A few months ago, one of my friends introduced me to this blog: Mr. Money Mustache: Early Retirement through Badassity. (The blog title is sheer awesome-ness!) I quickly fell in-love with nearly everything he was writing about. Lots of great financial and lifestyle advice there.
He's been able to put to clear words what I've been starting to realize lately:
The bottom line is this: by focusing on happiness itself, you can lead a much better life than those who focus on convenience, luxury, and following the lead of the financially illiterate herd that is the TV-ad-absorbing Middle Class of the United States today (and most of the other rich countries). Happiness comes from many sources, but none of these sources involve car or purse upgrades. No matter what the herd or the TV set tells you, this is the truth.
Living within your means and cutting-back on needless spending means lower monthly expenses. By cutting those recurring expenses, you're able to save more money. The more money you save, the more compounding interest and investing works in your favor. By learning to live more frugally, you're changing your lifestyle and mindset and you end-up not needing as much money for your post-retirement lifestyle. It becomes this snowball effect and you may even be able to retire a lot earlier than you expected.