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4 June 2007

How do I start?

Why is starting so difficult? Taking that first step often stops us in our tracks, it seems too difficult, it starts us thinking about the "what ifs".

The most frequently asked question I get about simplifying is: "How do I start?" Of course there is no one answer to that question because the reasons for wanting to change are as different as the ways of life we all come from. However, the way I think it works is that you start by doing two things, and often many paths open up as a result.

I’ve thought about this a lot as I came from a background of chaos, mad creativity, no budgets and spontaneity. I thrived on pressure and loved change. But after living for a few years with lists, organised thoughts and routines that work, I’ve left the disorder behind and have embraced a more settled and mature system.

Your first organisational task will be to write down your goals. What is it you want your new life to be? This in itself might show you what your next step is.

Decide what reskilling you need. What do you want to do in your new way of living? Do you want to bake bread? Do you want to start cooking from scratch? Do you want to learn how to shop differently? Do you need to write up a budget? Whatever it is, find someone to teach you, or find the information online and start reskilling yourself.

Start making lists and get yourself a house journal. A house journal is just a ring binder (or recycled folder) where you keep all the info you find to help you use your new life. Keep all that info together so you know where it is.

Declutter. Start going through your house and give away, sell or donate everything you don’t want or need.

The more spending you do everyday the faster you’ll be confronted with whether you’re strong enough to stop right now.

Check out my budget posts in May. Do up a budget for yourself. There are budget forms to help you here in the download section.

Don’t be scared of budgeting, it is NOT a restriction, it frees up your money so that you know exactly what it is you can spend and what you need to pay on your regular bills. I have reduced the amount I spend each month dramatically. We spend about $75 a week for two of us for all our food and groceries. My next step is to cut that to $60 a week.

Budgeting gets easier the more you do it. You make a bit of a game out of it and try to beat the advertisers and supermarkets at their own game. But the main decision you have to make at this time is to stop spending, all you should be spending money on now is your rent/mortgage, food, transport and education. It’s a decision that could change your life, and who knows where that will lead. Good luck.


  1. your answer is better than mine, I just say, do it. {that's because that is what we did}


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