We’ve had it “drilled” into our heads for decades – reduce dependency on oil for the good of our planet, for the good of our air, for the good of our water. We’ve learned to drive less, drive smarter, recycle where possible, use natural or organic materials, and use less energy. No one would love to give the heave-ho to oil producing nations more than me, but what would happen if I followed that logic and reduced my dependency on money?
Isn’t that the definition of frugality?
What would my life and my future retirement look like if I didn’t NEED so much money? What would it be like to be retired and used much less to live comfortably? Could it even be done?
How I can reduce my dependency on money
1. Pay off debt. How much of your monthly income pays interest on your debts? Without no debt or interest charges eating up income, we could more easily finance our lifestyle.
2. Live a thrifty life. Thrifty doesn’t mean cheap, it just means being conscious of where your cash goes and willing to say no to things you don’t need. Frugality is all about efficiently using resources and avoiding waste.
3. Move to a smaller home. The recession has made it clear we don’t need huge houses – we really just want a home. Smaller homes have virtues all their own. Oh yeah, you could always consider renting!
4. Stay healthy. Medical costs can escalate very quickly, especially if you don’t have health insurance. Eat right (it’s cheaper), exercise, stop smoking, and reduce your overall stress level.
5. Take a bite out of your food budget. There are over 100 ways to reduce your food costs. Select the ones that apply to you and put them to use!
6. Reduce your need for energy. Adjust your thermostat, insulate and caulk your home, convert to energy efficient lighting, drive less and more sensibly, and use your slow cooker instead of the oven.
7. Use “free” services you’ve already paid for. Parks, museums, walking and biking trails, and even certain concerts were already paid for by your tax dollars. Enjoy them – you’ve already paid for them.
Really, there are thousands of ways to reduce our dependency on cash but the point is to NEED less money without surrender the quality of our lives.
How can you reduce your need for money? Remember that by saving today, you’re sending money to your future self. It isn’t a sacrifice, it’s just a delay in your usage.