Living More...With Less

I stumbled upon an article in the New York Times a few months ago that struck a chord. It was entitled Living With Less. A Lot Less. In it, Graham Hill talks about his success launching a start up, selling it off, and making the big bucks. With the money, he ended up with all this 'stuff'. He eventually sold it all, traveled and started more companies right from his laptop. Now, he lives in a 420 square foot studio - and he's happy. It really got me thinking, what is my relationship with 'stuff'? I've come to the realization that its not the healthiest.

I love to shop. I live in New York City- arguably the mecca of over indulgence and consumption. Everywhere you go, there's something you can buy. And, I've never been good about resisting. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bad with money. I end up saving about half of my monthly take home income. But I still don't think I'm saving as much I can. I buy because of wants, not needs. Do I need this dress? No but it'll look good on me when I wear it. Do I need a $5 latte? Of course not but it tastes so good. The list can go on and on.

As I've gotten older with more money to spare, I've started to really think long and hard about how I'm spending and what I'm spending on. I've never really thought about what my goals were - financially, personally, professionally. I've always pictured being a home owner some day. But I don't have a solid plan. I've always thought that I was too young to think about these things But if I want to own a home in the next 3 years, is it too early? Or am I already too late?

I also love stuff. This might sound sad but I love the thrill of finding something I like and then calling it mine. But is it worth it? Most of the time, no. I don't really need another shirt. It might shrink after a few wears. Or I might even throw it in the back of my closet and forget about it. Is there something I could be spending more wisely on? Perhaps a trip? I'm sure the memories of traveling with stay longer with me than new shoes.

And so, I leave this post with a lot of open questions. That's because I haven't really answered them myself yet. But it's a least a first step to realize that I need to reassess. That was the easy part.

Last but not least, I want to share with you a documentary I saw recently saw called The Queen of Versailles. The film follows the Siegel family in the midst of building the largest home in America and then hitting financial turmoil during the economic crisis in 2008. It's quite thought provoking...and really makes me love my one bedroom apartment that much more.

1 comment:

  1. I saw The Queen of Versailles, good movie. I think the best thing to do is to make a list of goals to accomplish, that will help curb your spending. It does for me anyways. Every year I write down the amount of money I want to save up and increase the number to I keep saving more and more. Three years down and it's still keeping me motivated.