I recommend you take some time to watch Adam Baker’s TEDTalk in Asheville on selling your crap, paying off your debt, and doing more of what you love.
Int his talk, Adam helps you find clarity if you’re on what way towards downsizing, minimizing, and/or simplifying your life.
Starting with one question. Why are you doing all of this? What does freedom mean to you? What’s REALLY important?
Less Crap, Less Debt, More of What You Love
To me, this is what the tiny house movement is all about. To get rid of stuff (whether it’s physical clutter or even mental clutter) so that we can create space for what REALLY matters to you.
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Good video and I have been promoting the freedom of simplifying for a long time.
I didn’t have any crap to get rid of after a divorce and career ending illness left me homeless and broke. A few clothes, an old camper, $200 and a small piece of inherited property was what I had to start over in life.
I decided to never be in debt again and to simplify my life and live as sustainable as I possibly could.
15 years later I own a 14×14 off-grid cabin and sustainable homestead with no house payments, no monthly utility bills, no debt and I own a small business and have been able to pursue my dreams of becoming a writer, adventure videographer and helping other people. I am now financially secure and have been able to help my kids and have a secure retirement.
That is FREEDOM!
Thank you sir!
Going debt free is the essential first step to the rest of your life but if you can’t get there right away you can at least mark it out on a map. You don’t necessarily need to get rid of all or most of your stuff, depends on whether you own it or it owns you and what you do with it. My tools and materials are important to me so I keep them. Some of the stuff is even duplicated because I live between two places and if I didn’t have them in both places I’d be doomed to cart things back and forth. This way I can travel on public transit and ferry and on foot and still have a hammer or whatever to work with at each end. It all depends on what you need and what works for your particular situation. Don’t assume you get rid of your stuff and life automatically becomes simpler. Maybe yes, maybe no. DO assume that getting rid of debt is useful no matter what you do. Having debt is like paying someone to keep you miserable and trapped.
That said, sometimes it’s worth being in debt for a short while for long term gain, like for land or a house. As long as the debt is manageable and for something you really need. It took me 5 years of debt to pay off my land but it was worth it to me.
It would be better to avoid debt all together but if that debt is small and an investment that will more than pay for itself and can be paid off quickly like a land purchase then sometimes that is what we have to do.
Land can pay for it self in shelter, growing food, starting a business and is an investment in your security and future. Once you have land you can use it to pay for the land and reduce your needs.
I would just caution people not to get more land than you need as more land means more property tax slavery and you can do a lot with small pieces of land under an acre or if you must raise herd animals an acre or two.
My husband and I made a commitment early in our marriage to collect experiences, not things. We still have too much crap, but not as much as some, and not expensive crap that needs to be maintained or is used to impress anyone. Instead, we’ve used our money for family trips and experiences. When the time came to buy a bit of property where we wish to eventually retire, we had a bit of a shock. The loan officer said we didn’t have as much expensive crap as we should (fancy cars and houses, I assume) based on our income so we could only have a mortgage for half the amount we would ordinarily qualify for. I found that surprising. Turns out we bought a place that cost half of what they did qualify us for, because debt = bad, but I still remember the consternation in the banker’s voice.
Thank you for sharing! Your experience with the banker is something we all need to be aware of before we sit down with a lender. Well done — both in relating your story and in finding a way around the myopic lens of the banker.
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