Small Sacrifices for Big Results
As you may have gathered from our previous posts, we are planning a pretty big move to Cyprus. In preparation for this move, we have started selling off our possessions. Doing this, we may have done a semi-crazy thing, but small sacrifices for big results are worth it. This ‘small sacrifice’ is just a cross section of our everyday choices, but may be considered a big sacrifice to others.
It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about. – Shauna Niequist
Okay, enough with the build-up already, what is this big ‘sacrifice’ we keep talking about? Spoiler alert…we’ve sold our couch. In the meantime we find ourselves with a brand new seating arrangement…sitting on a blanket on the living room floor.
Seriously, the same couch and love seat that James picked up for free while we were in St. Louis, sold for $150. We listed it about a month ago with the expectation that it would take longer and be harder to sell, as most furniture typically falls into this category. James asked me multiple times if I was okay with sitting on the floor for a little over two months. I was perfectly fine with it. Hell, I was the one that even suggested it. My viewpoint is, a little discomfort for a lifetime of freedom.
Since we are about a week into being couch-less, I didn’t realize how much we took having a couch to sit on for granted. But, $150 now is much better than settling on less money closer to our move and being desperate to get rid of it. We are gladly selling off our items early, because we can utilize this money for better, more useful, things in the future. Even if this means we are having to be creative in working around the items that we sell in our day-to-day lives.
While we are still getting rid of a lot of our ‘junk’, I never realized how much stuff we had and how little of it makes me happy. You see, since we’re planning this move abroad, we need to only bring the bare minimum, only the essentials.
Reminding myself that this is a move and not a vacation is a helpful exercise in prioritizing. I don’t “need” to go out and buy new clothes, even though I find myself wanting to get new everything. In my imagination, with new clothes, we would become Instagram models. You know, the assholes dressed like they’re in GQ magazine just for a walk along the beach. I’m reigning in my desires though, because I have plenty of clothes that will serve their purpose in Cyprus.
We are still on our path to early retirement, even though we are very close to pulling the trigger. While we are still very frugal, we are ‘valuists’. What does that mean exactly? That means that some sacrifices aren’t worth the results. For example, I’m writing this up on a new MacBook that we got because we realized that having a quality laptop would make life much easier for us as we continue to blog and explore other ventures to fill our newfound time.
We could slave away on a shitty old Dell that would take twice as long to get things done, but we value our time more than that. We buy what actually improves our lives, and cut relentlessly on things that don’t. Why would we go and blow money now, when we know that isn’t what makes us happy? Even though it might look good online, that isn’t our path for happiness.
For James and I, we are happier with less stuff. We are planning to move with a total of a checked luggage, 2 carry-on bags and 2 backpacks. With so little space, we have to genuinely prioritize our packing and can’t waste space on things that aren’t fulfilling to us. I fully expect it to be difficult while I am figuring out what exactly to keep and what to sell.
It’s important to note how much further these dollars will take us overseas. The simple act of selling our couch makes us $150. That $150, however, gets us almost 3 months of frappé’s at a beachside cafe. That is definitely worth the sores I’m developing on my ass from sitting in the floor. The couch, our dishes, bicycles, home improvement supplies, these are all things that we aren’t going to be able to bring with us. But, selling these things can get us cheaper versions of the same things overseas, if that’s what we really want. This is really where the small sacrifice for big results part comes in.
In a way, I feel like all of these moves, and continually downsizing, has helped prepare me for this big relocation. The move abroad will be far more extreme than any other move we’ve made. But, I feel like as long as I have James, we can handle anything. Whether it be starting from scratch on our journey to financial independence, to quitting our jobs and moving abroad.