Someone by way of comment to this blog asked me if I had written anything on how I achieved financial independence.

I thought, ‘That’s an excellent question.’ But the more I thought about how to answer such a question the more I realized that the question implied picking my brain for advice or that I had knowledge of a system or that I knew a short cut.

I am not picking on anyone here because I think it is a perfectly reasonable question; something that I’d probably want to know if I was reading me.

So I will quickly say yes, there is a system of sorts, and it is all about a lifestyle. The lifestyle goes by various names, the most common being ‘voluntary simplicity’ or ‘minimalist living’.

Living a more simple life and consuming a little less of everything comes with enormous rewards. Simple living simply cost less. Maybe you don’t need to work 55 hours a week after all. Maybe a smaller house would work just as well; it would certainly cost less. Do you really need an 8 cylinder vehicle? I personally know lots of couples that earn over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year but they give it all back with big mortgages and financing lifestyles that includes things like twin luxury cars. Most of these people are over weight, fundamentally unhappy, and somehow make do with only 3 or 4 weeks of vacation a year. Yikes.

There is an excellent blog out there called Early Retirement Extreme that serves up some thought provoking and inspirational ‘how to’ advice on the lifestyle/financial aspects of retiring early. If you want to get your life back, have more free time, and head off those emerging lifestyle related health problems then it might be worth a look.

I love my very simple life. The little bit of work I do every day is a pleasure. I teach an hour of English per day which I trade for an hour of Spanish lessons. I need the Spanish and I teach English because it gives me a tiny little place in the community. I eat breakfast in the Mercado every morning and have fresh fruit and homemade yogurt for lunch. I run most every afternoon. And then spend most evenings either reading or writing or maybe have a beer or two down at my favorite cantina. My spare time is filled with sandal making and trying to get a little business started up.

Life in Michoacán has its moments where it can be less than perfect but as my friend Pancho has said on more than one occasion, ‘In Mexico you are free’.