In North America, society tells us that we need to borrow lots of money, and then spend our life paying back our debt; while racking up more debt by buying bigger homes, new cars, ridiculously expensive weddings, and lots of other luxuries along the way.
A friend recently told me that his friend wanted him to co-sign on a loan for a new SUV that was going to cost $35,000. He obviously had bad credit history and he is probably deep in debt.
It makes absolutely no sense to me why someone who’s already in a really bad financial situation would want to make it worse by purchasing a brand new vehicle that will depreciate by 30% as soon as it’s driven off the lot.
Instead of perpetually increasing our debt load and the luxuries in our lives, what if we were constantly downsizing and simplifying?
My friend Kimi met a British Columbia family down in Florida recently who would spend a year working and saving money and then live for a year on a sailboat in Florida; each year alternating back and forth.
Most people falsely assume people who can live on a sailboat for a year are wealthy. This is not the case at all; this family made many sacrifices in order to live this life and spend time together. It’s not easy for them, just like paying back loans is not easy for people who live beyond their means.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the North American society of debt. We can all learn a lesson from the British Columbia family. Life is too short to spend your whole life waiting for a retirement that may never come.
If your dream is to live on a sailboat, then I say go live on that sailboat! You can always go back to society if the sailboat doesn’t work out.
I agree with your opinion that if we have a goal or a dream we should just go for it. Just a quick note about that wonderful family I met. They saved up cash for a few years (2-3 years) before they could afford to have a year off. Its a family of five: mom, dad and three boys. When they go traveling, the parents don’t actually work where they have relocated to for the year. So that requires a decent amount of money. Plus, they just live a very simple life and their day-to-day expenses are minimal.