Back in August 2013, I had one of my AHA moments of insight which was “I can’t move the lake but I can move toward the lake.” See my post I Moved the Lake to hear more about this change! This AHA moment prompted me to essentially stop spending money in order to allow me to quit my job and move closer to the lake. I have made a lot of small changes over the last few years that have helped me to dramatically reduce my annual expenses.
In and of themselves these little changes don’t sound like much but the end result has had a huge impact on my life. When I compare some of my 2013 expenses to 2015 expenses this is what I find:
|2013 Monthly Expense||2015 Monthly Expense|
If I add up all of the small changes I made and look at the overall impact on my monthly and annual expenses the impact is huge. In 2013 my expenses were roughly $2600 per month or $31,200 per year. Currently my monthly expenses are $1650 per month or $19,800 per year. In just over 2 years, I have reduced my annual expenses by $11,400! What would you do with an extra $11,400?
I encourage you to figure out what makes you happy and what is important to you and then to structure your life around those things. Check out my Start Here page to see what made my list that I call “My Destination”. Although several years have passed since I initially wrote it – it still holds true today.
When I started to get serious about making changes to improve my happiness I discovered blogs such as Mr. Money Moustache, Get Rich Slowly, and Rock Star Finance. I read books including Your Money or Your Life, The Millionaire Next Door and Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake. Honestly I read every finance book and self help book I could get my hands on at my local library. When I hear about a book I am interested in I add it to my Google Keep page so I don’t forget to check it out. I encourage you to do what it takes to find your happy place. Mine is in my little blue kayak in the middle of the lake.
Once you know what makes you happy it becomes so much easier to get rid of the things that don’t. This frees up time, money and resources for the important things in your life. For me, it freed up $11,400 a year! By making a lot of small changes to how you spend your hard earned money you can start doing more of the things that actually make you happy. Personally, I really enjoy being happy! How about you?