This is part of an ongoing series where I dissect and discuss the reasoning behind various facets of my lifestyle. Through this, I’m attempting to separate the money aspect from the decision-making process, showing that I live a lifestyle that’s largely divorced from concerns about money whatsoever. Essentially, this is a lifestyle that I’d live regardless of my income/wealth. These facets thus aren’t about the money at all, but rather the result of thoughtful choices based around what I value and what drives my happiness.
There’s always something comforting about being home, isn’t there?
You’re surrounded by the sum of your choices in life at home.
The people you love. The non-people you love. The pictures that represent your adventures, experiences, and memories. Your favorite blanket. The movies or TV shows you prefer. The books you like to read. Your comfy couch (or chair). A computer that allows you to tap into the outside world at will.
I’m a proud homebody.
And it genuinely has nothing to do with financial independence or saving money.
I’ve always preferred to spend a lot of time at home, which, I believe, is one aspect of my personality/lifestyle that originally served as part of the impetus behind my decision to aim to achieve financial independence as soon as I could in life, as spending 50-60 hours at a dealership really cuts into the comfy-couch-and-blanket time.
As I’ve noted before, I’m an INTJ personality, which is a personality type that seems to be pervasive among those that seek out early financial independence.
Being naturally introverted, I generate/recover energy in small groups or isolation, while I expend energy when in large groups. As such, I tend to feel the most invigorated when I’m at home.
Home is generally where some of my best ideas have come about. Home is where I look at annual reports and research investments. Home is where I contemplate. Home is where I relax after a good workout.
Being a homebody is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I think it’s something that should be celebrated, assuming it’s something that comes fairly natural for you. If you enjoy spending most of your time at home, own it. Make the most of it. Enjoy it.
The only thing that I think one should be ashamed of is being somebody they’re not. Pretending to fit in when they don’t.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
There tends to be this assumption that spending a lot of time at home is required in order to achieve financial independence at a relatively early age, as going out all the time can add up.
I’m not sure that’s necessarily true. There there are plenty of things to do outside the home that cost little or no money. Going for a walk in the city, enjoying a park, or hitting the beach are just a few examples. Indeed, I try to engage in many of these free or low cost activities regularly.
But I always look forward to coming home. I need that time to re-energize, clear my thoughts, and find my center.
If you’re an extrovert that loves hitting the town as much as possible, that’s fine. If that’s you, and you want to seek financial independence, you simply need to make sure the spending is in line with your holistic lifestyle and associated budget.
However, I think there’s this negative connotation associated with being a homebody, as in the only reason someone would prefer to spend a lot of time at home is to save on money.
Well, my portfolio could be 10x its current size and I’d still spend most of my time at home, surrounded by the things and non-things that matter most to me in life (which, as a minimalist, don’t add up to much).
Indeed, Warren Buffett has on numerous occasions stated that one of his favorite personal (outside of business) pastimes is to be home alone, in his sweatsuit, watching football… or playing the ukulele. Even with billions of dollars, it really is the simple things in life.
I used to go out more than I wanted to or should have. I thought I needed to fit in. I thought I needed to be part of society, engage as much as possible, and make small talk. But I often found myself poorer and worse for wear, wondering why I didn’t just stay home and watch a movie instead. I realized at some point that I quite like staying home. And it’s safer and far less expensive. It’s really a win-win.
So if you’re a homebody, more power to you. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not missing out on anything. And it doesn’t need to be about the money at all. Saving money by being a homebody should be an additional benefit to being true to yourself, just like most aspects of a proper and holistic lifestyle designed for efficiency, happiness, and freedom.
Be you, because you can’t be anyone else.
I’m having this dialogue with you readers in order to point out that the lifestyle one creates in order to become financially free at a young age doesn’t have to and shouldn’t lead to a decline in one’s happiness.
Not only does spending more money not automatically lead to more happiness, but spending less money can actually lead to more happiness.
It’s counterintuitive – which makes it that much more amazing. For some reason, people largely believe that money and happiness operate under a constant 1:1 ratio where the increase or decrease of the former always leads to the equivalent change in the latter. But it’s just not true.
And that’s not just due to the permanent shift in one’s internal “happiness thermostat” that one attains after becoming financially free, but it’s also due to the realization that the creation of a more robust lifestyle that concentrates on life and experiences more than stuff and money alleviates oneself of a silly and undue burden. This can actually improve the world around you, which simply compounds the benefits.
Finally, being in a position to make lifestyle decisions not based on money but rather the pursuit of happiness is, in my view, a wonderful way to approach life. I’ve found that I think not about money when I make decisions but instead about whether or not something makes me happy. And it just so happens that what makes me happy doesn’t cost very much money. It’s an incredibly virtuous cycle that’s part of an overarching holistic lifestyle that feeds into itself. Once you open your eyes to it, it’s almost like you can’t help but succeed, become financially free, and live life on your terms.
Are you a homebody? Why or why not?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.