In case you haven’t noticed, this site is all about personal finance. Well, mostly. We certainly talk a lot about personal finance. But, is personal finance really all that important?
How much time do you devote to your personal finances? To your budget? To coupon clipping? In the end, does any of it make a difference? Or are we merely just going through the motions because of some larger issue? Ever since my Junior year in high school when my english class went through a whole section on propaganda, I’ve (rightly so) questioned anything and everything. We don’t deal with propaganda on the level of that they did in war times, but we still deal with it on a regular basis. And at it’s root is the necessity by those companies who are spreading the propaganda to further the consumerism society that we’ve become.
Over the last few months, I’ve been reading a lot of books on the subject of breaking free of what you are, and becoming what you should be. Books like “No More Mondays” and especially “Early Retirement Extreme” have brought me to take an even closer look at the consumerist lives that we live. Jacob (the author of Early Retirement Extreme) lives on somewhere around $10,000 a year. A Year! Could you even make it 3 months on that? I know that I would have an incredibly tough time even trying to come close to living on 10k a year. It would take some very radical changes for me, but I might try working towards that by reducing my consumerist habits.
And, when you reduce your consumerist habits, a funny thing will likely happen. Your expenses will go down. And you’ll be able to “live” on less and less. And another thing that will happen, is that personal finance will become less important. We worry about the most frugal way to do this or that, or the proper way to save for retirement or buy a house or pay off debt, or even the best way to negotiate a better deal on your next car when what we really should be worrying about is why we are living the lives we are. How many of you are working jobs you don’t want to because you have all this debt from your house and your car or from all the fun “stuff” you bought on credit? I know my hand is raised. How LIBERATING would it be to walk out of your office today and not look back. And not have to worry that someone was going to come and take your house away.
Do me a favor. Take 15 minutes and watch this movie that Adam included in his post on focusing on what truly matters.
*direct link to youtube video if my embed doesn’t work for some reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cakm2nIQWo
Now, tell me. Could you stop and not keep going if you had to? Or are you so tied to your “career” and “job” that you have to “keep going”? Take the steps today to free yourself of the consumerist lifestyles that we live. Free yourself from the eternal “going” that we experience every day. You likely won’t accomplish it in a day, or even a month or year, but if you take a little step every day, you can get there. I’m taking that journey, step by step, and it’s difficult. It’s difficult to give up some things that we don’t really think about. But, if we want to be able to stop whenever we want to, we need to be able to do that.