A couple months ago a number of families wrote about why they've chosen to live with less. This month our group project was to write about things we've learned to live without. Even though I've been deliberately culling for a long time now, I still feel like we have so much. When I began to think about things we've learned to live with less of, or without, here are a few that came to mind:
- Two Incomes. When we got married ten years ago, Erik's co-workers assured him we'd never survive on his income alone. We've proved them wrong. We've added four kids to our family since then, and we still live on his income. (Thankfully, it has increased in those years!) I've chosen to stay home with our children and am committed to giving them that gift. I'm happy to live without a career of my own. Erik's co-worker were right that we couldn't live on his income alone- if we had to have new cars, a boat, and a vacation home. We've chosen a different lifestyle.
- New Cars We do have two vehicles, but they're both older models. They're both paid for. We will drive them until they no longer serve us well, or until we leave the country. (Hopefully leaving the country will come first!)
- Credit Card Debt Neither of us even had a credit card when we got married; we'd both decided long before that we'd live within our means. We soon realized that having no credit meant we couldn't buy a house, so we both hold several cards now. We use them too, but pay off the balance every month. (And accumulate airline points in the process!)
- Television For most of our married life, we've not had a TV. We watch the occasional movie via Netflix or on DVD, and don't feel we're missing out on a single thing by not owning a TV. I think that living without the constant barrage of advertising that comes with TV makes it a lot easier to be content with that we have.
- As far as Stuff is concerned, we've gotten rid of a lot in the way of Books, Toys, and Clothing. We started our our marriage with two big bookcases, both full. As we added children's books over the years, we got rid of some of ours. This past summer I pared down to one bookshelf for the whole family. We've tried to invest in quality toys, and find the kids tend to play most with Legos, Playmobil, dress up things, and several other simple toys. I've pared down my wardrobe significantly. This is a slow process, but I'm working it down to fewer things that I really like. I still feel we have more of all these things than we really need, but we've learned to live with less than we had in the past. It's a process!
One of the benefits of intentionally paring down is that I've become a lot more careful about what I buy. I can honestly say that having less is freeing. It's easier to keep things picked up and organized. I still have a long way to go toward living as simply as I hope, but can also see that we've made a lot of progress. Living without and living with less frees up time, energy, and resources for relationships and experiences.
Read what other families are living without here:
- Windwalker Duo- Living Better With Less
- The Nomadic Family- Living Without
- Tripping Mom- Less Stuff, More Life
- New Life on the Road- The Simple Lifestyle
- Living Outside the Box- Living Without
- A King's Life- Living With Less and Spoiling Ourselves
- Globetrotting Mama- Living Without the Stuff
- With 2 Kids in Tow- After Ten Months of Living With Less
- Family on Bikes- Living With Less- What Can You Ditch?
- Raising Miro- Living Without the Norm
- A Minor Diversion- What we've Learnt to Live Without
- Livin' on the Road- Living Without
- Bohemian Travelers- Collecting Experiences