I’ve been looking for a place to live for the month of August, as the heat in Texas goes to ridiculous levels that month- and since I have the ability to leave, I will leave for better weather.
As a minimalist & someone who makes money online, there is a huge freedom in being able to pick up and leave whenever you want.
There’s a misconception of the idea of perpetual travel or being a permanent tourist (PT)- that you must move constantly or you don’t make the cut of being in the PT ranks.
Nonsense. You can live the PT lifestyle and never go anywhere.
The point is to have the option to come and go as you please, not the obligation.
Money can give you a certain amount of freedom, no question about it. Having money vs struggling comes down to things like this for me:
-Getting a parking ticket and having to pay the overlords $50 is not devastating. I’m still against it in principle, but if I have a decent amount of money, I’m not going to freak out about it.
-Struggling to pay bills causes stress. Stress leads to bad health. When you don’t have money, you are limiting your options down the road to enjoy a healthy life, absent of taking pills and hospital visits.
-You can buy things that give you an overall better quality of life- like a top of the line mattress, or getting the higher end hotel, or buying grass fed beef vs factory farm. (or, shopping at Whole Foods vs WalMart).
But there is a law of diminishing returns. If making the money that you need to have the above means working all the time, and not being able to go where you want to go, or reporting to a boss, there’s only so much money that can help with freedom.
Being loose and nimble can mean lowering your cost of living, while living an exciting life that doesn’t involve sacrifice.
For example, when the coronavirus hit the US, I knew it was serious, but could see the overreaction happening all around me. People were freaking out about touching railings, Amazon packages, and even walking past each other on the street or in nature.
Everybody was staying home because they thought that was the safest thing to do.
So instead of catching the fear with everyone else, I went onto Airbnb to see if there were any deals to be had.
I booked two places to live in over the next 2.5 months, and got them both at a steep discount because of the societal fear, and my ability to be flexible and not be tied to one location.
Now I’m looking at a late summer spot, and have found some condos available in typical expensive vacation spots for much less than normal- and below what I would pay to live in most major US cities for something equivalent.
So the answer to this dichotomy of “freedom vs. money” is nuanced. It’s not one of the other. But if I were to sum it up and put a number on it, I would say this:
Part of the reason to have money is to have the things it brings you. One of the main things it brings is Freedom.
So money must be in the priorities if one is to maximize freedom levels.
However, the limitations of lots of money can happen quickly. So lifestyle design, getting rid of unchosen obligations, “minimalizing” your life so you are not attached to a lot of stuff, and getting super clear on what you want are how you achieve the rest of your freedom.
And of course, going against the herd and turning off the media 🙂