Simple Living/Downshifting

Voluntary Simplicity – An Intro

Voluntary Simplicity (or simple living) is a pretty new concept brought about by our fast-paced modern insanity. While some of it’s followers go to a pretty big extreme by shunning technology and electricity (ok, I made that last one up) it can be incorporated into one’s life fairly easily.

There are many simple living techniques that can help reduce the stress in your life such as:

  1. Reduction of work hours
  2. Not owning a vehicle. Use of public transportation, biking and walking.
  3. Saving a healthy portion of earnings instead of spending
  4. Reduction of one’s possessions (traveling light)
  5. Not splurging and indulging as often. Eating out less and cooking more.

These are a few preliminary ideas. I’m sure you can think of more!



  • Scott Jackson July 29, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    2) is not realistic in most of America unless you live and work in a major downtown area, where services like buses are widely available and everything is pretty close together. America is just so much more spread out, unlike European communities where everything is close by, those making public transport a much better option.


  • Scott Jackson July 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    This can be related to your car post as well, even though I live in a city that borders a major one, going without a car would be extremely difficult.


  • Mike July 29, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    It would be difficult for anyone who is used to owning and operating a car regularly to suddenly not have one. I know that it was for me at first, and I really had to make an adjustment. But once I got used to it things went pretty smoothly. Years ago we all got around on horse and buggy and before that on foot. Things somehow worked then. Of course, the world is obviously much different today since we are all, as you say, spread out. There are definitely a fair amount of people who should own a car because of where they live, or other situation. But I certainly believe that if you live and work in a decent-sized city and you don’t have dependents it can be done. Not sure how far away you live though!


  • Scott Jackson July 30, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Yes but Mike, you have the option of a car if you really need it, since your girlfriend has one. I don’t have any such option, so it’s not really comparable. I could only take public transport If I lived and worked in downtown Milwaukee.


  • Mike July 30, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    I could survive in this city without a car. I’m not there yet, but it’s an option I may consider in the future in order to give myself more financial flexibility. It does sound like you are in a situation where it would be difficult for you not to have a car at your disposal though.


  • Victoria August 3, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    So what advice would you give to someone who has lived simply their entire lives though not by choice? It’s like when you’ve already skimmed the fat from your life what other alternatives are there to be financially free?


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