10 Ideas to Save Money and Live Better

Kendal Perez at U.S. News & World Report, reported that the average American household has more than $130,000 in debt, $15,000 of which is on credit cards. We cannot afford the stuff we insist on accumulating!

Heidi Freeman, an assistant professor at the University of the Sciences in Pennsylvania, found that 90% of people who identified themselves as part of the simple living movement reported improved physical health. Although earning less money, many respondents also said their mental health improved. They are spending more time with friends, family, and getting needed physical activity. Many young people are choosing to live simply and avoid the stress they see in their parents’ lives. By living without consumer debt, they are free to go where the Lord leads.

Tim Kasser, a professor at Knox College and author of The High Cost of Materialism, found a link between materialism and poor physical health including unhappiness, depression, anxiety, anger, isolation, alienation, smoking, alcohol, and drug use.

Rather than adding to what you have, he says to ask what can you subtract? What can you stop doing?

  • Start with small changes.
  • Choose to stop buying “things”.
  • Try not eating out for a month.
  • Avoid the mall or window-shopping.
  • Don’t buy anything new for a month.
  • Cut cable and borrow DVDs from friends.
  • Host an outdoor movie night.
  • Play board games together.
  • Go to the library rather than the bookstore.
  • Check out the free community events where you live.

And, are those expensive youth sports really worth it? Does the time and cost add to the long-term goals of your family? Just because others participate doesn’t mean you need to follow suit.

Flora Tan at ASimpleChristian.com says simple living allows us to focus on what is truly important – the things with eternal value. When we let go of everything that hinders our walk with God we can embrace Him fully. Without being encumbered by material things and entrapped by the expectations of others, we can more easily give ourselves to God and walk in His will.

In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said,  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”