“FREE123: Freedom In Less” is a monthly account of pursuing financial freedom by pursuing less: Less stuff, less complexity and less spending. The purpose is not deprivation but to achieve more financial goals while experiencing contentment and purpose. Take a look:
Less Is More – The Beginning
This series got started one day when I was daydreaming one day about my happy place and how I feel when I am there. For me that place is Kauai Hawaii, on a beach, with a 84 degree sunny day (every day seems 84 degrees and sunny to me there). When I am there, just experiencing the beauty, I am content, happy, joyful and grateful. To say the least, when I am there, I want nothing else. It is simple and I am content. Then I got to thinking: Why can’t I experience that simplicity and contentment more often? Like at home? In my everyday life? The answer is I can. And a simple contented life would greatly enhance my goal of financial freedom.
The Goal: Purposeful Simplification
For the next season in life, I am going to purposefully simplify my life by finding freedom in less. Less stuff, less complexity and less spending as a means to reaching my financial freedom goals and find more contentment and purpose. The hypothesis is that living on a frugal budget with clear goals and a renewed focus on reducing consumption will lead to more contentment and true freedom.
This month my family took a three generation family vacation with a decidedly focused twist. Even though it was a travel vacation to Cabo San Lucas, which is beautiful by the way, we focused most of our time on spending time together. Yes, we did rent jet skis one day and went out to Land’s End another, but for the most part we just hung out on the beach and enjoyed each other’s company. We did this for three reasons: First, this was our first time traveling as a group and we wanted to make sure it went well. Second, with five people, including four adults, we did not have an entertainment budget to play/party hard every day. But most of all, we wanted to simplify the vacation to relax and enjoy simple things like laughing, resting and eating together. We had a blast! Take a look at some of the “Less Is More” decisions we made:
- We ate out at a restaurant one meal a day. We had a condo that had a full kitchen so we took advantage of that and only went out one meal a day. This saved some money and a lot of time, giving us more beach time. And, it made the trip to the restaurant more fun because the infrequency made it more special.
- We limited ourselves to one big activity a day. I normally want to go, go, go when on vacation but it is tiring to some of my family and can be very expensive. So we did one activity together each day and it was great: We really valued the activity and we had more relaxing time together to talk, read and laugh together.
- We chose to walk instead of drive…everywhere. Our condo was literally on Medano Beach and within walking distance to the marina and downtown, so we skipped renting a car or taking a taxi and enjoyed walking everywhere. We had more time to talk, we saw more things and we saved a bundle. Also got a little exercise!
FREE123: Freedom In Less Summary
This month we experienced a “Less Is More” vacation in Cabo San Lucas. We decided to take extended family, three generations, but vacation in a less-is-more style by doing/spending less and enjoying time together more. It was great! The things we did do were memorable and really felt special. The extra time we just hung out together was awesome and restful. And the laughs were endless. By limiting events/activities and excessive vacation spending, we didn’t break the bank and yet enjoyed the most important things: time with family and shared experiences.