I can live without these things and I am okay!! You make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, set goals or budget and you need to make choices. So it is a very relevant question! What will you give up to achieve your goals? It could range from dessert, sleep to exercise, dining out or entertainment. Here are ten (10) things I can live without!
This is by no means a complete list, but a sampling to start a conversation or dialog. In almost every case, you have to make changes to achieve your goals. It may be early retirement, weight loss, down payment for a home, start a business or children. Usually you have to make choices between doing one thing or another because there is never enough money to do it all. You may defer an expense or skip an expense so you can save money for a particular goal. What can you live without?
Starbucks – I can easily live without a daily Starbucks fix! I do like my cappuccino, but I can fix it at home. I usually have one most days when I get home from school. I fell into a habit of buying one every weekend when I went to the bookstore which was my library annex. I reduced this to just one a month.
Smartphone – For now, I do not need a smartphone, but that could change. I guess I am a little old school when it comes to communication devices. I would rather talk to a person face to face versus text or call. I do not need to stay connected during my ten (10) minute commute or when I am out with friends or family. My children have iPhones so that reduces the need for me!
Immediate Gratification – I do not know if I have become more patient or I just don’t need anything right away. If I plan well and put it on a list, my wife will get it when she goes shopping. When I shop it is usually online or discount stores. I am willing to wait for sales or severe (50% or more) discounts.
Fast Food/Sweet Drinks – I gave up sugary soft drinks a long time ago. Fast food (McDonalds, Burger King, etc) is easy to give up. For nearly thirty (30) years, I managed to avoid fast food restaurants. I do eat at some quick service restaurants, but they are more healthy fare. My weakness is for good food!
Bottled Water – I gave up bottled water years ago for several reasons. The recycling was more of a bother and the taste was not that important to me. I went to filtered water and use a reusable water bottle. Sometimes, I even refill the container using tap water and I am still alive!
Beef/Chicken/Pork/Lamb – I am vegetarian one (1) to two (2) time s a week. I love salads and probably could give up meat, but I choose not to. Since nothing is 100%, I am willing to live without meat several times a week. Pasta pomodoro, mushroom white cheese pizza, or mushroom/spinach pie is fine with me.
Convenience/Prepared Foods – This is easy because I always felt they were not satisfying. Some time ago, I ate some convenience diet foods and never found them satisfying. I am not sure if it was the lower calories or the actual food. I like food too much and I could easily give up convenience food. Although I do not cook much, I can make simple meals which are much better than a prepared meal. Anyway, there are always salads which I am really good at putting together.
Beer/Alcohol/Wine – This may be peculiar, but I don’t drink much. A rare glass of wine is something I may have occasionally. It is so rare; I can easily give it up. When I go out socially, I have no problem having tomato juice or some other juice. I am a prime candidate as a designated driver. I don’t feel I am missing anything either.
Gambling – The first time I visited Las Vegas; it was on the way to Lake Mead. We were going to Lake Mead to rent a houseboat for a week with another family. We were staying the night in Las Vegas to catch a show. We went to Lake Tahoe to ski, but visited Reno to gamble. I could easily give up gambling. I think I gambled three (3) times in my life! I much rather take business and investment risks.
Luxuries – I have often said that I maintain a low profile lifestyle. Little things make me happy. Things like relationships with friends and family are more important than possessions. I am not a minimalist or cheap, but I don’t need a lot. I am very value oriented and try to get the most for my money. I live in a nice house in a good neighborhood, own nice cars, but have very few luxuries if any. One of the few luxuries I do enjoy is business/first class travel, but I use frequent flier miles for that!
Final Thoughts – Long, long ago, I remember looking for inexpensive dates when I was in college. I even wrote 25 Money Saving Tips, I Use to help you save money! Not that much changed when I married my college sweetheart and we would go out to the beach, an occasional movie or just go for a walk. The goal was just being together and working toward something wonderful, our future. It did not mean I was cheap, but valued what was important.
I never felt deprived! Our friends were like us and valued being together more than other things. We would all get together for parties and bring a dish to defray expenses. We would play games, vacation together and share a house on the beach to keep expenses low. Giving up on things is not a sacrifice, if your goal is more important. Make your goal worthwhile whether it is weight loss, retirement savings or getting out of debt. If your goal is important to you, you will be motivated enough to make changes. These are the things I can live without!
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