I see a lot of websites about living frugally. Many of them talk about making sacrifices so that one can reap benefits in the future. I don’t think this is a good way to approach it- these are not sacrifices, only rewards.
Living simply and minimally should be both the path and the goal, not just the path. Don’t approach “frugality” and simplicity as burdens that must be just endured for now. Approach it as a wise way of living life and as an improvement over a materialistic life. Living simply is about eliminating distractions and other things that are not truly important so that we can focus on what we consider to be essential, or really important. Ideally, minimalist living enhances these important things at the cost of eliminating the unimportant things. In other words, clear the noise to listen to the music.
I’m not saying you should never look forward to doing things that may require money, like retiring early, buying that sailboat you’ve always dreamed of, or traveling the world with a loved one. I’m just suggesting that it’s better to view the simple processes as a blessing and a goal, not as a burden or difficult path. Choose your own level of simplicity.
Don’t cook at home just because you want to save money. Cook at home because you want to create, want to improve your cooking skills, want to eat healthy food, want to spend time with family or friends in a cooperative activity, and want to find pleasure in the process of cooking.
Don’t reduce expenditures just because you want to eliminate debt. Reduce expenditures because you realize that most of them are unimportant and won’t increase your happiness, and that you are actually happier when you have a simple, clutter-free, and streamlined living space. Reduce your mental and physical clutter.
Don’t reduce your energy costs just because you want to save money. Reduce your energy costs because you care about the planet and want to live a life that is sustainable.
The point is, don’t just focus on the future. Focus on both the future and the path to get there by truly appreciating every aspect of that path in the present moment.
Great post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and going over my budget its crazy how little I actually need to survive and live comfortably. I really just don’t need that much.
I think everyone has their own level for what they need in terms of possessions and finances, though the general rule of thumb is probably that less is usually more. Thanks for the comment.
Stay at Home Mom CFO
This is great way to look at the the “sacrifices”. Having the right mindset about things really does work. Personally, I’ve gone from feeling helpless about our debt to taking the steps to get it under control. The FEELING/mindset of being in control has helped me sleep so much better at night (even though the debt is still there).
Thanks for the comments.
I am carefully trying to touch on aspects of minimalism without straying too far away from the intended focus on the blog: wealth building and dividend stock analysis. I feel, however, that simple living is a key component to building wealth for most people, and it helps my site have a unique mix of posts, so I will continue to bring it up when appropriate.
And good luck on your debt elimination, sahmCFO.
Jason @ Redeeming Riches
Great post – I like when bloggers come at things from a different angle!
Within the past year or so I’ve dedicated some time to removing clutter in my life and it’s helped a lot. My mind is more likely to follow adventures and personal endeavors when I’m not worrying about the dishes on the table or the stack of magazines sprawled across the couch.
It’s cleansing for me so the path and future are involved in my clutter-free lifestyle.
Austin @ Foreigner’s Finances
Great points! I will be checking back here often!