Less is More

Less is More

If money was no object, it really wouldn’t matter too much if someone aspired to have all the nice things and trappings in the world; the sky’s the limit and anything is possible! However, outside of the top 1% or 0.1% of people on the planet, for most regular folks out there, we gotta compromise because we unfortunately can’t have it all.

As it pertains to the whole early FI movement, it’s all about trying to figure out a way to maximize every last currency unit we bring in so that we can live the “good life” but still get ahead financially. Well, that’s the plan, anyway…

Most recently, I spent some time in Hawaii (first time back since early 2014), and just like I remembered it, it was as beautiful as ever!

But just as quickly as I was getting re-immersed in all of Hawaii’s beauty, I was also brought harshly back down to reality when I started you know, buying things…

I mean, the local food was delicious, of course, don’t get me wrong…

But still, that’s a lot of dough (~$54) to be spending on a meal (or in the above case, for two)! Still, that’s ~$27/head!

And just as I gear up for a return trip back to the Philippines, I can’t help but want to try and compare apples vs. oranges, yet again…

For instance, the Philippines is also world renowned for their abundance of beautiful beaches and pristine blue/green water, too!

Definitely, one can also enjoy a fine meal at much more affordable prices than Hawaii, as well…

For example, 1/2 kilo of spicy lechon (good for two people) is “only” $10, or $5/head, in comparison…

Just add some rice and a side of veggies, even a drink, and you’re still gonna be at below $10/head.

Beauty (and taste buds) are in the eye of the beholder, no doubt, but if you asked me, I’d say both dishes hit the spot and were sobrang masarap (really delicious)!

So, when it comes down to it, I think it’s entirely possible to have a strong dose of the “good life” without having to burn a hole through your wallet…

Less is more!

In other words, the less you spend, the more you enjoy!

At least that’s how I tend to approach things, and what I try to do to minimize financial stress… as much as possible, without feeling like I’m compromising and “sacrificing” too much.

Now, by no means am I trying to hate on Hawaii or any other spectacularly nice (but very expensive) place out there in this world, but again, for most average peeps, you’re going to have to draw the line in the sand somewhere and find that “sweet spot” that works best for you.

You know, get the most bang for your bucks!

But right now, as I look ahead towards the future, in many ways, I feel very glad that I’m going to be heading back home to a “very small” studio unit… one that really can’t store all that much stuff. So, I don’t have to worry too much about material consumption, because really, how much stuff can you even fit in a 400 sq. ft unit, anyway?

With early FI, for a lot of us, it’s maybe giving up that spacious “dream house” in exchange for the life experiences, instead…

I mean, at the end of the day, no matter how big your house is, you (as an individual) can still only ever occupy a tiny sliver of space when you decide to go to bed and call it a night… Personally, I’m just that much more keen on living a very “minimalistic” type of lifestyle, and instead, being able to spend my hours of the day however I see fit.

  • No alarm clocks.
  • No staff meetings.
  • No progress reports.
  • No performance review.
  • Etc.


Less is more.


Obviously, the things that I’m saying (and doing) aren’t gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but I mean, as the price tags above show, it’s not like I’m making any of this stuff up… Anyone, really, can have the type of early FI lifestyle that I’ve elected to pursue, and I think over time, more and more people will be open-minded to such possibilities because work stress can be rather toxic, and the rat race just isn’t very healthy for a lot of people…

You can’t have it all Austin, but you can still have a pretty damn good life at an affordable price, if you want it…

Yes, I totally agree that Hawaii is an AMAZING place (and experience), but man, you’ve got to have some serious cash to make it work out there.

That just ain’t me, and I acknowledge and accept that bit of truth wholeheartedly.

Do I feel like I’m missing out at all?

I honestly don’t, and I’m most grateful for the life that I do have now. I’m not competing with anyone else and I just wanna do me.


What do you think? Do you feel the need to spend more so that you can have a smashing good time? Or, are you like me and also a tightwad? What experience or location makes you feel like you’re getting the most for your money?


Keep up the fight!

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11 months ago

FI Fighter, I couldn’t agree more with the essence of this post! The ideas of minimalism are streaming in here, and the concept of diminished marginal utility also comes to mind. This idea that the more we get, the less we savor it (in the case of food at least). Hawaii is great, I agree, but I can’t handle the thought of the price tag when I can get comparable experiences for one-tenth the price! Less complexity would change a lot of people’s lives for the better! Less complexity in finance, in work, in travel, in tastes. I think I… Read more »