I often get letters about living cheap, they usually goes something like this..." stop using the word cheap, it sounds like trailer trash"... Well , mea culpa...let me explain.
When I use the word cheap I am referring to living options that cost less money and let people retire earlier. It has nothing to do with sacrifice.
We don't need new cars every year,(Our car is 20 years bought new in1998, 280,000 miles) we don't need to keep up with the Joneses, we do not need to waste money... if that is being cheap...EXCUSE ME as Steve Martin might say.
The sooner you realize the futility of purchasing new items because the neighbors have them the sooner you'll be able to retire.
If you don't know by now, in 1994 we gave up the life of consumption and went to live on a sailboat in the Caribbean... our friends thought we were out of our mind.
We heard many comments that we were depriving ourselves... what we deprived ourselves from was the pressure and stress to earn enough to maintain our high living lifestyle prior to retirement.
We were successful, and looked the part but in order to maintain that lifestyle the only people we were making happy were car salesman, my tailor, and my accountant.
We found our new sailboat cruising friends to have similar stories, Drs. lawyers business owners... that came to the same conclusion we did and realized that it is futile to swap years of your life for more money.
My former business associates and most friends thought we would be back in a few months... that was 1994, I hope they haven't left the porch light on for us.
I realize that the sailboat lifestyle is not for everyone... but my friends considered sailboat life to be living cheap I didn't understand why they felt that way then or now.
If maintaining your current lifestyle means giving up your dream of writing a novel, or seeing all of the national parks in the US, stop and think of what you would be willing to do to realize your dream whatever it might be.
Your friends too might think pulling a travel trailer around the United States is cheap living... I'd rather think it's the best decision you could ever make...to attain the lifestyle that allows you to reach your goals and dreams.
Can you imagine people calling this a view that you would see as being " trailer trash"... while the naysayers are commuting two hours a day, you are waiting for just the perfect light to get a great photograph of this desolate but beautiful place in Northeast Arizona...Monument Valley home of several western movies.
Living cheap does it make more sense now than buying a new car every two years?
If I created a little unrest... and caused you to rethink your retirement plans... I consider this article and this site to be a success.