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The Art of Living Simply

Updated on March 6, 2015

A’ Shopping We Will Go, A’ Shopping We Will Go

So there we were in Costco.

Just shoot me now and put me out of my misery.

That’s what I was thinking as my wife led me through the warehouse store doors.

Please, for the love of God, just shoot me!

As you might be able to guess, I’m not much of a shopper. Crowds drive me crazy. Rude people make me want to forget all about “love they neighbor” and hit someone. Old women with shopping carts should be required to take a driving exam before being allowed in a store full of unsuspecting shoppers.

I’m happy to report I survived the Costco excursion with a minimum of bruises.

The reason I even mention that trip is because while we were there I stopped by the electronic section and looked at the latest in big screen televisions.

I was blown away.

I have never seen such incredible quality in a television picture. Fifty-five inches of screen, and the picture made me feel like I was part of the action. It was so life-like!!!!

And I wasn’t temped at all.

Like any high-priced call girl, it doesn’t cost a thing to look, but once you touch you better have your gold card handy.

I don’t NEED a high-priced call girl, and I sure as hell don’t NEED a 55-inch HD television.

The key word there being NEED!

A simple life
A simple life | Source

My Life

Let me give you a quick tour of my life.

I work for myself. I am in charge of my own destiny with regards to financial matters. I earn as much as I need with a little extra for a bonus. My wife and I have whittled our credit and debt down to practically nothing. We live in a modest 1,200 square foot home on an eighth of an acre. We raise chickens, quail, and rabbits, and we grow vegetables that last us about nine months.

Bev drives a 2011 Honda Fit that she paid cash for. I drive a 1998 Ford Ranger that I paid cash for. I do much of the regular maintenance on those vehicles.

We barter and trade with neighbors. We barter and trade with some local businesses. We buy organic and never, ever use pesticides. We have developed relationships with our neighbors and we are always available when someone needs a helping hand.

In other words, we are living a simple life.

And we are thriving!

A couple weeks ago I wrote an article about raising chickens, and someone wrote a comment saying that it sounded like a lot of work to him.

To me, working forty hours per week and being buried under a mountain of debt sounds like a lot of work. I guess it’s all about perspective.

A simple life
A simple life | Source

How to Begin the Simple Life

It begins, quite frankly, with a commitment to change one’s life. We live in a consumer world, a world that says spending and the accumulation of possessions are good things. Bigger is better…the one with the most toys wins….spend it like there will be no tomorrow….we are surrounded by those ways of thinking, and we are bombarded by advertisements that entice and ensnare us. Work harder, earn more money, spend more money, then get up the next day and do it all again, and again, and again.

No thank you!

I played that game and I never won. It’s like being imprisoned in Las Vegas and having to play by the House’s rules and odds. The cards are stacked against you, so I left the game to the next sucker standing in line to take my place.

I made a commitment to change my way of thinking and by extension my way of living.

I committed to living a simple life.

The next step on this journey is to learn the following mantra by heart: needs vs wants.

Every purchase that I make has to pass that litmus test. Do I need it or do I simply want it? If I need it then I buy it, or trade for it, or barter for it. If I want it then it remains on the shelf, untouched by my simple hands.

Needs vs wants! Say it after me.

And then we begin the journey.

Practical Steps on the Journey

The average American adult has $4,800 in credit card debt.

The average American household has over $127,000 in overall debt.

That, my friends, is the definition of a loser’s game. You can’t win carrying that much debt, and yet day in and day out Americans continue to try.

The grand total of our debt is $43,156, and that is our mortgage. I just did our taxes so I happen to know this one almost to the penny. We owe no credit card debt. In fact, we have no other debts.

That, my friends, is the definition of a winner’s game.

The sooner you get rid of your debt, the sooner you will be on the road to financial freedom.

But what about that meaningless job you are working? We spend what, forty hours per week, every week of our lives, working at some job. Are we enjoying it? Are those hours spent doing something you love, or doing something that merely pays the bills?

The simple life is all about quality of life.

How is the quality of your life?

Why Bother?

I will make this short. Why do I think it’s important to simplify your life?

How important is your health?

How important is your peace of mind?

My blood pressure, and remember that I am 66 years old, is 111/70….heart rate of 70.

I am happy when I get up in the morning and happy when I go to bed.

I live without stress.

I am environmentally responsible.

I am creating community.

Need I go on?

Lovin' the simple life
Lovin' the simple life | Source

The Transformaton Will Happen When It Happens

For me it began eight years ago. I took a good, hard look at my life and realized it wasn’t working. I was stuck on the proverbial treadmill of life, going nowhere and getting there very quickly. Every single day looked the same. My blood pressure was rising, my nerves were shot, and the pressure never ended.

So I changed.

Seven years ago I met a woman who wanted the same things that I wanted, and saw life the same way I saw it.

So we changed together.

And today we have everything that we NEED!

How about you?

Listen, please: I’m not selling a damned thing. I’ve got it made in the shade, and I thought I would share it with you. If you don’t want it then continue on with your current lifestyle. Keep adding to the debt, keep adding your meaningless possessions and keep working your ass off for someone else.

I want no part of that foolishness.

What’s that, you say? I hear someone in the back…what did you say? Oh, I get it. You’re buried in debt, you are working two part-time jobs that will not allow you to change, and you can’t possible do anything about it. You can’t get ahead, you are falling further behind daily, and there is no light at the end of that tunnel.

And to that I say nothing changes if nothing changes.

Begin small and work from there. Slowly pay off one credit card bill. Begin buying according to needs rather than wants today. Keep building upon your successes and stay committed. Sell off everything you don’t need. Learn to live frugally. Look for opportunities around every corner.

I know it can be done because I did it, and I was fifty-eight years old when I made the commitment.

So please don’t tell me it can’t be done.

If you need to get in touch with me to discuss this, you can find me working in our garden. Don’t bother looking for me at Costco. Once was more than enough for this guy.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 2 years ago

      This is a thoughtful, helpful article. Thank you for sharing. I am glad you survived your visit to Cosco. While I don't raise chickens, I like simple living as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Julie! It's always nice to hear from another rational person. :)

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 2 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      FABULOUS!!!!!!!

      I admire you. I, too, am endeavoring to live a simple life. Currently, I am paying off my only debt, my house, which will be paid for in five years, and my car, which will be paid for in four years. Beyond that, I live day to day, believing entirely that exactly what I need today will be provided.

      I help people when I can, I barter and trade, and I believe that life is a precious gift, and far too short to be wasted on stress.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Namaste.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deborah, thanks for sharing your experience. Now all we have to do is convince about 100 million other Americans. :) One step at a time.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      It can always be done.. THough my life is not as simple as yours--it is in many ways. And I love the part about waking up and going to bed happy. I have moments of worry as part of my DNA but I do enjoy life and mostly my many pursuits ...which I dearly love. Don't kill me but "Living the Simple Life with Ease" YOu know where I am going with that.

      And it is never too late to change anything in our lives. Loved reading this and viewing your life style..as always.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Bill - I find credit cards to be a true blessing for pure convenience, but a curse for those who can't manage their money.

      It is amazing how many end up having to declare bankruptcy because of credit card debt. The credit card companies just love those who only pay the minimum monthly amount and those interest charges on the unpaid balance just keep rolling in. I pay mine in full at the end of every month, but I have also bought some things I didn't need because I had that credit card in my wallet.

      I think we make betters spending decisions when we have to dig that hard earned cash out of our pockets.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Sounds like the perfect way to live. I am glad to say I don't owe anyone anything and that is the way I intend it to stay. If I can't afford it, I don't want it or need it.

      My mother was apt to say, best make sure your underclothes are fully paid for my dear, just in case you ever get run over by a bus!

      So far I have not had the misfortune to end up with under bus and I definitely don't owe anyone for my underwear:)

      Bless her cotton socks - you can bet those were paid for too.

      You have a great week-end Billy.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. I enjoyed this one. Even though a person/ persons can reduce to debt in the fight for peace of mind. They have to be able to earn a living off their own ability if they leave the rat race. I'm retired so I'm not included anyway. Great insight as usual Bill.

      Graham.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm with you regarding crowds and shopping. I hate shopping. Pretty strange coming from a woman, huh?

      I barter when I can, too. Recently, my neighbor offered to repair my shed for me. The lower half was literally falling apart. My son paid for the wood and I traded my neighbor's labor for a Philly Cheesesteak. It was a win-win for all of us.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I adore your courage to dive in and change your way of life for the better. I do veer off a bit from you in that I like getting things that I want but don't need. My husband and I are debt free. If we weren't I would take back my last statement. We live within our means and are even saving money in retirement. We are new to this retirement thing and are enjoying our time together. Living debt free should be everyone's goal. Voted up, useful and awesome.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 2 years ago

      A philly cheese steak? What else do you need to have done?

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Great advice for anyone, Bill.

      Living without debt is incredibly freeing.

      My husband loves those big warehouses.

      If he does not get his weekly Costco fix, he is unbearable.

      And, where we live, he also has Sam's Warehouse

      and B.J. Warehouse. It keeps him busy and out of my hair.

      Rarely does he buy anything. It is simply his hobby to walk and look.

      I do believe if he missed a full week at Costco, they would put out an APB on him. LOL

      I love him being away, as it gives me uninterrupted time to write.

      Thanks for sharing!

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. No, it is never too late to change...if there is a willingness and commitment to do so. Have a peaceful, easy weekend.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for sharing this, my friend. Getting rid of shit, stuff and debts is one of the most important steps, maybe even the most important, to find peace in your life. Great article to begin the weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, that's one point that I have found to be true. When I have to touch cash before paying, it is more meaningful to me. I try to pay cash for everything instead of a bank debit card...I want to "feel the loss" when I make a payment. LOL That may not make sense to many people but it does to me. Thanks for sharing my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, what a great line by your mother. I love that and might use it in the future. I'll make sure and give your mother credit for the line when I do. :) Happy weekend my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Graham. I really do understand those who are so buried in their current situation that there seems to be no exit door. This economy is tough on everyone, and I fear it will get worse in the future. That's why I hope articles like this help others to wake up to reality. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 2 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Well done, Bill, for changing your life! I applaud your simple life, and try to do much of the same (although my husband does come with me to Sam's Club and enjoys it more than you do!). I've still a good few things to change, not sure we'll be raising chickens or growing as many vegetables - haven't made the effort to get the wildlife under control enough for that! Love that you are creating such a helpful community where you live.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, that's the kind of story I love. There are so many things we can do like that. It's pretty common in our neighborhood. You just have to find like-minded people.

      Thank you and Happy Weekend to you. We will be in the sixties this weekend. Glorious weather for March.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Pop, when people are debt free,and they have worked their entire lives to get to that point, then I applaud them for buying things they want rather than need. You've paid your dues and you should be able to do that. Good for you and thanks for sharing that.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Oops. forgot to mention: I also did his taxes in exchange for his time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Watergeek...LOL...I thought the same thing. That person works cheap!!!!!! Too funny! Thanks for the laugh and the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I can always count on your for a good laugh. You know the best thing about Costco? The free samples. I can have lunch there for nothing. LOL That's the end of the good things about Costco!

      Have a great weekend. I hope the book is coming along nicely.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Buidreps....you said it perfectly...getting rid of shit!!!!! :) Have a superb weekend and thanks for your loyalty.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you jptanabe....it took a long time for me to leave the rat race, but once I did I fell in love with the simple lifestyle. Best wishes to you and your husband. Have fun at Sam's Club. My weakness.....Home Depot! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Sha. Now that is worth doing work on your place. I'll be a lot of people would trade labor for having taxes done.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Related reading: "On Work" in THE PROPHET by Gibran.

      My life got a lot simpler when I realized years ago that ownership is largely an illusion. Yesterday as I sat waiting in a waiting room, I enjoyed watching a movie on a large-screen high-definition TV. It was a dippy movie, but the clarity of the image was awesome. I did not need to own the TV to savor the experience for a couple of minutes—all the time I needed—before turning my attention to writing some more of a story.

      What keeps my wife and I in debt is medical bills. Even with health insurance and even with relatively minor and temporary ailments, tests and procedures are costly. I hope enhanced Medicare for all comes to America soon.

      I'm glad you are liking your simpler lifestyle.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, I loved the story about watching big screen in the waiting room. Thanks for sharing that. As for enhanced Medicare...something better happen soon or we will have larger problems than we already have.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I particularly enjoyed this article.

      Stuff can be fun, but at some points our stuff can become the nails in our coffin.

    • profile image

      Lawrence Kitzmann 2 years ago

      Well said my brother. We are here in Los Angeles for my daughters wedding a week from Saturday. Now as much as I love my kids a daughter here in L.A. and a son on Chicago both cities drive me crazy. I will take Carson Iowa and the family farm any day of the week. People are spending money they don't have on things they don't need---to impress who and to what end It's really scary. Both my wife and I are retired teachers and have never overspent on anything. This has allowed us to do things today still without going into debt as we are able to pay cash for almost anything we really need. We were at a really "fancy " upscale area the other day and I couldn't believe it. Thought to myself there is a day of reckoning coming and you folks don't have a clue or stand a chance. By then we will be full time on the farm and I know my family will be OK. That is what true security and peace of mind. As always take care my friend and a great weekend to you and Bev.

    • profile image

      Lawrence Kitzmann 2 years ago

      Sorry for all the typos in that earlier note. My fat fingers on a small IPod just doesn't work out well.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      The simple debt-free live is very appealing. Thanks for the practical lesson on how you did it. We learn so much from you. Thanks!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Congratulations! To be debt free is indeed hard but you sure will come out a winner. That was our goal when we sold our previous house and decided to down size. Now, we are enjoying it more than ever. Simple living, pleasurable, comfortable and loving it.

      Great, useful and enjoyable hub as always.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Needs versus wants. I agree this is at the heart of the discussion. Each of us will define 'simple life' differently. Thanks for sharing yours, as one example! ;-)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      Good advice. You are an inspiration to us all, my friend.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      This is really great advice from a really good hub. Many people of today are just "Want buyers and livers" they want every and anything and will actually put themselves in debt to get it. I hope one day i will be living like billy here. But as of now i am up to my dandruff in debt...sigh...one day billy one day.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Love it, love it, love it. Keep preaching. e. After struggling with debt for 25 years, I made some serious changes. Paid off all my credit cards, paid off the student loans, bought a 2 year old car with cash, finally paid off my mortgage six years ago (that was tough and took doubling up on payments for a long time). It took 15 years, but I am so glad at 60 to have no debt and to be able to spend on others, and to encourage my three sons in that direction.... you know its about relearning what our grandparents knew. Needs , not wants. Everything you write encourages me (and many others as well). Theresa

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Great hub, you have such a wicked sense of humour and the Costco shopping trip episode made me laugh! I don't live the simple life as I'm stuck in an apartment in the city (no jobs anywhere else and I can't afford any rural properties at all) however, I do agree that the less you spend, the less time you will need to spend working for some a**hole.

      I decided not to care too much about having pretty clothes, so I have bought all of mine from op shops for the past 12 years. I also whittled down everything else too, so my spending is almost non-existent. Did you know that the average woman can get by on $20 of makeup PER YEAR? I know, because I do!!!

      I care immensely about pretty jewellery as I am a bit of a magpie, but I use a lovely wholesale silver jewellery site to purchase from, where the rings are $5 and so on. This means it doesn't cost much and lasts for 200 years and can be passed on to the children.

      Anyway, I could go on and on all day about saving money (maybe a new hub I should write?) but ultimately, your hub was amusing, funny and invoked a strong response! Voted interesting ;)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      This message needs to be heard by everyone so I've shared it. I don't understand why it's so difficult to understand and act upon.

      Why give yourself the stress of debt? It shortens your life.

      I grew up with a philosophy from my parents, 'If you can't afford it, you can't have it; save for it and you'll have a feeling of satisfaction that it's finally yours, that you've worked for it and deserve it.' I hold to that to this day.

      It's a sound philosophy because we win all round. It's greed, peer pressure, pressure of advertising and 'expectations' that try to dictate lives. Whose expectations? Other people's. So let's have our own! Simple.

      We live fairly simply. Thanks to the sale of my house just before the crunch I am mortgage free so reasonably well off. That doesn't mean I spend regardless. Why would I? I'm happy. I have everything I need. Some might say I'm lucky but I've worked for it. I have no intention of ruining it all now!

      We buy from charity shops, we buy what we need and, yes, we might have the occasional treat but even those don't cost a fortune. Life is much better lived simply; carefree and with a lovely community and family around us.

      BTW, 'Wicked' was brilliant, my birthday girl loved it and having a meal afterwards with just my two girls was wonderful. I realised we should do it more often!

      Have a great evening, bill!

      Ann :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I live on a "needs only" basis and it is the best life ever.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Bill I was laughing out loud at your introduction about Costco! Roaring is more like it. I voted up, funny and awesome. The book I am working on is about my passion for clarity in every aspect of my life. I am in total agreement with you 100 per cent! My daily mantra has become, "I don't need one thing in this house!" I cannot BELIEVE what we have accumulated in our home this past 35 years! Inch by inch, I am clearing it away. This is just a stellar hub with outstanding advice. I have to get supper, but I will return to watch the videos.

      You are the poster child for living simply, and you continue to be a major inspiration in my life. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! ps;

      Your point about wanting or needing was excellent with the example of the 55 inch television.. God bless always Sparklea/Lea

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      You've captured the essence of living simply in this wonderful examination of what' s really important in our lives. And answered the really important question of "Do we really need that?" We work too many hours, neglecting or leaving the raising of our children to others and wonder why there's a disconnect. Thankfully, and by the grace of God, I found someone who followed your line of thought and we are in almost to the penny the same position of mortgage debt as you are with both cars paid off. It's the only way we've been able to survive several layoffs and my early retirement. It starts small and grows. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if all young people could read and understand your message? We're not quite where you are but I learned years ago credit card debt is a burden, not a benefit. We have no credit cards and our only debt is our mortgage (half of yours) and a small truck payment.

      My Dad always said, "if you can't afford it, don't buy it." He managed an A&P grocery store and was able to buy two houses on that salary. Ultimately he sold the first and lived in the second but he owned the two simultaneously for many years. He also had a garden and chickens, in Queens, NY.

      We CAN do what's best for us. The more we simplify our lives the better they will be. Keep sharing the message.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      Thank you billy....

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Amen!

    • Claudia Mathews profile image

      Claudia Mathews 2 years ago

      Love this Bill. It sounds like the life I dream of for myself. You've inspired me to work towards it now. Really enjoyed watching your video, you were so relaxed and calm, I guess the simply life does that for you. Thanks for sharing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill. I want a neighbor like you and Bev. I would buy your eggs and anything else organic. I buy organic, but is it really organic? I must say that I'm debt free. I have a credit card, but I don't use it. The older I get the less I want except for the truck I bought then turned around and traded it for a car and paid extra when they should've paid me extra. ( So my son told me. ) That was a spur of the moment buy that I never do, maybe a senior moment? I usually buy my clothing at a thrift store, not because I must, but because I want to. Paying a hundred dollars for a pair of jeans is just crazy. I read that many people who win the lottery are broke in five years. That's difficult for me to understand. Thank's for a great article..

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Love this Bill. We have started cleaning out our house this winter of the clutter and the things we don't need. The goal is to get rid of a lot of stuff and sell this house. We hope to down size and in the process eliminate our mortgage or at the very least come away with a much smaller mortgage that we can pay off in 5 years. I'm 55, so you can see where this is taking us. Mortgage free by early 60's. It seems like a daunting task but we are taking it one room and one day at a time. The one thing that will come with us when we move other than Gobi our shih tzu, will be the need to have space in our new digs for my garden. It may take me years to get there but we are on our way. Also, we currently have no cc debt, I don't think I could sleep at night knowing I was paying interest on cc debt. Great hub. Have a great weekend.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      So many life-truths in this piece. We are slowly killing ourselves or souls in a consumer world. What a tragedy!!

      Really impressed with your vital stats. Much better than mines, Bro. Keep it up!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Larry! Thanks for weighing in.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, I have relatives in L.A., and I can't stand that city. LOL Way too many people and the traffic would make me homicidal. Enjoy your stay there, buddy. Thanks for dropping by while on vacation. Much appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Totally understandable, Larry.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. I appreciate it, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cris, I love hearing stories like yours. Now if we can just convince a few more people of the benefits.

      Have a great weekend, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Bill. Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Deb, I didn't start out trying to be an inspiration, but it's nice that's how I ended up. Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One day for sure, Clive. Where there's a will....and you know the rest. Thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, your example is the inspiration, much more than my article. Congratulations on a job well done. Enjoy the years to come...you earned it.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      Dear biilybuc,

      As always, a thought provoking article. I wa walking the dog aalong the beach as the sun rose yesterday, dolphins in the surf, a glorious day, the world seemed wide and wonderfeul - then I go home to the chaos and things collapse.

      As you say, one step at a time. Yesterday I made the list, today I start.

      I might even write some hubs about my journey!

      Thank you

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, I'm glad you enjoy my sense of humor. It can be a bit biting at times, but I try to make it palatable for everyone. :) Well done on that makeup and jewelry shopping. It sounds to me like you know exactly how to live well but frugally. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thanks for sharing your experience and your parents' wisdom. I'm not sure how society got off track with this debt spending. Maybe they figure if it works for the government it will work for individuals. LOL

      I'm glad you had a wonderful time with your girls. Enjoy your weekend, my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Marlene. I think you need to write a hub about the way you've organized your life.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      You're so sweet, Bill. Right now, I'm taking advantage of post surgery recovery and the fact that I'm retired. Today, a neighbor visited. She shared some onions from her garden and I plucked some Arugula for her salad tonight. Tomorrow, we are going to ride in my truck to visit the local nursery to pick up a couple of fruit trees. Life is so good. Now that you encourage it, I just might write a hub to share what it's like to live a simple, yet abundant life. Do I NEED another fruit tree? No, but because I have money left over from being frugal, I can afford to buy a tree that will enhance a healthy lifestyle.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      I just returned from a neighborhood get-together where a young mother was bragging about the diamond earrings and John Deere boots she just purchased for her 14 month-old daughter. I could only shake my head during her story, and ask her "why?"

      Like you, I try to live the simple life. My 1000 sq ft farmhouse is paid in full, as is my 2004 pickup. I raise chickens, ducks & guineas, and sell the eggs. I do a lot of bartering, and trading for the things I need. I find much more enjoyment from watching the antics of wildlife than I do from the brain-numbing shows on a tv set. Sometimes I wish the Internet... or better yet, the electricity grid - would go down for a week or two, so the rest of the world would wake up!

      My grandparents lived during the depression, and my parents passed on to us kids the lessons learned during those times. I've never been much of a shopper - thank goodness! - so I can relate to your Costco experience.

      Thanks for the laughs and the words of wisdom. I just wish more of the world would listen!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      At first I thought this was similar to my wife taking me clothes shopping (she knows it's not a good idea!)

      Much of this hub is where we're at but only part way through. Sickness has meant I've needed to earn so the first change (actually forced on us with redundancy) was find a job I was going to enjoy and I love it.

      Writing is my passion, but so is my family and I found a job I enjoy! (a rare thing in today's world) but we also have a a plan. That's the key

      Awesome hub. Thanks for the encouragement to keep going

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Great advice and fun to read hub. I discovered a couple of years ago that doing the corporate life was killing me (literally) now I'm poor but content and have time to write all I want. Simple is the way to a peaceful life and a peaceful life lasts a long time. Have a great weekend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great living and thoughts from you.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      PS to my previous comment: I pay cash for everything...The only time I use a credit card is when I order off Amazon and have money in my checking account to pay it off immediately. And I mostly use Amazon to buy Christmas gifts for the family, or someone's birthday, or a cleaning product I USE. I also read somewhere that a person only needs 3 or four clothing arrangements. I have been weeding out my closet. The sight of clarity is so uplifting and freeing.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      Another important message that people should heed. You are preaching to the choir here though. A stress free life....what a treasure. Why more people don't desire that, I'll never know.

      We have no mortgage, one 2010 car that is almost paid for, and mostly drive a 1998 corolla, and a 1998 tacoma. But the most important thing is that we are happy.

      I hope some of the younger people who read this, will make adjustments to their lives, so they too can live simply.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I am not quite a self-survivor yet but I have the chickens and I am quite debt free; so I am getting there! It's the only road to take.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea, thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed the Costco vignette. LOL As for living in a home for 35 years, I can only imagine. Good for you for taking the steps necessary to simplify. I salute you, dear lady.

      blessings today and always

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, great thoughts and hooray for both of us. It is the only way to survive in this world, and I suspect the economy will get worse before it gets better. I wonder how many will survive the next major depression? Anyway, thank you so much for the visit.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I would have enjoyed your dad greatly. Great lessons he passed down to his children and yes, it would be wonderful if children today understood this basic lesson before they found themselves in financial trouble.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, Amen and pass the mash potatoes! Don't know why that came to mind...a flash from the past. LOL Thank you and Happy Weekend to you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Claudia, there is a big difference between me now and me twenty years ago. I am relaxed now, living large and loving life.

      Thank you and best wishes to you

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, we would love to have you as a neighbor. You have the kind of attitude I love and admire. Well, we'll just have to be cyber neighbors. I can live with that nice alternative. :) Thanks for always being here, Ruby.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I absolutely love that you have a plan and you are working towards it. I know you'll reach your goal and won't life be a kick in the pants when you do? :) I'm happy for you, buddy. You have worked hard and you deserve your dreams.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita. Part of it is lifestyle. Part is just very good genes. I think I won the DNA lottery. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anne, I hope you do. What you described from that walk sounds like heaven on Earth....one step at a time that heaven will increase...I believe that because I'm living it.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I really do hope you write about it. We have to raise awareness and let others know that it is possible to be happy with less.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Country, I have often wondered what would happen if the energy grid shut down for a week. I think there would be mass chaos first and foremost...then people might start to realize that they can get by using common sense and the gifts they already have. It might be interesting to find out. :)

      Good for you and your lifestyle...the story about the diamond earrings and boots for a 14 month old....CRAZY!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I love to hear that people have a plan and they are working towards it. So many people just hang on day to day without any direction. Things will change when we change and not a minute before. Thanks for sharing your story.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, maybe poor in one way, but rich in so many others? It sounds like you have it together. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I always appreciate your visits and thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is, isn't it, Lea? We are cleaning out the garage today. Why? To make room for more quail chicks. :) Always working on the plan, my friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very inspiring and good sermon. Live a simple life and you can save from your earnings. This is what every one should follow. Thanks for sharing this beautiful topic. Voted up and awesome.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 2 years ago from New England

      Yes.....it feels so good to keep one's life simple and sustainable. I live in a co-housing community, so there is always bartering being done, etc.

      Just paid off my credit card debt and cut up the card! Plan to pay for everything in cash...because if I have it, then I have it and when I don't, I don't. Sometimes it's a month-to-month decision to stay out of debt (bey0ond our mortgage, condo fees and cohousing)...but it gets easier as time goes by....and my energy level...my level of hope regarding other areas in my life, has risen dramatically! I feel as if I have recently lifted out of a depression I didn't realize I was in.

      So I welcome spring with an open heart and mind, and lots of optimism for my ability to keep living simply and sustainably.

      Thanks, Bill!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Lol…why is it that so many men hate shopping? Well, I must confess that you’re not alone, because a number of us women dislike it as well. I much prefer the consignment shops and little out-of-the-way places where bargains can be found. I hate department stores or huge markets. Sosh usually goes…he’s more patient than I, and knows better than to have me tagging along and asking,“Are we done yet?” And you are so right…the key word is need. “Do I want this or do I need this?” I suspect that many envy your and Bev’s lifestyle, Bill. (Well done!) There are many tips and words of advice in this article that are spot on.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pawpaw, I'm so happy to hear you are living this lifestyle. I hope society in general wakes up one day to the problems with excess consumerism. I fear for the worst and hope for the best.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I would say if you are debt free you are way ahead of this game. Well done. Say hi to the chicks for me and thank you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've shared some very useful advice in this hub, Bill. It's also important advice and something that we all need to think about.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      You are spot on! Our aim is the same. Keeping our expenses to a minimal. Our solar geyser was gone during a terrible Cape Town fires last week and the bill for a temporary fix cleaned us out our reserves, but we love what we do, we love where we live and we are grateful that our home did not burn down.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. There are so many people who blame their financial problems on others....it begins with ourselves and our habits.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seafarer, I love that you paid off your credit cards and cut them up. I'm so excited for you, and the statement that your energy level rose says a lot, doesn't it? Thank you for sharing that.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I am at my worst at shopping malls. My gentle nature takes a turn for the worse when at the mall. At least I know my weaknesses and triggers. :) Thank you my friend, and happy Sunday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I appreciate you spending part of your weekend with me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, I'm very sorry to hear about the fires affecting you, but I love your attitude. Thank you for the visit and best wishes to you.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub Billy. You would persevere and come on top. I love your positive thinking. Voted up!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hahaha You sound like my husband ...let's just get what we need and get out of here!

      Bill, you are certainly the King of living simply or I should say one humble being, for a King does not live simply. Debt free is the way to truly live, for one does not want to be a slave to our debt, as that is certainly what it does to us!

      God provides us with what we need, not what we want, but what we need. We may think we need something when in reality we do not need it at all.

      Peace and blessings always

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very important message shared by you!

      We must have what we need and not what we desire. There is no end to desires. Satisfaction is the key to happiness and it is an art as you say, to live simple.

      Thanks for sharing this insightful hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, your husband and I would get along famously well. Tell him I said hello and called him brother. :)

      What I need to do right now is take care of some customers. That is not what I want to do. :)

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ChitrangadaSharan...you said it perfectly...there is no end to desires....so why bother trying? Take care of needs and happiness and contentment will follow. Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I don't like shopping, either. I'd rather be out in nature, doing what I do best, and I will get there, to bring the world of nature to all of you. Move over, David Attenborough, and make room for ME.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I love it. Move over indeed. Thanks for the smile you just gave me.

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 2 years ago from United States

      Rated 'Interesting'. I truly enjoyed the honesty of your Hub. I thought I was odd in not wanting expensive or new things. It is so comforting knowing I am not alone. I am completely against credit card debt too ~ and know people who have this debt because they charged many frivolous items!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlo! I suspect our numbers are growing as the economy remains stagnated and the middle class shrinks.....hopefully others will follow our lead.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Well said Bill! Need is the keyword here to take note of and live a simple life free of all the pressures of life. I'm trying to do so and to a great extent have been able to do so. I did away with my credit card long ago.

      Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan for sharing your thoughts and experience. Hopefully others will learn from our sharing.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 2 years ago

      Simply put by a simple man who has deep thoughts. You have a good grasp on what is important. After all you have endured, the life lessons you have learned you teach to others. Because of this, it is wonderful to know you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you toknowinfo...it is a pleasure knowing you as well.

    • Phoenix2361 profile image

      Phoenix2361 2 years ago

      I like the way you live. With each passing day, I make a small change that will become a habit and then a way of life. Change is easier when you don't realise it's happening. Happy Easter to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Easter, Zulma, and I think you are right. Small changes that are hardly noticed become large changes in time. Thanks for that reflection.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      Nancy Mitchell 2 years ago from Bend, OR

      Hate hate hate going to Costco! You could write an entire article on that and I'd read it. I'm living a simpler life, too, and modeling for my boys that one doesn't need loads of cash and stuff to be happy. However, it's difficult to sell that idea in our Kardashian-loving world where money, fame, and good looks equals success.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      letstalk, don't get me started with the Kardashian clan. They disgust me. You are right, it's a tough sell to today's kids and I understand that. Bravo to you for modeling behavior that hopefully, one day, your boys will understand. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      We try to live simply, but certainly not simply enough. I like my bells and whistles like other folks do. But it's good to have a reminder like this. As my Dad always said jokingly, "What you want and what you get are two different things". Maybe he wasn't always joking and I still remember it today.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, there's a commercial on tv right now about the "stupid rich." I laugh every time I watch it. I'll never have to worry about being stupid rich. LOL

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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      You will get a kick out of this, Billy. One of the ads on your hub touts a luxury model of the Lexus - the LS, and the other promotes the Roomba, an expensive robotic vacuum cleaner. Are these accessories for the simple life? Just wonderin'. ;)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I rarely take a look at those ads but I'll be doing so from now on. I'll be laughing for quite some time over that one. Thanks for the chuckle.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 17 months ago

      I loved this hub. I have been following minimalist bloggers like Leo Babauta, Courtney Carver, Joshua Becker etc. and I have been trying to change some of my habits. I was stuck in an unhappy job for the last two years simply because of the money it provided me for splurging on the things I could have done without.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Swalia, it is a very easy trap to fall into...the Almighty Dollar rules many lives. :) Best wishes to you!

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