Purge (De-clutter more than things) and Reduce
Take a hard look at not just 'things' or objects but at all areas of your life.
Things - Go room by room for the things and be honest, do you use it? do you need it? does it add to your life or take away? Then it can be sold, given away or trashed (recycle where possible).
Mind Clutter - are you being 'pecked to death by ducks' "A steady stream of small, seemingly inconsequential or minor nuisances, which build up over a prolonged period of time and which, eventually, take their toll and exact a heavy price."? This could be the numerous memberships you have i.e. magazines you never read (I only have one print subscription now and I read it every month because it is that important to me.) or volunteering for non-profit organizations that all want a piece of you - they are all great causes but really focusing just on a few will benefit you and that organization. (I often offer to do a small project with a start and finish i.e. a press release for an event rather than sitting on a board for several years but I have made exceptions. Don't say yes to everything.)
Do you have a lot of mail or email? Each day take one item and really analyze it - does it add value to my life? do I really need it? etc. Create a process and start purging...the resulting reduction will likely not just free up time but reduce your mind clutter. Hundreds of emails a day isn't a badge of honour - it clutters your mind and exhausts you. Purge your emails to what you value most and de-clutter your mind. Find peace simply.
Review your bills - do you really need a landline anymore? I mean do you really need to pay a monthly bill to talk to telemarketers? and before you say it is part of my package, look at your package, do you really need it all? Can you combine bills to one? Really look what are you paying for and does it add value to your life? Do you need cable or would your time be better spent oh say gardening, time with kids, hiking/biking etc. free activities that promote your health and well being including your mental health?
Tip - take one area at a time say - each week focus on one area of your life, review, make resolutions to put into action or act on it and then move to the next area. Give yourself time to congratulate yourself on your accomplishment and likely freedom of time/money in the process. Share your story with others to encourage their simplifying their life.
Purchasing - The easiest way is to not shop regularly. Plan your purchases. Be focused when you shop and don't get caught up on the sales, unless the items are ones you use regularly and would be buying anyway...it is so hard, I feel your pain....but how many shoes do you really need? Many people use a one in and one out process - if you buy a new shirt an old one needs to be replaced. If you can meal plan that would be ideal. Start with your list of favourites and try to incorporate easy to adapt ones like stir-fries, soups, stews, etc where ingredients can change. Unsubscribe from online shopping sites and shop looking at kijiji and other used website for things you might need or find fun. Look only when you 'need' not 'want' something. Give yourself time to consider. Recently, I did up a seed order and then sat on it for several days - it changed and became more realistic and easier on the pocket book - it is so hard not to get caught up in the moment - be strong.
May 2016 be your year to move closer to simplifying and saving....know that we are all struggling with you.