Simpler Living

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Confessions of a Downsizer

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 19, 2021

Okay, I admit it: I have been obsessed with things, especially in this past year or more. For the last several years, we have looked forward to major downsizing. So we did it – moved from a rural paradise that requires constant hard work beyond our current sustained efforts, to a house half the size…

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Ten Reasons to Choose a Simpler Lifestyle

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 16, 2020

We can choose to live a simpler lifestyle as an act of: Personal integrity and commitment to a more equitable distribution of wealth in the world. Self-defense against the mind-numbing effects of over-consumption. Sharing with others what has been given to us, or returning what we have unequally received at the expense of others around…

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A Basic Financial Health Checklist

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 22, 2019

Managing the money and things we have can get complicated, but the basics don’t have to be. At a workshop on “The Whys and Hows of Money Leadership,” stewardship leader Mark L. Vincent1 shared three points we can take care of, as our financial health checklist:2 1. I have a spending plan or budget that…

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Derailing Destructive Debt

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 25, 2018

How easy it is to carry a little debt – it almost seems like an inevitable part of the American way of life. But most of us know how quickly that can become a runaway train! The key is to start living the new way, even as we go on a debt reduction plan, so…

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Happiness and Money

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 9, 2018

Happiness can be elusive. Surveys from way back have shown that Americans in all economic levels thought they’d be happy if they had just 10% more. But recent research 1 is even more striking: When Harvard Business School asked more than 4,000 millionaires how much money it would take to be perfectly happy, 25% said…

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Wall Street and “Enough”

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 12, 2018

I was intrigued by a recent article in MONEY magazine, 1 and the explosive reactions to it from some other MONEY readers. It’s written by Roz Warren, a freelance writer and part-time librarian. So what radical thing did she do? She pulled all her money out of the stock market. Warren had made a financial…

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Mustard Seed Giving

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 5, 2017

Are you looking for that just-right Christmas gift for a woman who already has plenty of stuff? Giving a micro-loan to another woman in her name can be exciting and empowering to the women on both ends! I’ve put Women for Women International on my Christmas list. For twenty-four years, it has helped women survivors…

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Generous Stewards — Compassionate and Caring

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 25, 2017

     I listened to a fascinating TED Talk on National Public Radio about compassion a while ago.1 It featured political analyst Sally Cone, and journalist Christa Tippet. “Compassion [is] the ability to appreciate and respect another person’s viewpoint, even if it isn’t your own,” said Cone. It includes communicating that your feelings are valid, and…

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Pursuing Possessions

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 22, 2017

Jesus says that what we pursue is what we treasure (Luke 12:33-34). The trouble with pursuing wealth as a source of security, adds author Sondra Ely Wheeler, 1 is that “it usurps God’s role as source and measure and guarantor of life.” By contrast, Wheeler notes, the Book of Luke lays out “a confidence of…

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Lynne Twist for Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 3, 2017

Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” this April 23 will include Lynne Twist, inspiring blogger and author of The Soul of Money. I was so moved by her blog, “Super Soul Sunday with Oprah” that I made the following comment: “Lynne, I was thrilled to read your response to being interviewed by Oprah for this April’s Super…

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