It has happened to you. You have been hanging out with your friends and one of them brings up a subscription service that you don’t subscribe to. Whether it is Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling, Cable, NFL Ticket, etc., when your friend learns that you don’t subscribe to that service, there will sometimes be a level of surprise, maybe even shock. “What do you mean you don’t have a Netflix subscription? How could anyone bear to live a life of such sacrifice?”
The lack of a Netflix subscription seems especially likely to induce the aforementioned incredulity. It doesn’t matter which service or luxury you have in your life, it is likely something you could do without if you so desired. If you decided that you could do without it, then perhaps your life could be made better by the cost savings, lack of clutter, or whatever the case may be.
How Sacrifice is Really Not Sacrifice
So equate this line of reasoning a step or two further. Look around your house and see the items that become part of the background noise. The clutter in the corner. The television that isn’t used. Those are things you don’t need. You might think that getting rid of them would be a sort of hardship to you, but it wouldn’t be. In fact, it would be freeing!
Now you might cynically be thinking “Oh sure, Landfield! I can just sell everything, live like a monk, and then I’ll be happy?!?!” Well, maybe, but that isn’t what I’m arguing. From a larger perspective, trying to arrive at happiness is a failing effort. You need to be happy now. What I am talking about, is how getting rid of stuff (new cars every five years, clutter, 500 channels, etc.) can actually make you more free. Not paying for these things means more money is going into your pocket each month, freeing up options for long-term wealth accumulation or charity work.
I bet there are things you can do without and you wouldn’t miss them at all. To others, you may be sacrificing a lot, but in reality, you’d be getting yourself closer to financial freedom. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you have to sleep on on the floor and eat rice and beans for every meal. In writing his post My Deprived Life: Raising a Family on $27,000 Per Year, Pete Adeney a.k.a. Mr. Money Mustache, explains how efficient spending enables him to enjoy the good life on the cheap. Check it out.
Is there anything you have chosen to do without that has actually improved or enhanced your life? Let me know below.