First of all the clarification: A person can choose to want and have less. Choosing to want and have less are not because one lacks money, but one wants some advantages of simple living like the following….

1. Even if you choose a simple life you are still a consumer, however, you try to escape the excessive and aggressive consumer behavior being thrust on you by the media. You still have a bed, a television, a laptop, a sofa, a cupboard, a bookshelf, a music system, a cell phone, a landline, one car…..but you try to minimize what you need and therefore what you have.

2. Less car, less home, less..…surely means less debt. It also means more money in the kitty for retirement. This could also mean the ability to walk out your job at age 54 because your boss said something demeaning. The ability to walk away from a job DOES NOT MEAN YOU will walk, but the confidence that you CAN WALK is a very big source of satisfaction.

3. Less time spent in caring for the Rs. 40k watch, or the Rs. 100k music system! Simple things cost less and deliver similar results, so the need to worry is not here. You can lead a more relaxed life. So less time in worrying about cleaning, maintaining, using carefully….in a worst case scenario a cheaper possession can be just replaced.

4. Less desire to earn to show off: A person with a greater need to earn (for showing off) is under greater stress to earn money. Not that all big money comes from crime, but the temptation to commit small or big crimes comes from the insane pressure to match up with a few other individuals in life. Earning money should be a pursuit to meet your goals, not a scorecard to compare with friends.

5. Less pressure to upgrade, keep up with the Joneses, willingness to use a non Apple product, – all have their own advantages.

6. Part of the living simply brigade is also de cluttering your life – which itself reduces stress.

7. When you have 5 white shirts and 4 black pants there is less stress when you stand in front of the cupboard wondering what to wear!

8. When you start to simplify you look like a very generous person – ACTUALLY YOU ARE NOT – you are just giving away your past excesses! However giving away things (instead of keeping it in the closet for another day!) becomes a habit, and who knows you may become generous!!

9. Learning to see through empty claims – in all industries and especially in the financial industry saves you tons of money!

10. Being a better human being for the whole world, and leaving a lesser carbon footprint.

11. Most of our cities are bursting at the seams because everybody wants a 5 bhk, a SUV, a……at least you can put less stress on the environment by teaching your children to travel by public transport !!

 

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  1. well said sir. all the above causes a significant decrease in the so called necessary monthly expenses which in turn reflects in the retirement corpus you need to build and leaves more money available to save. one factor which can make a huge difference is be mindful of peer pressure, social pressure and status pressure and learn to live for yourself and not for others.not to get carried away by the glitters and stay grounded.sadly how we spend is decided by how others spend. In spirituality its simple living and high thinking. here its simple living and maximum investing.
    subramanian

  2. well said “earning money should be a pursuit to meet your goals, not a scorecard to compare with friends”

  3. Subra

    This comes across more as a ‘Life’ post. Thanks.

    One story I recollect.

    A tourist from the US visited a famous Indian yogi.
    He was astonished to see that the Yogi’s home was only a simple room filled with books. The only furniture was a mat & a kerosene lantern.

    “Yogiji, where is your furniture ?” he asked.

    “Where is yours?” replied the yogi.

    “Mine ? But am only a visitor here.”

    “So am I.” Period.

  4. My brother remarked recently that my wallet looked as if a dog had eaten it, i took that as a compliment 🙂

    Even in silicon valley, frugality is practiced by young billionaires, Mark Zuckerberg wears what appears to be the same t shirt every time 🙂

    Just as we all aim for financial independence so that we don’t depend on others for our well being, social independence is also a worthy goal ( not to care what others think about our car, dress, home etc) and not caring about what others own.

  5. Very insightful. Coming to think of it, I’d rather have an extra 10k in my retirement corpus than 5 (more) denims in my wardrobe today.

  6. Sri do not look at it as Rs. 10000. Look at it as Rs. 75000 by the time u retire…do not forget the TIME VALUE OF MONEY expecially if u did not spend it today

  7. Well there is so much peer pressure now a days. If you dont have a smart phone, you are looked upon as some one from backward society. If you dont wear branded clothes, you dont exist

  8. Definitely low living and high thinking. 🙂
    One will have to define the limit of comfort ( mental limit and materialistic limit ) to be happy in life.
    I don’t feel you should not be greedy but for good living not for luxury.

  9. There is nothing wrong in having some fun. Life is not always about saving, scrimping, sacrifice and the like. As long as we don’t go overboard monetarily, it should be perfectly okay to blow money on that fancy watch or whatever you fancy.

  10. Sharing my tiny bits
    I Standardized my Pant colour to Black/Dark Blue
    No pressure of matching…Any shirt goes

    of course my wife has special comments ….lekin chalta hain

    Life simple hai to achha hain

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