Living more simply...those words mean different things for everyone. It doesn't have to mean giving up all the things you enjoy. Or only eating beans and rice. Or never going on vacation again. Or getting rid of all your possessions. It's just about deciding what is important in your life, and aligning your priorities to match. As you examine your life, you will probably realize that many things you thought you "needed"...you really didn't need.
For us, downsizing our living space allows us to spend more time doing what we love to do. Instead of spending hours cleaning, we can spend hours at the park having a picnic. Instead of spending money on a large mortgage payment, we can live in a smaller space and use the extra money to achieve the financial freedom we desperately long for. Making sacrifices now helps us achieve our dreams for later.
This journey started over a year ago, when we discovered Dave Ramsey. We listened to Dave on the radio, read his books, etc. We were able to pay off all of our credit cards, our car, and other random debts. The only debt we still have is student loans. Some people think that student loans are "supposed" to be around forever, but I totally disagree. There is a tremendous emotional drain that comes with that kind of debt. That's why we are choosing to knock it out over the course of the coming year.
We are getting rid of most of our possessions...and all of our debt. I can feel the lightness already! And now, one last note for those of you who are saying..."I could never do that!". Look at your current living arrangements, your possessions and your spending. Do you ever use your extra bedroom? Do you really need 4 bathrooms in your house? Do you need 6 pairs of jeans? Do you need that latte everyday? Do you really have to work 80 hours a week just so you can have everything your heart desires? It does take some soul searching to make changes, but it's so worth it in the end. Go simple!