The media has been a great influence to all of us. The way they portray the rich depicts an image of consumption and materialism – sports cars, grandeur mansions, huge yachts, expensive gadgets, and luxury vacations which makes you say: “I also want this and that”. However, on the other side of the fence lies the image of a legendary frugal self-made billionaire – no other than the world’s greatest investor, Warren Buffett.
In his interview with CNBC, he revealed his definition of personal success and luxury. “Success is really doing what you love and doing it well. It’s as simple as that. Really getting to do what you love to do everyday – that’s really the ultimate luxury… your standard of living is not equal to your cost of living.”
In view of frugality, the minimalist phrase “Less is More” surfaces. But is less really more? And if so, is the opposite true? Is more actually less? Let’s find out.
What Are Your Anchors. An anchor is the thing that keeps a ship at bay, planted in the harbor, stuck in one place, unable to explore the freedom of the sea. The same as an anchor of a ship, we also have our own personal anchors. These are circumstances that are keeping us from realizing real freedom – debt, superfluous bills, excessive material possessions, bad relationships, and unhealthy lifestyle. When you eliminate these anchors, you can focus on life’s most important “things” such as health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.
Owning Less Stuffs. Owning less stuffs means lower expenses since these stuffs have maintenance expenses. You car needs repairs, gasoline, and insurance. Two cars will double these expenses. Owning a mansion means higher maintenance costs and real estate taxes. The list goes on. If these expenses exceeds your income, then you will just go into debt and your life will become more miserable as you will need to work harder to get higher pay in order to pay these debts. Oftentimes, too much possessions ends up possessing its owner.
Owning less stuffs means you can focus on fewer more important tasks, and having less in the way will give you more time, more freedom, and perhaps more meaning into your life. Having more time causes less frustration and less stress. More freedom adds less anxiety and less worry.
WEALTH Test. Before buying anything, especially if it comes with a high price tag, examine yourself first by taking the WEALTH test.
W – Want or Need. Is your purchase a need or just a want?
E – Ego. Are you purchasing just to satisfy your ego to show it off to you friends?
A – Add-Ons. Consider the add-on expenses when buying things. When buying a car, you’ll also incur added expenses such as gas, insurance, etc.
L – Lifestyle. Will your purchase offer a marked improvement in your lifestyle?
T – Time. Is this a one-time purchase or will you need additional purchase down the line for upkeep?
H – Will your purchase truly makes you happy or will it wear off after a few days?
The concept of Less is More should not entail that you should be laid back and be complacent in life. Instead of accumulating things, focus more on your health, on spending your time with your friends and loved ones, on discovering new things by travelling to places, and on pursuing your passions.