It started with debt and transformed into a lifestyle. My husband and I did not always live simply. We had the newest in technology and were up on all the latest movies. We were also swimming in debt, not just because of all the tech and movies either. We had also gone to an expensive private art school. We widdled away at our debt slowly for years. Then about 3 years ago we decided to go on a 1 year spending freeze, food, car maintenance, and utilities were excluded.
It was during this time that we discussed what we really needed. Cell phone? No. TV? No. Garbage service? No! At first it was kind of strange to have a basic land line, netflix and DVDs but no TV and bringing in our own trash. Most people we talk to wouldn't dream of letting go of one of these, let alone all 3! It was all a happy 1 year sacrifice to reduce our debt, which would also mean my being able to stay at home with our young son.
Fast forward to the present...our 1 year without spending long over. We still have our basic phone, no TV (but have Amazon Prime and DVDs still), and no trash service. We didn't stop. Instead we kept going. We simplified our house, donating unused items and reducing clutter. Last spring we even sold our car, not for the money but the simplicity of it. That step made us a 0 car family, the only one in our town I'm pretty sure. The local newspaper even did an article on our family (mostly my husband) which can be found at: http://www.thinkstewartville.com/main.asp?SectionID=13&SubSectionID=62&ArticleID=6304&TM=63147.49
Many people think we are crazy. They have no idea how peaceful it is to go out of the house and not be available for people to call, not having commercials means not having a constant bombardment of wants and gimmes (especially from our 5 year old), And not having a car means that outings are special. It takes an hour to ride our bikes to the movie theater. It is family time and great exercise. There isn't much for shopping in our town to distract us meaning we have more time to volunteer and study at our church and more family time at home.
Most people can't imagine living with less, on purpose, and still looking for ways to shed more. I can't imagine how we ever lived the way we did for so long. Life is so peaceful now and exceedingly more meaningful!