How I Live My Simple Life.

I have gotten a few emails lately asking about different aspects of my Simple. Organized. Life. Questions about my income, about where I live, what I do for entertainment, and what kind of car I drive. So I figured I would put together a post on all the things I believe play a part in allowing me to live the kind of simpler life that I am enjoying. Hope it answers some of your questions!

First of all, some backstory – I used to live in Los Angeles, home of the “importance of image”. I made a very good living, lived in one of the best neighborhoods, and drove expensive cars. I thought that owning “stuff” would make me happy…and it did for a while. That is until I started realizing that happiness comes from within and it cannot be bought. There are people who are dirt poor who are just as happy as those with money, and it’s because they are OK with themselves and their situation. This is an important lesson, and one that took me years to figure out and learn from. 4 years ago I quit my corporate job that I wasn’t very happy at anyway and started down the path that has gotten me to where I am today. Self-employed, working about 4-5 hours a day, and living in the country. Both my wife and I can earn a lot less than we used to need because our expenses are much less than they were in LA, which makes life easier to live in and of itself. I personally don’t want to have to bust my ass just to pay the bills – what’s the point in living like that?

oldcar How I Live My Simple Life.

We live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico now. Life is slow, quiet, purposeful. People don’t really care about what we wear, what we drive, what we do for a living. It’s quite refreshing that they are interested in us because of, well…who we are! We moved here owning only our Subaru which we shared, and I have only recently added a 15 year old Jeep that I paid cash for to the mix, as we live outside of town. The house we live in we rented specifically for a three reasons- 1. it is a passive solar house, needing little heat in the dead of winter and no AC in the summer, 2. it has a 1,500 gallon cistern that collects rainwater and snow melt from the roof to use for watering, and 3. it has 360 degree mountain views. The rent is 50% of what we paid for an apartment in L.A., and it has a 2 car garage, 2 acres of land, and an extra bedroom for my office during the winter. (I work outside on the porch now that it is warm out.)

Because I don’t have to work as many hours as I used to have to just to make ends meet, my time has been freed up for hobbies and volunteer opportunities. I spend a lot of time in the garage tinkering with different projects, I go for hikes in the middle of the day, and I sometimes take naps on the lounge chair in the yard…on a Tuesday afternoon. In a lot of ways I feel like what I imagine a retired person might feel like! When you don’t live high on the hog, you can afford to live the way you want instead of having to make more and more money, and that was our partly our goal for moving here. I drive into town once a day to pick up the mail and run any errands, usually seeing someone I know and stopping for a quick chat with them. In fact, people you don’t even know sometimes wave at you from their cars, which was something we had to get used to when we first arrived here! But it sure is a nice feeling. icon smile How I Live My Simple Life.

I mow the lawn with a manual push reel mower. I make bird feeders and baths out of old tupperware containers nailed to posts, as food and water are scarce for them where I live. I hang my laundry out on the line, barely ever using the dryer we bought last year. I spent a lot of time watching the clouds during the day and the stars at night. Did you know you can see the Milky Way if you live somewhere very dark? I didn’t until I moved here! Most of our entertainment consists of going for hikes either up the mountain or down into the Rio Grande gorge, exploring the various incredible art galleries around town, or just sitting on the porch with a good book and a cup of coffee. I don’t really need for much more excitement in my life – I had it in L.A. for many, many years.

We have been slowly paring down our belongings that we no longer need but for some reason held on to. I have “work” clothes that I have not worn for years that need to go out the door – my new work clothes include jeans, a t-shirt, and some flip-flops. We own 1 old television that works just fine, and I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought something for myself other than maybe a book or some music from iTunes. When we lived in L.A., shopping was what we “did” when we had nothing else to do – it’s amazing how much money you save when you don’t have that option anymore!

Hmm…what else? I think that pretty much answers the emails I have gotten lately from readers about the kind of life we lead here. Our goal is to buy a small home with some land, maybe even an off-grid one, raise some animals and have a decent-sized garden to eat from. Escaping the Rat Race was the best decision I have ever made, and I now look forward to what every day will bring me here! Got any more questions? Ask away!

Related posts:

  1. What Kind Of Life Do I Want To Lead?
  2. Live How YOU Want To Or How THEY Want You To – Your Choice.
  3. Too Busy Getting Ready To Live, But Never Living.

Comments

  1. gary says:

    hello my name is gary from the uk .while walking my dogs along my local canal towpath i couldnt help but notice how much equipment the anglers had they had various poles nets stands boxes etc and i asked myself what was wrong with a simpl rod and bait ,which got me thinking wy was life not simple anymore ? and this brought me to your site.i am married with 2 sons aged 18 and 20 they are by no means spoiled but we have given them the nice clothes etc and surely if i want to make changes to my life i cannot do it by myself but as a family have u any advice for us and can u recommend a good book i can read on how to get a simple life thanks gary

  2. David says:

    Check out some of the books over on the right hand side of the site, I think they are all great.

  3. Sharon says:

    Great site…. I put on “Get Simply” workshops often… and love to connect with others that opt for the ‘simple life’.

  4. Guthrie says:

    What do you do for a living that allows you to work from anywhere, if I may ask? I’m still cruising the site from a simple browser so if I’m missing an obvious headline or description, sorry I’ll catch on soon.

  5. vickie says:

    Ah, the simple life. Nothing much matters. Happiness comes from within. I hate how everyone is scared stiff anymore. Using scare tactics to get people to spend money etc. It is everywhere.
    I am happy, simply put, with music, swimming and rabbits. Yes, rabbits. Love them.

  6. Jan says:

    Yeah i agree with this 100%. I have come to a crossroads of late in that time is important, People we love and our friends are important. Trying to figure out corporate structure, how to make a living pleasing the major companies by buying thing we don’t really need, why they say its helps the economy, ok and if we were all with no debt back to trading with each other is that such a bad way to do eliminate currency and lets just get to know each other and live simply by association and friendship.

  7. Ravi says:

    Hi,

    You mention that you work only 4-5 hours a day and earn a living, i had 2 follow up questions on the same
    1. What is it that you “work” for 4-5 hours a day?
    2. How much is it that you earn working these 4-5 hours a day

    Cheers

  8. Anthony Steele says:

    Hi there

    my wife and I are both in our 50s, spiritually orientated and are looking to make a fresh start, maybe a retreat. The area you found seems idyllic. What does it cost to rent something similar and what do you do to support yourself. Hope you receive this and you are in good health.

    Anthony

  9. Simon says:

    at one time, I was earning over €2000 a week living in Ireland, I could buy the things I wanted, cars, boats, all teh toys I wanted but it did not make me happy, I stood next to a cow grazing in a field and said to a friend “I wish I was that cow right now, look at it, living a simple life”..

    So, I gave up the business I had and moved to Sweden in a small wooden house on a third of an acre of land, no mains services are connected, water comes from tthe sky or an old hand pump well, the electric comes from 2 solar panels, life is simple here, very simple, and I feel much better living like this in the forest with deer, moose, foxes, hares, owls, woodpeckers, etc as the neighbours..

  10. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m currently 24 years old and living in LA. Just graduating from college, I feel like I need to go find a “good job” so that I buy a house, pay for my wedding, buy things that other people are buying. The thing is that I don’t see myself enjoying this path of life, and I already feel like I’m wasting away my life doing something that doesn’t matter. I see myself being in mortgage debt and working to pay the bills and nothing else. I know that so much of the inner turmoil comes from fear, but I think my biggest fear would be coming to the end of my life and feeling like I didn’t cherish the time I had. This post helped to give me some much needed perspective and feel that I’m not crazy for wanting a simpler life. Again, thank you. = )

  11. Monica says:

    Hello
    Please send me some info I feel compelled to live as you do.

  12. Allana Angus says:

    Hi, can you please tell me what you do to earn money? I am desperate to work to earn just enough money so that I can live a simple life. I don’t want much, but I am struggling to find the answer. Thank you.

  13. Ravi from Sri Lanka says:

    Hello there,
    Simple life is the only way to live less trouble.
    We as buddists have been using this for many centuries but unfortunately many of the new generation forget those concepts nowadays.
    You know many people like to gather things than giving.
    This is the main reason of unstisfaction and making lot of life troubles.

    Therefore, get the minimum to survive and enjoy life.

    I always follow simple life ideas.
    Thanks a lot.

  14. Hello
    please do contact me on my email, iam lost and really need good personal inspiration, iam 27, single, working in govrment but i miss use my income and i dnt save even a penny. I need your help myb it can change me

  15. Ravi Rodrigo says:

    Henock and others,
    Hello,
    I have just seen the request made by Paulus. I cant find ur email. Im not often at this site.
    However, I am pleased to help u. If u all the world smile, it is the greatest achivement we can gain through simplicity.
    EM – ravi_rod@yahoo.com

  16. Ravi Rodrigo says:

    Contact me via. ravi_rod@yahoo.com

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