Are You Making Your Life More Complicated (And Expensive) Than It Needs To Be?

Many of us find ourselves pressed for time and/or money, at least some of the time. And while it’s true that life can be harrying with it’s demands of cooking, cleaning, work, childcare, and maintenance chores, it’s also true that we bring some of those demands upon ourselves by doing way more than we need to do. Whether it’s because our mothers did it that way, or because it fits into society’s image of what a certain person is supposed to do, we sometimes take on things that are unnecessary and incur a lot more stress and expense as a result.

Here’s one example: I have a neighbor who washes and folds her family of five’s bath towels, washcloths, an


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9 Responses to Are You Making Your Life More Complicated (And Expensive) Than It Needs To Be?

  1. Jennifer, like most of your articles, You bring up valid points. Time wasted is life wasted, is money wasted.

    John DeFlumeri Jr

  2. Courtney says:

    How about kids activities in general? Vacations in general?

    I know kids that are greatly overscheduled because their parents feel they “need” to do team sports, buy the latest video game, and participate in every extracurricular activity. I got by with a backyard creek and a treehouse – so our family needed only one car, my mother could be a stay-at-home mom, and my dad didn’t have to work long hours, so he could spend quality time with his family.

    Likewise, we “vacationed” by going to Grandma’s house for two weeks while mom and dad got some well-deserved time off.

    People do make things much more complicated than they need to be. I’m not saying that every family can afford to get by on one income, and definitely not saying that every family can have two parents – but I see my single-mom friends killing themselves at work so they can afford martial arts lessons for all of their kids, when all their kids want is for mom to come home for dinner. Very sad.

  3. Dawn/FFL says:

    Kids are such a waste of money anyway… just ask my mom! (j/k)

    Good examples of how time = money

  4. Diane says:

    I don’t know anyone personally who cleans even 1 bathroom every day, or washes sheets & towels for 1 person every day. Anyone who has a life is too busy for that~!

    Still, most women I know are overwhelmed with household upkeep & family duties. My boyfriend does his share by grocery shopping, cooking & cleaning up and I’m still pressed for time.

    And my youngest son has a car now, so he drives himself to practices. I still attend every game & event, which involves considerable time, but that’s not optional for me as it’s what I really want to do. Volunteering to keep those activities going is part of the package. If everyone gave just a little time it wouldn’t be so much work for anyone.

    My take is that many of us have way too many possessions, clothes and STUFF. It takes up space, time to buy it, clean & repair it. Things must be moved to clean under & around them… For me, less stuff equals less maintenance and less time cleaning.

    I’d rather spend time watching my son play varsity football or soccer than spend it dusting collectibles or moving gadgets & appliances to clean the kitchen counter!

  5. Cristina says:

    Biggest time waster is the Internet. That being said, I am up and the computer goes off.

  6. Robin says:

    Good discussion. I has someone leave a short story about a trip to Kenya, and the simplicity of life there.

    She took a photo of a man showing off his prized possessions — a bar of soap (new) and a small comb. He was looking pleased with life because he had enough to eat and was surrounded by his friends and family.

    Contrast this with how we collect possessions in America. Our possessions change our lives by requiring more locks, more cleaning and organizing, more space, more insurance, and more time and energy.

    Here’s to simplification and setting priorities that match our values!

  7. Gail says:

    Washing all those sheets and twoels daily also wears them out much faster thus needing them to be replaced. I also knew a woman who initially washed all her sheets daily and then she finally saw the light that it was a backlash from an alcoholic mom who didn’t clean and she lived and slept in a filthy house where the sheets never got washed. She had finally settled into a sensible pattern for laundry. I’ve learned to sit back and let many chores go undone as I just don’t have the energy usually to do them. They get doen when I can. Life sometimes comes in and teaches you things you couldn’t learn any other way.

  8. Eileen says:

    This was thought provoking and welcome as a not-so tidy housekeeper.;-).

    So many things that might be admirable, a super clean house, exquisitely wrapped gifts, volunteering in 20 arenas, perfect nails, home baked goodies, also have costs. You do a good job pointing out while we may get compliments and even feel good about going the extra mile for germ-free bathrooms, if it is causing more stress than bringing contentment, it’s time to let go of such expectations.

    Best wishes! Signing off with my polish-free nails and ever in envy of women who manage those beautiful shades of perfect pink at the tip of each coiffed finger;-). Eileen

  9. Cindy M says:

    I think most people would be so much better off if they could just get away from the brain- draining wasteland of TV and talk radio junk and even quit the newspaper and magazine subscriptions for a good while if not permanently. How much better to use your time to get a good nap, take a long walk, cook something great or accomplish something physically that really needs to get done around the house or yard for yourself or someone you know who needs that. We worry way too much about what we’re TOLD is true and that we must fix, a great deal of which most of us can actually do almost nothing about anyway.

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