Living Lean is a conscious and disciplined decision to live simply with low overheads. In times of abundance this will allow you the freedom to enjoy a multitude of experiences and to invest in your future and that of your children. In times of scarcity or hardship this will allow you to be resilient and able to weather the storm without having to face unbearable financial strain.
3 Key principles of Living Lean are:
- Don’t have more than you need. The addiction to buying homes with more rooms than are needed and expensive, fast cars that one can’t even let loose in our traffic is prevalent. Take a moment to work out the percentage of time you spend in your car in a day compared to the percentage of your monthly salary that you spend on the repayments and ask if the two percentages are in line? Secondly, ask, do you really need to buy a bigger home only to be burdened by a huge home loan? You will probably have to downsize one day in any event so why not just never upscale?
- Don’t own what you can share. This is a powerful principle as it takes incredible stress out of life. Remember, the more you own, the more time and money it takes to maintain! Examples are using music/video streaming services, using a free public library rather than buying books, living in a complex where the expenses of a pool and garden can be shared, rather than maintaining a big garden making use of free and safe public parks which are paid for by your taxes, and if you don’t drive much, using rides services such as UBER rather than owning a car.
- If you don’t have the cash don’t buy it. If you are reliant on personal loans and credit cards then it is very easy to get into a downward debt spiral. After all, it is very easy to spend money when it is not your money, delaying the pain of paying it back to future dates with small monthly installments. The interest on these loans will cost you a fortune over time! A better approach is to set yourself a budget, lock your credit card away, and live solely off your debit card month to month – you will be amazed how this focuses the mind as you need to weigh up every purchase you make against others and whether it will leave you with enough in your account to pay your regular debit orders.
Applying these 3 Living Lean principles will allow you to enjoy life in the moment without worrying about the stresses of material and financial trappings. Living lean allows assets such as your home to work for you, by allowing you the financial space to travel more, to go on more holidays, to invest in your own financial future and in your children’s education.