Is less actually better?
Here is a question that has the ability to get people talking: Is less actually better? We have heard people often throw out the statement that they want to “spend less and live more.” We have used that line a lot, too. But does spending less actually give us the ability to live more? What does that statement really mean? In this post we want to address how choosing to decrease our financial output offers the chance to increase our experiential input.
In a previous post I wrote about the financial stress that 80% of Americans deal with, mostly caused by debt, or living too close to the edge of their income. I posed the question of how you think you would react if you did not have to worry about paying your mortgage, or rent, for an entire year. Or imagine you beat the 185,000,000 to 1 odds and won the lottery. Imagine you took the annuity payments and received several million dollars every year. I’m purely speaking to the emotional side of this. You would know you could have anything you wanted for the next 30 years, and beyond. You would never have to worry about anything regarding your finances. I don’t believe anyone would be upset about these feelings. In fact, I would bet that most people would initially be filled with such a strong sense of relief that they become overwhelmed with joy and peace.
But that’s not reality for us. The best part about all of this is that even though the chances of you winning the lottery are 185,000,000 to 1, the emotional side of winning can still be obtained, without actually winning. Here is where I pose another question for you answer honestly: If you did not have to worry about your finances, would that help you to be less stressed, and more happy?
This is why we aim to spend less. This is why we sold our home and moved into a 1,000 square foot mobile home, which by the way has been great! We live on a single fixed income, and we realize that we have to be good stewards with our money if we want to be successful in life, including emotionally. We made the decision to downsize and live more simply, with the goal of eliminating as much stress as possible.
What makes us happy is probably different from what makes you happy. Amber and I had one thought in the back of our minds during this process: our children. It was a little over a year ago that we heard someone say the phrase, “You only have 18 summers with your children. Enjoy them.” That phrase hit us hard. All of a sudden a rush of thoughts came pouring into our minds of all the things we want to accomplish, see, and experience with our children. We want to travel with them, share unforgettable experiences with them, and offer them a chance to understand that you can live less while living more.
What would it look like for you to live more? Would you want to travel the world, visit and learn about different cultures, their languages, their foods? Would you want to own an RV or CamperVan and travel around the country, and maybe the continent? Maybe for you living more looks like having a nice, comfortable home that offers you peace and relaxation every day. Perhaps living more means always being surrounded by family and friends you love, no matter the location.
Here is a truth for you to remember: You only have one life, and you are not entitled to anything in it. You are, however, blessed with an opportunity in this one life to be happy.
Amber and I have a vision for our future. Our vision involves continuing to downsize our lives and material possessions, and focus on the things that make us happy and enable us to live more, alongside our children. We want to go on more adventures with our children. We want to travel the world with them, see different cultures, try different foods, see all the amazing wonders this world offers, and have unforgettable experiences with them. We want to do this because we only have one life here on earth, and we want this one life to be undeniably happy and full.