The Unexpected Impact of Having Less

The Unexpected Impact of Having Less

The less you have, the less you want. Having less stuff, having an uncluttered space, leads to a less cluttered mind. And once you’ve done the work to get there, it’s easier and easier to stay there- to not acquire more things you don’t need.

One consequence of having less and needing less is that you’ll spend less money, while being happier.

When I tell people how we cut our spending to save for travel, they always look at me (or I think they look at me) like “oh poor you, you must have sacrificed so much!”. It’s common for us to think that spending more = having more = more happiness …but in fact, what I have experienced is more like this: consciously having less (within reason) = more appreciation = more happiness

So, while buying less and having less shit has meant that we saved more money, what we didn’t expect was that saving more money would have consequences beyond just the initial amount we saved.

Having a “cushion” in the bank has allowed us more freedom:
-Freedom to invest (this one is pretty obvious- but it’s not like anyone is making a fortune overnight on mutual funds)
-Freedom to take risks (like buying volatile cryptocurrency, or a volatile web business that could have worked out or not), and to reap the benefits fo those risks when they work out
-Freedom to turn down jobs that wouldn’t improve our quality of life and didn’t align with our goals (like that job outside Paris…)
-Freedom to make choices that don’t pay well in the short term but will pay off in the long run
-Freedom to make mistakes (like that administrative misadventure that cost us $5K but… oh, well, we couldn’t have known)
-Freedom to join friends on vacation, meaning we get to spend days, not hours together- much more time for priceless misadventures together (Jajajajaja?)
-And, of course, freedom of time, travel and learning: not directly profitable financially, but this is basically what we live for 🙂

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