My friends think that I am crazy because I shun many of the technologies that they assume are necessary in this day and age. The truth is that just because something may be a bit more convenient, it doesn’t make it a necessity. People can live with a lot less than they think and might be quite surprised to find that shedding many of the “essentials” they believed they could not live without is a lot easier than they imagined.
I know how difficult it is to believe this at first. I was one of those people until my finances forced me to make a decision on what was most important to me — and I chose food over gadgets. I wasn’t happy at having to make the choice, but I did find that after I made it, I liked my new, simpler and less costly (which meant a lot less stressful) life to my previous one. I ultimately chose not to go back even when I could.
Here are a few of the things that I live without that you probably consider a necessity, but I have been living without for at least a couple of years now.
Car: Last year I wrote about how I am car free and all the savings that it provides. I no longer need to be car free, but there still is not one in my driveway. All the reasons listed in the original article I wrote still apply, and I have found that although it would be nice on occasion to have one, that convenience doesn’t justify the cost which would now be my daughters college education.
Cell Phone: I know that cell phones can do a lot more tricks than they could when I did have mine, but I still haven’t found any of those tricks to be worth the price that it would cost. I must admit that I do miss having one when I’m supposed to meet friends in a place with which I am not too familiar, but I still don’t think that those rare occasions are worth the cost.
TV: I ended up getting rid of my TV through default rather than a planned withdrawal from the set. My old TV broke down and although I did plan on replacing it, there always seemed to be one reason or another that the replacement was delayed. After a few weeks, I realised that if I could go that long without a TV that there was really not a good reason that I needed to get a new one. I also found that I suddenly had a lot more time to do other things that I never seemed to have time to do before like read and do my hobbies.
iPod: This is the one gadget that I never owned in the first place. I do enjoy music to some degree, but it is not my life. I’ve never felt that the benefits of purchasing a digital device and a whole new digital music collection would be enough to counter the cost. This may be one area that I give in and give it a try in the future, but as of this moment, I don’t know how many years down the road that may be.
I’m not saying that everyone should get rid of the above mentioned items, but if you are anything like I once was, there are probably a lot of things in your life that you currently consider “essential” that really aren’t. You may also find that if you try giving some of these essentials up, you may actually find it beneficial not having them in your life. I know because although that was not what I had assumed when I needed to find ways to cut costs, it is something that I have found to be true now that I have done it.