So many of us say that we want to work less and enjoy our lives more, but what’s keeping us from actually doing so? For most people, the obvious barrier is money. After all, who would go to work every day if we didn’t need the money?
But why do we need all this money? To pay the bills, of course! But wait. Why do we have all these bills in the first place? Umm…
The less money we spend, the less money we need. When we need less money, we don’t have to spend as much time working. The less time we spend working to make money to pay our bills, the more time we have to actually enjoy our lives.
Sounds simple enough, right? It is and it isn’t. Learning new financial habits definitely requires some reprogramming.
A fundamental first step toward reducing our spending calls for an honest assessment of where our hard-earned money is actually going. How much do we spend on the things that we truly need, vs. those that we simply want, or merely like?
For guidance, The Minimalists’ insightful essay NEED, WANT, LIKE breaks down this essential process of separating our basic needs from our various wants and likes (many of which often masquerade as needs in our complicated modern lives), and recommends action steps to move us closer to our ultimate goal of financial freedom.
Everyone’s different, but most of us don’t really need as much as we think. Once we start casting a critical eye on everything in our lives and asking, “Do I really need this?” it’s surprising to discover how often the answer is “No!”