A very significant decision
How to live on dramatically less
Compact living space
A VERY SIGNIFICANT DECISION
Managing your lifestyle (the way you are living) is vital to your living as you wish. It adds a richness to life with more ease and personal enjoyment. If it is done "efficiently" and "effectively" (see "Productivity" section on how to get more out of less), then it leaves more "personal space" for those things that add the most happiness (see Happiness section). It also allows us to work less, which is, of course, part of lifestyle management.
We normally are the victims of "Parkinson's Law" (we automatically and unintelligently fill up the amount of space allowed) so that we keep on ending up with a larger and larger house and higher and higher expenses and lots more "stuff", most of which adds very little. So here we look at all the "stuffs" to see what we can "manage" so it doesn't manage us. The art of spending, of course, is dealt with in the financial section on spending. Here we deal with the "what" of it all - which clothes do you really need and in what combinations. What kind of a car will do it. Where shall I live and how big shall it be - including how to manage space and storage so as not to waste time and money - we call that "compact living".
HOW TO LIVE ON DRAMATICALLY LESS
We have illusions about money and how much is sufficient. Removing those is of great importance. See Money In Our Minds. However, this section is about the practicalities of it all, about working in the realities of this world.
And, of course, how to create compact space living, above, as shelter costs are a major factor in all spending plans.
More later - or study the rest from googling or reading the books recommended
THE ACTUAL COSTS FOR A MAXIMAL QUALITY WITH LOW COST
We will be constructing what it will look like in actual expenses for a single person and for a couple, with added increments for children. The bottom line is that you should be able to live with much lower expenses and much lower stress.
The savings would approximate these percentages:
Vehicles and operation 20%
Food and household 30+%
Services, TV, internet 50%
Computer, printer, etc. 20%
Buy used, checked by mechanic, good warranty, costs less per year including alot less for insurance. Maintain well, keep longer.
Consider small SUV types instead of regular cars, especially if have children.
Safety - Costs but worth it; airbags on side, auto safety rating
Don't buy for most space: Rent (very cheap) if need larger.
A quality car a couple of years older with a full repair guaranty for 6 or more years would lower the total cost from a more expensive year but still keep peace of mind.
List/summary shopping: Only shop with the list of what you have and what you need. See standard lists and the planning list...
Easy care: Washable, non-wrinkle, no special treatment - Identify the materials to use and find the sources.