What? It’s May and you’re finished working for the year?!? Geez, I wish I could finish working for the year! I’ve got my rent to pay, plus my loans to pay off. Hey, by the way, how is it that you don’t have an iPad? They’re so great! Let me show you all the stuff I can do on mine…
The neighbour who said this to me did not see the connection between the first half of his expression and the second. Outside of extreme scenarios, there is in fact a direct correlation between how much we consume and how much we need to work for pay. Am I willing to live in a very small house? Am I happy with my six year old laptop? Do I “need” a phone with more capacity?
This fellow lives (alone) in at least twice as much space as my son and I do, eats out at least five meals per week, enjoys countless alcoholic drinks at restaurants and pubs, smokes, upgrades his phone regularly, has a personal internet account at home, and uses data while out and about. Luckily, he very much enjoys working. Unluckily, there’s little work in his trade during the winter, so he finds his expenses stressful.
He has options.
When we ask ourselves “what is absolutely critical to me?” we can quickly pare our spending down to so little that five months of work (or less) may well cut it, allowing us to spend the rest of the year’s hours volunteering, working on hobbies, resting, playing with our kids, or learning. In the meantime, savings and/or passive income cover necessities.
In my book, I offer three exercises to help you determine your own highest priorities, so that you can shuck the rest and get on with living. (Check out the reviews here! And, hey, thanks, folks!!)