Mrs. Money Mustache: The Secret Life of Frugality
You might feel the same way. I’ve met many people that do. They are happy working and for them, it’s a good life. Why retire? For me, the reason appeared when we were ready to start a family. I became frugal and saved money so I could be home with my child. It was a no-brainer, as they say.
Early retirement is not about having a lot of money. It’s about having choices. It’s about finding yourself. You need to discard that old stuffy image of retirement where couples buy an RV and take up touring the country, or just sit around at home and occasionally play golf. Early retirement is a lifestyle and it is unique for everyone. Frankly, I don’t really like the words “early retirement”, as it doesn’t convey the true meaning. For me, it was life-changing and unexpected. It changed me in unthinkable ways. It brought me all kinds of things: happiness, balance, change, freedom, time, travel, family, motherhood, and health. But, most of all, I found myself.
When you’re in the midst of all of this money-saving, a change comes over you. At first it’s subtle and you barely notice it, but after practicing all these Mustachian principles for a few years, you find yourself suddenly free from society’s expectations of you. You’re in another realm altogether. You don’t care if you wear the same pair of pants three days in a row. You don’t care if you don’t know last night’s hockey scores. You might actually start to feel sick in big department stores from all the excess. And, you are beginning to feel happier.
One of the best compliments I ever received was when a wise older woman told me that I had figured out what life was all about much earlier than most. We all know what life’s really about in theory, but until you can truly separate yourself from how we’ve been molded by society, you don’t really get it.
You don’t need to have money to discover this. You don’t need to retire. But, for me, becoming frugal in order to save money helped me discover this hidden secret of life. I have found myself and have found a lifestyle that benefits me and my family. I can teach my child early on that you don’t need money to be happy. Not just by telling him about it, but by showing him. I can choose hikes instead of manicures and camping trips instead of Disneyland, and I know that I am much happier for it.
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