Simple living: These sources give ideas

For many older Canadians, adopting the simple life is not always a choice. It’s part of the package when you live on a retirement income. Yet there is virtue in a thoughtful, frugal lifestyle, of ‘walking lightly’ upon this earth.

Living simply has great appeal for many. They’re tired of conspicuous living and the effort to acquire and maintain material goods. So whether it’s by choice or by circumstances, here are some sources for inspiration and information on what’s come to be called ‘voluntary simplicity’:

  • The Internet is a fabulous source of information about simple living.

Voluntary simplicity
Just search under ‘frugality’ or ‘voluntary simplicity’ or visit and you’ll find a wealth of material, including newsletters and magazines with tongue-in-cheek titles like, Cheapskate Monthly, The Scavenger Online, The Miser’s Gazette, and The Dollar Stretcher.

  • Your library or bookstore will also have excellent resources.

Recommended books
For example, check out Enough: Lifestyle and Financial Planning f Simpler Living, by Betty Jane Wylie (Northstone).

Some of her advice for stretching money:

  • Don’t buy anything today.
  • Find out where your money goes (keep track for three months).
  • Carry only the cash you’ll need for the day. (Tuck away a $100 bill for emergencies – you’ll probably think twice before spending it.)
  • Stay on top of prices so you’ll know when a deal’s a deal.
  • Invest the money you save.

Some other simple living titles to consider:

  • Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (Penguin Books).
  • The Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn (Villard Books).
  • Living the simple Life, by Elaine St. James (Hyperion).
  • Get a Life, by Wayne Roberts and Susan Brandum.

With files by Marilyn Smith