Is Downsizing to a Simpler Life Possible?
With predictions of upcoming economic woe in the US perhaps this is a good moment to reflect on what you would do if the economic landscape changes greatly and you need to cut back significantly on your lifestyle.
Some people predict huge downsizing in the future, with many of us losing our jobs and our homes as well as seeing our savings affected. Hopefully none of this will happen but let’s allow our minds to wander a little and see if we could cope with a forcible downsizing. What would the good points be?
More Free Time
I don’t want to take a glib approach here, because it is clear that losing your job and having to do something different would be a major problem for anyone. However, perhaps I can use my own experience here to show how it can work out reasonably well in non financial ways. I used to work in a bank. It was a pretty decent job if rather boring. The problem was that my wife isn’t from the same country as me and she wanted to go home to start a family in a more familiar setting. Now, as she is from a country which we might kindly class as “developing” going there together meant downsizing in one way or another. In the end, we did it and we started off by running a little store out of our home. This meant a big drop in our standard of living but we began to spend more time together, eat long lunches round the table and do all of the things which we couldn’t do when I worked in a bank. Maybe some of the people who are forced to downsize will find that working so hard to earn a lot of money wasn’t really making them happy anyway.
A Healthier Life?
Could downsizing be a healthy move as well? In the past, when people have talked to me about doing this voluntarily they have usually mentioned trying to lower their stress levels as being a major part of their decision. Life is stressful for most of us but not everyone looks at the right ways of trying to solve this problem. Having a job which sees you work a lot of hours every week in order to pay off big loans is something which is bound to cause you stress from time to time. Not many of us would willingly give up our comfortable house and decent job but would it really be so bad if you were forced to do it? The initial period of feeling that you are losing control would obviously be one of the worst periods of your life but don’t you think that you would bounce back and feel a lot freer of stress at some point?
A Chance to Change
Overall, what this kind of situation could give us all is the chance to change parts of our life. Sometimes we need a helping hand to do this when it comes to things we feel that we can’t do without. This is what happened to me and I suffered at first through the downsizing I had to undergo. It is a blow to not have a job you can be proud of and to not have some cash in the bank account. However, my experience tells me that people tend to look for the positive side of each situation and that most of us would cope well enough if the economy caused us to rebuild our lives in a simpler way.
Have you ever considered whether you could live a simpler life?