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A couple decades ago, you couldn’t watch a lifestyle or financial show on television without hearing the term downsize or downsizing. Cutting the excess out of daily routines, budgets, and work schedules was all the rage. Nowadays, you don’t run into the term as much, and there’s good reason for that. The downsizing craze has morphed into a larger, more philosophical trend called either simplification or decluttering.

The concept behind this newer version of minimalism is to remove both physical and mental baggage from your life in order to be happier. For many people, the process seems to pay off in the ability to save more money, reduce stress levels, improve physical health, and more. No matter your age, if you have the urge to simplify things and eliminate all the complexities that can stand in the way of enjoying everyday life, here are a few of the fastest ways to get the job done. No one method works for everyone, so feel free to pick, choose, mix, and match until you find a strategy that suits your downsizing needs.

Ways to downsize

1. Buy a smaller home

For generations, many have simplified their lifestyles by selling a home that’s too large for their needs. When young men and women start families, they often need bigger homes to accommodate the kids. But after the nest is empty, what’s the use of maintaining a four-bedroom home, for example, when only two people live in it? Moving into a more suitable house, condo, or townhome is one of the most common ways that today’s couples downsize. The huge advantage is the financial savings that come with the new, more efficient dwelling. Not only are payments usually much lower, but utilities, upkeep, and insurance are typically a fraction of what they were in the previous home.

2. Take a life settlement

If you want to make life less complicated and decide you no longer need a life insurance policy, you can look into selling the policy via a life settlement. It’s a fast way of turning unneeded insurance coverage into cold, hard cash. For starters, you’ll get a lump sum payment, which translates into more financial protection for any stage of your career. It’s important to speak with an expert on the topic so you can be certain to get the highest payout. In most cases, what you receive in cash is greater than the current cash surrender value of the coverage.

3. Sell unneeded assets

It’s surprising how many people own two or more vehicles but only use one for their daily needs. Likewise, if you take a look in your attic, basement, and garage, chances are that you’ll spot several items that could fetch a decent price. Consider online boards and garage sales to eliminate excess items from your life and turn it into cash.

4. Re-configure your monthly budget

Devote a few hours to resetting your monthly budget, being careful to eliminate categories that are no longer relevant, cut waste, and look for places where you can save. Many discover that they can save on groceries by simply joining a wholesale club.

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