Ever read about the hard-core early-retirees in the internet?!
Wow, these are tough guys, saving every cent twice and reduce their financial needs to a bare minimum.
I admit, it’s great fun reading their stories, and there is lots to be learned about a different angel how to look at the world and their way to financial freedom, so you should pop in and visit them at one of the links in my link-list.
But personally and being a starter in the world of downshifting, I’m not there yet, it’s just too…hm, extreme for me.
It’s certainly very efficient and maybe also rewarding to entirely give up cars, holidays, your job and almost anything that costs money to downshift to a level of bare minimum spending (sometimes this extreme form of downshiftig is called simple living). But man, I don’t know what you think, but I still enjoy having diner out once in a while, spend money in a cinema or pub; and above all my family enjoys travelling far and long- certainly not the most inexpensive hobby ;-).
On the other side there are these hectic guys who work their asses off, who can’t look anyone in the eyes for more than two seconds, who are making a steep career (or trying to), get their first depression or heart-attack at age 40 and save money for (hopefully) being independent later.
I think this is a poor choice either. Why?
Because this is what happens:
- Work can easily get work for its own’s sake. The more you work and stress yourself, the more you forget how really to live and what for you are doing all of this shit.
- You are sacrificing time, health and social ties to family and friends in what maybe some of the best years of your life!
- You adapt to the higher levels of income and wealth that you are generating and that you see around you in the “higher ranks” of the company/society. Thus you will not be able to appreciate this any more.
- Your returns are uncertain. Might well be that inflation, tax, bad investments or health troubles will take away the joy of spending your money later.
I am convinced:
It is better to live here and today!
So here is something that we might learn from the Buddhists:
The best way is the middle way!
I think this holds true for many aspects of life when looking for independence, freedom & happiness.
It’s not necessary to work like hell to finance your happiness and financial freedom.
And its not necessary to cut down to the bare self-sustaining minimum in one big step. Maybe later, but first steps should be realistic.
Enjoy your day and see you at post #5.