqueen' tells us her take.
Is being frugal and living a simpler lifestyle the same thing, or do they overlap?
I asked Ilona, writer of the ever increasingly popular 'Life after Money' Blog, TV and Radio participant on frugal ways what her understanding of it is......
My definition of a simple life is to live with as few complications as possible. I often see things in black and white, the grey areas leave room for doubt, like in limbo about what is easy and what is difficult. I try to avoid grey areas. The fewer decisions I have to make, the more simple I can make my life.
Ilona on one of her many long distance walks. Here she is at the top of Malham Cove in Yorkshire
The answer to a question is either one or the other, a choice of two options. Such as, my friend has some house bricks which I can have, she said come and get them on Monday morning, which is convenient for her. I like going to the Crafty Club on a Monday morning. Two choices, I said no to the bricks, not urgent, I can get some more somewhere else, go to Crafty Club and sit in the warm for two hours. She texted me back, I can pick up the bricks on Wednesday afternoon. Result.
Other examples. My cooking is very simple, I don't use the oven, costs too much for one persons cooking. I make a meal in one pan on the hob. A three day stew is easy to make. I steam my veg in a pan and eat it without anything on it, no gravy or packet sauce mixes. I do not slave in a kitchen for hours to produce a masterpiece, the only purpose of my food is to sustain a healthy body. Housework to me is a chore, simple solution, only do what is necessary to keep a reasonably tidy house.
I have enough stuff in my house, I don't need to go out and buy more. By stuff I mean furniture, soft furnishings kitchen equipment etc. I am giving a lot of stuff away to charity shops. Owning stuff bogs me down, a house full of stuff means more responsibility for looking after it and worrying if it might get stolen or broken. There comes a point when your stuff owns you, so I get rid of it. Out of sight out of mind, move it on.
Towards the end of my working life I opted to stick with a boring job. It was a simple job, I could easily do it, there was hardly any stress, and it brought in the wages to pay the mortgage. I got to a point when I realized that money was not that important, my health and happiness was. I cut down my working hours and only did as much as I had to, to keep a roof over my head. My simple mind told me if I didn't spend any money then I didn't need to earn it. Black and white.
A simple life to me means being in control of my actions and emotions. It means I can choose to say yes, or say no. No complications from outside sources. I will see my family before Christmas, but I won't be joining the big family get together's as I don't like all the noise of excited kids, blaring television, stuffing faces with booze and food, then collapsing in a heap feeling sick.
I often use the terms, 'I can't be bothered', or, 'it doesn't matter'. There are very few things that are worth stressing about".
Ilona...... 'Life After Money'