When it comes to our daily needs, other than the extremely poor, these are met for most people in first world countries. We have access to fresh water, food to fill our stomachs, and a roof to put over our heads. When we compare our current lives to that of the cave man days we are living large! But there still seems to be this inherent “need to want”. Is there such a primal “need to want” that we create things that we don’t need, just so there is something to want? Do I need the awesome pair of new boots? Nope, but they sure would be cute and Susie Jones has a pair! Do I need the newest iPhone out there? Nope, but they put a new one out every 1-2 years just so you will go out and buy it. Do I need the newfangled gadget that solves this very specific problem that I didn’t even know I had in the first place? Nope, but someone is making it anyways.
Our consumerist society has gotten so out of control that people will put themselves into debt just to have the newest/biggest/best this/that/or the other thing. And if the Joneses down the street have it, then I must have it too! Thankfully Mr. SFF and I do not adhere to this way of life. We have gotten even more frugal over the past year but we never were out to “best” our friends or neighbors. We are content with what we have (and actually want less “stuff”). Do I park next to multiple luxury cars at work every day? Yup! But I drive a trusty 2007 Honda Fit that I purchased used (with less than 9000 miles on it) and haven’t had a car payment in 5 years. Mr. SFF doesn’t even have a car as his primary mode of transportation is his trusty bike (well, he actually has 4 but still…). Now that is freedom!
How do we change our way of thinking?
First, you need to stop caring what other people think. We are not in grade school any more so just let it go! It doesn’t matter what “stuff” other people have. It is about being content with what you do have. Surround yourself with people who love you. Create experiences and memories instead of buying things that fill your home but leave you empty and just wanting more.
I have been on a minimalist journey at the same time as this financial independence journey. I know that in order to be financially free, I need to have less stuff tying me down. When I am financially free and hopefully out travelling the world, I don’t want to be worrying about all of my beloved belongs back at home. Plus, I am making a little money as I sell some things that I haven’t used in years. Stop buying stuff just because you want to need it. Only spend money on actual needs.
What do I want?
So since there is such a “need to want” in all of us (some more than others), how do we control this? We focus it on what we actually want in life. What do I want? To be able to go hiking or hit the ski slopes if the weather is nice. Or if it is raining, just curl up on the couch and read a book or cuddle with Mr. SFF as we watch a movie in the comfort of my own home. I want the freedom to choose what I want to do every day. I don’t want things, I want a different way of life. I want the freedom that things don’t give me so now every decision I make has this in mind. Define what you want, and then create the path to get there. Make your dream a reality!