Buying less not only means saving money, but it can also be freeing in other ways.
For ten years of my life I gave up coffee. This was mostly because of two factors. My new (then) husband could not stand the smell of coffee brewing, and during those ten years, I was either pregnant or nursing or both, and choose to stay away from the caffeine.
I didn’t actually miss coffee much after a little bit, and I could knock that expense out of our budget. I no longer felt I needed coffee, had desires for coffee or felt deprived because I lacked coffee. Coffee was not part of my social circle, and I didn’t feel lower on the totem pole because I was the only one at the table without coffee.
As you can probably guess, though, this post isn’t all about giving up coffee. It is just an example of how when we voluntarily live with less, we create a new normal. We start to realize that having all of the extras in life might not lead to happiness, but we can be perfectly happy living without them.
Substitute the word coffee in that second paragraph with anything expense that you have been desiring, but don’t feel as though you can afford. For example, “I didn’t actually miss an iPad much after a little bit, and I could knock that expense out of our budget. I no longer felt I needed an iPad, had desires for an iPad or felt deprived because I lacked an iPad. An iPad was not part of my social circle, and I didn’t feel lower on the totem pole because I was the only one at the table without an iPad.”
Do you see what I mean? Whether it is coffee or the latest electronic device that didn’t even exist ten years ago, our perception of what we “need” can change. Having less can actually be freeing.
Just as when I gave up the coffee voluntarily, because of my perception of a greater good, so can I, or you, give up something we think we want for the greater good of financial freedom, and get to a point where we no longer desire the old must-have thing.